Advertising for theme parks has often been an art form, showing off a world of fun and excitement, and quite often enlisting a celebrity to help spread that message to the world.

Great Adventure's third season in 1976 was a year of big changes, with an updated park layout, new attractions, and new ownership. To help spread the word about Great Adventure and the wide array of rides, entertainment, and the Safari, Jerry Lewis was hired to showcase park in a commercial campaign called "Love is the Magic."
To better acquaint Jerry Lewis with Great Adventure, a tour of the Safari Park in his limousine and a walking tour of the theme park quickly got him up to speed on the entertainment center's offerings.  The tours were filmed and like earlier commercials, a great deal of footage of the Safari was included featuring the novelty of the baboons climbing on their cars. 
The commercial shoot took place in the off-season, while the trees were still bare and these behind the scenes shots show everyone bundled up because of winter's chill.
While film footage was captured of the Giant Wheel in motion from both ground level and while on board the ride, several members of the crew gathered next to the Flying Wave to stay out of the wind.  It is interesting to note that the swings were disassembled at the time with parts of the central column facade missing as well as the actual swings.

Jerry Lewis and the film crew walked through Dream Street prior to filming and figured out the best angles and locations for showing off the park.
The chilly grey day must have been quite a challenge to film around and make the park look warm and friendly. For a park that prided itself on its canopy of trees, having to show them all barren and lifeless must have been a huge obstacle to overcome in shooting the commercial.
With all the preparations in place the filming began. Lights and reflectors helped to brighten the scene and make things look sunnier for a commercial destined to run throughout the spring and summer. Cast members were bundled up waiting for their cues, then shedded layers of clothing for the camera to help create the look of warmer weather.  
The official description of the commercial declared Jerry Lewis as being the "Pied Piper of Children", and it appears that the commercial featured him leading a group of happy children and entertainers through the park as one big happy group of family and friends.  Even in the dead of winter, "Love was the Magic" at Great Adventure!

If anyone has video of this commercial we would love to see it!  Please contact us at
To match its aggressive marketing plan, Great Adventure offered several promotional and souvenir items featuring a spin on the "Love is the Magic" ad campaign with a limited line of "Love is a Great Adventure" memorabilia.

Original Spotlight:  April 17, 2020.  GAH Reference#:  MEDI-1976-001