When I was young, I was a bit obsessed with amusement parks. I used to even tape record the commercials for them off the TV. I was going to have one of my own called Wonder World. I even made a miniature version of Knott’s Berry Farm with a working model of the Parachute Jump. I started to think about rides (or parks) from the past that I missed. So here goes my list:
Country Bear Jamboree
It was located where they have the Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride today. It was a theatre where a bunch of animatronic bears put on a show. It was a variety show of sorts, even the moose and deer heads on the wall, would move and sing too.
It was in Tomorrowland, where they have Innoventions today. Inside was a rotating theatre, where you watched animatronic animals put on a journey of American music. There were singing bears, turtles, eagles, ducks and more. A lot of the animals actually ended up in the Splash Mountain ride. So you watched one scene, then the theatre would rotate to the next scene.
Journey to InnerSpace (Monsanto)
Another attraction from Tomorrowland, it was where Star Tours ride is today. You would ride in a buggy similar to those in the Haunted Mansion, and you were shrunk by a microscope and kept going back and back until there were only atoms.
The third ride from Tomorrowland on my list, this one was an elevated monorail system of sorts. You sat in cars that sat 4-6 people, and there were probably 4 cars linked together. The track went all above the area, and went through Space Mountain too. When the movie “Tron” was out, there was an area that had that too, with large movie screens and wind effects also.
Knott’s Berry Farm
It was located in the Roaring 20’s area, and was replaced by The Kingdom of the Dinosaurs. It was a moving ride that gave us a fictional story of bears creating the Knott’s Berry Farm jams and jellys. So you had animatronic bears, scenes in their factory and scenes at a country fair too. The ride smelled great too, like boysenberry jam.
Located in the Roaring 20’s area of the park where the Boomerang is now, it was one of the first corkscrew looping coasters on the West Coast. Not much too it, a hill and 2 loops — but still a fun ride.
Also in the Roaring 20’s area, this one was a version of a dropping ride. Riders got carried in metal baskets (with 2-3 riders) up to approx 20 stories, and then they were lowered very fast. Not for the faint of heart, but not as thrilling as Supreme Scream.
Motorcycles/Soap Box Derby
Again, part of the Roaring 20’s area, this was a coaster of sorts, with riders in a race on either motorcycles (originally) and redone as soap-box derby racers (later on). I think there were 8 lanes or so, all competing in the “Race”.
Windjammer Surf Racers
Another attraction from the Roaring 20’s area, this was located where the Motorcycles/Soap Box Derby was. It was a metal roller coaster, that had 2 tracks racing against each other.
One of their original rides, it was a long log flume ride with 2 drops. Always fun in the summer months, you were sure to get wet. I remember getting stuck on this one time when we were not quite to the station.
It was a small roller coaster near the front of the park. The cars fit 4 people, and it was pretty thrilling for a ride that didn’t take up much space.
In the back of the park, it took you around to the little country village where they had candy making and candle making. After all the thrill rides, it was nice to have something slow to relax on.
Parks Gone for Good
It was located on the Palos Verdes Pennisula, it was the Los Angeles area equivalent of Sea World. So you had the dolphin, killer whale and sea lion shows as well as different aquariums too. I remember they had an attraction where you could swim with the dolphins — sadly I never got to do that.
It was located in the valley area of Los Angeles, right next to the beer factory. There were just a few rides, a boat ride and great log ride that went through an aviary. I always thought it would be cool to have something like that if I ever won the lottery.
So that’s my list. What amusement park rides from the past, are you missing from the area you live in? I would love to hear from you.
KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.