Bill Tracy's
Walkthrough Funhouses

By Bret Malone

 


Bill Tracy was also a designer of great walk through funhouses, usually utilizing his favorite theme of Pirates and Damsels in distress. The "Pirates Cove" at Waldameer Park is one of three of Mr. Tracy’s walk throughs left operating in this country. It is the sister attraction of the "Pirates Cove" located in Ocean City, MD at Trimpers Amusement Park, while the third walk through is the elegant "Wacky Shack" at Lake Winnie in Tennessee, a throw back to one of his most popular ride through names. All three utilize the "Water Flowing Upward" stunt, "Barrel Maze", "Tilted Room" and several of his favorite pirate figures, all effectively presented with blacklighting and strobe lights. Tracy built many other walk through attractions, and may have used his ability to present such classic presentations as a selling point for his company, "Amusement Displays", located out of Cape May Courthouse in NJ. I’m sure many parks considered his ability to sell them a walk through also while either doing refurbishment work to their dark rides, or even building new ones, while his biggest competitor, "The Pretzel Ride Company" only concentrated on Dark Rides.
The following is a list of defunct Tracy walk through funhouses:
  • 1. "Palace Playland", Old Orchard Beach, Maine (Displays for Walk Through).
  • 2. "Canobie Lake Park", North Salem, NH. ( Package Walk Through).
  • 3. "Westview Park", Pittsburgh PA ( Package Walk Through)
  • 4. "Dorney Park", Allentown P.A. ( Package Walk Through, Park Front).
  • 5. "Rockaway’s Playland", Rockaway NY (Fun House Displays).
  • 6. "Hunt’s Pier", Wildwood NJ (Walk Through displays)
  • 7. "Marine Pier", Wildwood NJ (Displays).
  • 8. "Le Sourdsville Lake Park", Middletown, OH, (Package Walk Through).

Please note also that the "Mine Shaft" walk through currently located at "Ghost Town" in Maggie Valley NC, also has Tracy attributes and may be either a "Lost" Tracy walk through or utilizing several of his stunts and designs while the very excellent "Haunted Mansion" located at Rehobeth Beach, DE also has many similar Tracy features. Mr. Tracy also designed and built several "Water Type" or "Mill Chute" rides which we will examine in a future article. For now, enthusiasts only have the few remaining walk throughs to cherish of one of this country’s magnificent dark ride and funhouse designers and builders. Fans of Tracy should make every effort to experience these classic walk throughs before they too, are simply another part of amusement history and join the above defunct list.


Photos 1, 2 and 7 are Laff In The Dark and used with permission.
Photos 3, 4, 5 and 6 are Rich Koppelman and used with permission
This article is 1999 by Laff In The Dark
www.laffinthedark.com

 

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This page was last updated Thursday, April 29, 1999