This is my regular Tuesday series about ride manufacturers who have made rides for Hersheypark. This article is about the Hampton Amusement Company rides installed in Hersheypark.
Hampton Amusement Company was a manufacturer of kiddie rides. Hersheypark installed five of their rides between 1961 and 1968. These kiddie rides are some of the more popular kiddie rides to have been in the park. Two were relocated to Carrousel Circle in 1972 due to their popularity. Only one of those rides is no longer in the park, and really, it’s only half the ride that was replaced.
The first two Hampton rides installed were Minty Bees and Dizzy Drums in 1961. These replaced the original two kiddie rides, Airplane Swing and Ferris Wheel (1926). At the time these rides were installed they were called Jets and Tubs-o-Fun. Both are rides that spin in a circle around a central motor. Dizzy Drums are able to be spun using the center wheel and Minty Bees have buzzers kids can press. Minty Bees was also known as Furry Tale Flyers and Bizzy Bees. Both rides are suspended a foot or so off the ground.
The next Hampton ride installed was OutBoard Motor Boats. Much like all the Hampton rides installed, this ran in a circle, except the cars were boats. The boats went around in a circle on a single rail. This was installed in 1962, and then renovated in 1985. When the ride was renovated in 1985, the boats were taken off and replaced by cars manufactured by Venture Rides Manufacturing. The ride was renamed Granny Bugs with the cars because they had eye glasses and faces on the front of each car. This made Granny Bugs the only manufacturer hybrid kiddie ride in the park. This is the kiddie ride where half the ride is essentially missing.
In 1965, Hersheypark added Space Age, their first Hampton umbrella ride. Like the OutBoard Motor Boats, these cars ran on a rail. The cars were themed after helicopters, jets, and spacecraft, and had buzzers kids could push. This was a very popular kiddie ride and was relocated to Carrousel Circle in 1972.
The last Hampton ride installed in Hersheypark was a Hampton Kiddie Variety Ride which the park called Motorcycles. The ride had a variety of other cars, such as police vehicles and fire trucks. Like the Space Age, this was an umbrella ride and ran on a rail. This was also a very popular kiddie ride and was relocated to Carrousel Circle in 1972. It has been called Traffic Jam since the early 1980s.
To read more about other ride manufacturers that have made rides for Hersheypark, click here.