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Gillian's Wonderland Pier, Ocean City

3.7
#2 of 7 in Theme Parks in Cape May County
Theme Park Water / Amusement Park
Gillians is a historic amusement park founded in 1929 by David Gillian, who first came to Ocean City in 1914. It is located on the ocean boardwalk of the New Jersey shore.David started his career in the orchestra at C. Elwood Carpenter's Dance Club (aka The Casino), located over the Moorlyn Theater on the old Boardwalk. In 1917 he transferred to the Hippodrome pier, where he played with Robin Robinson's Orchestra. The Hippodrome had a movie theatre, vaudeville, dancing and amusements for children.In October 1927, a fire destroyed the Hippodrome, after which the burned boardwalk was replaced in 1928. In 1930 David Gillian opened a Fun Deck at Plymouth Place and the Boardwalk. The two main attractions were a Ferris wheel and a Merry-Go-Round.In honor of his 100th birthday in 1990, David Gillian donated a horse from the Merry-Go-Round to the Ocean City Historical Museum. David Gillian died in March 1993 at the age of 102.In 1957, David Gillian retired and his sons, Bob and Roy took over from 1957-1977. In 1965 Roy left the family business and started Wonderland Pier at 6th Street and the Boardwalk (where Stainton's Playland had burned down 10 years prior), with 10 rides and a parking lot.Roy became mayor of Ocean City in 1985, and retired from politics in 1989. In 1994, Roy became the president of IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions). His son, Jay Gillian, became mayor of Ocean City in 2010.The Gillian family decided to expand their business beyond Ocean City by opening Gillian's Funland of Sea Isle City. Located on JFK Blvd.Gillian's Wonderland Pier is mostly famous for its 144ft Giant Wheel, one of the largest Ferris wheels on the east coast.In 2009, Gillian's Wonderland Pier celebrated 80 years on the Ocean City, New Jersey Boardwalk.
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311 reviews
Google
4.2
  • My 2 and 5 year old loved it...Short lines on saturday around 3 or 4. The ferris wheel was extremely expensive but a great view. Check the hours of operation ahead of time.  more »
  • Fun times with our 8 yr son. Rides were fun, the Ferris wheel was very high and cool-quote the son. It is kind pricey, but if you sign up for their emails, you can buy tickets at Christmas time and Ea...  more »
  • I just watched the new rollercoaster which just opened last week. It looks like a really good ride. Just lasts a little less than a minute, but it is really exciting. Too much for me, but the people c...  more »
Google
  • Not an inexpensive place when you have very young children and you have to pay for yourself to go with them on rides, but Gillian's is magical and transports you back to boardwalks as they were decades ago (how I imagine they were anyways). All sorts of carnival/ boardwalk rides and an arcade next door-- you couldn't ask for more. Mini rollercoasters, spin machines, bumper cars, boats, and carousels. Definitely check it out if in ocean city with the kids, or if you want to relive some nostalgia.
  • Everyone that works there is very nice and helpful. My great granddaughter is only 16 months old but had a wonderful time on the carousel, train, and elephant ride. We will definitely be back.
  • The experience was great the staff is always so friendly and accommodating. The prices are ok otherwise than that great place. To:wonderland when do you expect the upper deck and new rides to be open in coming July 29-august 5
  • My 1 year old daughter had a great time on the train. Best memory was she got a little nervous on the carousel and held onto me the whole ride. This hug made my trip.
  • After wanting to go to the beach & when we arrived after being in an accident & I getting checked out by medics . I just wanted to ride the carousel & since it was a historic one I felt better. Beautifully kept & well preserved.