As we spend our leisure time surrounded by devices that allow us to stream thousands of hours of movies and TV shows, 65" TVs that allow us to watch sports games from several thousand miles away, and video games that have graphics that look almost real, it is kind of hard to remember that people used to enjoy much simpler forms of entertainment.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, amusement parks were king.  Nearly every decent sized city had at least one amusement park.  Of course, Cony Island in New York had several amusement parks.

Even in (mostly) rural Maine, we had several amusement parks.  Some of the most famous parks from that era (around 1900) were Casco Castle, Riverton Park in Portland, and Merrymaking Park.  Of course, all of those amusement parks have long since closed.  In fact, with the exception of Riverton Park, you would have a hard time finding the place where those parks used to be.

However, one of the parks from the turn of the 20th century does remain - and it is still open today!

By most accounts, Palace Playland at Old Orchard Beach first opened in the summer of 1902.  Yes, it is 121 years old!


Located steps away from the beach, the park has dozens of rides, a massive arcade, games, and more.  In addition to a bunch of kiddie rides, the park has bumper cars, Drop Zone, The Electra Wheel, the Super Star, the Wave Swing, the Adrenalin, several roller coasters, and more.

While Palace Playland is the oldest amusement park in Maine and it is one of the oldest in New England, the oldest amusement park in New England is Connecticut's Lake Compounce.  It has been around since 1846!

Have you ever been to Palace Playland?  What is your favorite amusement park?

9 Closed Maine Amusement & Water Parks

We have put together a list of now closed amusement parks and water parks. Some of these were in operation in the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s... Some haven't been around for over a century. ***Keep in mind that some of the information regarding when these places were open and what they offered comes from listener comments and stories passed down by people who visited (or worked at) these parks.

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