Marshall Dan Provides Good and Bad News on Effort to Save Fantasy Island

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By: Staff Reporter

A small group of dedicated former employees announced in 2020 their intention to save Fantasy Island from extinction. One of those members, Marshall Dan, released the following update:

 

 

Hey folks, Marshall Dan here. I know everyone has been patiently waiting for any information on the park… so here are some “updates”.

THE BAD NEWS:
What’s left at the park is in VERY poor shape. Partially because of the way that Apex left it, and partially because of the extreme vandalism that has occurred since their “evacuation”. There is no security… so “thrill seekers” (and idiots) have broken in repeatedly causing more damage. Sadly, I see photos and videos – even from people I’ve known – who find it “fun” to illegally break into the park and screw around. When I see these photos I send them immediately to the Grand Island Police and URGE you to do the same.

After running the park into the ground (I believe intentionally to support their “other” parks) Apex fled after selling almost everything off to cover their enormous debts. Their mismanagement cannot be understated and certainly, still, a huge hurdle to overcome for “future investors”.

Other than the train, the Water Park, The Comet and a few small rides in Kiddy-Land the park is mostly empty. The offices, the main buildings and Western-Town are still standing – although badly vandalized.

THE GOOD NEWS:
The Water Park, The Comet, Western-Town, The Train and several small rides ARE still there. The outward vandalism to the buildings CAN be repaired. Rides CAN be replaced and repaired.

MANY of the parks “landmarks” have been saved or rescued. I’ve posted about many of these items in the past. Many of these items I have in my possession – which will ALL go back to the park where they certainly belong.

The creative team behind the PRE-Apex “live shows” WILL be available to return… both the memorable characters AND performers …restoring the entertainment back to it’s former glory before the cringe-worthy Apex lineup. Shoot-Outs, Saloon Shows, Puppet Shows, Train Robberies and more. There will NOT be any 25 minute “talking tree shows”.

THE PLAN:
There IS a small group of “creatives” working on acquiring the “keys” to the park… and I’d say at this point the odds look “pretty good”. Remember, this is a LONG and hard road… it’s not like simply opening a local coffee shop.

First and foremost would be to IMMEDIATELY setup security fencing and cameras throughout the property. Then the “re-build” begins, hopefully with the help of YOU lending a hand! There ARE  contacts for bringing in the rides needed to fill up portions of the park.

Then… open the park (initially) on a SMALLER basis… catering to CHILDREN and young families… BRINGING BACK all the things that made the park great. FREE parking, large picnic areas that you can bring YOUR OWN food to, live shows in Western-Town, an expanded water park, an all new Kiddy-Land with new AND original rides, the train giving you a ride over to the Silver Comet, puppet shows, petting zoo and more. “Fun, Wow” WOULD return as the Park’s tag-line.

Fantasy Island should NOT be in competition with Darien Lake… that was NEVER meant to be the case. Fantasy Island was, and always SHOULD be, a “world for children”.

THEN slowly re-build the “back-end” of the park and time and finances allow. This is how the park originally opened in 1961, and there’s no reason why it can’t happen again.

IN CONCLUSION:
Is this plan “for sure”? No, nothing is. So please be patient… this is an ENORMOUS undertaking but efforts ARE being made. Efforts for the park, for YOU and for the feeling of “Fun, WOW” that we all dearly miss.

 

 


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