Throwback Thursday: The Gandy Dancer

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For this Throwback Thursday, I’ve been trying to dig up some info on a little-referenced unique kiddie ride that was known as Gandy Dancer. This ride was a fairly unique kid-powered railway featuring little single-seat cars designed for small children with a little lever that could be pumped up and down to move the car along the track.

As far as I can tell, the Gandy Dancer debuted sometime in the early 80’s in an area of the park that was known as “Shanty Town”, which was located along the lake front. Early photos submitted to our forums show the ride situated along the lakefront near where the entrance to Lost River is currently located. This iteration of the ride featured Greedy Bros. theming.

At some point later on the ride was moved across the pathway into the woods next to the River Front Playhouse. I assume this coincided with the creation of Tom Sawyer’s Landing and many have involved retheming the ride to Huckleberry Finn. I’m not sure when the Gandy Dancer ceased operations, but when I first heard about this ride in 2008 it was sitting abandoned in the woods in ruinous condition. During the construction of RiverBlast the remnants were finally cleared out, though nothing currently occupies the area.

Who can fill us in on more of the Gandy Dancer’s history? Let’s use this thread to thresh it out.