Asbury Park, NJ

By Bret Malone

Have a Circus Of Fun!
The Circus Fun House was originally a one-story attraction located on the main Casino floor. At some point in time, possibly the mid-1970's, it was moved over to the right side and reconstructed as a two story walkthru as a way to add space for the arcade expansion. Amusement Ride experts from The Palace -- Ralph Lopez Sr. and Ralph Lopez Jr. -- also helped with the renovation of the Fun House, learning custom Barrel building secrets from a local wood expert.
The Lopez Family, Father and Son were the main people in charge of all the rides and renovations In addition they designed the dark ride facades and oversaw the carousel restoration work for the Palace for many a year while working for the Lange family. Much more on the Lopez family and there contribution to the Dark Ride evolution will appear in an upcoming article.
Upon entering the Circus Fun House, you had a choice of either going through the revolving barrel, or you could bypass it via a path. From here, you climbed a spiral staircase up to the second floor, while an Animated Displays Creators "Evil Clown" turned and waved to you, setting up the mood for fun! Traveling through the dark hallways, you would first see a red Sea Serpent that was floor activated.
Next up would you would enter the Circus Wagon portion where you could wave to your friends below in front of the animated Gorilla prop. The exterior of the Wagon contained a Giraffe Head as well as an old Esso gas station Lion. Once through the wagon, you entered into the Falling Barrel Chamber, then under a sheet of sparkle material. A hard left turn lead to another floor activated stunt, possibly the Yellow Witch, yet another ADC Display.

Traveling straight ahead lead into the famous Tilt Room! A bit of creativity was to be had here as the room was painted in such a way by the Lopez Team that the painting style, combined with both blacklight and strobe lighting created walls that looked as if they were both contracting and expanding! Furthermore, all the walls and floors were at odd angles making walking a challenge. Around this crooked mess you would go, emerging into the Diminishing Hallway Chamber -- a series of doorways eventually leading you close to a mirror in which you see your reflection.
Soon after you find yourself at the top of a very large Steel Slide that leads down to the ground floor. People with no sense of fun could bypass the slide with a set of stairs, which also allowed you to steal a few extra turns on the slide.
Finally, a rather Brutal Mirror Maze was the last section to puzzle the mind, and it was tough, the secret in being that the entrance, was alas also the exit, and for the uninitiated, it was several nerve racking moments before they realized their mistake!
The Fun House still sits for the most part, while the Mirror maze section was sold and carted off to the South. If you listen carefully... you can still hear the Laughter of the Evil Clown! Most of the props from the Fun House still remain lovingly in their hometown state of New Jersey. This was a wonderful old fashioned Fun House and is sadly missed by all who knew what its contents held!
SHHHH!!!! Hear the Clown Speak to you! And if you close your eyes hard enough, you can almost see the Barrel, turning and inviting you in to the start of this Wonderful Fun House! Here's a ticket, enjoy!

Head towards The Palace 

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