The idea to put an amusement park in the Wollman ice skating rink came from a small group of industry veterans who saw an opportunity to use the 50,000 square foot facility all year long. After negotiations with the Central Park Conservancy, the New York City Parks Department and the Trump Organization, these private investors established Central Amusement International (CAI), which turned to Zamperla, an Italian amusement ride manufacturer, to make their vision a reality. Victorian Gardens first opened its gates to the general public in summer 2003.
The 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m2) facility, which opened in Spring 2003, can accommodate up to 3,000 guests and features about a dozen rides which are geared primarily to ages 2–12. The rides include the "Family Swinger", "Samba Ballon", "Aeromax", "Convoy", "Rockin' Tug", "Kite Flyer", "Fun Slide", "HydroRacer" and "Mini Mouse Coaster" among others. In addition to the rides, the park also offers other activities including face painting, balloon sculpting, interactive games and live entertainment, including clowns and magic shows, on weekends and holidays. The safe environment of the park allows parents to relax while their children explore and experience the setting of an amusement park.
Every weekend various entertainers are known to perform live and interactive shows that park guests of all ages can take part in. Whether it is helping King Henry and his friends with their tricks, engaging with Sammie and Tudie, or being able to rope with Cowboy Chris, everyone in the family is able to enjoy the show and engage in it.
Entertainment shows include:
- Jen's Spectacular Juggling Show
- The Sammie and Tudie Show
- King Henry's Magic Show
- Chris Capehart: The Ring Master
- Will Shaw and his FUN and FUNNY Juggling Show
- R.J Lewis The Spectacular
- Cowboy Chris and his Wild West Tricks
- Jeff Moshe
- Vicky & Victor
- Michael Dubois' Solo Circus
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