Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Astroworld Viewmaster, part 2

Here are some more vintage Viewmaster views of Houston's ASTROWORLD! See the first part here, along with a little bit of history for those of you who missed it.

"Astroway passing Skyrama and crossing over the Lagoon". Those buckets sure do go waaay up there!

"The 610 Limited puffs into Western Junction Station". I don't know anything about Astroworld's railroad, but it looks quite nice here. I can only assume that the locomotive lives on someplace else?

"Dr. Featherflowers Show and Crystal Palace". Like Knott's, Astroworld had it's own medicine show, which was popular (based on this photo!).

"Aerial view of Alpine Valley". It's amazing to me how the flat landscape creates a relatively uninteresting panorama. Compare this to many old Skyway images, with Disneyland's many hills and berms.

"Animal characters greet kiddies at Children's World Entrance". Those generic/odd animals are very appealing to me, particularly the lion or dog or whatever the hell that thing is.


AstroBlaster said...

I would venture that it is supposed to be a wolf, there's a pig there, so you need a wolf. There's also something shaggy in black talking to the girl in the red skirt, could that be a cat? Or a bear? Or a black sheep?
Some of those rascals in front seem to be checking out the best angle at which these creatures can most easily be tipped over. They look rather top heavy. You might tip the rabbit sideways, and get 3 at once.

Jim said...

"Disneyland's many hills and berms"

The place was just like Houston itself, flat as a pancake. From the vantage point of those buckets, one could pick out the causeway bridge to Galveston island almost 50 miles south.

Tape Player said...

Keep these Astroworld pictures coming!


The two Astroworld steam locomotives still survive in California. No. 1, which lasted until the park's 2006 closing, is now at the Pacific Coast Railroad in Santa Margarita, CA ( The other, which was retired in the mid-80s, is under slow rebuild in Georgetown, CA for a private owner.

Katella Gate said...

The train station is a perfect example of why you can't pretend to do Victorian on a budget... I just comes across looking like "Old Towne" Mall in Torrance ca 1971.

Re the character photos: The costume on the right sure looks like it's from the old Hanna Barbera cartoon "Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch!"

I guess all the groovy cats had 'fros back then.

TokyoMagic! said...

Wish I could have seen this park!

Katella, I LOVED Old Towne Mall! Anyone out there have any pictures of it??? But you are was Victorian done on the cheap (I still loved it.)

I thought of the Hair Bear Bunch too, when I saw that one character.

Anonymous said...


I have several Olde Towne photos snagged from the net over the years. Email me at and I will send you what I have.

I grew up on Floorwood and 182nd, so Old Towne was right around the corner from me.

~katella gate (who forgot his password again)

Nancy said...

these are great! the Skyway certainly is high up.

the needle in the first photo is like the one we rode at Cedar Point so many years ago, and i have not been there since 1983 (which is really sad, since its only about a 4 hour drive from here :(

the train is gorgeous, was the first photo that caught my eye ;)

katella, i have been frequenting a website i found a few months ago while looking for pictures of old stores we used to have around here..

i didnt see Torrance listed but perhaps there are other places of interest to you. its called Pleasant Family Shopping A Nostalgic Look Back at Supermarkets, Discount Stores And More from the Past

Anonymous said...

Black-furry character seems to be a gorilla, see the smooth plastic chest. Gorillas are well known for their smooth plastic chests. Then we have a rabbit, a pig and some lion-wolf hybrid. Wouldn't like to meet that group in a dark alley.

Interesting how many parks attempted to mould themselves after Disneyland: main street, railroad, mountain-landmark, space-future area, fairytale area, drive-your-own-cars, etc; yet none of them ever came close to creating the Disneyland experience.

Dad.. said...

A Scooby Doo Lion hybrid next to that pumpkin maybe?

Julie from Texas said...

The Children's World section of Astroworld did not last throughout the park's history. I suppose the little baby boomer kids grew up and that area was taken over by more coaster rides and such. A fascinating historical record of how this park transformed (through the park maps) can be found at:

vacation kid said...

It's too bad about Children's World. With the exception of the really great giant pumpkin marking the entrance to that section, what was on the other side always seemed...lacking, like they ran out of money, or time, or ideas. It was like it was awaiting further theming and development.

The Rub a Dub ride was a great example of how to take an interesting premise and make it look 65% completed.

It's sad that all of it was scuttled before its potential might have been fully realized.