South Jersey’s Abandoned Amusement Park

First opening in 1996, The Islander Family Fun Park was unlike any amusement park in New Jersey. While in Wildwood, Dinosaur Beach and Morey’s had more common rides like roller coasters, flat rides, and Ferris wheels, The Islander Family Fun Park had extreme rides bumper boats, helicopter rides, go-carts, and a slingshot.

South Jersey's Abandoned Amusement Park

South Jersey’s Abandoned Amusement Park

Located at the foot of the George Reading bridge many didn’t consider this a part of Wildwood since it’s ‘off the island,’ but maps still indicate it was Wildwood.

Before this land was the islander, a smaller amusement park once called it home. This park only had a one-go-cart track and some water slides at the higher end of the property

Next to the property was a trailer park with access to the bay via docks in the back.  and in the right back corner was a 313-foot tall radio tower. 

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Fast forward to 1995 and the owner wanted to compete with the success that the piers were getting. They invested heavily in developing the land behind the original location.

According to their 1996 brochure, they added in 6 Go-cart tracks, batting cages, bumper boats, the largest 18-hole mini-golf in South Jersey, and flat rides.

What really drew folks to the amusement park wasn’t any of that though, it was the 25-foot-tall Gorilla out front.

This Gorilla, named George was roadside attraction that sat in the middle of the kid’s mini-go cart track. What made it very unquiet was the fact that it had two sides coming out of him.

George had a strange history

The original price of building George was $50,000 and was made in Spain and shipped over by boat. It has been claimed that he stood on the Wildwood Boardwalk on one of the piers but photos haven’t confirmed his Wildwood roots.

The space where the Islander was, was a massive plot of land. It was roughly the size of all the piers on the boardwalk put together. This allowed them to offer more room for their main attractions, their go-cart tracks.

Their brochures highlighted their massive race tracks by saying that they offer more tracks in one location than anywhere in the state of New Jersey, giving racers of all ages the best choice possible.

Unfortunately, the islander wasn’t a great choice since in 1999 the business sold. New management removed some attractions such as the helicopters, bumper boats, and slingshot to save on costs but it didn’t save the business,

By 2002 the park was abandoned and mother nature was starting to take back the land.

The bumper boat pools became a haven for birds, the mini-golf caves became home for cats and the pristine go-cart tracks were falling apart.

The only thing that was protecting the property was George who unfortunately came tumbling down in 2002 during a massive storm.

The fiberglass that kept him together split at his knees causing him to collapse. don’t be upset about this though because in 2004 he was saved and is still a roadside attraction at Mighty Joe’s Gas Grill & Deli on Route 206. It’s the only real piece of the park that remains today.

The rest of the park has been empty and abandoned since 2002. Most of its buildings are now falling down only leaving behind the fun memories that once graced the land.

Join us as we used our drone to explore this abandoned park and see how Wild Life has taken over the fun.

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