Santa’s Village to resurrect Wildwood’s ‘Escape from Dinosaur Beach’ dark ride

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IRM’s CEO Samuel Shurgott announcing the sale (© Amusement Today)

Not all news during the IAAPA Expo Orlando is about ‘new’ rides. Ride sales firm IRM has announced to have sold the ‘Escape from Dinosaur Beach’ dark ride that was originally located on Dinosaur Beach (Wildwood, New Jersey – U.S.A.). The ride will be resurected for the 2022 season in Santa’s Village Azoosement Park (East Dundee, Illinois – U.S.A.).

‘Escape from Dinosaur Beach’ opened in 1995 as a major new attraction when Hunt’s Pier changed its name to Dinosaur Beach. The ride was designed by R&R Creative and produced by Sally Dark Rides. It featured a ride system manufactured by SBF Visa. It operated until 1998 when Dinosaur Beach closed and the pier it was located on was sold. IRM bought the dark ride and kept it in storage for more almost 24 years before they found a buyer.

The ride will be rethemed by Santa’s Village and the lay-out of the ride will be modified. The park will receive technical support from IRM and assistance from Majestic Rides. “At IRM we will always remain committed to providing reliable rides, equipment and services at the best possible prices and intend to leave parks and facilities a better place,” says IRM President Sam Shurgott to Amusement Today.

It is not known if any of the set pieces of ‘Escape from Dinosaur Beach’ were storred by IRM and if they will be reused in the new ride at Santa’s Village Azoosement Park. The park did not release any information on the new theme yet.

Escape from Dinosaur Beach is the second Dinosaur Beach dark ride system that will receive a second life. The rollercosater of the Golden Nugget semi-dark ride was moved to Knoebels where it opened as ‘Black Diamond‘, now completely enclosed.

Black Diamond at Knoebels (© Roller Coaster Traveller)

Addition 27 August 2022: The DRdb team found that the ride has been operating in Santa’s Village Azoosements Park since June. The new ride features the ride system, but uses only VR-goggles to create a themed experience. As the ride does not include scenes, it is not listed on the Dark Ride Database.