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Posts tagged ‘travel’

Amusement Parks — Old Favorites from the Past

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.

America Sings
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

Berry Tales

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.

Parachute Jump
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.

Magic Mountain

Log Jammer
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.

Galaxy Ferris wheel
One of the early rides also, it was a dual ferris wheel with 2 arms. One side would be up, the other one would be down. There were great views of the park from the ride.Galaxy Wheel

Mountain Express
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.

Busch Gardens
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.


Weekend Getaways

There’s something nice about getting away for the weekend. Being away from home, in a different environment, is good for your soul and your sanity. Whether you drive, take the train, or fly to your destination, it is important to let loose and have some fun.

When I was growing up, our family had a few regular vacation spots: San Diego, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, Newport Beach and Lake Arrowhead. These are all within 2 hours of Los Angeles area and can be easily reached by car. San Diego is a great place to see animals — they have 3 great parks to do so: Sea World, San Diego Zoo and San Diego Safari Park (formerly the Wild Animal Park). I have so many happy memories of going to Sea World, it is still one of favorite places to go. Other sites to see in San Diego include Old Town, Balboa Park and Belmont Park (featuring a nice wooden roller coaster). As an adult, we have enjoyed going to Black’s Beach, a clothing-optional beach at the north end of San Diego. Quite a trek to get there as far as the walk down the steep hill, but definitely something to see even if you choose to keep your clothes on.


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