Saturday, June 28, 2014

Special Guest Post - Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Today we have more photos from GDB reader/contributor Ken Martinez! This time we will be getting a look at a place near and dear to his heart, the Santa Cruz boardwalk (from the late 1980's). At night!  I've been there - once. The place evoked the old seaside amusement parks that used to dot the California coast, most of them now long gone; which makes Santa Cruz that much more special.

This first one is especially nice…. it shows the "Giant Dipper roller coaster and boardwalk at night with reflection in the San Lorenzo River". 

This is an interesting photo of the "Wave Jammer" ride… is that the same as the "Tilt-a-Whirl"?

There's the building that contains the Loof Carousel. Those seahorses on top remind me very much of the kind that were seen at Pacific Ocean Park - maybe they were made by the same people.

Here's a "… general night view of the boardwalk as it looked around 1984. (Jet Star coaster in background)". 

Another angle of the 16-car Ferris Wheel….

This one was really dark, but you can see a ride appropriately called "the Spider". 

This one is my favorite of the bunch! It is from the boardwalk "photo op" area, featuring a 4 year-old Kenny in 1964. The smile on his face says it all!

MANY THANKS to Ken Martinez for sharing his personal photos of the Santa Cruz boardwalk with us today!


Nanook said...

Oh, Ken-

I have such great memories of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk: the Carousel - complete with the ring toss-!; the Cave Train - one of the great dark rides; and the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster - to name but a few.

One of the unique features of the Giant Dipper is once the train is released from the loading platform, not only does it immediately begin gaining speed as it heads quickly downhill - it all takes place in the dark. Other than the Thunderbolt Roller Coaster at Kennywood Amusement Park, in West Mifflin, PA, (outside Pittsburgh), which also immediately upon leaving the platform, descends down a steep drop (and has its biggest drop at the end of the ride), the Giant Dipper is the only other wooden coaster (essentially) sharing that unique and wonderful feature.

Thank you Ken (& Major).

TokyoMagic! said...

I know that the Giant Dipper roller coaster still exists today, but please tell me that every single one of those other rides is still there today! If so, then I need to plan a trip up to Santa Cruz!

Chuck said...

I remember driving past the park in 1976 and being unable to convince my parents to stop. Although I have yet to actually visit, the slow drive-past and the view afforded by our 1972 AMC Ambassador wagon has influenced my imaginings of every other seaside amusement park I've never visited, from Coney Island to Pacific Ocean Park.

Thanks for sharing these, Ken!

Anonymous said...

Great pics. I grew up there. The Coaster is truly one of the best wooden ones left. The original Cave Train was like a lil trip to Disneyland for us. It made us long for the rides there.

K. Martinez said...

Nanook -

Glad you like these. The drop-twist-and-turn tunnel in darkness at the beginning of the ride is my favorite part of the Giant Dipper.

Do you remember the old wooden "Wild Mouse"? Now that was a scary coaster! It's my most missed attraction from the old days.

Kennywood Park has been on my list of parks to visit whenever I get to Pittsburgh some day.

TokyoMagic! -

Unfortunately "The Spider", "Wave Jammer" and "Jet Star" are long gone, but we still do have a "Tilt-a-Whirl", "Rock-O-Plane" and "Big-16 Ferris Wheel". Unfortunately we lost a lot of the classic carnival rides through the passage of time.

Of course the crown jewels of the Boardwalk are the 90 year old "Giant Dipper" and 103 year old "Merry-go-Round". And we still have our Sky ride called the "Sky Glider" and "Cave Train" dark ride of which both over 50 years old.

Chuck -

I used to be a ride operator at the Boardwalk back in the 1970s. If your parents had let you go, you probably would've passed by me.

Anonymous -

Thanks. I grew up and still reside in Santa Cruz. I thought about moving, but it's such a hard place to say goodbye too. I operated the "Cave Train" in those early days. Who knows! maybe you were on my train.

Dean Finder said...

I was about to ask where the Lost Boys were, but then I remembered that vampires don't show up on film.

SundayNight said...

Beautiful! Thanks Ken!

K. Martinez said...

Dean Finder -

I watched the helicopters fly over and over and over above Santa Cruz and the Boardwalk during filming of "The Lost Boys". I also used to live in an apartment on a bluff next to the bridge where the lost boys hung around. I love that movie for it's showing scenes showing the pre-Loma Prieta earthquake era of Santa Cruz.

SundayNight - Thanks! Glad you like 'em.

Melissa said...

I love the tulip-shaped lights outside the Wave Jammer. Little details like that make everything special.