Thursday, December 1, 2022

Update: Carolina Beach Amusement Park failed inspections, still awaiting approval

The ride's owner expected to be open before Memorial Day weekend. But state inspectors found issues

The seasonal fair has returned to Carolina Beach for its 10th year. But a failed inspection has left the rides closed. (Port City Daily/Johanna Ferebee)

Updated May 30 at 10:29 a.m.

CAROLINA BEACH—Though its owners expected rides to open last Thursday, the Carolina Beach Amusement Park had at least one ride fail North Carolina Department of Labor Inspections (NCDOL) on Thursday, May 24.

Amusement parks cannot open unless all rides pass inspection through the NCDOL.

According to Greg Reynolds, president of the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce, this is the first year Robert Mergele’s amusement park has failed inspections.

“I’ve never seen him (Mergele) not pass, so this has kind of surprised him,” Reynolds said. “I know he lost a lot of money.”

The amusement park is currently awaiting final approval to open for the summer season. With no rides open on Memorial Day weekend, Mergele’s business took a big hit.

“The rides being quiet were no fun,” Reynolds said.

Our original article is below:


CAROLINA BEACH—The Carolina Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park is back for its 10th year. This time around, residents and tourists alike can enjoy new rides and amusement activities from the Mergele Family.

“If there’s a crowd there, we’ll stay open,” Robert Mergele said. Mergele brings his Florida-based business to the Carolina Beach Boardwalk every summer and will remain open every day. 

RELATED: Celtic Creamery brings Irish ice cream to Carolina Beach

Pending North Carolina inspections, the Carolina Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park will open Thursday, May 24, and remain in operation through Labor Day, Sept. 3.

On the weekends, Mergele said the amusement park typically remains open later until at least 10 p.m. Some nights, Mergele said the park has kept the lights on until 1 a.m.

“We basically open at 5 (p.m.) pretty much every day,” Mergele said. “Five till whenever.”

At the ticket booth, attendees can purchase individual tickets for $1.50. All rides and amusement activities accept a varying number of tickets, depending on the attraction.

Wristbands are available for $25, which are good for any ride. On Tuesdays, wristbands are $20, in line with “family night” on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk.

Though upkeep and new rides are costing Mergele’s business more each year, he said he hasn’t increased the prices for attendees in years.

“We haven’t raised the prices since, shoot, I don’t remember when,” Mergele said.

Official Carolina Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park hours are 5 p.m. through 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

The following rides have been added on or traded off the Mergele’s amusement park offerings:

  • New Rides
    • Wave Swinger
    • Gondola Ferris Wheel
    • Paratrooper
    • Bear Affair
    • Kiddie Cars
    • New Merry Go Round
    • Tilt-A-Whirl
  • Rides not Returning
    • Ring Of Fire
    • Sky Wheel
    • Orient Express
    • Mini Himalaya
    • Fun House

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Send tips to Johanna Ferebee at johanna@localvoicemedia.com or follow Johanna on Twitter @j__ferebee

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