Trimper’s Rides may be a Maryland landmark, but this season, the oldest continuously family-owned and operated amusement park in the country has undergone a transformation. In addition to 10 new and renovated rides, management is introducing fresh food and beverage outlets, a “Thrill Pass” swipe card, “Pay One Price” wristbands (for day and night) and free Wi-Fi. They’re also implementing safety measures to keep their guests and staff safe as the country continues to battle the coronavirus.
In the off season, the Trimper’s team scoured the country for rides. In addition to thrillers like the Shot Drop Tower (that propels riders down a 100-foot vertical drop), they found renovated classic rides like the Tilt a Whirl and Round Up that haven’t been seen at the park since the ‘80s.
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“It’s not all about new and fancy,” says Antoinette Bruno, a member of the original Trimper’s family and the park’s new CEO. “We wanted to bring back historical rides and revitalize the park back to its former glory.”
For the vintage rides located in the Carousel House, the Trimper’s team — consisting of direct descendants leading back to founder Daniel Trimper, along with some of its longtime staff and new management members — are consulting their archives and those of the Maryland and Worcester historical societies to ensure the renovation is accurate.
“In the weeks before opening, we’ve had a crew of 30 workers working with toothbrushes, Q-tips, cotton balls and soft cloths to lovingly—I mean lovingly—cleaning the historical rides that families have enjoyed season after season,” says General Manager Mike O’Neil, a 25-year veteran of the amusement park industry. “We’re revering the old, all while bringing in the new.”
This season, that means new uniforms, games, concessions, rides and safety protocols.
In addition to the “Thrill Pass” swipe card that will help limit cash transactions, new safety measures include additional hand washing and sanitizing stations, along with free disposable masks and gloves for every guest. Rides will be sanitized between every use, and the whole park will get scrubbed down each evening. Trimper’s employees will be temperature checked each day and wear masks and gloves at all times.
“We’re working with local officials and Governor Larry Hogan to make sure Trimper’s is a safe place for families to enjoy a day of sunshine and boardwalk magic,” says Bruno. “Trimper’s Rides has been part of the boardwalk and the Ocean City community since 1893. We’ve brought a lot of joy to people in challenging times. This summer will be no different.”