"ITS FUN TO GET
The second fun house built at
the park was simply called "Fun House" with the subtitle "Its Fun to Get
Lost". It sat just to the right of the Mystery Ride. It was an elaborate
two-level walk-thru built in 1960. Ed Leis
designed the layout, and Dominic Spadola designed the facade made of wood,
homosote, tin and fiberglass. Big three dimensional letters adorned the front.
To the far right was a large bas-relief cartoon labeled "Magic Carpet".
It depicted a comical group of middle-eastern men on a flying carpet. The
entrance was through a short corridor on the left. There was a railing made up
of brightly-painted 2x4 wood that formed the word "Maze". (That technique
of forming words in wood fencing was commonly used at the park). The
corridor led to the beginning of an elaborately constructed mirror maze. The
maze was put together from eight-foot high six-sided wood posts, built of
standard 1x3 lumber surrounding a wood core. There was a 1/4 inch gap where the
pieces of 1/3 met. The layout was drawn up on a blueprint. Then the posts were
affixed to the wood floor, and 4-foot by 8-foot panels of glass and mirrors were
positioned between the gaps in the posts. If I remember correctly, the mirrors
were placed at 45-degree angles to each other. It was possible to re-configure
the maze by re-arranging the mirrors and glass into different gaps in the posts.
A path led between the panels and bought patrons eventually into a "tipsy
room", where the floor was raised up at one end and lowered at the other.
Railings forced patrons to travel back and forth until they reached the high end
of the floor. Patrons would emerge at the left side of an overhang above the
entrance. From the midway, you could see only legs as people passed
through. There were air jets in the floor at that point, naturally, to blow
skirts up. Then patrons would head to the back right section of the building
where there was a separate little "shed" structure tacked
on. That housed the "Magic Carpet". It was an elevated platform
with a bench. Patrons would sit on the bench. An operator would throw a lever
and the bench would drop, dumping the patron on to a large motorized conveyor
belt. The patron would be unceremoniously dragged down to the floor below.
The "Fun House" exit was then to the patrons right. As time passed
and patrons became more litigious, the "Magic Carpet" grew to be a
liability. It wasn't necessary to ride the carpet, patrons could simply walk
past it to the exit. But more and more people were starting to sue the park for
injuries relating to it. So Roger Fortin removed the "Magic
Carpet" and added another "tipsy room" there. This one was built like
a jail cell with simple 1-inch diameter scrap iron pipes welded to iron
frames and attached at the ceiling and the floor. "It just gives you
that much more illusion when you're walking through" Fortin said. It was all
lit with black lights. The "Fun House" was very popular. But
over the years maintenance became more difficult. The floor began rotting out.
So in the late 1970's it was dismantled. In its place, Spadola and Fortin built
a single-level ride-thru attraction, The "Pirate's Den".
This was the last dark ride built at the park.
|| To return to the main page and
the next link, The "Pirates Den":