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Crews begin dismantling iconic Fantasy Island rides

Less than a month after California based-Apex Parks Group announced it was permanently closing Fantasy Island, the dismantling of the rides that made the nearly 60-year-old amusement park so memorable has begun.

Grand Island Supervisor John Whitney said he drove by the shuttered park Thursday and saw one of the rides being taken apart.

"I just happen to be going by there and saw a crane on site taking down one of the rides," Whitney said.

Whitney said all he could do was watch from a plaza parking lot across the street as the dismantling continued.

"It was a large tower," he said. "It might have been the one with the swings that went up to the top and people hung on to the swings and it spun and they rode around in a circle."

Last month, Apex said news of Fantasy Island's closure had stirred new interest among potential buyers, and the company put out a statement saying that it had been in discussions with potential buyers for more than a year.

"As I was told, the creditors are making the call," Whitney said. He said got his information from Fantasy Island's general manager, Chris Kearsing.

"This is part of the fabric of our community, and we hate to see it go," he said.

Whitney said Grand Island town officials are still actively trying to search for a replacement buyer.

"But I think this progression is making it more difficult," Whitney said of the dismantling.

He said the owners of the amusement park are aware that town officials are looking for a buyer.

"It's difficult, because they are a private corporation. It is private property and, unfortunately, the people they owe debts to have the right to make that call. You know, it's the same as someone getting their house foreclosed on. I can't change that," Whitney said.

"If there was something I could do, I would do it. Trust me," he added.

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