Thursday, April 25, 2013

Freedomland Views

It's time for more pictures from Freedomland USA (from a small group of stereo slides labeled "World's Fair")! They are undated, and rather poor in quality. But any pictures of Freedomland are scarce, so these are still worth sharing.

The lanterns, wrought iron, and columns (reminiscent of a Louisiana plantation house) can only mean that those kids are standing near the entrance to the area known as "New Orleans: Mardi Gras". The official guidebook says, Mardi Gras means "fat Tuesday", the last day before the Lenten feast, and throughout the Latin world it's a day of Carnival. New Orleans, with its French and Spanish past, throws the biggest carnival in America, and you can take part in it every day at FREEDOMLAND'S perpetual Mardi Gras. 

After that buildup, things look a bit grayer and more quiet than one might expect!

On a complete tangent, that kid on the right....

... reminds me a lot of this kid in Diane Arbus' famous photo, "Child With Toy Hand Grenade, Central Park 1962".  Only our kid isn't so loony.

If you look behind the three kids, you can just see this classic Freedomland attraction - the Buccaneer! I love the gruesome detail of the sailor hanging from the yard. What heinous crime did he commit? Maybe he stole some grog. The Buccaneer was a dark ride; a house of surprises where a longboat takes you through scenes from the age of Jean Lafitte, the New Orleans pirate king. You'll be caught in cannon-fire between two pirate frigates and witness a pirate hanging. Sounds cool, and a lot like another ride that we know of (which wouldn't be built for years)!

This murky, blurry photo is (I think) from the "Little Old New York" area (although you can see part of a Great Lakes sternwheeler to the left). Is this one of the harbor tug boats that took guests around the lake?

I'll have more murky Freedomland pix for you soon!


Chuck said...

Ooh! Buccaneer! This was one of my favorite rides when it operated at Cedar Point under the much more imaginative name of "The Pirate Ride."

After the move to Ohio in 1966, it lost the gruesome hanging pirate, but they kept the mast and sail theme to the signage, adding a ship's stern that guests could board. Geysers, synchronized with cannon sound effects, would periodically spout from the water around the ship, simulating a cannonball's impact.

I can remember being a very small child and running all over the ship with my cousins while waiting for our parents to finish riding the attraction that was "too scary" for us.

I found a ride-through video on You Tube from 1996, its last year of operation. It's not the greatest quality, but it gives you a bit of an idea what the ride was like:

Melissa said...

Love the Jolly Roger trash can in the second pick. One man's trash be another one's treasure.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, WOW, I am amazed that there is a video of that ride, even in its later incarnation. Very cool, THANKS for the link! The attraction was primitive by Disney standards, but I would have loved it. The hanging at the end is pretty terrific!

Melissa, I didn't even notice the trash can, it IS pretty great.

K. Martinez said...

Nice video Chuck. It reminds me of my days working at the Boardwalk in the late 1970s. I used to have shifts working on the "Haunted Castle" and "Cave Train". A lot of the time I had to walk through the Haunted Castle while it was in operation checking on riders spitting, vandalizing or getting off the ride while inside. Primitive it was.

Now if only I could ride "Whalers of the Moon".

Nanook said...

Okay - since no one else is going for the cheap shot, I guess that burden falls on my shoulders. So what's with the matching shirts on the boys and that odd-looking "drawing" on the girls tee shirt-? I know our Moms thought each one of us a 'treasure' and cute beyond belief - but, come on here-! These are truly "outfits" only a Mother could love. (Now, as for my childhood excursions into the world of "high fashion" - that's best left unexplored....)

K. Martinez - the Cave Train-! Just the thought of all that black light goodness has put me in a better mood. Thanks for the mental images. And thanks Major for making me feel a little bit better about my choices when it comes to "ready-to-wear" fashion.