Palace Amusements
Asbury Park, NJ
By Bret Malone

Just to the left of the Carousel and entrance doors, with the Atlantic Ocean behind us was a long-time standing food stand called The Charbroil Pit. Past this section were a bunch of arcade games, and to the left a newer ride, a motion simulator called The SR2. Past this was both a children's Playport added in the mid-1980's when these became very popular, as well as a bank of pinball machines. Actually, inside the palace were arcade games as far as the eye could see and around every bend! This combined with animation's strewn about along with individual ride soundtracks to create an almost, unsureal, magical environment! And all inside, no less!

Past the Pinball machines was the loading area for the Ferris Wheel, now sporting cars each named after a New Jersey city or town. Past here and in the top-left corner of the building was a newer Bumper Cars ride. To the right of it was a (now) rare ride called Rock and Roll, a Hershell Twister ride that had a great, custom backdrop painted by Ralph Lopez Jr. and it featured a (for its time) wonderful sound and light show, patterned after the Disco-Era of the 1970's. Looking to the right one again was a long time standing Pretzel Darkride now called The Haunted Castle aka the Whacky Shack & Hell n Back, a ride that I consider one of the greatest ever built and a sadly missed thriller.

Venturing down a narrow area were yet more games to play and into the newer building we go! Looking to the left is the incredible and now legandary Castle Fun House! To the right of the Fun House and in the upper right hand corner of the newer building was a new exhibet, a museum featuring Elvis Presley as its main theme. in the lower right corner stood a rather large ride with lots of flash and sound. This was a ride called The Olympic Bobs, and was one of only three such models imported into the country to feature a moving, hydrolic track! It is wildly rumoured that this ride was sold off when the palace closed to the Casino Pier in Seaside Heights New Jersey where it was refurbished into a newer ride called the Power Jet. regardless, this ride was very fast and beautiful to look at as well.

To the right of it was a great, two-story Pretzel dark Ride called The Orient Express! Next to this was the parks shooting Gallery and in this buildings center as well as along any empty walls were, yet more arcade games to be played! Am I forgeting anything?,..... perhaps, but the Palace was so chock-full of rides and games and sounds and lights that it all rather boggled the mind into sensory bliss! And as each ride had its own sound system and Mackenzie Sound Carts, that they made each area of the Palace seem like a whole different place and mood.

Let's go to Palace [part 2]

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