The World’s Fair…..”Hey, Where’s the Ferris Wheel?” - Jack Morey

January 24, 2011 by Kristel Fillmore in


After reading Devil in the White City (Amazon), a book about the 1893 Chicago World Exposition, I became intrigued with the concept and strategic purpose for World’s Fairs.  A colleague named Jim Futrell, an amusement historian, was instrumental in educating me about the significance of the Chicago Exposition as it related to the amusement business.  Jim and I serve on the Hall of Fame committee of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) and this year Daniel Burnham, essentially the lead designer of the Chicago Exposition, was inducted into the IAAPA Hall of Fame.  As you may know, the Ferris Wheel, designed by Mr. Ferris, was invented at the Chicago Exhibition.  What was equally intriguing to me is that the Eiffel Tower, designed by Mr. Eiffel for the Paris Exposition of 1889, created a competitive game of one ups man ship and hence led to the invention of the Ferris Wheel, which today, next to the Carousel, is one of the most iconic pieces of an amusement park.  So with this in hand, I decided to go see what was to be invented at the largest Worlds Fair ever developed, China Expo 2010.  Well, I didn’t see any amusement rides, but did find, or perhaps what I re-discovered, was the importance of public spaces.  With nearly 70 million people attending the Expo in a period of about 6 months (oh and I attended on the busiest day of the expo with nearly 1,000,000 million of my closest friends), it was a fascinating display of public transportation, entertainment, and social gathering.

So how does this relate to Morey’s Piers and the Wildwood Boardwalk? (Yes, after all this was a company paid research trip.) Well, it’s a fact that the beach, boardwalk, and pier environment are all very public experiences.  There are no gates to enter the beach, the boardwalk, or the piers.  Regardless of their private or public ownership, they are free to the whole world to enjoy. ...sort of a refreshing thought in today’s society where there is “no free lunch”.

More than ever, I am committed to helping the Wildwoods and Morey’s Piers follow its own course and achieve its own potential. I believe we should NOT attempt to copy a Disney, a Universal, a Myrtle Beach, a Cape May, Ocean City, Long Beach, Santa Cruz, Black Pool or any other attraction or city that may be great. Their formula for success is not necessarily a recipe for us We are the Wildwoods, we are Morey’s Piers, we are Boardwalk………oh, and by golly we are tacky with a capital “T” and proud of it.


(Part 4 of 4)

Part 3

Part 2

Part 1


DavidMac says:

January 24, 2011 at 2:25 pm

looking forward to seeing how you apply this research to the Wildwoods. That firewarks display was incredible

JC says:

January 25, 2011 at 12:12 pm

To respond to the research that you came up with Mr.Morey and how Moreys is different then all other amusement parks in the world I came up with my own conclusion. Yes Moreys may be very tacky, which we all love, but the one main thing that makes moreys standout from all other amusement parks is its custom rides such as the Ghost Ship. Its these rides that are one of a kind and people can only experience in Wildwood. The key for Moreys isnt just its beaches, boardwalk, and sun in the fun, it is the Morey uniqueness. I request Mr Morey that you design more unique rides that relates just the wildwood. The Ghost Ship showed us you can do it and with some great designers you can bring some really great things. This would make Moreys just that much better…

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