Santa's village return?

I just saw a small blurb on the Daily Herald web site stating that Grizzly Jacks near Starved Rock state park is trying to bring back Santa's Village. My question is what rides have they purchased at action already.


Well, at the original auction two years ago they purchased the Snowball (Teacups) ride. I do not recall them purchasing any of the other rides as they were not of the 'iconic' type that would be immediately recognizable with the SV theme. I know the Dragon Coaster went up north to Carnival Thrillz in Duluth, Minnesota and Typhoon went to the Ray Cammack Shows (carny operator in Arizona).

Grizzly Jack's 'rebirth' of SV has been talked about since before the auction...

Last edited by redman822,

--George H

I'm wondering what RCS is doing with Typhoon. It has yet to show up. Does anyone know where it's being stored? I bet the gas prices over the summer would have made transporting it quite expensive.

john peck's avatar

Do they still keep the ice skating rink open or has that been closed as well?

The entire place is shuttered. It has been since the town shut off the water and electric to the facility in the winter of '05-'06 due to back taxes and unpaid utilities.

(I live a mile from there and my daughter's daycare is right next to the old go-kart track in the waterpark area.)

--George H

beast7369's avatar

Occasionally I do talk to Santa Phillip Wenz (the last Santa from Santa's Village and author of a wonderful photo book about the parks) and yes there have been on and off again talks about the park being resurrected. I am not sure in what form it will be and how much of the Dundee's parks rides and buildings will move over to the new Santa's Village if it does come to fruition. Last I had heard they were in negotiations to use the Santa's Village name. Beyond that I have no clue where things stand now. However if you are interested in the park and whatever future there may be for it you can check out the following websites.

Based on this article , it looks as if this is going to happen. Philip Wenz is already at Grand Bear Lodge playing Santa.

Click here for article.

Last edited by Chitown,

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

beast7369's avatar

Nice find Chitown!

"The site of the former amusement park at IL Rts. 72 and 25 in EastDundee is at the center of what will one day be a significantdevelopment for the village of East Dundee and the surroundingcommunities." stated Patrick O'Connor, partner with Sterling Bay."Whether that development includes some elements of the former Santa'sVillage theme park is yet to be seen. Despite the current economicslowdown, we continue discussions with a number of interested parties."

Hoo...that's a good one. (pardon me, I have to catch my breath from laughing so hard.)

The area around the old park is seriously depressed. There is a strip mall to the north of the park that was at about 90% occupied and anchored by Dominicks. Dominicks closed and the mall is about 30% occupied now.

Across the street is a Walmart and that is rumored to be closing within a year...

But then again he said "one day" he just failed to mention that it would be one day, many, many years from now. ;)

--George H

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