NEWPORT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FOUNDATION – Newport Elementary Spring Fundraiser
Auction Ends: Mar 24, 2023 10:00 PM PDT

Kids Fun

Balboa Fun Zone Ride Pass for (4)

Item Number
Estimated Value
$100 USD
$73 USD to lh54c4991

The winning bid will go to FrontStream Global Fund (tax ID 26-3265577), a 501c3 nonprofit organization, which will send the donation to NEWPORT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FOUNDATION (tax ID 330756406) on behalf of the winner.

Number of Bids
12  -  Bid History

Ask a question about this item.

Item Description

(4) Gift cards each valid for (1) ride (on each) the Ferris Wheel, Ocean Motion, Happy Swing, and Coconut Climb

About Balboa Fun Zone

Without exception, the Fun Zone area has always been fun.  In 1892, just thirty years after the spit was completely formed by the Santa Ana River, Edward Abbott purchased the area (from today’s 9th Street to just beyond Main St.).  Under the California Tidelands Act, he purchased the land for $1 an acre.  Along with his wife, sister, and brother-in-law, he built a shack and the first pleasure dock in the bay. Known as Abbott’s Landing, he ran pleasure rides on his paddlewheel steamer, “The Last Chance,” built cottages for overnight stays, and polished shells to sell inland.  Abbott brought mainland soil over to plant the first trees on the spit. Well water was prevalent at the time and the trees flourished when he began “planting” a shark in each tree well. Later, Abbott’s Landing was the site of the first pleasure sailboats in the bay. The tourist trade gradually grew and then exploded when the Red Car tracks reached “East Newport” in 1906.  The Pavilion, Balboa Pier, and Balboa Hotel were all constructed at that time to meet the tourists’ needs and help local promoters sell available lots. In 1906, “East Newport” was renamed “Balboa” when it incorporated with the Newport Beach Township (at McFadden’s Wharf) to become the City of Newport Beach.

Fast forward to 1936 when Al Anderson leased the property from, the boatyard owner, Fred Lewis.  Anderson cleared the area and constructed the precursor to the Fun Zone we know today.  Anderson owned and operated the Ferris Wheel and Merry-Go-Round, while Harold Hannaford did the same for the kiddy rides and arcade. In 1948, Anderson purchased the property from Lewis and continued the operation until 1972.  Jordan Wank owned the Fun Zone in 1985, at which time he bulldozed the area and constructed the buildings we see today. After a series of owners and operators, the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum purchased the property in 2005 to showcase nautical displays and ship models.  The 75-year Merry-Go-Round lease expired in 2011 and now thrills children at Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm in Wheatland, CA.  Since 2013, the property was held by Explore Ocean, which merged with the Discovery Science Center in 2016. 

With the recent purchase of the property by long-time Newport Beach residents, the Pyle family, there is renewed excitement and anticipation for a reimagined, fun experience at the Fun Zone that will entertain locals for decades to come.  Edward Abbott would be so pleased.


For more information visit: or call 949-662-0194

Located at: 600 E Bay Ave, Newport Beach, CA 

Item Special Note

Valid through May 31, 2023

No refunds or exchanges, no cash value

Please Note: Ocean Motion, Happy Swing, Coconut Climb Closed Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Hours of operation subject to change without notice. Please call before going to confirm hours.


Donated By: