When I think of amusement parks, I automatically think of destination vacations in warm weather locations. Admittedly, this is unfair, because in the last two years I’ve celebrated local parks like Edaville Railroad and learned about a popular 19th century amusement park in Hingham. In the 1960s, Massachusetts residents didn’t need to travel to Anaheim, California to find roller coasters, A-list celebrities, or stage shows; they could visit Pleasure Island in Wakefield.
From 1959 to 1969, Pleasure Island was marketed as “the Disneyland of the Northeast,” In fact it was built by one of Disneyland’s park designers. The 80-acre park had 48 rides for guests to enjoy, including ones inspired by Moby Dick and a journey into space. Like in modern day parks, actors walked around the attractions, performing shows and interacting with visitors throughout the day. Pleasure Island also had a theater where popular acts like Don Ameche and The Three Stooges entertained audiences. Unfortunately, due to the short summers in Massachusetts, the park was forced to close in 1970.
Did you go to Pleasure Island with your family? We would love to see pictures or hear your stories about the park. Share your memories with us by emailing Wicked Local Media Solutions or tweet us @WLMediaSolution.
Image from Digital Commonwealth.