Martin's Fantasy Island &
Grand Island, New York
Negative-G 2012 Road Trip
May 26, 2012
I grew up back in the late 70's and early 80's watching the TV show
Fantasy Island on ABC on Saturday nights (hey there was nothing else to
watch leading up to Saturday Night Live and we didn't have tons of movies
on VHS - no DVD's, Blu-Rays or streaming back then). It was a show
about an island ran by Kahn, I mean Mr. Rourke (played by Ricardo Montalban)
and his midget friend Tattoo who gave people their fantasies. Most
of the fantasies were stupid stuff like "I want to live the life of a 16th
century serf and get the princess to fall in love with me" or "I'm an ugly
librarian who wants to be beautiful and have men fight over me". There
was never an episode about a bunch of buddies from all over who wanted to
get together for a long ass weekend and travel the world riding coasters
hand having as much fun together as possible. If they ever did have
an episode like that it would just like all of us on the Negative-G Road
Once inside Fantasy Island we weren't met by Mr. Rourke and Tattoo driving
up in a station wagon with no doors and a cloth top (I guess the shows budget
was so low they couldn't afford a car with doors or a roof). Instead
we found some scenery depicting how some of Grand Island's past residents
might have lived.
Martin's Fantasy Island has been around in one form or another since 1961,
mostly as a park geared for kids. It was just known as Fantasy Island
until 1982 when it went bankrupt and was purchased by Charles Wood who owned
what is now
Escape. He sold the park in the late 1980's and then bought it
back in the early 1990's and changed it's name to "Two Flags Over Niagara
Fun Park" which sounds like kind of a half assed Six Flags if you ask me.
A few years later in 1994 Martin DePetro purchased the park and turned it
into Martin's Fantasy Island.
Once all of us got in the gates we made a beeline past the kids rides, past
the water park entrance, through the wild west town (where we had to thread
our way past a gunfight) to the back of the park where all the fun is.
The big fun at Martin's Fantasy Island is the Silver Comet rollercoaster.