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Carnival & Fair News
Carnival & Fair News
A look inside Mulligan Engineering
Manufacturer of Giant Wheel, Swing, and Sea Ray Rides keeping busy with custom refurbishment jobs
Friday, September 7, 2012
  • Rides 4U - New & Used Rides
  • Rides 4U - New & Used Rides

Mulligan Engineering, Inc. has a long-standing history building rides for the amusement industry.  Company President Bill Mulligan has made numerous rides over the years including one trailer Giant Wheels, Sea Rays and Mulligan Swings.

Mulligan said his manufacturing facility, which is located on Alma Street in Gibsonton, Florida, had been busy through the winter and spring with numerous refurbishing, rebuilding and repair projects. "I've been busy", Mulligan said, not complaining, "I like to work. That's all I do is work", he added.

When MCW spoke with Mulligan in early August, he indicated that his carnival work had slowed down drastically during the summer months and he currently had no amusement work in progress, however, he said he was keeping occupied with out of industry projects.

While a large part of his business consists of amusement industry related work, Mulligan pointed out, "I do more than just carnival work". His company also does fabrication and repair work for other industries.

A particularly busy period for Mulligan was just prior to the IISA trade show this past February, when his shop's yard was full of equipment in various stages of repair. Most of that equipment was completed and picked up by the customers the week before the trade show, in time for the start of the 2012 season.

Bill Mulligan detailed some of the work his company has been involved with this year:

A Trabant owned by Wayne James of James Gang Amusements (which was disassembled in Mulligan's yard during the IISA trade show in February), received a new bearing center. Also, the ride's trailer was repaired.

A motorcycle kiddie ride owned by Gary Hughes underwent a major refurbishment. The ride was sandblasted and painted. It was re-skinned and got a new top and platform with all new aluminum. "Basically, we re-did the whole thing", Mulligan said.

A kiddie ride owned by Kal Hamilton had its center and sweeps rebuilt.

Bill said several food trailers were also brought in for work. A cotton candy wagon got new skin and paint; A member of the Vivona family,s Amusements of America brought a food trailer in for repairs after it was involved in an accident and a new roof was installed on a sausage/grab joint trailer for an independent concessionaire.

A variety of other trailer work included repairs as new hitches, new skin, structural repairs and a new floor.
A major project that had been in progress between other projects is the restoration of a Sky Diver. The Sky Diver is owned by a Gibsonton resident, who rescued it after it was parked in the woods for approximately twenty years, according to Mulligan.
The Sky Diver's trailer was sandblasted and painted. A complete set of new sweeps and A-frames were fabricated. Also, a new gooseneck was built for the trailer. The Sky Diver was painted, re-assembled and turned over to its owner.

Mulligan said one of the projects he was involved with during the month of May was building new tops for the towers of a sky ride for Wade Shows. 

Over the past year, Mulligan Engineering has built a total of six (6) new replacement axles for Childress Expo Wheels, four last summer and two this past winter.

Although Mulligan Engineering has not built any new rides recently, Mulligan asserts that despite any rumors otherwise, he is still very much in the new ride manufacturing business. Mulligan stated that despite the downturn, he is hoping for an upturn soon, as he is eager to get back to building his company's popular one-trailer Sea Ray and one-trailer Gondola Wheels. He quipped, "I'm waiting for someone to bring me some money to build something".

Mulligan lamented that in the past, he has tried to have one of his company's rides on display in his yard, either completed or in some stage of production, especially during trade show week, however, he said while there are some prospects, without a firm contract, "It's hard to invest $300,000 to have something sitting in the yard".

Bill Mulligan's company, Mulligan Engineering, Inc. is an entirely separate company from Mulligan Manufacturing, which is owned by Bill's brother, Ken Mulligan. Ken's Mulligan Manufacturing is responsible for building one trailer gondola wheels within the last two years.  Such wheels have been delivered to Gary Hughes and also Amusement Attractions.

Mulligan Giant Wheel built for Dreamland Amusements

Sky Diver refurbishment work

Sky Diver refurbishment work

Mulligan Engineering yard in Gibsonton, FL

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