So far, the Dreamland Amusements season has been very successful. According to Bob Destefano, he and his fellow staff members are very pleased with revenue and look forward to achieving the goals they have set for this year.
Dreamland Amusements started in 2003 and has since grown into a two unit operation traveling with 45 rides, 30 games, and 8 food stands. Bob and his wife, Kathy, oversee both units and rely on the help of a dedicated staff to keep day to day operations of both units running smoothly.
Dreamland's "Blue Unit" generally carries 25 or 26 rides, 18 games, and 5 food. Austin Wagner, Destefano's nephew, assists with ride operations and maintenance on the blue unit. Destefano's daughter, Kaitlyn, has a popcorn and lemonade and also handles most of the PR on the blue
unit. Andrew Roberts serves as the concession manager for the blue unit and owns most of the unit's games.
Destefano's other daughter, Jacquelyn, manages the office on the red unit; "Kathy and I are more hands off on that unit," says Destefano. Wayne Harder is the concessions manager on the red unit.
Destefano appreciates of all the people who help make Dreamland Amusements successful year after year but is most appreciative of his wife, Kathy; "If Kathy got paychecks I swear she'd have to get three different checks for all the different jobs she does," says Destefano.
Dreamland Amusements just finished the Long Island Funfest at the Suffolk Community College, which ran June 15th-25th. According to Destefano, the first weekend of the event was a little damp but the weather made a quick turn around and the Funfest turned out to be very successful.
During the second week of the Long Island Funfest, Dreamland Amusements had the opportunity to set up their 3-abreast Chance Carousel on the White House Lawn for President Trump. It was a wonderful evening filled with music, distinguished guests, and a speech from President Trump; "We feel very privileged that our ride was there," says Destefano.
So far, Destefano says that the Spring has been a little damp and cold but it now seems that the weather has turned around in time for the fair and festival season to really be in full swing. For the most part, Dreamland Amusements' units travel around the Northeast but they also stretch down south toward the end of their season; "we travel from New Hampshire to Florida throughout our season," says Destefano.
Currently, the blue unit is in New Jersey while the red unit is in Pennsylvania. After that, Dreamland heads to the Ulster County Fair in New York and the Franklin County Fair in Vermont. They also play the Addison County Fair in Vermont and the Lancaster Fair in New Hampshire. In addition to their normal route, Dreamland Amusements works with Wade Shows to bring some rides to the New York State Fair, which runs through Labor Day weekend. "We are very privileged to be invited by Frank Zaitshik and his family to the New York State Fair," says Destefano. During Labor Day weekend, Dreamland heads down south to Virginia and North Carolina to play fairs and events such as the Chowan Fair in North Carolina and the Suffolk Peanut Festival in Virginia. Ultimately, Dreamland Amusements ends up in Florida.
Dreamland Amusements has made some new purchases for the 2017 season. They just acquired a Wacky Worm in early March which has done very well according to Destefano. Additionally, Dreamland purchased 2 Goldwing generators as well as a new Spacecraft office and house trailer. A Chance Sea Dragon is currently being refurbished in Gerry Shoup's yard in Leesburg, Florida. Destefano says he expects the ride to be done and back out on the road during mid July or the first week of August.
When asked about Dreamland Amusements' goals for the 2017 season, Destefano said that Austin, Kaitlyn, and Jacquelyn suggested that Dreamland should spend money on midway beautification and guest amenities this year. Dreamland Amusements has purchased new tops for rides and games as well umbrellas for seating areas and shade for guests from Waterloo Tent and Tarp. They also are incorporating A-frame signs for different areas of the midway reminding guest to "watch their step" over tripping hazards and "enjoy the smoke free midway" in the kiddie land area.
Destefano says that Dreamland Amusements also likes to augment event committee marketing strategies with their own marketing strategies to really spread the word about Dreamland's location and events. Dreamland relies on Dave Erickson to help with their advertising and he has really helped with their social media presence. Destefano says that he and his nephew and daughters make a good team when it comes to marketing strategies. Destefano prefers a more "old-fashioned" marketing strategy involving coupons and handouts at local stores whereas his younger family members prefer using more modern strategies like Facebook and Instagram. Together, with a mix of old school and new, they make a great marketing team and are able to reach all demographics, says Destefano.
New Space Craft Office Trailer Photos:
Chance Sea Dragon under refurbishment