Saturday, February 06, 2016

Random Amusement Parks

I happened to have a few random scans of old amusement parks, and thought that they might make a fun "Anything Goes Saturday" post.

Let's start with this image from Lion Country Safari, in Palm Beach (dated April, 1968)! From this angle, the Florida version of Lion Country Safari looks rather flat and uninteresting, but I am assuming that this was located at the outer reaches of the park. Two young ladies pose next to a cutout of a native warrior - a bit tasteless by today's standards.

Next we'll head to Magic Mountain, in beautiful Valencia, California! This is from a slide dated "January, 1971". At this point the park had not yet been sold to Six Flags, though that sale would occur sometime in '71. In the foreground is a large bounce house in the shape of one of Magic Mountain's indigenous trolls (it was called the "Big Bloop Troll Bounce) while the "Metro" monorail passes by overhead. The BBTB survived until 1985, while the Metro stopped operating in 2001. I really loved that park in those early days, it had a lot of charm, and was clean and well-maintained, and not all about roller coasters.

This last one is from an unknown location, circa July 1963. It appears to be a carnival, featuring a wild mouse ("Mad Mouse") roller coaster, and one of those helicopter rides that were so popular. 


TokyoMagic! said...

Wow, I had no idea that Magic Mountain sold to Six Flags within it's first year of operation. Six Flags didn't start ruining the park right away! The Big Bloop Troll Bounce was for kids only, but do you remember there was a bounce house for teenagers? I think it was called the Teen Tank. I'm not sure how long that one lasted. There is a second Metro train hiding behind those trees (underneath the other Metro train). I miss the Metro and everything else that they have unmercifully ripped out of that park!

TokyoMagic! said...

What is that lady wearing on her head (right side of the first pic)?

Nanook said...


I certainly wouldn't challenge the 'tasteless' nature of the rather exaggerated native warrior. But... speaking of tasteless - how's about the outfits on those two ladies-??!! (Mother-daughter-?)

I agree with you (and many others), the early days of Magic Mountain were definitely the best. In spite of the vegetation being rather sparse, it still had a lot of character. Now about those dates - something is a bit bolloxed-up, here. The park opened on May 29, 1971, and wasn't sold to Six Flags until 1979. And my research indicates the Big Bloop Troll Bounce was in the park from 1974 thru 1985. So...

Also, Debra Winger was at one time the costumed troll character of 'Bleep'

@ TM!-

I was wondering the same thing about that woman's "hair". Perhaps it's a "hat" that more resembles hair.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

And then Debra Winger went on to probably her most famous role, that of Drusilla in the TV series, "Wonder Woman".

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, now I get it. That is yellow hair, she's from "The Simpsons" and this is Discount Lion Safari!

Chuck said...

Forget the hair - I'm digging the guy behind her's socks, shoes, and shorts. It's definitely 1968.

Those helicopter rides were the bomb. I loved those things, and you're right - they seemed to be everywhere. Even the Toledo Zoo had one.

K. Martinez said...

We had an old wooden Ben Schiff Wild Mouse coaster at the Boardwalk back in the 60's and early 70's. Never rode a scarier compact coaster since then. The newer Wild Mouse installations of today don't even match the experience of the original.

TokyoMagic!, I totally forgot about the "Teen Tank". Thanks for bringing that one back into my mind. More golden tidbits from the Mountain!

Major Pepperidge said...

okyoMagic!, DOH! That was a typo. I can’t even blame auto-correct. Six Flags bought Magic Mountain in 1979, not 1971. Sorry about the mistake.

TokyoMagic! again, she is wearing a previously unknown sea creature on her head.

Nanook, it’s true, those ladies are not going to be appearing in “Vogue” anytime soon, but then again, neither am I. And yes, like TokyoMagic!, you spotted my dumb typo… not sure how I even did that. Debra Winger was Bleep? What a waste of a pretty girl!

TokyoMagic!, I just saw a photo of her as Drusilla (though it didn’t have her name… terrible name)… I didn’t really watch “Wonder Woman”, even though Lynda Carter was very easy on the eyes.

TokyoMagic! IV, Discount Lion Safari! More lions for one low, low price. (Disclaimer: Might not contain actual lions).

Chuck, I am more of a socks and sandals man, myself. The chicks love it! I suppose those helicopter rides gave the illusion of flight, even though they were just a variation on the “round and round and round” rides.

K. Martinez, I really don’t like Wild Mouse coasters… they must be safe, but I always imagine careening off the track because the curves aren’t banked. We rode the one at DCA years ago, it was my then 6 year old nephew’s first coaster. He loved it!

Snow White Archive said...

Bring back the BBTB! Looks like fun.

K. Martinez said...

Major, That's exactly what I love about Wild Mouse coasters. It's the perception of it being dangerous and breaking loose of the track and plunging to the ground. Especially on the old rickety wooden one we had at the Boardwalk where the vehicle would tilt outward as it coasted through the flat u-curve high above. Lots of Fun!

Anonymous said...

Socks and Crocs, baby. You know it.

Yes, those helicopters were everywhere. I think the one I remember came with the county fair, but not sure.

Rode the Santa Cruz Wild Mouse with my dad on a visit long long ago, a crazy ride indeed. The Goofy one at DCA is a pale shadow, but I still insist on it.

Thanks Major.


Unknown said...

I believe that Six Flags acquired Magic Mountain in 1979….Not 1971.

Major Pepperidge said...

Unknown, if you look at my comment (just a few before yours), I correct my own mistake! Don't know why I typed "1971", but stuff happens.