"Journey to the Planet of the Apes"
was another one of Fred's attractions and appeared somewhere
around 1974 or 75'. Upon entering the spacecraft everyone would
be seated in a circle. At the center of the circle the Captain
and a small crew of actors surrounded the command post. Once
everyone was seated the ship would start to rotate and a light
show would begin. During the short trip through space and time
the audience is told the story of the Planet of the Apes. The
ship would soon begin to slow down and come to a stop. At this
point the hatch would open to a world inhabited by primates.
Ape soldiers would burst through the door attacking the captain
and his crew while the audience would be led through the interior
space door and into a primitive underground world. After being
shuffled through caves and corridors you would exit the ride
out onto the boardwalk. This attraction would later change to
the popular "Star Wars" theme.
Pictured below are some construction photos
The structure is starting to
take shape. That's Fred pictured to the left - Above
is the rotary system where the spaceship will be placed.
To find out what became of the spacecraft CLICK
The vortex that leads to the Planet of the Apes
The "Spirit of 76" was Fred's
new and exciting attraction for the bicentennial year. The plane
(a retired Martin 202) was trucked over from the Cape May County airport where its twin
engines had been removed. It was 74 feet long with a wingspan
of 94 feet. This ride held 44 people and would simulate a real
flight. Inside the plane was a screen that would run footage
of air travel over the Grand Canyon or the New York City skyline.
All the while the plane would lurch and jerk as if you were
flying through turbulence. When first opened the attraction
cost a mere 75 cents to ride.
Pictured above is the plane
being guided through the intersection of Rio Grande
and Atlantic Avenues in Wildwood in route to Morey's
Pictured at right the plane
is shown being hoisted by crane and lowered into place
on the pier.
Postcard of the Devils Inn
One of Fred's projects in the mid-70's
was the renovation of the old Devils Inn dark ride on Fun Pier.
This ride was part walk-thru and part ride-thru. Fred re-themed
the old ride into The Lost World. This ride is somewhat mysterious
and there are few photos. I do remember that it was very damp
and dark inside and not many stunts. There were also live actors
playing the part of cave dwellers that would wander about or
spring out from behind the stalagmites to scare you.
Pictured below are rare photos of the
renovation to the ride. That's Fred to the left
holding the chicken wire form. To the right an interior shot
of the caves.
All photographs are
part of the Mahana Family Collection and used with permission.
Copyright 2004 Ralph Grassi