Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Seattle World's Fair Amusement Zone?

Mixed in with a bunch of boring slides of snowy mountains (lots and lots of snowy mountains) were a few pictures showing Seattle, taken from Puget Sound during the 1962 "Century 21" Expo (you can see the Space Needle, anyway, and they're dated September 1962). The following images were in the same batch, and so in the interest of full disclosure, I am only assuming that they are from that Expo's "Amusement Zone". If anybody can tell me otherwise, I would appreciate it!

In any case, here is a great shot of the exterior of some sort of funhouse/roller coaster. It appears to have a "Sinbad" or "Arabian Nights" theme, with a blue djinn and what might be the fearsome giant Roc, not to mention a serpent-thingy. The kids look like they enjoyed their journey through the dark carny ride! I have to admit that I would love to know what it was like, however cheesy and cheap.

I'm not sure if this is a different angle showing the same ride, or a completely different ride. The car looks a bit different, at any rate, but maybe the kids rode it twice.

This photo makes me think that we really are at the Fair... telephone exhibits were de rigeur at those things (those darn picture phones, ya know). I think I can make out the blurred words "Mother and Dad" on the panel above the boy's arm.

This ferris wheel looks just like the one at the Seattle Fair, it's the only attraction that I can find detailed photos of. There's dad and junior at the bottom, dad's taking a picture of us, and we're taking a picture of him.


Anonymous said...

During the World's Fair, the amusement ride area was called the Gayway. After the fair it became the Fun Forest, which is still an amusement ride area today. I believe the first photo was a dark ride called Flight to Mars, the second shot was a small roller coaster called The Mad Mouse. The two kids on the telephone are probably making crank calls. "Do you have Prince Albert in a can...?"

Anonymous said...

Are they telephones - or part of a"20th Century Pathogenic Microbe Distribution System"?

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I agree with Kevin on the Flight to Mars theory.....although your pic could show a different themeing of the same type of ride. I remember a ride just like this at the LA County Fair in Pomona. It was a two story "ride-through" funhouse with a Mars theme. The cars were supposed to be little space ships. They would come out of the building briefly on the second level and then go back inside. It even had a couple pretty good dips in the track. I had seen a picture of the same attraction online somewhere and that version was also called Flight to Mars. I will try to relocate that photo because it showed the entire exterior.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I found something interesting. It's not the vintage pic that I remember seeing online, but it's just as good. Here's an article about the attraction from the fair. What's weird is that it says it was there in the Fun Forest/Gayway up until 1996. I went to Seattle Center three different times prior to 1996 and I don't remember seeing it. Darn it, maybe I didn't look too closely at the amusement area. I wish I had. Anyway, I'm including the link below. There is a close up photo of an alien pirate with an eye patch, click on that photo to enlarge it, but THEN click "NEXT" or the number "2" to see a second pic of the full facade at night. The artwork looks different, but that could have changed over the years. You can see the two upper level balconies (your pic shows one of them up close) and you can even see one of the "dips" I was talking about. It's in the center of the building.

TokyoMagic! said...

Okay, for some reason that didn't show as a link, plus the entire address didn't come out. Here it is again, but you will have to cut and paste it. Also, there are no spaces in the number part of the address below, the space should be delted so the number reads 2003792500. What a mess..sorry! It was the only way I could keep it from going off the page. I need linking lessons!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tokyo! I do remember riding it in 1969, it was basically a dark mini-coaster with creatures that would light up and jump at you. I'd forgotten about the pirate skull on the facade, his jaw would move up and down. Great piece of kitsch - thanks for the memories!