Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mystery Park! August, 1963

Today's images were found in a box, unlabeled. I have no idea where this amusement park is! I would hazard a guess and say "somewhere in Florida", but can't even be sure of that. It might be Busch Gardens, in Tampa. With so many smart readers, I'm betting that this mystery will be solved.


Meanwhile, check out this Jungle Cruise-y loading dock. I like the corrugated tin roof of the boat... that's a nice touch. Notice the cushion on the roof, temporarily moved so that folks can disembark.


We also have this very nice stagecoach, the "Butterfield Overland Stage". It must have been a fun, bumpy ride up on top!

15 comments:

stu29573 said...

You know, that could be Six Flags Over Texas. They used to have La Salles River Adventure which ran from 1961 to 1982. Although it was clearly a take off on The Jungle Cruise (complete with corney jokes) it was done with a Texas history twist that made it very unique and entertaining. Also, it had a cool part near the end where you came to a waterfall blocking the river that would then open to reveil a treasure cave much like the WDW JC temple. The idiots...er powers that be removed the attraction to make way for a Roaring Rapids attraction. The stage could also be from there....

stu29573 said...

Ok, I've done a little more research and I can verify that this is Six Flags Over Texas. The Butterfield Stage was there as well. This was a great time to check out the park, before it was sold and its soul ripped out for idiotic thrill rides with no theming or backstory...not that I'm bitter....

Connie Moreno said...

Cool!

Major Pepperidge said...

stu29573, thank you! Six Flags, huh? I would have never guessed... somehow I don't think of things like a stagecoach ride at a Six Flags park! The thing with the waterfall parting to reveal a cave full of treasure sounds very cool, I would have loved that. Of course it's gone...

Thank you again for solving the mystery!

stu29573 said...

I know what you mean, Major. Current Six Flags parks are nothing like the original was. The guy that started it actually went to Disneyland and wanted to make a Texas history version. In its day, it was very well themed and even a little educational. And it had many nods to Walt's dream as well. Now...well, lets just say that I live 30 minutes away and you couldn't pay me to visit.

Clyde Hughes said...

Many thanks for posting the Six Flags Over Texas pics! I rode La Salle's River Ride quite a few times...sadly missed! Are there more slides of the park from this time?

outsidetheberm said...

Six Flags Over Texas was once an awesome park. And this river ride was pretty great. The most fun (for us) was trying to understand the sixteen year old skipper's spiel through his thick Southern drawl. Now, everyone else on the boat could comprehend his jokes...

For us, it was actually quite charming in its own way.

By 1969 Pirate's World in Dania Florida had built a similar river ride - even going as far as including the same parting waterfall and treasure cavern at the end of the journey. The idea did seem to work better with pirates.

Anonymous said...

Greetings Major, longtime daily lurker Tarzman here. I too recognized this as the La Salle river ride at Six Flags over Texas, a place I got to go to 3 or 4 times as a boy in the mid '60s. Of interest to your readers, the park also had a large skull rock [with slide exit] as well as the very first log flume ride in the world, whose initial vehicles were extremely tippy, making it a wet and sloshy [read fun]trip through a scrub pine forest. At night little blue blinky lights in the trees mimicked fireflies long before Pirates/Blue Bayou was built. Thanks, Major! [resumes lurk mode]

Anonymous said...

Six Flags Over Texas also had the first Runaway Mine Train ride in the world, complete with a crashing tour through a rowdy saloon, and a dive into a lake. Okay, actually a tunnel in the pond. No goat trick though. There also was a floating tub dark ride through "Spelunkers Cave", a spooky trip in round half-barrels that spun haphazardly through scenes featuring mysterious little piglett-esque alien gnomes plinking away rather forlornly in the dark with tiny little hammers. The original tubs gave the best ride, holding 3 or 4 passengers seated back-to-back on a central stool, spinning and tipping randomly in the water in the dark, as its occupants tried to crane their necks around each other so as to not be "snuck up on". The exit was down a straight canal suspended through the middle of a large rotating barrel. Quite an effective optical illusion, it made us all moan with the sensation of tipping over. As a kid, I remember dizzily staggering around into things giggling after we de-tubbed. tl;dr : Major, please oh please look into the original 6 flags!

Clyde Hughes said...

I agree that the original Six Flags was far superior in that it was true to its concept and had original theming. There was also a "Fiesta Train" that I wish I'd ridden! Sid and Marty Krofft were involved in the park in the late 60s (1968) and re-themed the Fiesta Train, giving it a huge volcano that worked via a spark plug - yes, it worked quite well! Currently the park is just a coaster zone, with little new theming. Thankfully, though, the landmark rides, such as the Runaway Mine Train and Log Flume, still exist, although a return to the complete theming of the park would be welcome.

Major Pepperidge said...

stu29573, it seems that charming environments and fun themes have been replaced by bigger, faster, crazier roller coasters at Six Flags parks. I love coasters, but there is more to life than those!

Clyde, I'm glad you liked these. Unfortunately I have no other photos from there (unless some completely different "mystery photos" turn out to be from that park).

outsidtheberm, now I'm wishing I'd had a chance to see 6FOT for myself!!

Tarzman, I'm going to have to do some searches for 6FOT to see if I can find photos of their Skull Rock, etc. It sounds like it was really special! And I remember reading about the 1st flume ride being at that park in Chris Merritt's book about Knott's.

Anon, (still Tarzman, or somebody else?) wow, the mine train with the dive into the lake sounds awesome!! And the spooky cave... who doesn't love spooky! I do! I sure wish I had more photos from there!!

Clyde, how can I not have heard about all of this great stuff at 6FOT??

Vance said...

if you want to see more old SFOT pics and learn some more of its history come visit us over at sfot.net we have a very active forum of previous employees (and others, all welcome) with all kinds of useless information and stories of the park from the early days up to current

JG said...

Thank you for these pictures of "other parks". Very enjoyable to see other themed places.

You are right, the roller coaster thrill ride focus has mostly taken over every other little park.

The local Marine World park up here in Vallejo had a sort of trained whale vibe when it opened. Now it is a Six Flags and has what seems to be dozens of roller coasters and no whales.

Too bad.

JG

Major Pepperidge said...

Vance, thank you for the info!

JG, how can a park called "Marine World" not have any whales??

TikiBwana said...

I remember riding that Stagecoach back when I was just a little girl... I was lucky enough to be chosen to ride with the driver... they had the stagecoach held up by bandits! What a thrill for a kid raised on Gunsmoke, Bonanza and all those western tv shows!
I also remember Skull Rock and all the fun of the LaSalle ride..

I agree, a return to themed rides/sections would be wonderful!