About Diggerland USA
A Construction Theme Park
Diggerland USA is the only construction themed adventure park in North America where children and families can drive, ride and operate ACTUAL machinery. The park, which covers about 14 acres in West Berlin, NJ (20 minutes from Philadelphia), is comprised of over 25 attractions. The majority of which are real, diesel powered, full size, pieces of construction equipment. Each machine has undergone advanced engineering modifications which make them safe for the public, allowing children as small as 36″ to operate with little to no instruction.
Guests who visit Diggerland can drive full size backhoes, dig giant holes with real excavators, and operate just about every sort of construction machine you might imagine – from the skid-steers to the recently unveiled ARGOs, made famous by their amphibious qualities.
Along with operating heavy machinery Diggerland guests can climb one of the world’s tallest ropes courses, take an off road adventure in our military trucks, tackle the rock wall, spend time in the video arcade or enjoy one of the daily heavy machinery stunt shows performed by our operating team.
Family Owned and Operated
Diggerland USA is privately owned and operated by brothers Ilya and Yan Girlya. Between them exists a robust, self taught, background in the entertainment and construction industry.
Ilya is a volunteer firefighter in Mount Laurel, NJ where he resides with his wife and two children. Ilya also acts as CEO and President of the neighboring Sahara Sam’s Oasis Water Park which the Girlya’s founded in 2008.
Yan, Diggerland President, has an extensive 20+ year background in the construction industry – most recently as an owner and General Manager for SAMBE Construction. SAMBE is a general contracting company based in Pennsauken, NJ originally founded by Ilya and Yan’s father. Yan also resides in Mount Laurel, NJ with his wife and daughter.
The Girlya brothers have a younger sister, Gabrielle, who holds a special place in their hearts having special needs. Gabrielle is the inspiration behind SAMBULANCE, a non-profit focused on Special Needs Safety Education, as well as Special Needs Nights at Diggerland.
Diggerland USA owners Yan Girlya, left, and brother Ilya Girlya, right, ride the Turnpike Tractors in West Berlin, NJ at their their construction-themed amusement park.
Concept and Background
Diggerland USA is based on a European park concept of the same name. There are actually 4 Diggerland parks in the United Kingdom. The first Diggerland was opened in 2000 by Hugh Edeleanu, Chairman of H.E. Services, the largest supplier of digging construction machinery in Europe. While Diggerland USA is not a franchise of these venues, the UK and USA teams often work together, sharing resources in the best interest of guest experience and park innovation.
About the Machinery
Most of the machines at Diggerland are supplied by JCB, one of the worlds largest heavy equipment manufacturers. JCB is based in the United Kingdom with North American headquarters as well as production plant facilities located in the United States out of Savannah, GA.
JCB as a company is known for innovation, inventing the backhoe loader, the telescopic handler, and the side loading skid-steer. They also hold the diesel-powered land speed record. JCBs as machines are prided for their safety and fuel efficiency. 1 out of every 2 backhoes on earth is a JCB machine. Diggerland USA has over 30 machines supplied by JCB that include a full range of excavators, telehandlers, skid-steers, backhoes and off-road utility trucks – all available to operate themselves!
Diggerland Locations and Expansions
At a Press Conference on January 14th, 2014 the owners and senior management of Sahara Sam’s Oasis unveiled plans to construct Diggerland USA – a construction themed adventure park where children and their families drive, ride, and operate heavy machinery in a safe family-friendly environment.
You can watch highlights from the Press Conference here or read the full press release in our News Room.
After a record breaking construction timeline, Diggerland USA opened to the public 6 months later on June 14th 2014!
Stay up to date with company information by visit the Diggerland USA Corporate Linkedin Page.