Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Magic Mountain & More

Today I'm posting a few more photos from my personal archives (stored in the deepest level of my secret underground hideout, thousands of feet beneath the surface).

Here's one from Magic Mountain. My mom wrote "71" at the top, so I can only assume that she knows what she is talking about. The park opened that year, and we managed to visit it a few times before we had to move to the east coast. I think that these giant story books were over near the old "Billy the Squid" ride. Did you know that Arrow Development (responsible for designing many Disneyland attractions) was involved in many of Magic Mountain's rides? Anyway, there's my sister Mary, then me (in yet another Hang Ten shirt), and my brother Jim.

Here's another one from 1971 (I think), featuring the hippo paddleboats from Lion Country Safari in Irvine. That's my mom, along with my sister and Jim again.

I believe that this one has to be from 1972, even though my mom marked the back as "1970". It's from Busch Gardens in Van Nuys... notice how the flume ride boats look like beer kegs welded together! I remember seeing people walking around with small metal buckets of beer. Now that's an amusement park! The place never felt seedy or dirty though. On the contrary, it was known for its lush gardens, ponds, and tropical birds. From left to right: brother Jim, me, and Mary again. Anheuser Busch closed the amusement park in 1979, and now that land is all devoted to making zillions of gallons of beer! You can smell it from the 405 freeway when you drive past (which I still do, often).

And finally, here's a single blurry (but not as blurry as the others!) snapshot of Magic Mountain from its first year. I don't remember the park well enough to say what we are looking at, or even what vantage point it was taken from. Anybody know?


spajadigit said...

It LOOKS like the picture was taken from the Jet Stream looking over towards the Goldrusher. That was the parks first roller coaster, built by Arrow.

Of course, I could be totally wrong.

Chiana said...

Mkay, all I can offer is that in the bottom pic:

The brown building on top is for Magic Mountain's skyway. It and the building nearby were still there several years ago when I went last, only that hill is totally enveloped by trees now. That green beam is their monorail, which was also still there. It looked soo different & me memory is so bad I can't recognize much else.

Gosh I wish Busch Gardens there was still open. Probably love it. I've been by there too from the 405 but all I saw by then was a huge patch of trees among the city around the visible bits of the brewery.

Magic Mountain pics, from your own Iron Mountain hm? hehe

TokyoMagic! said...

I love these pics, Major! Thanks for sharing them. I only went to Busch Gardens a couple times, but I still miss it to this day. I did get the chance to visit the one in Tampa, Fl about two years ago. Go figure...they tore down their brewery to expand the amusement park and Van Nuys tore down their amusement park to expand the brewery!

As for your Magic Mt. pic, I agree with Chiana about the Eagles Flight/Skyway building and the monorail beam. The building to the left of the Eagles Flight is the Four Winds restaurant, I believe. There is a tunnel for the monorail right below it. Wasn't one of the monorail stations inside that tunnel? The building below that tunnel is the station for The Gold Rusher rollercoaster and the small round building to the right of that should be Spin Out. Not sure about the buildings in the foreground, but they might have been for "El Bumpo".

Matterhorn1959 said...

Love the Hippo Boat from Lion Country Safari!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Loving all these photos, thanks for sharing!!!! I’m going to do a early 70’s t-shirt styles post soon just for you Major!

Regarding the last shot, it must be taken from the Eagles Flight sky bucket as its leaving (or entering) the El Dorado Station which was right next to El Bumbo. The "El Dorado" side had steel towers (the larger "Galaxy Station" side had cement towers) you can see one of the steel towers on the right side of the photo.

Tokyo Magic, that tunnel and its Metro Station are still intact, as are the other two Metro Stations. BRING BACK THE METRO - (link)

P.s. Those huge books used to freak me out and remind me of those weird Gumby episodes where he enters a book on an acid trip.

Chris Jepsen said...

Mind if I post the hippo photo on my own blog (properly credited and linked, of course)? I've been looking for an image of the hippo boat for a long time now.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Great photos and memories. I'm kind of taken aback at just how many options Southern Californians had back then (and still do today even). I grew up in North Florida where there theme parks. Not a one.

My parents *did* drive us down to Orlando once where we hit Sea World and the Magic Kingdom, and I remember one trip to Busch Gardens in Tampa--so I guess I still had it better than people in Kansas or Montana. :)

Brer Dan

Scott Schrantz said...

There's a 1971 Magic Mountain park map here (link). It looks like TokyoMagic! is spot on in identifying everything. And I'd say the picture was taken from the monorail.

Scott Schrantz said...

If that last link doesn't work, try this one:

Ron Schneider said...

Thanks for the great memories of Magic Mountain.

The giant books were the marquee for the 'Yankee Doodle Dandy' the kiddy's sailboat ride, just down the road from 'Billy the Squid'.

The other picture is from the ol' Metro... and I'm probly standing directly under the photographer, shoving folks through the turnstile at the 'Grand Prix'!

Todd Pierce said...

Those boats were eventually sold off..

Steve Hawthorne said...

I believe this picture was taken from the Metro monorail. The brown building in the center is the Gold Rusher. I'm pretty sure the building at the top is the Dragon ride, now Ninja. Below it, could be the lower building for the Dragon. The tunnel for the Metro is still there. Full Throttle passes through it.