DARK IN THE PARK

"MEMORIES OF WILDWOOD, NEW JERSEY"

Golden Nugget Farewell

The front of the ride as it appeared at the January 31st, 2009 farewell ceremony.  One mine car was left in the loading station for people to sit in for pictures.  All the spindles on the loading station railing were removed to give away as souvenirs. 

On January 31st, 2009, a farewell ceremony for the Golden Nugget was hosted by the Morey's Piers Company inside the hollowed-out shell of the ride.  Approximately 1000 people attended the event which started around noon.  The Moreys have owned the ride since 2000 and originally wanted to refurbish it, but that proved to be too expensive for the company.  The ride has not operated since 1998, when the pier was themed as Dinosaur Beach. 

A capacity crowd gathered inside the Golden Nugget to watch the farewell ceremony.  It was neat to be inside the old ride, but it was blustery cold that day. 

Several guest speakers were present at the ceremony including Kristen Steindl (granddaughter of William D "Bud" Hunt), Tom Rebbie (owner of Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters, Inc.), John Allen IV (son of Nugget designer John Allen III), Rick Davis (D.A.F.E.), Adam Revesz (A.C.E.).  Jack Morey, president of Morey's Piers, emceed the event.

Several of the Nugget's props were on display inside the ride for attendees to take pictures with.  This classic Bill Tracy stunt would pop out at you after your train slowly traveled down a long dark corridor.

A large animated spider from inside the ride. 

Part of the classic falling barrels stunt and a stationary miner prop.

According to the Moreys, many of the salvaged stunts from the Nugget will appear in other Morey's attractions or be donated to the Wildwood Historical Society.  The track and trains from the Nugget were removed by Knoebel's Amusement Resort and may be turned into a ride as early as 2010.

Sections of track from the Golden Nugget were handed out as souvenirs.  Also handed out were parts from the lift chains and spindles from the loading station.  Each souvenir had an attached commemorative plaque. 


Golden Nugget Farewell Ceremony from Dark in the Park on Vimeo.

VIDEO Click to watch a 13 minute news report of the event.

The Moreys have proposed a huge custom roller coaster that will start on Morey's Pier, span the beach from Morey's Pier to Hunt's Pier, and encompass most of Hunt's Pier including the former location of the Golden Nugget.  The ride will also include a dark section under Morey's Pier.

A side view of the Golden Nugget during the farewell ceremony.  The track and trains had already been removed prior to the ceremony.

Although it is sad to lose a ride as great as the Golden Nugget, it is comforting to know that a new custom ride may take it's place.  And hopefully, the Knoebel's Company can bring new life to the Nugget by utilizing its tracks and trains.

 

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2009 Dark in the Park.  This site was created by Bill and Seph Cherkasky.