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Fantasy Island near Buffalo closed for good

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  • Mar 28th, 2020 5:47 am
[OP]
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Feb 22, 2016
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Fantasy Island near Buffalo closed for good

Never been in there, I just knew it as the ratty looking park with the sketchy Ferris wheel alongside I-190 on Grand Island...

https://www.wgrz.com/article/news/local ... 0b606330f8

Announcement came a day after sister park Indiana Beach announced it was done:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/business ... story.html
13 replies
Deal Addict
Oct 23, 2017
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GTA West
EastGTARedFlagger wrote: Never been in there, I just knew it as the ratty looking park with the sketchy Ferris wheel alongside I-190 on Grand Island...

https://www.wgrz.com/article/news/local ... 0b606330f8

Announcement came a day after sister park Indiana Beach announced it was done:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/business ... story.html
I drove past many times and always wondered what that was. Now I am wondering about the Western NY reception center they built on Grand Island. I see very few cars parked there and it seems like an odd place to put one. Is that another white elephant? I wonder if that is worth a visit.
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Feb 9, 2007
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Whitby
I have also never been, but remember the commercials from the '70's
It's pronounced Throat Wobbler Mangrove
[OP]
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Feb 22, 2016
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From this video it looks quite nice on the inside. Like what Centreville on the Toronto Islands could have been if it wanted to compete head-on against the CNE and Canada's Wonderland:



It just looks ratty from I-190 where you see the rickety old ferris wheel and rotting log flume, but the stuff inside looks newer and in better shape.
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Dec 26, 2004
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Dealmaker1945 wrote: I drove past many times and always wondered what that was. Now I am wondering about the Western NY reception center they built on Grand Island. I see very few cars parked there and it seems like an odd place to put one. Is that another white elephant? I wonder if that is worth a visit.
I've only been there once for a pee stop in the middle of the night going to NYC

https://buffalonews.com/2019/09/12/crit ... host-town/
Deal Addict
Mar 10, 2011
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Toronto
Too bad. Went there as a young child and enjoyed the kiddie rides plus the old west show where the guy gets shot and rolls off the roof of the building. RIP Fantasy Island.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
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Eastern Ontario
Dealmaker1945 wrote: I drove past many times and always wondered what that was. Now I am wondering about the Western NY reception center they built on Grand Island. I see very few cars parked there and it seems like an odd place to put one. Is that another white elephant? I wonder if that is worth a visit.
Punky Hunky wrote: I've only been there once for a pee stop in the middle of the night going to NYC

https://buffalonews.com/2019/09/12/crit ... host-town/
These NY Welcome Centres are being built (or revamped / rebuilt) throughout NY State at various popular points of entry
Not surprised there is one near Niagara Falls / Buffalo along the I-90 access

They all feature the iconic I ❤️ NY signage
And the newest ... Taste NY Stores & Kiosks

I have personally seen a few of them in my travels ...
* A new one that has been built @ the top of I-81 (Exit for US Hwy 12)
* A fancy storefront in the Destiny USA Mall in Syracuse
https://taste.ny.gov/new-york-state-welcome-centers

All very nice

To be honest
A lot of these Welcome Centres / Rest Areas along the US Interstates were due for a makeover
Many of them built back in the 1960s

And NY State is not alone
In the last year I have seen other states making similar moves to revamp or demolish / rebuild along the most popular / heavily travelled north south corridors (I-95 - I-81 - I-75)
Member
Jan 12, 2020
493 posts
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Does anyone remember as far back as Buckskin Joe?

Image
Buckskin Joe at Fantasy Island on Channel 2, WGR-TV.


Another Channel 2 kids show that was as much a commercial as it was entertainment hit Buffalo TVs with the 196
1 opening of [local Grand Island proto-themepark] Fantasy Island.

Buckskin Joe was the host of what looked like a TV version of Fantasy Island’s Wild West Show. Buckskin Joe was actually Clyde Farnan, the General Manager of the amusement park.


...and if you remember Buckskin Joe, you might also remember: "the 2,500-seat outdoor arena constructed in 1965 for French lion tamer Jean "Tarzan" Zerbini's circus."




(In related news: Fantasy Island's Tomatometer is down to 10%!
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Oct 23, 2017
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goodking wrote: Does anyone remember as far back as Buckskin Joe? Buckskin Joe was the host of what looked like a TV version of Fantasy Island’s Wild West Show.
No, but we know a Smokin' Joe not too far from there. lol
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Jan 12, 2020
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Here's a walk-thru video of Fantasy Island by a very knowledgeable fellow - - some interesting history, including its previous bankruptcy in 1982!

Deal Guru
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Sep 6, 2002
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always assumed this place was a dump from seeing it off the interstate. Looks like a decent place for kids and that wooden roller coaster would be worth riding as they're slowly disappearing. Doesn't need to be huge to be fun with wooden coasters.
Autocorrect sucks
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Apr 20, 2009
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Ottawa
Watched the Commander Tom show as a kid and always wanted to go to Fantasy Island.
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Jan 12, 2020
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Unfortunately, this is starting to look like a brilliant business decision now.

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