Walking the grounds of the old Pretzel Ride factory. The building is now the home of DMC Textiles. Interior view shows the main shipping door.

"We built a big portable ride in here once and then couldn't get it out the door. We had to let the air out of the tires to get through."
Standing by the Cassidy garage with Pretzel insignia are George LaCross, Bill Cassidy, Bill Luca and Ralph Grassi.
Bill Cassidy recounts the golden days of dark rides and the amusement business to Bill Luca and George LaCross.
This is the same office from which Mr. Cassidy operated the Pretzel business and where he would draw track layouts on graph paper.


In 1979, the Pretzel Amusement Ride Company ended more than 50 years as one of the most successful and respected businesses in the amusement industry.
Its operations spanned the glory years of the amusement park in America,
of which, with the carousel, ferris wheel and roller coaster,
the Pretzel Ride had been an integral part.

William Franklin Cassidy retired (but never really stopped working).

It was, indeed, quite a ride.

Ever since Leon Cassidy brought the dark ride to the world, amusement manufacturers have continued to develop and market their own versions.
We've seen early simple rides, modern high-tech rides and every kind of car
from Hush Puppies to Doom Buggies. But for us at Laff In The Dark,
there will never be anything that says 'Dark Ride' like a Pretzel.

It's a ride similar in many ways to life itself... sometimes funny, sometimes scary; twisting, turning, full of surprises and mystery, with a few bumps along the way. Eventually, we all reach the end of our ride through life.

With a little luck, we'll go out laffing.

Thanks to:

William Cassidy
Doug Cassidy
George LaCross
Bill Chestnut
Ralph Grassi
Pete Szikura
Barbara May

Photography by George LaCross, Ralph Grassi, Bill Luca,
Laff In The Dark Collection
Pretzel archive material furnished by William Cassidy


Mr. Bill Cassidy passed away on March 30, 2008

Please visit our tribute page