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During his approximately fifteen years in the dark ride industry, Bill Tracy worked on approximately eighty known projects. He undoubtedly worked on many more that have been lost in time. Obviously, Bill did a tremendous amount of work along the East Coast around New Jersey, but it was at Dorney Park where he worked on the most projects. He even constructed their park entrance, the coaster clown Alfundo. There were, however, many parks that had a few of his attractions. These parks felt that one Bill Tracy-built attraction just wasn’t enough. Bill used the ride names Haunted House, Whacky Shack, and Jungleland more than any others. He built many Jungleland rides, which one can assume showed a probable interest in wildlife. His years working for various circus shows contributed to the tremendous amount of detail and realism that went into the accuracy of each animal. Through the years, most of his rides have been demolished for one reason or another. Many of the parks where he installed rides were closed down many years ago, as they were usually the smaller, family-operated parks. Some of the rides that have survived have been altered over the years for a variety of reasons and many of his stunts that were acceptable in the “free-spirited” 1960s and 1970s have been modified because they were considered politically incorrect or offensive by today’s standards. These controversial displays were created almost fifty years ago and changed the dark ride industry forever.

Bill Tracy on the cover of his 1968 promotional brochure.

Bill was truly an eccentric, gifted artist and an innovator that was ahead of his time in an industry that needed revitalization. His ingenious artistry and brilliant designs will never be forgotten or created again, and hopefully, through the nine attractions that are still in operation, he will entertain amusement park patrons for years to come. Bill Tracy’s legacy, more than anything, should be that he brought happiness, excitement, fear, and horror to millions of people, and still is, more than 35 years after his death.

Bill Tracy in his showroom, as published in the December 26, 1970 issue of Amusement Business.

Researched and Written by
Wayne R. Bahur
Researched and Edited by
Brandon M. Seidl

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