This great set of construction photos from late spring of 1974 show parts of Great Adventure under construction as seen by William Simon Jr. one of the huge team of people who worked so hard to finish all the work in time for the July opening.

These pictures are a great look all around the park as the July opening approaches. They appear to be from May early June of 1974 from the progress made and the fullness of the leaves on the trees. We start our tour from the original entrance to the Enchanted Forest theme park at the end of Dream Street where the Four Tents stand.

Click to see more construction photos of the Four Tents
Moving down Dream Street we see the Carousel looking complete with the roof being built over it. The simple steel columns are a sharp contrast to what they would look like when the decorative fiberglass coverings were installed just a short time later.

Click to see more of the Carousel construction
These two photos of Yum Yum Palace under construction show most of the fiberglass in place with just some small details left to install. The railing around the porch still hasn't been installed and it appears some of the finishing details are in the process of being applied at the time of this photo.

The piles of plywood in the foreground is for the roof sheathing for the Carousel.

It appears the construction workers are all on their lunch break and admiring their handiwork on what looks like a nice spring day. 

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Yum Yum Palace construction

On the opposite side of the Carousel the Garden of Marvels is starting to take shape. The mountain range at the back of the land looks complete and the land is being graded for the arrival of the models and scenery.

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At the center of Dream Street the Fountain is starting to take shape. The walls are in place and the plumbing is being laid prior to pouring the concrete bottom of the Fountain.

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The Flying Wave looks ready to open while everything else is still a work in progress. Construction workers appear to be eating their lunch on the steps of the ride. Those steps were removed in later seasons and the original operator booth was in the center of the ride, seen here with the door open.
The frame of the Giant Wheel appears complete at this point including the floral lighting design. You can see even the light bulbs have been installed at this point, and the only missing element is the installation of the gondolas.

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Giant Wheel construction

Just beyond the Giant Wheel the Gingerbread Fancy restaurant is looking nearly complete. The arches over the porch are just waiting for the decorative lighting scrolls and the canvas coverings. The arches only had decorative canvas on them in the earliest days of the park and were eventually replaced with solid roofing materials.

Click to see more of the Gingerbread Fancy construction
Moving to the other side of the park, the Fort is taking shape on the shores of Lahway Creek. The wooden supports for the Runaway Mine Train are in place along with some sections of the track in the first photo.

In the second photo another piece of track for the Runaway Mine Train is awaiting installation as part of the final turn into the station. Behind it the counterweight ends of the Skyride are in place and awaiting the installation of the cables.

Click here to see more of the Fort construction

The massive wood structure of the Fort is looking like it's nearing completion in some areas like the station for the Runaway Mine Train. The frames for the upper walkways are just beginning to be framed in this picture.

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The log frame for the Super Teepee looks to be complete and awaiting installation of the canvas skin beyond the spillway of the Log Flume. You can see the stack stone being applied to the concrete walls of the splash pond.

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Super Teepee construction
The Best of the West restaurant look nearly complete just beyond the trough of the Log Flume being installed. The massive logs that made the framing for the roof look very fresh as they await installation of the roof materials.

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Construction of the Log Flume is in full swing with the final drop in place and the runout track going into the station in the foreground. It looks like it recently rained in these photos with standing water in the splash pond.

In the second photo the tower that supports the waterwheel appears complete on the side of the station. The crane in the foreground seems to be there to lift the high sections of track and trough in place at the top of the first lift hill.

Click to see more photos of the Log Flume construction

Special thanks to the fan who reached out to us and sent these great photos to us from her late father's collection. They are a great document of the amazing work done to make Great Adventure a reality under such a tight deadline.

To see more about the construction of the park make sure
to visit our main
Construction Page.