Bradley & Kaye Amusement Company

This is my regular Tuesday series about ride manufacturers who have made rides for Hersheypark. Today’s article is about Bradley & Kaye.

Bradley & Kaye Amusement Co., was a ride manufacturer company which existed in Long Beach, California. The company was founded by Dave Bradley and Don Kaye when the duo purchased Beverly Park in 1945. They focused on having kiddie rides in the park, and this became one of the parks that influenced the development of Disneyland.

Don Kaye, who had a background in music, decided to return to the music industry, leaving Bradley & Kaye. Dave Bradley said that after Kaye left, he decided to keep the name the same.

Starting in 1947, Bradley & Kaye produced a portable kiddie roller coaster, the Little Dipper. In late 1948, Allan Herschell Company reached an agreement with Bradley & Kaye to construct and sell the coaster and another kiddie ride, a boat ride.

1948-01-31 The Billboard (p65).jpg
Advert for the Little Dipper manufactured by Bradley & Kaye.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the company produced a variety of other rides including a children’s balloon ride. Hersheypark has this ride, called Balloon Flite.

Balloon Flite [large]
Balloon Flite, in 2016.
Balloon Flite has been in several different locations since being installed in 1982. It was originally placed in Carrousel Circle, to replace Flying Bobs (right across where it currently operates). In 1987, the ride was relocated to a spot next to Fender Bender. It was again relocated in 1989 to Pioneer Frontier, to make way for the addition of Tiny Timbers.

Balloon Flite was placed into storage in late 2003, as construction for Storm Runner began. The ride was pulled out of storage in 2005, and reinstalled in Founder’s Circle, in the spot Giant Wheel had stood from 1973-2004. Balloon Flite has remained in this spot since.

Dave Bradley ended up selling the assets of Bradley & Kaye to Chance Rides in December 1986. Chance’s interest was in the carousel animals Bradley & Kaye produced.

To read more about other ride manufacturers that have made rides for Hersheypark, click here.

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