Anybody Rember Palisades Amusement Park?

DawgByte II's avatar
I wasn't around when this park was around, however... it sure looked like an interesting park.

Does any of the older buzzers here remember Palisades Park? Yes, there was a one-hit-wonder song about it... but it also seems to have been a really sweet park.

There's a little history on the park there. It really looks like it was a nice park. They had roughly 45 to 50 rides at the park, and for its time... that's pretty incredible. Their last year in existance was in September, 1971 (so it pre-dates quite a bit of us).

The thing that intregues me the most is WHY it closed. According to their FAQ on the website posted above:

By the mid-1960s, Palisades had become one of the most popular and most visited amusement parks in the country. The crowds that headed to the park each summer was more than the small New Jersey communities could handle. In 1967, the town of Cliffside Park (one of the towns in which Palisades was located) rezoned the land for high rise development. This brought many lucrative offers from land developers for the park's owner, who by this time was in his 70s. He eventually sold the land to the Winston-Centex corporation for over $12 million.
Sound fimilar? Sounds a little like Magic Mountain's situation.It's ashame. The park really sounded like a sweet park, and judging from RCDB, they also had quite a few coasters throughout their history. If it were a park in existance today, do you think they'd be doing just as well, and keep the park going... or sell-out for realestate development?BTW: How close is this park's location compared to Six Flags Great Adventure?
There is a pretty good book, and a nice video about the park.

It's a shame it closed for the reasons it did. Especially considering the eyesores that replaced it.

Nope. Never heard of the place ;)

It pains me to think that there was once a world-class amusement not too far from where I live... too bad I was born about 10 years too late! There is an excellent book and video about the park and the one of the local cable stations recently aired a special on the place. Not sure if it was the video or something entirely different, as it's been a while since I watched the video.

Basically, Palisades Park down because it was too successful. The traffic that the park attracted got to be too much for the surrounding community and I think they played a part in getting the park land re-zoned. Irving Rosenthal- the park's owner and once the owner of the Coney Island Cyclone- vowed not to sell the park but then opted to when he got too old to run it and had no children or family to pass the park to.

You may or may not know that Morgan Hughes was a big vendor at the park, as he imported a lot of European rides to the park in its final years. He tried to get the park to reopen for one final year but when that fell through, he purchased a small park in Mechanicsburg PA called Williams Grove and brought many of the rides there. The train on the Cyclone is part of one of the trains that used to run on the Palisades Park Cyclone- the name of the Williams Grove Zipper was changed to Cyclone with the arrival of the "new" train.

Also, there were rumors of a new Palisades Park being built in Mount Olive, NJ but that obviously never happened. Not sure why.

If someone that goes by the name of OlympicParkFan is still on these boards, he can likely add a lot to what I just said. George, are you out there???

The same fate happened to Riverview park in Chicago. The land was just to valuable that the park sat on that it closed in 1967 and sold to developers.

This park boasted 19 coasters in its history.

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
I was in the NYC area over the weekend and visited the Palisades Park memorial. It was neat. :) A nearby cafe (The Point I think it was called) has lots of murals and memorialbilia of the park.

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

crazy horse's avatar
From the look of the pictures, the park would look really neat at night with all the lights.

what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.
Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

rollergator's avatar
There's almost nothing about this park that doesn't get me emotional....grew up in Jersey, we ended up going to GAdv (and Hershey) by the time I was old enough to remember. The park disappeared when I was four...yet I remebmer Freddy Cannon's song, and have been interested in the park since I first got into this hobby (c. '99).

Palisades and Coney island were often in competition for the newest, latest, greatest, etc....much like SFMM and CP in the late 90s, only closer in proximity... ;)

Riverwiew had crowd and behavior problems in its later years (it had a location right in Chicago) and that caused it, like many urban parks, to close.

Arthur Bahl

1EyedJack's avatar
One hit wonder??!! Do your home work Junior!! The man's name is Mr. Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon.

-------Cut from his web page---------

In 1959 Freddy recorded a song that his mother had written called Tallahassee Lassie. It soared to the Top Ten of the "Billboard Hot 100 Chart". The song marked the first of 22 songs by Freddy to appear on the Billboard Chart.


Billboard US Top 40 Pop Singles for “Freddy Cannon”

1. Tallahassee Lassie – Peaked at #6 on 05/11/59
2. Okefenokee – Peaked at #43 on 08/24/59
3. Way Down Yonder In New Orleans – Peaked at #3 on 11/23/59 (GOLD)
4. Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy – Peaked at #34 on 02/22/60
5. Jump Over – Peaked at #28 on 05/09/60
6. The Urge – Peaked at #60 on 05/16/60
7. Happy Shades Of Blue – Peaked at #83 on 07/25/60
8. Humdinger – Peaked at #59 on 10/10/60
9. Muskrat Ramble – Peaked at #54 on 01/09/61
10. Buzz Buzz A-Diddle-It – Peaked at #51 on 05/01/61
11. Transistor Sister – Peaked at #35 on 07/31/61
12. For Me And My Gal – Peaked at #71 on 10/16/61
13. Twistin’ All Night Long – Peaked at #68 on 01/06/62 (credited to “Danny & The Juniors with Freddy Cannon”)
14. Teen Queen Of The Week – Peaked at #92 on 02/03/62
15. Palisades Park – Peaked at #3 on 05/12/62
16. What’s Gonna Happen When Summer’s Done – Peaked at #45 on 09/08/62
17. If You Were A Rock And Roll Record – Peaked at #67 on 11/10/62
18. Patty Baby – Peaked at #65 on 05/04/63
19. Everybody Monkey – Peaked at #52 on 08/03/63
20. Abigail Beecher – Peaked at #16 on 02/01/64
21. Action – Peaked at #13 on 08/14/65
22. The Dedication Song – Peaked at #41 on 02/19/66
23. Let’s Put The Fun Back In Rock N Roll – Peaked at #81 on 09/26/81 (credited to “Freddy Cannon & The Belmonts”)

Damn Whipper Snappers

OT *** Edited 7/27/2006 2:23:36 AM UTC by 1EyedJack***

You'll never know how great a kiss can feel, till you're stopped at the top of the ferris wheel...

Not sure if that's the exact lyric or not... Anyway, who wrote the song "Palisades Park?"

A. Chuck Barris, who people probably remember better as the host of the 70's "The Gong Show." (Wish they'd bring that back... not the show, just the gong. They could use it on most of the reality/talent shows on TV nowadays.)

That song's a classic.

I don't think the song was written for Palisades Park, I think Chuck Barris wrote the song so the lyrics read:

..."at the amusement park" instead of "...down at Palisades Park".

When someone at the park got wind of the song, they made some kind of deal to change it to Palisades Park.

rollergator's avatar
1EyedJack....I was simply referring to THE song about "Palisades Park" know, the thread title and all... ;)

RGB...trying to remember the name of the brunetter woman who played Chuck Barris' foil on The Gong Show...and yes, I'd like to GONG most of the reality shows in their entirety, not JUST the contestants... :)

1EyedJack's avatar
Freddy also recorded a version of the song for Kennywood, titled "Kennywood Park". You can find it on Ebay every once in a while.


I can hear just about any park name being plugged into that song!
I stumbled across this book at the public library and ended up checking it out and reading it cover to cover when I got home. I had never heard of the park until I read that book and now it's a place I wish I could have gone to. The pictures in the back where they are tearing down the coaster made me cry.

Yeah, those shots of the Cyclone being pulled down with a bulldozer are pretty sad. I can't imagine having been a park patron and watching that take place.
gator, that would be probably Jaye P. Morgan, a "celebrity" panelist on every episode that was even less famous than Charles Nelson Reilly and Brett Summers.

I absolutely loved The Gong Show. Chuck Barris looked like he got progressively more stoned throughout the show, the Unknown Comic and Gene Gene The Dancing Machine were awesome, and then there was the episode where every act came out and sang "Feelings". Good times!

Oh... Palisades Park looked nice. ;)

Ray P. *** Edited 7/27/2006 7:22:34 PM UTC by ProgRay***

rollergator's avatar
^ Thanks, that IS who that would be...

But please don't bring up Match Game...Brett Summers always reminded me of a SLIGHTLY less-masculine Bea Arthur... LOL!

Everyone is less masculine than Bea Arthur!
rollergator's avatar
Did anyone else happen to notice something "missing" from the thread title (and presumably, missing from Palisades itself)...

ME! (remember)... ;)

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