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Where Have All The Rides Gone?

One question that many people have asked is "what happened to all the rides"? By the time Palisades closed in 1971, many of the rides were owned by Mickey Hughes. Hughes was a ride importer who used Palisades as a showcase for new European rides. Amusement park owners from across the country came to Palisades to get a look at these new and colorful rides.

When Palisades closed, Mickey sold off many of his rides to parks throughout the country. Trying to track their whereabouts is nearly impossible. But here is a partial list of some of the items and their current locations:


Jet Star Coaster - Palisades had a steel coaster called the Jet Star. The Jet Star went to Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, NJ when Palisades Park closed in 1971 and remained there until 2000, when it was deemed too old and torn down. A different coaster was brought in called the Star Jet, but almost everyone still called it Jet Star. Special thanks to srubino for passing along this information.

Update (October 2012): The coaster at Seaside Height was destroyed by Hussicane Sandy in 2012. The coaster was carried out into the ocean by the force of the storm. In 2017, Seaside Heights erected a new steel coaster named the Hydrur.


The Love Bugs -When Palisades closed in 1971, The Love Bugs was sold to Casino Pier in Seaside Heights. The name of the ride was changed to Wizards Cavern. We were told that the ride was torn down in 2003 but thanks to John, who worked on the ride for 4 years in the 1980s, he told us that the ride is still alive and kicking even after Hurricane Sandy. I verified this with Casino Pier and indeed, John is correct. In 2007, the name of the ride was changed from Wizards Cavern to Pirate's Hideaway. Of course the theme of the ride may have changed along with the name but it is still basically our old friend "The Love Bugs." Thanks for the updated info, John.

1 The Sky Ride - The Skyride was purchased by Charlie Woods, former owner of The Great Escape (formerly Storytown, USA) in Lake George, NY. The ride was dismantled by O.D. Hopkins Associates, Inc., Contoocook, NH and shipped to Lake George where it was put in storage for over 25 years. I'm not sure where it is today.
(Source:  Jerry Pendleton; former President & Owner of O.D. Hopkins Associates, Inc.)


The Ansco Rocketship - This ride was "virtual reality" long before the term was ever invented. You sit in a rocketship and when the doors close, a large movie screen takes you on a journey into outer space and back. It is now known as the Missile and is in Canobie Lake Park.  (Source:  Amusement Today/Canobie Lake Park) 

Update (Sept 2006): Thanks to Dana Sion for letting us know that the Rocketship is still in Canobie, but has not been used for many years.The outside has been cleaned and painted and is now being used as a backdrop for a space-themed photo spot.

Update (2017): Thanks to Rachel Mastrogiacomo for this new information. "The Rocket was removed from Canobie in 2011 when the Untamed roller coaster was built directly behind it. A large bear totem statue stands in its place now. We found the abandoned rocket under a tarp behind Canobie's catering groves behind a fence, and we even went inside. I remember riding the Rocket at Canobie before it stopped being in service in 2001 (I believe) and it was very cool and eerie to sit down in the seats again. There was even a VHS tape collecting dust in the back. I'm assuming it played the "virtual reality" video during the ride."

1 Casper statue (from Casper's Ghostland) - The building, once the Tunnel of Love and later Casper's Ghostland, was demolished. The large statue of Casper The Friendly Ghost, that once stood on top of the roof of the building, was on display at Gil's Tavern on in Cliffside Park, NJ. But Gil's closed their doors in 2019 and the owners refused to part with him. So as far as we know, Casper is laying in some dusty old garage being eaten by rats and vermon. Let's hope not. :)
1 The Cyclone Coaster - Although the old wooden coaster was demolished when they closed the park in 1971, the trains from coaster remained in operation at Williams Grove Amusement Park in Mechanicsburg, PA. Click here to photos of the Cyclone trains in their new home.

Note: Williams Grove closed its doors in 2006 and sold off its rides in an auction in February 2007. The fate of the Cyclone trains are unknown.

Update (2013): I was contacted by Kathleen Hughes, daughter of the famous ride importer, Mickey Hughes. She offered me five of the cars from the blue and yellow trains. We were finally able to get them back to New Jersey where they are currently in the town of Fort Lee. One of the cars has already been refurbished and is now a regular feature of their annual Memorial Day parade. We hope toget the other four cars refurbished in the coming years so even more people can enjoy seeing these historic artifacts.

1 The Carousel (PTC #84) went through quite a journey after the Park closed. The entire story is on page 121 of my book (Palisades Amusement Park: A Century of Fond Memories"). Today, it is located in Canada's Wonderland in Maple, Ontario. It was refurbished in the early 1990s.
1 Ticket Booth (Giant Coaster) - The Park's owner, Irving Rosenthal, gave the ticket booth from the Giant Coaster to Joseph Dunninger, a magician/mentalist who lived in Cliffside Park. For decades the ticket booth remained on his property on Knox Avenue.
1 The Flight To Mars - According to Bret Malone from Tunnel of Laffs website, this popular dark ride was sold to Gaslight Village in Lake George, New York. From here, it was sold to a park in Columbia and then to Fun Forest Park in Seattle. But by this time, much of the original art and charm that The Flight To Mars had when it was at Palisades, had been painted over. It is presently for sale through a ride broker.
1 The Fun House Sign - The last known whereabouts of the "FUN HOUSE" sign that once stood high above the Showboat Fun House was in a tavern in Orangeburg, New York called "The Saloon." Special thanks to Reggie E. for this information.

Update (2018): We drove up to The Saloon in Orangeburg to see the sign. Unfortunately, the sign was in storage in 2012 and was flooded during Hurricane Sandy. The sign was trashed.

1 The Fun House Dixieland Mannequins - The animated Dixieland band that adorned the front facade of the Showboat Fun House was sold to Gaslight Village in Lake George, New York. Gaslight Village opened in 1959 and closed in 1989. We have been unable to determine what happened to the mannequins after Gaslight closed. If anyone has any information on their current whereabouts, please contact the Palisades Amusement Park Historical Society at

If you would experience what it was like to watch "band" perform when it was in operation at Palisades, take a look at this YouTube video.

1 The Roto-Jet - This ride was last known to be at Whalom Park in Lunenburg, Massachusetts. JBF emailed me and said that according to a PBS special, the Roto-Jet is now at Kennywood Park in its historic section. Thanks to Adam Maeroff for confirming this. 
  Tilt-a-Whirl - Seven of the vehicles from the Tilt-a-Whirl were relocated to Canobie Lake Park. (Source:  Amusement Today/Canobie Lake Park)

Update (Sept 2006): Thanks to Dana Sion for letting us know that the Tilt-a-Whirl is still in operation at Canobie,

  Parking Lot Lights - The lights that illuminated the parking lot were sold to Ridgefield Park High School and were used on their athletic field until 2015. I spoke with the town officials and they allowed us to have one of the lights (and post). It is currently in Fort Lee being refurbished.

I will be adding to this page as I get new information. Please check back in the future. Of course, if you have any information about rides or attractions that came from Palisades, please write to me.

Thanks to Bill Walsky for helping me to acquire some of this information.



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