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Bell Gardens To Open Sunday

North County Times, April 20th, 1967


A new garden park, Bell Gardens is set ot open to the public for the first time this Sunday and the turn out is expected to be quite large. The gardens will feature five attractions, and beautiful scenery to admire. The park manager, Alexander Knight, has declined an interview at this time, say only this: "I have worked hard to make this park become a reality over the past several years, and I think people need to come see for themselves, and not just let me describe it for them". The park, located in Rancho Santa Fe, is expected to become a hit with locals, and tourists who come to San Diego for parks like Sea World and Belmont Park. North County Times will have a full report on opening day, as Mr. Knight has invited us to attend the opening. The park will cost five dollars to enter, and will include free rides on the Bell Gardens Express, the parks train. The other four unknown rides are expected to cost $0.50 each.


Hello, I am Alexander Knight, and I would like to welcome you to Bell Gardens. Oh! I see you saw this article in the paper! Well, thank you for checkng out the park! You are one of our first guests, why don't I show you around? Are you a thrill seeker? You are! Oh how wonderful, you will love our park's midway! Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself, why don't we get started on our tour?


Like our entrance? I helped design it myself! Quite a project!


Over there, those are the management offices. My office is in there, but I'm still moving in so I don't want to show it at the moment.


Oh, the train is on the route at the moment, It will be back in about ten minutes. Lets check out the ride midway while we wait shall we?


All our guest services are located under the train station, along with the food stalls! Quite an interesting design, but the whole team liked the idea of making this area seem like a true train station.


Hmm? Oh, that's our Merry-Go-Round! Were are very proud to say the horses are wooden, and were carved by local craftsmen. We wanted to keep local businesses up and running!


Hahaha I see you looking at our Zipper? Oh! It's your favorite ride? How wonderful! Now you can ride one close to home!


I love how well landscaped all these rides are! We took a long time planning out the process and it turned out to work in our favor!


Oh this? This is our star attraction, the Ring of Fire. To be honest, I'm a bit scared to ride it... Are you going to try it out? Oh hmmm oh why not? I'll give it a spin as well!


Well that was very fun! Quite an intense ride too! Did you like it? It was great? That's fantastic to hear!


What's behind the fence? Why future ride of course! I can't tell what it will be now, but it should be up and running in a month or two...Oh well look at the time, I simply must continue unpacking at my office. Oh! The train is back! Why don't you go have a ride. The scenery is fantastic. It was nice meeting you Mr....Heart. I hope to see you back here in the future! Well, good bye for now!

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July 23, 1967


Dear Mr. Heart,


I hope you enjoyed the tour a few months back. Thank you for giving me your adress, I will send you a letter whenever I have an update for you. Well, now for an update. I believe you asked what was going behind that fence when we met back in April; well, now it is a ride which is going to open on Saturday. I hope to see you there, enjoy the discount coupon included below!


-Alexander Knight


Oh, Mr. Heart! I'm glad to see you here. The park really has been thriving these first few months, and attendance is on the rise! Anyway, our new ride will open in about an hour, so why don't we hit the train?


The park is still looking great!


The train is here! Lets go for a ride!


That train sure is beautiful! Even for a scale model, it acts exactly like a real train.


Wow! I didn't realize how many people were down here today! Oh, it's lunch hour! That explains things.


Ahh, this is quite relaxing. I often do many of my office duties on the train in the late afternoons, it's quite a nice setting.


Ah, you see the new ride. Haha don't worry, the fence will come down in the next few minutes. But while we are waiting, why don't we ride Ring of Fire?


The begining isn't that intense....


But this part can be quite terrifying!


Well here we are, they are begining to remove the fence!


Here it is! The Tea Party! It was so nice of Disney to design them for us, it was very cheep too!


Just look at that roof!


You get a good view of the train. Anyway, I must be getting back to my office work, it was nice to see you again!

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March 18, 1968


Dear Mr Heart,


I am quite happy to announce that our newest attraction, and our first coaster, will open on Saturday morning. We've spent many hours developing this ride, and I hope I'll see you at the opening day special event! Your ticket to enter the event is enclosed to the envelope, and I hope you enjoy the ride!


Your friend,


Alexander Knight


Ah, Mr. Heart! It is so good to see you! It's been so long since we last talked! Well, I've been busy too, developing a new way for guests to have fun! Our new coaster, Little Lightning, opens today and I'm very excited you could make it!


Ahhh, this early morning southern California air sure is great!


There's the coaster! It looks fantastic in the early morning sun!


The coaster has two trains, each carrying 8 passengers, four per car. Have you ever walked the track of a wooden coaster before? You haven't? Well why don't I show you first hand?


Isn't it fantastic? Walking the track? You get to see your guests up close, and get some amazing views of the park!


There they go, around the U-turn!


There's the rest of the course. Isn't the view from the chain lift amazing?


Here they come! Well, I hope you enjoyed the backstage look at the ride! See you again soon Mr. Heart!

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To Mr. Thomas Heart, March 5, 1969.


Hello, Mr. Heart! Seems like only yesterday I was telling you about our first roller coaster, Little Lightning! This year, we're adding a high flying attraction dubbed, Cloud Wheel. Be sure to come this weekend for the opening! On another note, last year we saw record attendance with the addition of Little Lightning. The amount of revenue we've recived is phenominal, so expect bigger rides a attractions in the future.


Your Friend,


Alexander Knight


Oh hello Mr. Heart, great to see you again at the start of a new and exciting season here at Bell Gardens! I see you are admiring our newest attraction, Cloud Wheel.


Ahhh, rides in the morning sun look so majestic.


Even with the sun rising, Zipper is still shrouded in darkness.


I'll never get tired of looking at this ride.


This ride is VERY tall when you get close to it!


Now that we're on Cloud Wheel, you can really see Little Lightning's layout.


I love the simplistic design of the station, it really compliments the ride nicely.


Looking out from the top of this ride make you feel like a bird! Well, I hope to see you again soon Mr. Heart, until then, good bye!

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To Mr. Thomas Heart, July 9, 1970


Dear Mr. Heart,


Hello, this is your old friend Alexander Knight. I was wondering if you could come down and see me at Bell Gardens this weekend if you are not to busy. I would like to share a few things with one of our most highly held guests at this park since the begining. Currently, we are in the talks with some companies about different types of attractions for our future development. This year was the first year nothing was added, but several key changes were made to prepare the park for our 10 year development project. I would be very happy if you could make it down and here our proposal for the city.


Your Friend,


Alexander Knight


PS. If you are able to attend, I will even tell you some of the ideas for major upcomming attractions, and some that we scrapped!



Mr. Heart! It is wonderful to see you here at this wonderful park again! I see you got my letter. Why don't we step into my office.


All right. Let's get down to business.


This year we've made some key changes to the park to prepare for our expansion over the next decade or so. We have been talking with different companies about building rides and attractions for Bell Gardens. One project, the oly one I cannot speak of, is currently under construction near the old location of the Zipper. Oh! No no no no, we didn't remove the Zipper, it was relocated to the left of its original location. Here are some of the concepts we've been been talking about.


Thunder Racer: PTC, after making Little Lightning also gave us a concept for a set of racing roller coasters named Thunder Racer. It would be located near the zipper, and could possibly go over the train tracks.


Santa Fe Falls:A high adventure log ride taking you through a forest, and ending with a thirty foot plunge!


Legend Of the Mountain: An adventurous journey through a man made mountain.


Super Swings: A chair swing attraction sitting on a small hill to give a sense of flight.


Well thats all we have for now, but there are a few more classified projects I can;t tell anyone right now, but one will be revealed next year.


Lets have a look around the park shall we?


There's the Zipper peeking out from its new location. I honestly think it looks better there.


There's the majestic Cloud Wheel. Such a fantastic ride. We had originally planned to install a normal ferris wheel, but then we were approached by Chance, with the Cloud Wheel. We thought this more thrilling version was a better fit to the park.


*Gasp* Zipper is not there!


But, it's here!


And here is the mysterious construction site for the new attraction opening in....two years. It's going to be our biggest inverstment ever, and if sucessful, will bring the park massive amounts of guests, and mounds of revenue!


In other news, both of Little Lightning's trains were coupled together, and now runs with one 16 passenger train!


There they go!


Oh and we can't forget about Fireball!


I just can't get over how well this ride turned out! We'll have to talk to Chance about future attractions! Well I have to go Mr. Heart, I hope to see you for the opening day for our 1972 attraction!

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To Mr. Thomas Heart, August 19, 1971


Hello Mr. Heart, this is Alexander Knight again. I was wondering if you would like to the park this Saturday and see the update of the construction for our new attraction. You can't see much, but you'll be impressed.


Your Friend,


Alexander Knight


Mr. Heart! So good of you to join me! Why dont I give you a little update of how things are going.


Take a long look at this view, as the spiral slide is on its way out in a year or two.


There's the construction of our new attraction. We've been working with the company building the attraction since we first opened to make this possible.


Even though we're on the train, you still can't see much!


Also, you can see very little from Cloud Wheel. We're trying to keep this project under wraps!


There goes Little Lightning!


The train is about to depart! Well, the office calls Mr. Heart, I hope to see you next spring when the attraction opens!

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To Mr. Thomas Heart, August 9th, 1972


Hello Mr.Heart, it seems like just yesterday I met you in front of the gates, and now it's been 5 years....


Our newet attraction is opening, one of epic proportions, Thunder Racer!


Ah hello Mr Heart! Something major now dominates the east side of the park!


Like the station? It took several months of desigining!


Zipper has been closed for most of the season due to construction...it should re-open very soon.


The plaza was altered a bit due to the entrance of Thunder Racer.


The Red six-seater train!


The blue six-seater train!


Here is the beginning pre-lift, it really builds up the anticipation!


The lift is absolutely huge!


The view from here is fantastic! Look at the double up, and double down!


Wow...that drop is....insane!


These hills will give you a floating sensation I believe you enthusiasts call "airtime".


One last look at the majestic station!


Lookat that ride! Its even taller than cloud wheel! Well, I have to go Mr. Heart, see you again soon when Thunder Racer opens!

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To Mr. Thomas Heart, August 29th, 1972.


Hello Mr Heart,

I was wondering if you would like to join me for the opening of Thunder Racer tomorrow. Some minor things are happening at the park, but major plans are beign set in motion!


Your friend,


Alexander knight


Good morning Mr. Heart, it was nice you could join me here on this fine day for the opening of our newest attraction!


Here is the Logo for the ride!


The park is packed today! Everyone wants to try out a roller coaster that races!


Several rides were re-painted, the Zipper now matches Thunder Racer!


The Merry-Go-Round is now gold and red!


And the Ring Of Fire is now colored a buring red!


This station is great! Why don't we walk down by the train tracks to get some good views?


There they go! The Red and Blue six-seater racing trains!


There they go....towards the massive lift hill...


Look how majestic this ride is!


Here is the final turn around...well Mr. Heart, I hope you enjoy the ride, I must be off, I have an important meeting regarding our expansions...

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To Mr. Thomas Heart, September 17th, 1972.


Hello again Mr. Heart, I wanted to know if you would like to tour the inside of Thunder Racer's layout, and take a look at all the action that takes place on the ride!


If you are able to come, please send this letter back to me with a time and date. Hope to see you very soon!


Your Friend,


Alexander Knight



Hello Mr. Heart, how are you? Good? Great! Why don't we begin our tour?


I will never tire of such a simple, yet attractive entrance!


The pre-lift has a decent amount of speed, but still gives riders time to look at what is coming.


There they go, around the first turn! Red appears to be leading!


So majestic, so simple, so amazing. This coaster is a work of art to me Mr. Heart.


Here they come! Neck and neck!


Red is in the lead again!


The final turnaround, who will win?


It's a tie! Thanks for joining me Mr. Heart, until next time!

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o Mr. Thomas Heart, December 19th, 1972.


Hello Mr. Heart,


I was wondering if you could attend our first special event called "The Last Slide" to honnor our first attraction to leave the park. It will be this Saturday, and since it's Christmas Break for most schools, we're expecting record attendance! Hope you can join us for "The Last Slide"!


Your Friend,


Alexander Knight



Hello Mr. Heart, so good to see you! I have great news! We are removing the slide in order to expand further into the land we own. The several year expansion will begin next year with the addition of a new flat ride. We made a deal with a company, and they will be building several flats rides and possibly a roller coaster over the next few years!


Today we've had record crowds!


Guests are loving Thunder Racer, I hope to see it become a park icon for many decades!


Cloud Wheel still dominates this side of the park. You can tell how busy it is today by looking a the line for Tea Party!


Just look at the line for the slide! Everyone wants to ride it one last time before it's gone for good!


Quite a line!


Quite a neat attraction, but alas, nothing lasts forever...


Good bye Spiral Slide!


Fireball is quite busy as well, there must be lots of thrill seekers at the park today!


A ride on Thuder Racer is a good way to end our first event, and highest attendance ever!


Red is ahead!


There're pulling even futher ahead!


We're heading for the final turn!


Who is going to win?


Well it's a tie! It was nice seeing you again Mr. Heart, Talk to you again at the press confrence in January!

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North County Times, January 9th, 1973.


Next week is sure to be an exciting on here in San Diego County, as local amusement park Bell Gardens will be announcing it's biggest expansion ever that will include two flat rides and possbly a record breaking roller coaster. Amusement park lover Daniel Smith was given a piece of concept art for the new attraction that will open next season. Dubbed Firework Flyer the ride will be the first in a series of expansions the park hopes to complete by it's 10th year of operation.


Pictured Below: The Concept/Logo of the new attraction at Bell Gardens


This ride is currently under construction and will open in the spring of 73'.

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