|We would like to take a moment to thank the hundreds of people who made Great Adventure possible and built Warner Leroy's dream.|
The process of building Great Adventure's Safari park and the Enchanted
Forest theme park were huge efforts which had been hampered by legal
problems delaying the start of construction. Because of those delays,
construction didn't get underway until early in 1974 and the park's
grand opening was scheduled for July of that year. With just six months
it is amazing what was accomplished by the crew.
With the time and money constraints the park was under, plans were scaled back and simplified but even the more limited scope of the park was ambitious and required the hard work of hundreds of craftsmen of many disciplines working long hours through the cold of winter and the heat of summer to make the deadline.
The dedicated crews were made up of workers from all over the state of
New Jersey and in some cases even further away. The projects they
embarked on were far from everyday construction projects in many ways
using in some cases unconventional materials to build very
unconventional structures. Just the scale of the property made it a huge
project with hundreds of acres of land being developed simultaneously.
The number of carpenters, masons, plumbers, electricians and dozens of other crafts and trades people required is staggering to think of, and coordinating those workers so they could accomplish their tasks and still not get in each others way must have been a huge feat for those in charge of the project.
While we may not know the names of these workers who made it all happen,
every visit to the park is a tribute to their handiwork. Their enduring
legacy is the sense of awe guests still feel today when they do things
like watch the dolphins perform, take the Skyride into the Fort, ride
the Big Wheel high above the treetops, or pose for pictures in the
wheels of the Conestoga Wagon as millions of guests have done through
While bigger, newer attractions are added to the park every season, few have the impact of the larger than life and fanciful structures and attractions that made Great Adventure the unique experience it always has been. And though some things like the Super Teepee have been lost or others like the Fountain have been modified, replaced or updated over time, the spirit of Great Adventure's original dreamers, designers and craftsmen can still be found all around the park.