Legends: Pioneers of the Amusement Park Industry

Legends: Pioneers of the Amusement Park Industry

by Tim O'Brien 2


$18.65 $18.88 Save 1% Current price is $18.65, Original price is $18.88. You Save 1%.
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, July 26


This new book series that pays homage to the creative pioneers who have made the world's amusement parks, theme parks, amusement rides and waterparks what they are today. Legends: Pioneers of the Amusement Park Industry, is the first in that series.

There have been hundreds of books written on individual parks, on individual rides and attractions and on the amusement business as a whole, but few have been written specifically about the people who dedicated their lives to creating the industry. This series, written by industry veteran Tim O'Brien and published by Ripley Publishing, adds faces and personality to the rich history of the industry, an industry that entertains more than 300 million people a year in North America alone!

Presented here are the most detailed and comprehensive biographies ever written about 10 men who were instrumental in shaping the 20th century fun park landscape. Written in a casual, easy to read style, the passion of these pioneers beautifully shines through.

Buzz Price had no data bank to refer to when he conducted the original feasibility study for Disneyland or when he directed Walt to the location in Anaheim where the park should be built. Ron Toomer had no g-force numbers or more than a basic knowledge of friction when he left the space industry and joined Arrow Development Company to design the world's first Runaway Mine Train roller coaster for Six Flags Over Texas. He had never ridden a coaster until he designed and built one.

When you read the chapter on the Father of the Waterpark Industry George Millay, you'll learn of his amazing visionary skills that led to the creation of three SeaWorld marine parks, Magic Mountain theme park, and seven Wet'n Wild waterparks. You'll read of Harold Chance's pioneering journey through life as you learn the history of Chance Rides, a ground-breaking American ride manufacturer and one of the most prolific ride builders ever.

You'll discover how Carl Hughes of Kennywood Park became the first non family member to reach top management at the park and at the same time you'll be treated to a short primer on the history of the International Assn. of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA), the group that Hughes helped to develop into the world's largest amusement industry trade association.

To most, John Graff is known as the now-retired top official of the IAAPA; but few know of his pioneering efforts in theme park law and contract work when in the early 1970s he became the first lawyer for the parks division of the Marriott Corporation. Dr. Roberto Ortiz, a physician in Costa Rica raised funds to create that country's first modern theme park as an on-going revenue generator for the country's largest children's hospital that he built 17 years earlier. Today, the park contributes nearly $300,000 a year to the operating funds of the hospital.

Marty Sklar, who started working for Walt Disney four weeks before Disneyland opened in California in 1955, has attended the opening of and contributed to the creation of all 11 Disney parks worldwide. His creative instincts and managerial skills took him to the top rung of the Walt Disney Imagineers, where he has worked for more than 50 years.

You'll meet Bo Kinntorph, the affable Swede from Liseberg Park who was the first non-American president of IAAPA and who is widely recognized as the one who made the IAAPA the truly international organization it is today. Jeff Henry, from the family who created and still owns the Schlitterbahn waterpark resorts, took his "crazy ideas" and became one of the world's most productive and creative waterpark ride builders and park designers in the history of the waterpark industry.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781893951136
Publisher: Casa Flamingo LIterary Arts
Publication date: 11/28/2006
Pages: 276
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.58(d)

About the Author

Tim O'Brien is an award-winning photojournalist who, for nearly four decades, has worked in the communications side of the entertainment industry chronicling in print and capturing on film the latest and greatest that theme parks, amusement parks and attractions, circuses, carnivals and sideshows have to offer. He has a strong interest and proven commitment to preserving the legends, legacy and the history of the outdoor amusement industry.
As an industry specialist, Tim has had more than 5,000 articles, more than 3,000 photos, and 13 books published. He has visited more than 500 amusement parks and attractions in 27 countries and has ridden more than 500 different roller coasters. He has appeared in more than a dozen theme park documentaries on the Travel Channel, The Discovery Channel and National Public Television.
A graduate of The Ohio State University with a master's degree in journalism/film production, Tim is an accomplished photographer and public speaker, having lectured extensively at industry seminars, schools, libraries, and various civic groups.
Tim's published books include: Ripley's Believe It or Not! Frog Oddities & Trivia; Baseball Oddities & Trivia; Amusement Park Oddities & Trivia; Legends: Pioneers of the Amusement Park Industry; Ripley's Believe It or Not! 2005 Baseball Media Guide; The Wave Maker — The Story of Theme Park Pioneer George Millay; TP on AB — The Life & Times of Industry Journalist Tom Powell; The Amusement Park Guide; Tennessee Off The Beaten Path; Where the Animals Are; Fun with the Family in Tennessee; and he penned The Essential Guide to Six Flags Theme Parks with his daughter, Carrie.
In May 2014, Ward Hall — King of the Sideshow,the official biography of sideshow impresario Ward Hall was published in celebration of the sideshow king's 70th year in show business.
Where did Tim get his bent for the weird and unusual? Blame it on Ripley's Believe It or Not! For 10 years, Tim served as the national corporate spokesperson for Ripley and had the privilege of showing off the company's 90-plus attractions throughout the world, and in doing so has been widely published and quoted.
He was responsible for the promotion and public relations of Ripley Corporate as well as all Ripley brands and attractions worldwide and served as editor of the venerable Ripley's Believe It or Not! cartoon, established in 1918.
Tim provided most of the talent booking for the various Believe It or Not! Odditoriums around the world, and the list of talented performers he brought to Ripley's front door includes the best in the industry — including wire walking Nik Wallenda, showman Todd Robbins, the green skinned Lizardman, and Dan Meyer, the world's foremost sword swallower.
In September 2009 he was instrumental in bringing Ripley's Believe It or Not! back to the radio, after a 62 year absence, when he launched Ripley Radio — An On-Demand Oddcast. He was producer and co-host of the popular weekly show which ran five years and 200 episodes before ceasing production in 2014.
Prior to his position with Ripley Entertainment, Tim served as senior editor of Amusement Business, the world's leading business trade magazine for the amusement park, fair, carnival, and circus industries. During his 18 years with the magazine, O'Brien traveled the world reporting the news and the history of the outdoor entertainment industry.
Tim currently serveson the National Advisory Council of the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, Ct.; on the board of governors of the Applause Award which recognizes the world's top theme park; and is the former chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee of the International Assoc. of Amusement Parks & Attractions, of which he remains a member.
He is also a member of: the Outdoor Amusement Business Assoc.; the Showmen's League of America; the Amusement Park Historical Assoc.; the Circus Historical Society; the American Coaster Enthusiasts; and the Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts.
When not traveling, he lives in Nashville, Tenn. with his wife, Kathleen and their two cats, George Harrison and Petula Clark, and 11-year old Beatrice, the largest and friendliest Koi in his pond. When not writing, the Tennessee Master Gardener can usually be found in his backyard which has been named a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews