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Trimper's Ride has decided to close its old and decaying funhouse, one of the last remaining in the US. Nine years ago the funhouse was reduced by about 50% in size. No new ride has been announced at this time.




Also, Trimper's is in the process of selling Chick-Fil-A on property. They have been working with local leaders as food trucks are not allowed. In the end, food will be prepared and cooked off-site and delivered by a local Chick-Fil-A and sold out of a trailer.





Trimper's: Losing the lamp, but maintaining the magic

HAYLEY O'BRIEN, DELMARVA NOW CORRESPONDENT Published 7:00 a.m. ET Feb. 19, 2018 | Updated 4:50 p.m. ET Feb. 19, 2018


As one of the oldest operating amusement parks in the world, Trimper’s Rides walks a tightrope between progress and tradition in Ocean City. Having opened over 100 years ago in 1893, generations of families have been going to Trimper’s and making memories.


Balancing the park’s need to continue to grow while maintaining their classic rides is, “a constant battle,” operations manager Brooks Trimper said.


One such battle was recently fought: retiring the five-ticket fun house, Aladdin’s Lamp.


For over 30 years, the large genie wearing his orange striped hat has been watching over children laughing and squealing while falling through trap doors and running across shaking bridges.


“Unfortunately, the time we live in, you have to make a decision there,” Trimper said.


Although the fun house was still enticing guests for magic carpet rides, ultimately, the expensive maintenance costs led Trimper’s board, made up of six shareholders — all family members — to remove the ride, Trimper said.


“Living in the ocean air, it’s bones are starting to wear,” Trimper said. “The exterior is becoming aged.”


The mystery ride had already once been altered to open more space on the Boardwalk. Nine years ago, the funhouse downsized to 60 percent of its former size to make room for other attractions.


“This is just a continuation of that attempt to better utilize the space we have,” Trimper said.


No new rides are lined up to fill the now empty space of Aladdin’s Lamp. Instead, the park’s current attractions will be shuffled around, Trimper said.


Some of those current attractions at the park have been operating since the late 1960s while others have been added in the past few years, blending the old and new.


“That’s what makes memories, that’s what makes families,” Maryland Sen. Jim Mathias said. “Gives your family memories to share your whole life.”


Mathias is a veteran of the Boardwalk amusement park scene, having grown up with his father’s amusement arcade and visiting Trimper’s Rides for 45 years.


“Long before the flumes and all the stuff they have today, they had the little boat rides,” Mathias said. “When you were a child, they’d put you in a little boat and you’d go around and around and around."


Keeping with tradition, the little water boats are still available for kids to ride today, however, the Trimper family is always looking to add new exciting attractions such as the 60-foot thrill ride, Endeavor, installed last year, Trimper said.


“I see Trimper’s continue to grow, continue to invest but really those cornerstone standard rides are critically important,” Mathias said


Maintaining those cornerstone rides such as Aladdin’s Lamp and the Big Merry-Go-Round, one of the oldest working carousels in the United States, is how Trimper’s continues to be considered a summer time-honored tradition for families.


Often, one will see a grandmother bringing her granddaughter to ride the carousel because that is what she did as a kid, Trimper said.


“Children grow up, they bring their children back, so generationally, it makes generational memories and it brings joy and (Aladdin's Lamp) was one of the rides that did that,” Mathias said.


However, locals are not the only people visiting the boardwalk every year and Trimper’s Rides is not the only amusement park in the area.


“We’re still competing for those tourism dollars,” Trimper said. “Kids no longer just want to go in a circle over and over and over again.”


Herein lies the balancing act: holding on to the classics while making room for new thrills.


“The thrill rides have become more and more dynamic but whether it’s Aladdin's or a tea cup ride or the little boats, to children through adults it’s all in context of where you are,” Mathias said.


Although Aladdin’s Lamp will no longer be in operation, Trimper’s other classic rides remain and Mathias is excited to start bringing his first grandson to ride the water boats and share memories, he said.


Aladdin’s Lamp will remain in storage until the Trimper’s family decide on their next steps for it will be.



Trimper's proposal to sell Chick-Fil-A on Ocean City Boardwalk clears first hurdle

Susan Parker, slparker@delmarvanow.com Published 10:01 a.m. ET Feb. 1, 2018 | Updated 1:19 p.m. ET Feb. 1, 2018


A proposed partnership between Trimper's Rides and Amusements and the West Ocean City Chick-Fil-A franchise has cleared its first hurdle.


Approval from the Ocean City Planning & Zoning Commission came during a January meeting, following a spirited discussion of the pros and cons of allowing a food trailer to the south Boardwalk property in a resort that doesn't allow food trucks to operate.


In a letter to Frank Hall, zoning administrator, Chris Trimper offered what he described as a "Chick-Fil-A outpost" — a trailer that would be backed into what is now the duck pond stall in the carousel building on the Boardwalk.


"There would be no cooking on the property, all prep work done at the restaurant kitchen," wrote Trimper, "and delivered to sales counter."


The trailer belongs to Chick-Fil-A, and franchise owner Hunter S. Caudill said the partnership is an experiment to see how well his products would be received on the Boardwalk. While subject to change, Caudill said the outpost will provide much of the same menu as a standalone site, including the signature chicken sandwiches.


"The Trimpers and I had the joint idea of running an alternative distribution point on their property," said Caudill. "We will continue to honor the Chick-Fil-A tradition of remaining closed on Sundays."


Very little of the trailer itself would be visible to customers, Trimper added. Customers would only see the service window and part of the interior of the trailer.


"The menu would be smaller than what is sold at the restaurant," Trimper said.


Because Ocean City does not allow food trucks, commission members discussed potential ramifications, including concerns that giving this proposal a green light might open the door to food truck operators — something they hope to avoid.


Commission member Palmer Gillis, however, pointed out a truck and a trailer are not the same thing.


"While you wouldn't necessarily want a food truck to operate without comparable support of the kind required for restaurants — restrooms, sanitary facilities — and without paying taxes the way a normal establishment would," Gillis said. "But the Trimper proposal is different because it would be located on a site with restrooms, on property that already offers other mobile food stands. There's no cooking on-site, and Trimper's pays all the taxes any brick-and-mortar company would pay."

Edited by larrygator
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Never heard of the funhouse--I regret not experiencing it when I visited Ocean City. As much as you hear about current funhouses being a shell of what the attraction used to be, sometimes you'll still come across a newer one with decent 'gags' (as opposed to being, say, a glorified mirror maze with a run-of-the-mill slide or whatever). I know it's low on the list for most enthusiasts, but I'd definitely like to get back to OCMD. I'm interested to see how Trimper's evolves.

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Heard about this a little while ago. I'm sure I must have ran through it as a kid but I don't have any lasting memories of it, but if that's what they determine they need to do to make the best of their situation, then farewell. I hope I can get down to Ocean City at some point this year with the family and see what's left of it from my childhood.

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Never heard of the funhouse--I regret not experiencing it when I visited Ocean City.


I expect better from you. It was almost impossible to miss, although if you went when The Zipper was still there I could understand since they were diagonal from each other and you would have been distracted.

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I shouldn't feel any surprises there because I felt Aladdin's Lamp wasn't much of a funhouse, just more of a house were you walk down some darken corridors and just a few tricks at the beginning and the ending of the ride. But it is surprising how long they had that funhouse. Still, if it's still there (I haven't been there since 2011) Pirate's Cove was much more funner compared to Aladdin's Lamp.

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^The Skele-Pirate in my avatar agrees! Pirate's Cove or the Haunted House would be a bigger loss. Glad to see the park is sticking around, more than anything. One of the only places you can ride a Zipper outside of a travelling carnival.

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The Zipper was alive and brutal as ever last summer, I took that picture in July. I was in Ocean City last month and noticed the entire front facade had been removed from the Pirate's Cove attraction. Turned out they were just sprucing it up for the 2019 season, which begins this weekend I believe.


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