Staten Island's First Amusement Park: Fantasy Shore at Midland Beach
Unfortunately, this theme park is out of business. Going to a fun-filled amusement park is one of the great pleasures of summer. And now that Fantasy Shore Amusement Park has opened at Midland Beach, Staten Island residents don't need to leave the borough to find one.
Owned and operated by the same company behind Queens' Fantasy Forest at the Flushing Meadows Carousel, Staten Island's Fantasy Shore is similarly modest. While a visit here may not be as thrilling as a trip to Coney Island, the upside is the rides are cheaper, there are no unruly teens or adults, and the beach is lot less crowded!
Fantasy Shore is Staten Island's first outdoor amusement park in a decade. Conveniently located right off the boardwalk at Midland Beach, the park has four tame rides—the Verrazano Viper roller coaster, the spinning Teaside Seacups, the free-fall Midland Beach Pro Tow and the Staten Island Railroad trail—plus a handful of carnival games. On Saturdays and holidays from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the park hosts kids' entertainers. Children's birthday party packages are also available.
I visited with my boys, a toddler and a tween. Parking is super-easy: Lot 5 is nearby and FREE. Don't worry if you've got a stroller, the wooden ramps located along the boardwalk make getting around with wheels a breeze. Though my tween found the rides, save for the roller coaster, a bit babyish, most were a big hit with my toddler, especially the train. Since he's not yet 36 inches, the minimum height to ride alone, I had to accompany him and the staff was very helpful getting me in and out of the small seats. All of the rides are pretty tame save for the Verrazano Viper. The first drop makes your stomach jump and left my 2-year-old clinging to my shirt tightly but he got used to it after a few times.
Fantasy Shore is best suited for children ages 3 to 8. While it may not be a major destination, it's the perfect pit stop on your way to or from Midland Beach, which hosts lots of great festivals and special events throughout the summer. Admission is free but tickets must be purchased for rides. Tickets are $1 and most rides cost three or four tickets; buy tickets in bulk for a discount. There is no bathroom but you can find restrooms nearby on the boardwalk.
Fantasy Shore Amusement Park is located at the intersection of Father Capodanno Boulevard and Seaview Avenue next to the Midland Beach Fishing Pier. It's open weekends from mid-April through the end of June and daily through Labor Day, then weekends through Columbus Day. Visit the calendar for a complete schedule. You can also reach the park by taking the S51 bus to Father Capodanno Boulevard and Seaview Avenue.
Find out about other NYC amusement parks in our Summer Fun Guide.
This post originally published in July 2014.