Saturday, October 22, 2016

SeaWorld, San Diego - September 1968

Today I have some nice early photos from SeaWorld in San Diego. This park was the first of several SeaWorlds (including locations in Ohio, Orlando, and San Antonio) - it debuted in 1964.

Take a look at this first photo; it's a display of critters - fish, crustaceans, marine mammals, bivalves, cephalopods, and so on) dressed in Hawaiian shirts, grass skirts, leis, and other touristy garb. Notice the fierce carved tiki! Apparently this was a kind of "Chuck E. Cheese"-style animatronic band... from what I can glean on the internet, "Punchy" (the pugnacious mascot of Hawaiian Punch) was later added to a revamped tableau.

Next is this nice image of SeaWorld's Japanese Village area. I've always loved this peaceful, beautiful style of garden, with the manicured shrubs and stone bridges. The water was teeming with koi fish. The small structure to the right houses a very large taiko drum. I think that the building to our left had pearl divers, as well as a selection of merchandise.

Hawaiian Punch again. It's a conspiracy! This was the Hawaiian Punch Village, where you would be able to enjoy a nice "Polynesian-style drink" (presumably no alcohol?). 


Nanook said...


"Hey - how about a nice Hawaiian Punch-??!!"

That first image looks as if its 'family' members could have been seen at POP, but never ended up there. It's a little scary.

And as far as beverages available at the Hawaiian Punch Restaurant, there was this one: HAWAIIAN RUM COOLER - Our own recipe blending Fruit Juicy Red Hawaiian Punch, pineapple juice and lime juice and a generous serving of light Puerto Rican Rum. A 16 oz. serving. All for a mere $2.00. Bottoms up-!

Thanks, Major.

Scott Lane said...

Is that a seal with a cigar? And a Japanese pearl diver inside a clam? Whoever designed this was definitely smoking something - and it certainly wasn't a cigar. Freaky!

Melissa said...

I was always deeply confused by Punchy. I could never tell what kind of creature he was meant to be.

TokyoMagic! said...

I've never been to Sea World. Are either of the structures in the second and third pics still there today? And do Donny and Marie still drink Hawaiian Punch?

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, of course by the time photo #1 was taken, POP was long gone. Sadly. That Hawaiian Rum Cooler sounds pretty tasty!

Scott Lane, maybe that seal is just chomping on a Slim Jim. And yes, this is a freaky scene!

Melissa, wasn’t Punchy just a little, very violent man? I used to wonder what he had on his head, but have read that it was a stylized grass/straw hat.

TokyoMagic!, I haven’t been to Sea World i decades, so I have no idea if those structures are still there. but I’ll bet they’re gone.

Unknown said...

Nice shots to share today, Major. Thanks so much.

I've had some web-scanning time on my hands and as it happens (from trying to find Belmont Park aerial images the other day) I found some very few aerial shots of Sea World from its early days. They brought back memories from visits in the first few years. We lived close by so there were a number of visits round about then. Having looked at the current layout it's clear not a single structure remains from that time. The dolphin show (in a netted-off arm of Mission Bay) is in its original location but there's a new, much larger array of seating. Everything else is gone.

Not surprisingly, a few of the images I found were from a blog about Gorillas. You've become a valuable internet archive, Major!

Melissa said...

I used to wonder what he had on his head, but have read that it was a stylized grass/straw hat.

Ohhh! That makes sense. It always looked like some kind of mutant moose antlers to me.

(I wonder if you could make a Moose Sluice with Hawaiian Punch.)

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

I think you're safe as long as you incorporate "Puerto Rican Rum".