Saturday, May 02, 2015
The warmth and sunshine of Florida have made it a vacation destination for decades... all of Florida's frozen neighbors love to head south and bask in the balmy weather. It's the perfect place to build amusement parks!
This first photo from April 1968 shows a happy woman standing outside Busch Gardens in Tampa. I guess you can't pose with a giant beer bottle*, so a fiberglass Clydesdale horse will have to do. Hey, lady, can't you read the sign? If nobody follows the rules, it will be anarchy.
I wonder if they ever served beer (free beer, by the way) at this Florida park, like they did in Van Nuys? I still remember men walking around with small metal buckets full of beer. It made me want some.
*Of course, you CAN pose with a giant beer bottle if you go to Duff Gardens! I am especially fond of Surly. "Take a picture, it'll last longer. GET OUTTA HERE!". Let's not forget about Tipsy and Queasy.
This next picture (from August, 1968) is from Cypress Gardens. Looking like a blue flower, this southern belle gets to literally sit and look pretty (and smile and wave) for passing boats. There's something so old-fashioned about the whole idea, I can't help but love it. Did the women consider it a fun job, or the most boring job ever? We'll never know. Where Cypress Gardens once stood, Legoland now reigns, though the botanical gardens are still there.
Alright, I know this isn't a photo of an amusement park, but it IS an amusement! We see yet another smiling lady, posing next to a tram/train known as the "Overseas Railroad". I tried to find some info about the ORR, but what I found had nothing to do with this little ride. I wonder if it was a part of some other amusement park - the equivalent of Disneyland's trams? Or did it give folks a seaside tour of some Florida town?