Staten Island’s east shore, where Ferris wheels, coasters and carousels were awhirl in the early 20th century, has its first seaside park since South Beach’s Beachland Amusements closed after 65 years. Fantasy Shore Amusement Park in Midland Beach opened last weekend for “preview days,” which continue on Thursday and Friday from 11am till 6pm. The grand opening and ribbon cutting is scheduled for June 28th.
The new kiddie park opened with four rides: Tea Cups, Train, Frog Hopper and a mini-roller coaster christened the Verrazano Viper. Fantasy Shore is run by NY Carousel Entertainment, which answered the Parks Department’s RFP (Request for Proposals) to develop and operate a children’s amusement park for a 12-year term. The park is on Father Capodanno Blvd at Seaview Avenue, adjacent to Midland Beach Fishing Pier.
The company also operates two historic Queens carousels in City parks in Flushing Meadows and Forest Park. Last year, NY Carousel added a mini-amusement park called Fantasy Forest at Flushing Meadows, including Queens’ only roller coaster, a family ride called the Corona Cobra similar to the one in Midland Beach. On Memorial Day weekend, the Queens park debuted a new ride called the Queens Motor Speedway inspired by the Kiddie Whip ride manufactured by the Mangels Company in Coney Island.
“These parks are designed to cater to local families and we add rides and attractions over time that we feel best suit our park’s location,” Adam Sandy of NY Carousel told ATZ. “I can say that I think Fantasy Shore will look great opening day, improve throughout the season, and grow in the years to come.”
Midland Beach, just south of South Beach, once had hotels, beer gardens, bathing pavilions, theaters, carousels, Ferris wheels and other amusements. Vintage postcards in the New York Public Library show a variety of entertainments, including trapeze performances, boxing exhibitions and a Whip ride.
Related posts on ATZ…
March 10, 2014: High Hopes for Coney Island’s New Thunderbolt Coaster
March 5, 2014: RFP for Operator of Battery Park’s SeaGlass Carousel
December 8, 2010: Children’s Book Tells Coney Island Carousel Carver’s Story
January 20, 2014: Amusement Park Operators Eye Return to Staten Island Beachfront