Asbury Park, NJ
By Bret Malone


Perhaps the smallest of the Three Pretzel Dark Rides located in the two amusement buildings in Asbury Park, the "Mad-o-Rama" was nevertheless both cherished and revered by enthusiasts for its whimsical and breathtaking front. The facade featured a Neon Witch chasing a Neon Ghost on both sides, and had a Chinese type of writing on the lettering, much like the vanished Crystal Beach Magic Palace Fun House. There was a marvelous toothy creature whose open mouth served as a unsettling entrance to the ride.
A short ride of its kind, it was located on the mid-left hand side of the building. "Mad-O-Rama" only featured three stunts for its final years,. The first was a Yellow Painted Mad-Man holding a knife. This prop was formerly painted as an African native, holding a spear, but eventualy changed to be politically correct.
The second stunt was a Vulture that "Squeaked" over its prey, and the third and last prop was a Little Witch standing in front of a Gingerbread House, next to a Spooky Old Tree.
This witch prop was originaly part of a former Disney character inspired diorama that was located in the arcade floor area.
The ride featured classic style Pretzel cars in brown and black colors. The track layout was three "S-Turns" toward the left, and a final lager one to complete the ride circuit. Track length was less than 250 feet.

Enthusiasts remember the glowing facade of this short ride and a very odd Cold Sensation in the back portions of the ride. It was installed sometime in the mid to late 1960’s, with cars possibly coming from a defunct ride in Northern New Jersey. This ride is sorely missed, although both the cars and track may still be in storage in Jersey, awaiting a new life in time.

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This page was last updated Tuesday, May 11, 2001