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Carnival & Fair News
Carnival & Fair News
Dreamland Amusements Adds New Events, New Rides, New Amenities and another generation in 2018
Monday, March 26, 2018
  • Rides 4U - New & Used Rides
  • Now Booking Food, Games, Rides for select dates!

Dreamland Amusements is poised to have a successful 2018 season. A route highlighted with new fairs, refurbished rides, more guest amenities, and a strong staff sets the show up for greatness according to owner, Bob Destefano. While he has a lot to be proud of with his business,  Destefano's most exciting announcement is the birth of his two grandchildren: Reagan and Jaxon. Destefano's daughter, Jaclyn, gave birth to Reagan on January 7th and his other daughter, Christina had Jaxon on January 23rd.       
New Fairs
Some new fairs that Dreamland Amusements has picked up this year are: the Schoharie County Sunshine Fair in Cobleskill NY, the Troy Fair in Troy, PA, and the Orange County Fair in Middletown, NY. Destefano is looking forward to working with all these fairs but perhaps most excited about the Orange County Fair as he is participating in the fair in a larger role than just midway provider. "I'm looking forward to working with Mike Gurda IV at the Orange County Fair. I'm very excited to see the potential it has with some new advertising and other great additions," says Destefano. 
New Rides
Dreamland Amusements just purchased a new Super Cyclone roller coaster from Intermark Group. Another new addition to the show this year is a 2 story Christiani Funhouse. "It's the last one they made. I'm very excited about it," says Destefano. Dreamland is also expecting the delivery of his new Tea Cup ride by June 1st. 
Additionally, Majestic delivered their brand new bumper car to the Florida State Fair in February. "Frank Zaitshik was kind enough to let us participate in the Florida State Fair again his year and debut our new bumper car ride. We had a great year there; the weather gods certainly looked after us," says Destefano. 
Focus on the Guests
Added guest amenities throughout the midway is Dreamland Amusement's "big push" for the season. Giving the midway an amusement park feel and providing comfort for guests as they enjoy a fair or carnival is important to Destefano and his team. They've purchased plenty more umbrellas for shaded seating and have added baby changing stations on the midway for families to use. 
Refurbishment Projects 
Currently, Dreamland's winter quarters is in North Carolina,where they've been refurbishing a few rides for the 2018 season. Among them is a Mangels kiddie boat ride Destefano picked up and is restoring. Dreamland now travels with 5 Mangels kiddie rides including the fire engine, the whip, and the three abreast merry go round. Destefano hopes to create a Mangel's kiddie land at his events once the boat ride is finished. 
The Mulligan Wheel is also going through the shop now and getting a new lighting package and paint job. The wheel should make its re-appearance at the Lockland Free fair by April 12th, says Destefano. John Ott is the manager of Dreamland's shop and is a master fabricator according to Destefano. "We always eagerly await his projects out on the road. They always look fantastic," says Destefano. Ott is also working on the show's Round-Up which is getting a full top to bottom makeover including new sweeps and the show's Tilt-A-Whirl. 
Destefano has recently purchased some land in Gibsonton, Florida for an additional shop and winter quarters. He still plans to keep his shop in North Carolina. He looks forward to adding the additional property into the mix; "the zoning in that area lends itself well," say Destefano. 
Industry Challenges
When asked about challenges currently facing the industry, Destefano reflected on the ride accident at the Ohio State Fair this Summer. "The overreaction to the tragedy the industry experienced in July has made it hard on ride owners. We've witnessed some knee-jerk reactions from inspectors and state regulators who lump all rides into one category," says Destefano. He also mentioned that many carnival owners have had to spend thousands or even tens of thousands on new equipment and additional inspections. Speaking of carnival people he said, "We're resilient, we'll get through it". 
Many people in the carnival industry are concerned about attaining the proper amount of H2B laborers for their shows to run smoothly. Destefano did not have a problem getting his employees; H2B workers make up about 25% of Destefano's crew. "We're lucky enough to play some spots very early in the season and therefore we get our labor early. They have to return very early in Novemember which makes it hard for us on the tail end of the season but normally we've pared down as a show at that point so it all works out," says Destefano. 
Key Staff and Show Route
Currently, Dreamland Amusements is comprised of 46 rides and two units: Red Unit and Blue Unit. One carries 26 rides and one carries 20 rides. Destefano is with the blue unit in Brunswick, GA right now and the red unit is scheduled to open March 29th - April 8th in Newburgh, NY. The blue unit heads to Richmond, VA after Georgia from March 29th-April 8th. 
Wayne Harder owns the games on the red unit; he has about 12 concessions. On the blue unit, Andrew Roberts owns about 20 concessions. Each unit has about 4-5 food stands each. The blue unit has a popcorn and lemonade owned by Katelyn Destefano and a grab joint owned by Debbie and Duke Foley. Jaclyn Destefano and Gerry Shoup own the food stands on the red unit. 
The red unit is managed by Gerry Shoup and Jaclyn Destefano while the blue unit is managed by Bob and Kathy Destefano along with Destefano's nephew, Austin. The show continues on the road through the second week in November. After that, they play a couple of holiday events before hitting the road again for a few spots in January.

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