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Retro PTR: Amusement Park Vacations from the '70s!


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^I guess that would explain why so many are close together in the middle of the day. I assumed they had been given Ritalin or something similiar.


Oh well, I chalk this one up as further proof of my parents poor "labeling" system with the old photos.

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^Not to mention why they're "eating" a zebra. (Or as the skippers sometimes joke, "Aw-w-w-w, look at those lions keeping watch over that sleeping zebra. 'Can you feel the love tonight. . . .'")


The old Busch Gardens in southern California did have a log ride at one time, as well as a boat ride through the gardens.

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^Not to mention why they're "eating" a zebra. (Or as the skippers sometimes joke, "Aw-w-w-w, look at those lions keeping watch over that sleeping zebra. 'Can you feel the love tonight. . . .'")


The old Busch Gardens in southern California did have a log ride at one time, as well as a boat ride through the gardens.


Most of the trough, boats, and other components from the Southern California Busch log flume went to Great Escape in Lake George (then Storytown U.S.A.). Desperado Plunge opened in 1978 as a new anchor to the pre-existing Ghost Town area.


One rare attribute that Desperado, Le Skoot, and Stanley Falls all have in common (besides all formally having the spillway coaster element that can only now be experienced on Kennywood's Log Jammer) is that their boats have two separate divided seating areas (unlike nearly all other Arrow Log Flume boats that feature one long bench for tandom seating- some with seat backs and some without).



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Back in 1972, the major marine park in Florida was located just outisde St. Augustine. Marineland opened in 1937 and is still operating today. I think my father was more excited about this park than anything else we did during this vacation. As I said previously, my family never took a lot of pictures, but I think there were more pictures from Marineland than the other 3 Florida parks we visited combined.


However, I won't bore you with all the pictures because most are poor quality or multiple pictures of the same dolphins and whales jumping over and over again. I guess my dad really loved those fish.


On to the photos. If anyone really demands more polaroids of these stupid fish, let me know and I'll post more.


This was THE PICTURE SPOT at Marineland. Only my sister had her picture taken. Dad was hoarding the "roids" for the fish.


Hey, my dad took a picture of a dolphin jumping in the air for fish. Zowzer! I have no idea why the guy with the fish between his teeth is wearing a Varsity hat.


Hey, my dad took a picture of two dolphins jumping through hoops. aaaaaaah!


Hey, my dad took a picture of the trainer petting a dolphin. oooooooh!

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Back in the early 1970's it wasn't all about Florida and Disney or Corporate parks. Families with young kids could still have a great vacation closer to home at hundreds of small local parks. In the next 3 installments I will show pictures from a week long family vacation to the Lake George region of New York in 1974.


This next round of pictures is from an extinct park that was located at the top of a hill. You entered the park by going inside a "spaceship" (a room that moved and had flashing lights to simulate space travel). Then you went through a tunnel or underground room that would take you to another planet.


You exited atop the hill where you encountered a lot of giant plastic and fiberglass characters that were supposed to represent different eras in time from the prehistoric era to the present era of space travel.


The name of the place was Time Town. Enjoy!


If you want to see more of this long lost park can can visit this site:



My sister goes back for more quality time with the park's mascot.


My siblings and family friends decided to get a picture with this pecker.


Next we got to hang out with Jeff Johnson.


Even though there were cars way back in the '70s, we took this alternative form of transportation to the park.

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For those of you not too busy trying to guess where Robb, Elissa and the Jew are, I bring to you more photos from my childhood.


My family remains in Upstate New York, visiting a small theme park called Santa's Workshop. The owners of the park filed to have their park designated as a new town called North Pole, New York with it's own post office and zip code.


The park is still in existence today with a coaster that was not there when I visited in 1974. The park may not look like much by today's standards but these types of parks were just as enjoyable as Disney to a 7 year old.


Ooh at Disney you can get a beanie with two plastic things stapled to it and look like a mouse. At Santa's Workshop you get pimped out in authentic Santa Christmas Hats made by real elves.


My father's photography skills have improved greatly since upgrading from the Polaroid to the Kodak 104 Instamatic, but this Bobsled ride just moves too fast. Certainly better than "If I had Wings" at Disney.


Of course Disney would try to one up Santa's Workshop 30 some odd years later with Animal Kingdom. But does Disney have killer goats? I don't think so!


This is how an animal feeds sheepishly. You got that Disney, real animals.


My Sister says. "Dumbo can bite it, I'm in a freaking turtle." Come on Dumbo, bring it on.


Oh really Disney? You have a guy dressed in a mouse costume. We got a real f'n reindeer. Yes, Chris that's a real reindeer.


Screw you and your fake castle Disney. We are the North Pole and have a REAL post office to prove it.

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There must've been some federal law that required each state to have a Christmas-themed amusement park. When I was a kid we had Santa's Village, which I think was in the hills near Santa Cruz, Calif. My family has old home-movie footage of it somewhere.

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This will be the last update from Upstate New York before I return to Florida theme park pictures. Funny thing about this Lake George vacation is the most memorable moment had nothing to do with amusement parks.


My family was checking into the Moose Mountain Lodge. We were getting two cabins, but back in the pre-internet days reservations were never firm until you reviewed the hotel/resort. Well we starting walking around and touring the cabins. My mom was not impressed and my father was trying to convince her to stay. All of a sudden a kid that was a couple of years older then myself comes running out of the woods yelling, "Mommy, Mommy there's a bear in the woods." We ran back to the car and found someplace less rustic to stay.


Now on the the pictures. Storytown was delightful for a family with young kids. Plenty of characters from fairy tales and miniature buildings to play inside. Charlie Wood really created a great family institution with this theme park in a much simpler time.


For the last picture I bring you this wonderful shot of a random women's ass and the Wild West Shoot Out Show.


For years I thought this occured at Six Gun Territory, but the age of the photos and my brother don't fit in so this must be from Great Escape, but I've been wrong in the past. I refused to get a shave as I have always been fearful of sharp objects.


Now on the the junior version of the "Kick Bootie" ride.


There's the drug running mule. No not my sister. Actually they still have pony rides at Great Escape as on upcharge.


Now we get to pictures from the western area. We were thrown in jail for refusing to subject ourselves to an anal cavity search.


The first photo documentation of me on a rollie coaster and my one and only contribute to rcdb.com


Not quite the Flyers at Knoebels, but you have to start somewhere.


Lou, JimmyBo, Robb and any more of my Tea Cup homeys. I've been a fan for decades.


Carousel at normal speed


I used to be terrified of bumper cars. Now people are afraid to get into a car when I'm driving.


The awesomeness of a boat ride powered by a giant swan.


My brother, sister and myself are much happier riding the train than standing in front of it.


Look at how happy all the child are standing in front of the train for a picture. We want to get on the rides!


We start with a picture of the park entrance, it just seems right.

Edited by ernierocker
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These old photos are great. I really like the one the kiddie helecopter ride. I have so many memories of riding these type of rides at almost every amusement park I went to as a kid. (the woman ass shot is questionable)


Hey you said you had some pictures of you and your family at Circus World. When do we get to see those?


Keep the old photos coming!



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So my family returned to Florida in 1975 for the second time. The landscape sure did change over those 3 years with a couple of new parks in Orlando.


I present to you one of those new parks, Circus World. Circus World had only opened one year earlier and there wasn't real much to the park in 1975. But my family loved going to Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus at Madison Square Garden every year so visiting the park was a natural choice.


My family also returned to Circus World in 1978 and in that year my father accidentally lost a camera after leaving it on the roof of the car when departing from The Magical Mystery Fun House, so only a few pictures from the 1978 trip to Circus World remain. You'll notice that the pictures from 1978 are much clearer, as dad must have upgraded to another top of the line camera.


I am trying to get in touch with the other family we traveled with to see if they have more pictures that I can borrow and share




I leave you with The Zooomerang money shot.


Flash Forward to 1978 and we have an exciting chariot race between a llama, donkey and burro. The llama smoked the field.


The parents finally let us do something. Ride the rabid Dumbo wannabe!


My sister executes the old wrap around move on this clown.


Ronald McDonald decided to make a surprise visit, so of course my parents had to get a picture of me with him.


I think the parental units just pretty much marched the kids all alround the park taking pictures of us at all photo op areas, most of the time in clown face. That's all we did all day!


The big deal which Circus Clown was getting your face painted as a clown. Back in the Stone Age I seem to remember it only cost $1.99. If you were a member of the Fat Boys you could also eat all you want for the same price.

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Shane - I can't say for sure but there may have been some portable rides the first time I visited along with a carousel. We visited in August so the park had not even been open for 1 year yet. I think the park was originally intended just to being a living circus with behind the scenes access, since the performers trained only a short drive away at the circus' winter headquarters in Sarasota. But you probably know more about that than me.


I think I used a whole roll of film capturing that Zoomerang train going through the loop, but that is the only photo I still have. Back in 1978, a looping coaster was more rare than a three-headed snake. Kids these days just don't understand how revolutionary (no pun intended) loops were. They probably don't know what a roll of film is either.

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Those photos are great- and the historical perspective is nice to see of 'The way things WERE'- Growing up in that era and having experienced the early 'second wave' theme park era makes me wax poetic for a return to such simplicity.


Yes, I love a good Beemer, I love to see what Intamin cranks out next....


But a simple, classic double loop ride does wonders for me any day!


Thanks for the great 'retro' TRs!

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  • 10 months later...

Wow I just remembered that I never finished this thread. This is the last of the family photos I have for the '70s. These pictures are from an August 1975 visit to the Magic Kingdom. To this day, I refer to the Magic Kingdom as DisneyWorld, since when I was a kid all Disney had was Disneyland and DisneyWorld.


Disney started celebrating the nation's bi-centennial in 1975, as you can see by the bi-centennial themed parade photos at the end of this report.




Since my mom is terrified of heights, we approach The Contemporary via the boat instead of the monorail


My brother, sister and I on the boat. Look at the excitement on our faces. We're going to DisneyWorld! YAY!


An obligatory photo 25 years ago


Picture of the castle. Check!


Just like our first visit in 1972, we got the "B" list characters.


See "B" list, sigh.


20,000 Leagues Under the Sea awesomeness!


The Tiki Room was my dad's favorite attraction. It didn't help him get a good picture of it though.


He also loved Pirates, I'm not sure how he got this good of a picture with his 110 camera. I distinctly remember us buying extra "E" tickets and riding POTC 3-4 times in a row with no line at the end of one night


Tomorrowland Speedway


It's Space Mountain from the boat, sorry don't have a close up. We waited 3 hours to ride Space Mountain in 1975. Back in the day there was little press about the ride. Many people (including my family) did not even know that it was a roller coaster, until we were 90 minutes into the line.


Jungle Cruise was another family favorite


Such a big favorite that dad took two pictures during the ride.


Horse Drawn Trolley on Main Street at night. This was an "A" ticket attraction.


This is a family heirloom. The only picture we have of the Electrical Parade. I think this was taken by my mom while my Dad, brother and I were repeatedly riding POTC.


The photos you are all waiting for


WDW's Bi-Centennial Parade. WooHoo it's Ben Franklin!


I'm Uncle Sam dammit! Don't call me Gumby.


The Philadelphia Phillies gave us time off to pull this float.


My dad liked taking pictures of these creepy characters kicking up their legs.


No, my dad loved taking pictures of these freaky characters kicking up their legs.


I hope you enjoyed this journey back to the '70s

Edited by ernierocker
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Great TR Larry! It's always a pleasure to go down memory lane and see stuff like this. It totally reminds me of when I visited Disneyworld and RB&BBW with my family way back in the 70s.


Hey! I finally recognise you in these photos. You have no sleeves.


Guy "I love all these old timey photos. What filter do you use in photoshop to give them this look?" Koepp

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Guy "I love all these old timey photos. What filter do you use in photoshop to give them this look?" Koepp


I'm a techno idiot, I'm lucky I was even able to scan these photos, no photoshop involved. Or was your comment a joke?


I actually resized them to the proper requirements, but then accidentally linked to the photos that weren't resized.


I expected gisco or mcjaco (Bob or Matt) to be the first to comment on the lack of sleeves.

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