Crafts have long been a feature of theme parks and amusement parks, with skilled artisans creating unique items for guests. In some cases the craft is created in part or completely by the guests, creating one of a kind art.
|Introduced part way through the 1984 season, the Bird Factory had a small, temporary location between the Dream Street and Fairy Tales tents. The stand was run by a contractor who had previously sold sand art bottles at fairs and carnivals and decided to introduced it in the park. The first season was successful, so for the 1985 season a new, larger location was constructed on the main pathway between the former Garden of Marvels area and the Dream Street Arcade. The stand was paid for by the contractor as part of the agreement with the park which cost tens of thousand dollars, plus a percentage of the sales.
|The Bird Factory sold
do it yourself sand art in soda bottles that were heated and stretched
to create the unique bird like shape. An array of colors of aquarium
dyed sand was available to fill the bottles with colors and patterns
which were demonstrated by the workers. The bottle was then finished
with googly eyes, colorful feathers, and a golf tee as the beak.
The Bird Factory lasted just a few seasons, and for the 1990 season the building was taken over by another contractor selling wooden cut signs custom made for guests with their names or other custom designs. To protect guests from the operating jog and band saws the front of the shop was partially enclosed behind Plexiglas and canvas tarps.
|Signs & Names continued for several seasons with the park making big changes and improvements around it as the Six Flags chain made efforts to bring cohesive theming to the park under Time Warner ownership.
|The transition of the Good Time Alley games area to the Boardwalk was one of the efforts to enhance the park's themed areas, bringing an overarching theme to what had been a haphazard collection of random stands and buildings. The Signs and Names stand was repainted from vaguely European style green architecture to a new red, white, and blue paint scheme to match the Boardwalk's aesthetics.
|With the 1997
introduction of Dare Devil Dive in the former Garden of Marvels area,
the Signs and Names stand moved across the pathway but not before it
almost doubled in depth making for a workspace which was nearly twice
the size as the original.
When the Boardwalk games were expanded, the Signs and Names stand moved to a spot behind the Big Wheel and then again just around the corner to the area in front of the Pinball Parlor building.
After seventeen seasons as Signs and Names, the stand became the Fantasy Hats stand for the 2007 season.
|From 2008- 2018 the stand became the Henna Tattoos stand, replacing the previous Henna Tattoo stand at the Mad Hatter location in the closed Old Country area. The stand also featured caricatures for a while, and was used as "The Reindeer Barn" for Holiday in the Park since it was so close to Santa's House in the North Pole area of Holiday in the Park.
|For 2019 the stand was home to Airbrush Apparel which had relocated after decades operating near the Four Tents on Dream Street. That only lasted one season and in 2020 the open air stand was used for Flash Pass Express.
|For the 2021-2022
seasons, the stand was used to sell capes, hats and other random
merchandise that was relatively inexpensive, sold well, and was very
profitable. The location on a major pathway to Batman The Ride, Justice
League, and Wonder Woman was a prime spot for superhero fans to buy
their favorite character's cape.
More recently, for the 2023 season, the stand took on the name Zero to Hero, continuing to sell capes and other super hero accessories to turn guests into members of the Justice League.
Over the years, the small stand that started out as a craft stall, changed its merchandise offerings routinely, and was relocated at least four times throughout the park, has drawn guests to its counters with an ever-changing lineup of souvenirs.
|Original Spotlight: August 23, 2023. GAH Reference#: SHOP-1985-001