I Come From A Diggerland Down Under. America’s 1st Construction Themed Amusement Park!

Amusement parks are a place we go to see our kids have fun. If you’re a big kid like me you can often sneak some fun in for yourself too. I have to say of all the amusement parks I’ve ever been to Diggerland USA – the first construction themed amusement park in the US – was one of the most fun amusement parks I’ve ever visited. Even in the pouring rain.

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If you have a truck obsessed kid like I do – this is the place for you!

Remove your idea of conventional rides and enter the concept of construction vehicles as rides. Yep, that means instead of sitting in a tea cup, you sit in the driver’s seat of a backhoe. And get to drive it! I’m pretty sure I could have gone my entire life without ever driving a backhoe – something I never really put too much thought into before – but you know what? It was awesome! I was giggling like a schoolgirl the whole time. At the end I apologized to the attendant for my embarrassing behavior but he only laughed and said everyone had the same reaction.

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But the fun just starts there – to highlight a few of my favorites, there are mini-excavators turned into amusement park games (no prizes but included with admission!); the Dig-Around – Half Merry-Go-Round, Half Excavator, all Carousel; and my favorite – the Spin Dizzy – a specially designed spinning 3 ton high, torque JCB JS220! I love that they were constructed (too meta?) with the vehicle’s cab as the ride operator’s station!

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My daughter (at 44”) was too short to drive the full scale construction vehicles (a good thing as a five year old driving a huge truck is probably a bad idea) but she was able to join me as I drove them as well as ride all the kid rides. Her absolute favorite was the Mini-Land Rovers. She got to drive – and I mean drive, not on an attached track – herself. I had vivid flashback memories of me as a kid LOVING this exact type of ride and always begging my parents to go again and again. So I let her, because you know, I’m a cool mom.

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My poor son (at under 36”) who loves construction vehicles more than milk was very limited on what he could ride. However once we found the Barrel Train – pulled by a dumper truck that cruised around the park, little “driving” wheel included – he was set. For an hour.

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One of the other things really worth highlighting at Diggerland USA was the staff. Now, I’m an amusement park junkie and can’t think of any park whose staff ever did anything but sit there apathetically pushing a button. At Diggerland USA I said to my husband over & over again “he was so nice, he was so helpful”. I actually asked the head honcho – who was pretty amazing himself, where he found these people. He shared that most were local high school graduates, who worked here as their first job. It was important to the people in charge that their employees were very well trained – not only on their specific job – but on what it means to have a job, laying the groundwork for the tools they need in life wherever their paths take them. Yep, my mouth dropped open. Amazing. He said because the company wanted to invest in them the staff genuinely liked working there. They were happy. And it paid off! 85% of the staff returned this season – which apparently is unheard of in the amusement park industry. Sounds better than your job, right?

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Besides the rides and the construction vehicles to drive there was a stunt show, a really fun gift shop, an arcade, a huge playground (ropes course, rock wall, crazy slide), and of course what park would be complete without a goat cam?!

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Diggerland USA is located behind Sahara Sam’s Oasis Water Park in West Berlin, New Jersey. We visited on the second day of a little family vacation – the day before we were at Sesame Place. It was perfect. We said bye to Elmo and drove about thirty minutes to one of the recommended hotels in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. We had a delicious dinner at Cracker Barrel (mmmmmm!) and went to sleep nice and early. We woke up, stopped at the Lark Voorhees Diner for breakfast (which if you know me and how I feel about diners you can imagine how good it was that I’m even mentioning it) and arrived at Diggerland USA when they opened at 10am. We left at noon. I could have stayed at least another two hours.

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If your kids are really into trucks I highly suggest a visit. Even if your kids aren’t so into trucks I promise they will have a blast. It is so different from any park you will visit this summer. It is definitely worth the new experience! I can’t stop talking about what a nice time we all had.

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*GIVEAWAY*

Diggerland USA has offered to give away a family four-pack of tickets to one lucky reader!

To win – please post in the comment section below:

What’s the biggest or most unique vehicle you’ve ever driven?

Winner will be chosen Saturday, August 8th, 2015.

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Published by The Mint Chip Mama

Stacey Gish Wallenstein created The Mint Chip Mama blog in 2013 to share her love and passion for giving children meaningful life experiences and helping moms like her navigate the challenges and benefits of raising children in the New York metropolitan area. Before becoming a full-time mom in 2010, Stacey spent the better part of the preceding decade as a high-end customer relationship management (CRM) professional for some of the most well-known brands in the hotel, luxury, fashion, and beauty industries, such as Harrah’s Entertainment, Chanel and Christian Dior, Inc. She managed customer loyalty programs for thousands of clients around the country and created social media strategies for a span of industries including healthcare services, restaurants, consumer packaged goods, specialty foods, local attractions and retail locations. After 13 wonderful years in Manhattan (the last three of which spent as a city mom), Stacey and her husband moved to Long Island in 2014, where they now reside with their three children (10, 6, and 4). There, she is a founding member of her local Parenting Center, which provides classes and coordinates events designed to educate and inform parents while fostering an environment of support and friendship within the community. Stacey is also an active PTA member (and former president) as well as a Girl Scout troop leader. Her musings on motherhood, Manhattan, the suburbs, and more can be found here and on Facebook at The Mint Chip Mama. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Stacey has been active in the New York area alumni organization for nearly twenty years, serving as a board member on the school’s University of Michigan Alumni Club of New York City. She also holds a Masters in Psychology from The New School in New York City. For more updates, follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

54 thoughts on “I Come From A Diggerland Down Under. America’s 1st Construction Themed Amusement Park!

  1. I have driven a helicopter for a few moments. It was awesome. I also use to drive school busses

    1. I drove a dump truck moving dirt on one of my hubby’s jobs to help him get caught up from the week before. We had a great time and some good laughs at my expense but by the end of the weekend the work was done and he was all caught up.

  2. I’ve never driven a thing exciting, only my minivan!! I need to go to this amusement park with my family!

  3. Maybe not the biggest or most unique, but the coolest vehicle I’ve ever driven is a 1966 Ford Mustang.

  4. I don’t remember this but when I was little I am told I sat on poppy’s lap and went on his bus routes. He was a MTA bus driver in queens in the 60s.

  5. I drove a two person side by side ATV called s mud bug through some serious mud and got completely covered. My son would lose it at Diggerland!

  6. Not fun or exciting but I’ve driven a 15 foot moving truck. Pretty impressed with myself since I’m 5 ft 3 in

  7. I’ve sat in a fire truck, but the biggest thing I’ve driven is my Equinox. My little guy (and my big guy, too!) is obsessed with trucks. We can’t wait to go to digger land!

  8. I’ve driven a u-haul. Not too exciting but it scared the heck out of me 🙂 my son would love to visit this place – it looks amazing!

  9. Unfortunately I haven’t driven anything really unique, just our SUV…yet one more reason my family of 4 needs to get to digger land!!

  10. I haven’t driven anything cool. I currently drive a minivan; not any part of which is cool! I have two boys who drive me crazy (haha) but I love them to pieces And they would LOVE to experience Diggerland. Please please let me win the tickets! Thank you!

  11. I drove my dad’s boat when I was 16 and it was such a rush! It was about 20 ft long with a small cabin. Now, almost 25 years later, I’m just as happy driving my Kia Sorento! Thank you for doing this giveaway – my family of 4 would be thrilled to win and get to visit Diggerland!

  12. Most exciting thing I have driven would be a Porsche. My son is obsessed with trucks. We do touch a truck every year so he’s sat in dump trucks, diggers and fire trucks. He would love this place!!! Thanks for all the great info.

  13. i have driven a quad, a jetski, a snowmobile and i used to ride a 600 cc yamaha motorcycle ! I have also ridden camels, elephants, horses AND an ostrich ! Now i drive a minivan and a golf cart, hee hee. My two boys seem to love speed and thrills also and always beg to go on jet ski’s, etc

  14. I was nine months pregnant and drive a 1937 Chevy pick up with a corvette engine. Mind you no power steering and no power brakes!!! Made for interesting conversation while shopping at the mall and grocery store!!! Try pulling that into a parking spot, especially 9 months pregnant😄

  15. The most unique vehicle I’ve ever driven/operated is an airplane! Just an r/c one of course!! Haha
    But life-sized most unique is a backhoe! I was scared to death but my boys thought it was the best thing in the world!

  16. Thank you everyone for these great responses! They were so much fun to read!

    The winner is: JESSICA ETZLE

    Since we got such a great response I’m happy to contact Diggerland to see if they can provide a coupon code for my readers. Please like my FB page & I’ll send it to you! Facebook.com/TheMintChipMama
    Happy Digging!

  17. I drove a pick up truck for about a week while my car was getting repaired after an accident. It was the only car available. It was very challenging to park but I felt pretty powerful driving it.

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