New Rides & Attractions - Kids Dig It - August 2018


Carving out new experiences for young guests

by Mike Bederka


Ventrac 3400Y

West Berlin, New Jersey

Unveiled at the Philadelphia Auto Show in February and making its debut at Diggerland shortly after, the facility’s new fleet of four Ventrac 3400Ys gives guests the unique opportunity to drive and operate a hydrostatic compact tractor.

The addition came as part of a multimillion-dollar expansion at the construction-themed adventure park in West Berlin, New Jersey.

“To evolve a business in the amusement industry, you need to keep adding a variety of rides,” says Ilya Girlya, Diggerland co-president and owner. “This was the right time to do it. We’re coming up on our fifth season, and we have plenty of historical data to make the infrastructure investment.”

Guests sit inside the Ventrac’s enclosed cab and cruise around the closed course at speeds up to 5 mph. The easy-to-navigate flat-nose machine with a small bucket in front comes with an array of 40 attachments. The landscaping industry traditionally uses this versatile tractor for jobs like snow and dirt removal, leaf collection, and hedge trimming. 

“It’s part of what we sell at Diggerland—driving real machines in a limited capacity,” says Girlya, noting guests must be at least 36 inches tall to ride in the Ventrac and those up to 48 inches can ride in the lap of an adult as long as the seatbelt can fit across both people. “It helps to fulfill the experience and excitement of driving a real construction apparatus. They love it.”

Other highlights from the park’s 2018 expansion include a Soaring Eagle Zip Line; a fleet of Kubota RTV-900 rough terrain vehicles frequently driven in hard-to-access areas, such as forests, beaches, and public works projects; a fleet of Kubota B2601 agricultural tractors; and a modified Genie GS-5390 RT rough terrain scissor-lift often used for building maintenance, warehousing, and construction. Dubbed “Elevation Station,” the attraction takes guests almost 60 feet in the air, giving them a scenic view of the 21-acre park and even the Philadelphia skyline on a clear day, Girlya says.