Thursday, June 02, 2016
Hey hey, it's time for another look at Ken Martinez's collection of vintage amusement park postcards! All commentary is provided (as usual) by Ken:
Busch Gardens, Florida
Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida (which is themed to Africa) was one of several hospitality/animal theme parks that existed at one time across the United States, the others being in Van Nuys, California, Houston, Texeas (Asian theme), and Williamsburg, Virginia (European theme). Today there are only two Busch Gardens parks still operating, one in Tampa and the toher in Williamsburg, and they are now part of a larger group known as SeaWorld Entertainment. The Florida park, which was also known at one time as "Busch Gardens Africa" and "Busch Gardens - The Dark Continent", opened in 1959 and started life as an admission-free hospitality center for the Anheuser-Busch brewery.
This early bird show was part of the original section of the animal park known as the Bird Gardens which opened in 1959. The bird trainer looks small next to the large birds.
Here's an unusual postcard featuring two females of the human species posing with elephant tusks framing a waterfall. I have no idea where this location existed in the park and if it still exists there today. It's a strange card.
The barrel flume ride pictured here is known as Stanley Falls and features a 43 foot drop. It opened along with the new Stanleyville theme area in 1973. The attraction still operates and thrills riders today. I can just feel the cool water in this postcard. Especially on one of those hot humid summer days in Florida.
The Python corkscrew, which opened in 1976, was the first roller coaster for the animal park and was located in the Congo section. In 2006 the Congo section went under a major renovation and the removal of the classicl Python corkscrew coaster was part of that plan. Unlike the other original corkscrew coasters of this time, this one was dismantled and not relocated. I always got a chuckle how the non-Disney theme parks themed their roller coasters simply by giving it a name and painting it the colors that imply the name.
Hope you enjoyed this early visit to Busch Gardens in Florida
Information Source material:
Funland U.S.A. copyright 1978 by Tim Onosko
THANK YOU, Ken Martinez!!