Theme Park Time Machine

March 30, 2015, 8:57 AM

What theme park would you love to go back in time to visit and in what year?

Replies (30)

Edited: March 30, 2015, 9:08 AM

Disney-MGM Studios in 1994. All the original attractions are still fresh, the Star of the Day parade at 2pm is a treat (exciting to see the celebrities in the park EVERYDAY), and Sunset Blvd opens including WDW's newest and tallest attraction, Tower of Terror! The Animation Studio is working hard on future features and shorts AND the Backstage Studio Tour including the walking portion of the tour is in full operation (maybe we can see the New Mickey Mouse Club shooting an episode).

March 30, 2015, 9:28 AM

Epcot-1990: Everyone talks about this parks glory days and how current attractions don't live up to their predecessors, so I'd love to see what all the excitement was about.

March 30, 2015, 9:36 AM

I agree with Keith. I went about that time maybe '95 and it was fantastic compared to now.

March 30, 2015, 10:13 AM

I wish I could have seen Hard Rock Park.

March 30, 2015, 11:08 AM

Robert, funny that I would think that you would want to revisit Magic Kingdom in the 1980s to possibly see yourself working in Frontierland and shift the space time continuum by giving yourself wonderful ideas (Google, Facebook, etc) and become a Millionare Editor.

March 30, 2015, 2:16 PM

I would like to visit Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm in the mid/late 1970s in order to see the parks as my parents knew them. I've heard stories of many attractions they enjoyed, such as Adventure Thru Inner Space, Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland, Corkscrew, and Knott's Bear-y Tales, that all closed before I was born (1991). In addition, the parks were very different back then from what they are today, with more emphasis on guest experience and less on making money and promoting their brand (this applies more to Disneyland).

In addition, I also wish I had got a chance to visit Hard Rock Park, as although I heard it wasn't that great I would have liked to see it. I was planning to visit the park in 2010, but obviously those plans changed. I also wish I had made it to Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Six Flags Great Adventure a couple years before I did so I could have experienced Big Bad Wolf and the Great American Scream Machine, respectively, as I missed both by just one year.

Edited: March 30, 2015, 3:51 PM

I went on all these rides: Adventure Thru Inner Space, Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland, Corkscrew, and Knott's Bear-y Tales. They closed the Mine Train ride the earliest so I barely remembered this ride (too young to remember), but I recalled a section where there was a rock toppling effect that scared me. The Corkscrew is just a 2 barrel roll ride. The replacement allows it to go both ways so you're not getting much more.

Adventure Thru Inner Space was a fun and instructive ride, but it was marred by kids that will scream non-stop through-out the ride. I was fooled by the microscope. I actually thought I shrunk smaller and smaller.

Knott's Bear-y Tales was a decent family ride. This ride should have been kept. The Dinosaur replacement wasn't bad either, but not as good. This ride was marred by the kids (again) who can't stay in their seats and wreaked the experience for others.

I actually don't pine for the earlier days. Disney wasn't the marketing synergist then as compared with today. They didn't have the smoothest operations. The crowds wasn't nearly as bad. It was seasonal. Attendance was really bad in the fall and winter. It also had stagnation with attractions with dark periods when nothing was done for years. Funny how people complain that nothing was added to Disneyland for years. I consider the additions to the whole Disneyland Resort in the last 5 years to be quite remarkable.

March 30, 2015, 10:49 PM

I would like to visit Palisades Amusement Park at its height in the early 1960s when all the music stars of that era visited and did shows hosted by Cousin Brucie. Hard Rock Park is my second choice.

March 31, 2015, 3:12 AM

Epcot in late 80s.
My home para, Playcenter, that closed in 2012. I would like to see it also in the late 80s.

March 31, 2015, 3:55 AM

My home park, Cedar Point, in 1969, so that I could ride The San Francisco Earthquake and the Pirate Ride one more time, and the Blue Streak without the constricting seats and seat belts. There's nothing like a loose lap bar and the thrill of possible death!

March 31, 2015, 10:17 AM

I would go back in Time and make Walt Disney understand the Dangers of smoking.

He should have lived much longer.

March 31, 2015, 4:23 PM

Magic Kingdom-1992. Splash Mountain opens and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the Skyway are still in operation.

March 31, 2015, 5:32 PM

Both EPCOT and SeaWorld in the late 80's.... I loved the SW shows from that time and I'd give 10 rides on Test Track for just one more chance at the original Imagination or Living Seas.

Edited: April 1, 2015, 2:50 PM

Back "home" ... Magic Kingdom/EPCOT Center 1982-1983.

Or November 1998 to May 2000 ... 'Men In Black: Alien Attack' construction.

Or 2001 ... WDI 'Hundred Years of Magic' team.

April 1, 2015, 9:06 AM

Epcot Late 80s to very early 90s
Also maybe Universal Studios Florida, around when it opened in hopes to get a actually working ride on Haws (the original version)

April 1, 2015, 9:18 AM


Go back in Time to see the Yeti work.... hahahahaha

I would go back to the 1950 when Busch Gardens Tampa was first being built. I would explain and encourage them to build it closer to Orlando\Buena Vista area.

This is a great Park, just needs to be closer to all the other parks in Orlando area...

April 1, 2015, 9:31 AM

Happy 56th birthday to Busch Gardens Tampa!

April 1, 2015, 10:34 AM

EPCOT Center in the late 80s early 90s was awesome! All the original attractions are open and do not feel dated yet, Communicore is still significant, Norway, Illuminations, and Wonders of Life are new, and Surprise in the Skies is fun to watch for mid-day entertainment.

April 1, 2015, 12:00 PM

Busch Gardens Williamsburg 1978? or 1979?. I was there that summer during, I believe, their second or third year of operation. They called it the Old Country then. It was a blast. They had streetmosphere people in various county's period costume throughout the park. They were doing interactions, re enactments. book readings, you name it. Many were students from the William & Mary College drama department. The entire park immersed you in that European Old Country atmosphere. I had just spent a month touring Europe the previous year and the park seemed as authentic as the real Europe. The Loch Ness Monster had just been built and it was as state of the art as any coaster in the country. And the queue was even immersive, a rarity back then (they have since shortened the queue experience). An absolutely beautiful park as it winded throughout the wooded hills. The park is still beautiful, but it lacks the Old Country charm it had then.

Edited: April 1, 2015, 3:44 PM

This year is Busch Gardens Williamsburg 40th anniversary, 1975 - 2015.

Wikipedia has:
Opened May 16, 1975 (39 years ago)
Previous names Busch Gardens: The Old Country - 1975 to 1992
Busch Gardens Williamsburg - 1993 to 2005, 2008–present
Busch Gardens Europe - 2006 to 2008

April 1, 2015, 8:35 PM

Tony; Thanks for checking the dates. Looks like my long term memory was just about right on with the park opening date. At that time the park only included as far as Germany. The three Italian areas had not been built.

Edited: April 2, 2015, 12:03 PM

Rob, the first time I visited BGW was 1984. Truly beautiful park. Your visit was early enough to get that "new park smell". My visit was a 1 day visit and I don't remember details. Oh the days before digital cameras in everything.

Edited: April 2, 2015, 12:10 PM

There are parks that do not age well. I believe Disney-MGM Studios peaked in the mid-90s and EPCOT Center in the late 80s/early 90s. Since then their themes have become convoluted and misguided, losing much of its meaning and early charm. BGW may be another one of those situation though I cannot personally comment on it as I have never been to BGW.
In saying this, there are also parks that have not peaked yet. The Universal parks are a good example of this with a bright future ahead. Animal Kingdom is still evolving and heading in the right direction as well.

So with that in mind, what parks would you like to visit in the future, say 10-20 years from now?

April 2, 2015, 12:13 PM

BTW, I would love to go back to the Magic Kingdom 1995 and visit Alien Encounter again, fighting through the initial 90-120 minute waits when it first opened.

April 5, 2015, 11:19 AM

I would love to go to epcot during the time the wonders of life just opened and all the classics were still there.

April 8, 2015, 12:14 PM

I would also like to visit Universal Singapore 5 years in the future after a rumored Harry Potter expansion. Then skip over to Disneyland Singapore and enjoy its nuances compared to other Disney parks.

April 17, 2015, 9:57 PM

River Country in 1977.

April 23, 2015, 6:10 PM

I just remembered, Six Flags Atlantis in Hollywood Florida! A fantastic water park in South Florida. I spent many great summers there in the 80s. In fact, I could do the 80s all over again!

April 23, 2015, 8:24 PM

I'd like to go back to Wonderland Sydney/Australia's wonderland, just before it closed and ride the Bush Beast, one last time.

April 28, 2015, 3:03 PM

I'd love to check out 1960s disneyland and 1970s Knotts Berry Farm

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Top 10 Attendance

  1. Magic Kingdom
  2. Disneyland
  3. Tokyo Disneyland
  4. Universal Studios Japan
  5. Tokyo DisneySea
  6. Disney's Animal Kingdom
  7. Epcot
  8. Shanghai Disneyland
  9. Disney's Hollywood Studios
  10. Universal Studios Florida