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Palisades Park
Cliffside Park (Fort Lee), Bergen, NJ

article by Chris2003


  • Located on a 38 acres on the borders of Cliffside Park and Fort Lee.

  • Had 17 thrilling Coasters over the years.

  • Had the World's Largest Saltwater Pool.

  • Known as World's Greatest Amusement Resort!

  • Featured one of Harry Traver's Cyclone Coasters.

  • Rides were showcased in Palisades from Europe by Morgan Hughes.

  • The Cyclone (1944-1971) Coaster trains run at William's Grove, Mechanicsburg, PA with many other Palisades Rides.

  • Created the Tunnel of Love later redesigned as Casper's Ghostland.

  • 1/2 mile South of the George Washington Bridge.


Other names:

1. Palisade Park

2. Palisade Amusement Park

3. Palisades Amusement  Park

Opened: 1898

Closed: 1971

Location: Cliffside Park, NJ (atop the Palisades cliffs)

Size: 38 acres

Remains: Nothing, now stands apartment complexes and a monument

Trolley Park: Yes, the Bergen County

Web Site -Palisades Amusement Park Historical Society

Web site - Flight to Mars at Laff In The Dark

History of Palisades

by Chris2003

In 1898 a trolley park was formed high above the New Jersey Palisades. The 38 acre property was purchased by the Bergen County Trolley Co.. The park was located in the towns of Cliffside Park and Fort Lee. In 1907 the park was sold to the first mayor of Cliffside Park, August Neumann. In 1908 Alvin H. Dexter was hired by Neumann. Dexter promised to add rides and attractions. He also added lights, food, and entertainment. They opened a Dance Floor and an Open Air Theater. The next year Dexter died and once again the park was sold. This time it was purchased by two brothers, Joseph and Nicholas Schenck. The brothers improved the park and added many new rides. They added 5 roller coasters, Sleigh Ride Coaster/Toboggan Racer, The Big Scenic Railway, Thriller/Comet, Traver Cyclone and the Skyrocket. One of Harry Traver's "Triplet" Cyclone coasters was at Palisades although many people were scared to ride this coaster and it was soon demolished for low ridership and maintenance problems. The Thriller also known as the Comet was built by Harry Baker and John Miller in 1921, It was soon replaced with the Skyrocket. The brothers also added the World's Largest Salt Water Pool known as "Surf Bathing" or "The Whirlpool." The brothers started many famous contests. In 1934 the park was leased to another pair of brothers. They were Jack and Irving Rosenthal. The Rosenthals were responsible for building the Coney Island Cyclone. Jack was the eldest. In 1935, when  the Schenck brothers got caught up in the movie industry and found no need for Palisades, so they sold out to the Rosenthal brothers. The Rosenthals' improved the Park and brought the point to become known as "The World's Greatest Amusement Resort." During a fire in 1944 the Skyrocket was damaged in a fire caused by nearby Virginia Reel Ride. Most of the track was ruined. It marked the 3rd time the Skyrocket was destroyed by fire. The park hired the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and Joseph McKee to help rebuild it. This time they built a whole new design to the Skyrocket's remaining tracks. After rebuilt and redesigned the new coaster was renamed the Cyclone after Traver's Cyclone and open for the 1945 season. McKee also built another coaster called the Giant Coaster. It was a much smaller coaster compared to the Cyclone. Jack soon died of Parkinson's disease. Irving became the sole owner of the park. The park became more popular due to Irving's Advertising. They made deals with many comic companies like DC Comics, Archie Comics and many other huge companies such as Hostess. But since more people came due to Irving's advertising, there were traffic jams caused by a shortage of parking areas. Cliffside Park and Fort Lee decided to hold meeting to re-zone the Park. Rosenthal would not give in, he refused to sell his park. Finally, Rosenthal in his 70's could not keep working with no children or relatives to pass the park to, so he sold the it to a company based Texas. This company was Centrex Winston. The park was rezoned and later closed. Pieces of rides were sold everywhere. The Cyclone rollercoaster was later bulldozed and the park was just a bunch of memories. For anyone who ever been to Palisades they know it was a wonderful place. It died out but will never be forgotten.


The following are all the roller coasters that have operated over the years at Palisades:

  • Figure 8/Toboggan Slide 1909-????
  • Aeroplane Coaster 1910 - ????
  • Big Scenic Electric Railway - 1911-1944
  • Small Scenic Electric Railway - 1910's-1944 
  • Toboggan Racer/Sleighride 1911-1925 
  • Big Dip Electric Coaster 1916-????
  • Giant Coaster 1919-1926 
  • Thriller/Comet 1921-1925
  • Skyrocket 1926-1944
  • Traver Safety Cyclone Coaster 1927-1934
  • Kiddie Coaster /Schiff Kiddie Coaster 1927-????
  • Lake Placid Bobsleds 1937-1946
  • Cyclone (redesign of Skyrocket after 1944 fire) 1945-1971
  • Giant Coaster /Palisade Giant 1949-1971
  • Wild Mouse 1963-1971
  • Jet Star 1960's-1971
  • Wildcat 1960's-1971

Some Palisades Rides

  • Atomic Boats 

  • Cyclone (Roller Coaster)

  • Casper's Ghostland

  • Surf Bathing Saltwater Pool/Whirlpool

  • Whip

  • PTC Carousel #84

  • Sky Planes (Circle Swing)

  • Octopus

  • Batman Slide

  • Caterpillar

  • Round-Up

  • Skyride

  • 1865 Trains

  • Cuddle-Up

  • Chair-o-Plane


  • Giant Coaster (Roller Coaster)

  • Showboat Funhouse

  • Flight to Mars

  • Monorail

  • Jungleland

  • Swiss Bobs (Bayern Curve)

  • Love Bugs

  • Giant Wheel (Ferris Wheel)

  • Bubble Bounce

  • Strato Ship

  • German Carousel

  • Super Himalaya

  • Auto Speedway

  • Looper

  • Hurricane Rotor

Some Palisade Contests:

  • Miss. Palisades Amusement Park 

  • Miss. Italian America

  • Little Miss America

  • Palisades Poster Girl

  • Mrs. America

  • Annual Triplet Convention

Click to enlarge photos!

This page was made possible by:


Defunct Amusement Parks wishes to thank Chris2003 and everyone listed above for sharing their information