The Original Strawberry Fair from 1974
Click on any of the attractions below for more information.
As one of the original themed areas of the Enchanted Forest, Strawberry Fair was one of the least defined in area and in overall cohesive theme. It contained true "fair" rides which could be found in many other parks, carnivals and boardwalks. While the collection of rides in the area may have been more common than in the rest of the park, the setting of dense trees and fanciful architecture was unlike any other park in the world. As time went on, Strawberry Fair lost its identity as the park grew and began to focus on thrills. In the 1990's the area which was originally Strawberry Fair became a part of Fantasy Forest as an effort to bring themes back to the themed areas under the ownership of Time Warner.
|As one of the only two roller coasters when Great Adventure opened, Big Fury was the smallest, designed to be portable for use in fairs. The wild mouse style ride featured four person cars that resembled automobiles. They ride's layout of stacked helices offered an exciting ride as multiple ride vehicles made their way through the tight structure. The structure of the coaster was located off the main pathway of Dream Street and surrounded by the native trees which were left in place as close to the structure as possible to help maintain the feel of the Enchanted Forest.
|Though tame by today's standards, Calypso was considered one of the wildest rides in the park when it opened in 1974. The fast spinning ride was colorful by day and night with its swirls of bright colors on the ride vehicles and platform as well as hundreds of lights on the cars and towers.
|Flying Wave was a favorite ride of many guests for more than 30 years. The delicate looking ride with its pastoral paintings embodied the feeling of Strawberry Fair. Like many of the other rides in the section it was beautiful by day and by night as its hundreds of lights changed colors as the sections spun in multiple directions as riders flew over the heads of the crowds passing in close proximity to the trees of the Enchanted Forest.
|The Giant Wheel was one of the many wonders of Great Adventure when the park opened in 1974, claiming the title of the world's tallest Ferris wheel. Standing at the far end of Dream Street, it drew park guests further into the Enchanted Forest and into the heart of the Strawberry Fair area. The floral pattern of the lights made the Giant Wheel nearly as exciting to watch as it was to ride. The wheel rose high above the treetops giving an unparalleled view of the acres of beautiful woodlands and lakes that made up the Enchanted Forest.
|The Grand Prix was one of the most unique rides at Great Adventure, offering an exciting go-kart ride on a covered wooden track. Unlike most go karts, the Grand Prix cars were powered by electricity rather than gas, making them quieter and more ecologically sound in keeping with the spirit of the Enchanted Forest. The ride was relocated for the 1976 season as the park further expanded and added more attractions to handle the growing crowds.
|The Great Train Ride was a live steam journey through the unspoiled woodlands of Great Adventure. The station was at the furthest edge of the Enchanted Forest, with the trains running along the edge of the lake. For the 1975 season, the railroad was joined by the park's second flume ride and the train ran around and below the flume. A crossing was added to provide access to the flume station. In 1980 the trains were removed to make way for the new Roaring Rapids ride which arrived for the 1981 season.
|Matterhorn was a common carnival ride which was originally located in Strawberry Fair as one of several flat rides added to offer more attractions for the park's 1974 opening. It was only part of Strawberry Fair for one season, relocated to the new Fun Fair section for 1975.
|The Pretty Monster was the first of Great Adventure's "monster" style rides. The ride was brightly colored and featured hundreds of lights to add to the excitement after dark. After just two seasons in Strawberry Fair, the ride was relocated to the area next to the Yum Yum Palace for the 1976 season and became known as the Dream Street Dazzler.
|The Skyride has been one of Great Adventure's signature attractions since the park opened in 1974. The ride offered a way to travel from one end of the park to the other, giving guests a much needed break in the day as well as an exciting ride with views of the hundreds of acres of the Enchanted Forest. The station at the Strawberry Fair end of the park provides the power and is the storage facility for the dozens of cars when not in service.
|Super Round Up was another example of the most thrilling rides at Great Adventure when it opened in 1974. Though a common carnival ride, it featured brightly colored center panels which matched the style of Strawberry Fair's signature restaurant, Gingerbread Fancy. Like many of the other rides in Strawberry Fair, it featured hundreds of small lights which made it even more exciting after dark. The ride was replaced with a newer model in 1980 but the updated model remained at the same location until 1999.
|The Swiss Bob was a common ride found at carnivals and parks around the world, and was a last minute addition to Great Adventure when the park opened in 1974. The ride only spent one season residing in Strawberry Fair, moving into the new Fun Fair area for the 1975 season where it continued to run until 1991.
|While most parks have bumper cars, Great Adventure featured the world's largest bumper car ride, Traffic Jam. The ride opened with the park as part of the Strawberry Fair section in July 1974 and delighted thousands of guests until it was destroyed in a winter storm in 1992.
|In addition to the major restaurants at Great Adventure, several smaller food stands including Eat! Eat! helped to serve the huge crowds. As part of the Strawberry Fair section, the building originally featured fanciful awnings which were later replaced by a more permanent roof structure. Over the years the restaurant has undergone many changes, and is nearly unrecognizable today as Mama Flora's.
|When Great Adventure opened in 1974, it featured three major restaurants, including Gingerbread Fancy, the signature restaurant of the Strawberry Fair area of the park. The fanciful design and graceful architecture of Gingerbread Fancy was the embodiment of the spirit of Strawberry Fair. Over the years the restaurant has undergone many changes on the interior though the graceful arches of the porch still create the same feeling of elegance and gentility of Strawberry Fair. When Strawberry Fair was incorporated into the Fantasy Forest area, Gingerbread Fancy was rethemed as well becoming Granny's Fried Chicken.
|Since the park
opened in 1974, Strawberry Fair has been one of the most changed areas
of the park, with rides being added and removed, additional shops, games
and stands being added, removed or renovated.
The theme of Strawberry Fair was always very loosely defined, and early additions to the area echoed the feeling of the existing architecture. The Chicago Shootout building and the bench across the path from it featured a similar decorative style to Gingerbread Fancy, and even featured ferns echoing the ferns that used to hang from the scrolls on the columns in the dining room.
With the relocation of the park's entrance to the Fountain area, the traffic flow in the park changed greatly, and additional shops were added along Dream Street between the Fountain and Big Wheel. Those shops have often been modified to follow the trends of the day. The Fotozines stand was a classic example of this, with the original concept of having your picture on the cover of a magazine being replaced with other merchandise and today becoming Jersey Shore.
With the video game boom of the 1980's the park added the Pinball Parlor, a second major arcade for the park. Pinball Parlor was designed with a brick facade and arched awnings on the windows which reflected the style of Gingerbread Fancy.
After Strawberry Fair was combined with the rest of Dream Street to create Fantasy Forest in the 1990's more changes came as additional games were added. Several portable game units were placed in the area with one in front of Gingerbread Fancy (now known as Granny's), and another on the former site of the Pretty Monster in front of the restrooms.
In 1999 for the first time since the park opened rides were added to the former Strawberry Fair as Chaos and Evolution were added as part of the park's "War on Lines".
|Strawberry Fair as pictured in the 1974 Souvenir Booklet.