Thursday, June 09, 2016
Can you believe that today marks the 30th post featuring Ken Martinez's collection of vintage amusement park postcards? Wow! That's a lot of time and effort, and I am very appreciative.
Let's get on to the cards and Ken's commentary:
More Florida Attractions
Last postcard article we visited Busch Gardens in Florida. This week's postcards will focus on the smaller and defunct parks from the Sunshine State.
Here we have the entrance to the world famous Gatorland in Orlando. It's fared much better than the Alligator Farm in Buena Park and it now has its own website and YouTube channel. It's also home of the Gator Gauntlet Zip Line in which you glide over alligator breeding pools. Yee-haw!
Marco Polo Park located near Daytona Beach opened at the end of 1970 with four theme areas related to Marco Polo's Travels; Turkey, India, China, Japan and Venice. Apparently tourists/travelers bypassed the park as they were more interested in continuing on to Walt Disney World which opened less than a year later. Marco Polo Park closed in 1976 for good. I assume that's Marco Polo in the sky gondola.
Pictured here is the amusement pier located on the Daytona Broadwalk. Nowadays it's called the Boardwalk, but I originally knew it as the Broadwalk when I was there in the late 1970's. Featured on the postcard are the Sky Lift and Space Needle. Talk about original ride names. The park management must've thought really hard on those.
Petticoat Junction was an amusement park located in Panama City Beach, Florida and it operated from 1968-1970. The main attraction was a steam locomotive that took passengers to a Ghost Town. The park also featured classic amusement park rides like the Tornado wooden roller caoster shown here. The park operated from 1973 to 1984.
Featured here is the Zoomerang Arrow loop coaster in which riders travel the loop of steel forwards and backwards. Located at Cirucs World in Haines City Florida, the site was originally the property of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baily Circus and was intended to be the circus's winter headquarters. The park also featured an IMAX theater featuring the film "Circus in America". Circus World closed in 1990.
So through the years only Gatorland and the Daytona Beach Boardwalk have survived. I hope you've enjoyed your vintage visit to Florida minus the Mouse.
Information Source material:
Funland U.S.A. copyright 1978 by Tim Onosko
Well, this was a fun one for me... I'd never heard of Petticoat Junction, or Marco Polo Park, and was unuaware of he amusement pier in Daytona Beach. It always makes me sad when I learn that some of these places only managed to survive a few years - think of the hopes and dreams and work that went into building them. Anyway, thanks as always to Ken Martinez for today's excellent post!