Vote of the week: Which park do you miss?

August 3, 2007, 2:01 PM · Please use the comments to reminisce....

Replies (31)

August 3, 2007 at 2:13 PM · I loved Boardwalk & Baseball. My family always got season passes. I loved the All Star game every year. Met a ton of people in the park. Most memorable is Tony Gwynn and Rick Sutcliff... and that dune buggy Wade Boggs drove up in.
August 3, 2007 at 2:14 PM · I only went to Circus World once when I was a wee lad in the very early eighties and I have very fond memories of it.
However, reading up on it now, it seems to have not been as great a place as I recall it.
Regardless, it's getting my vote since the only other one of these parks I've been to was Six Flags/Jazzland which was one of the few park visits that I actually vocally complained about after the fact...
August 3, 2007 at 2:14 PM · And how can anyone vote for Circus World?! They almost killed me when there ferris wheel decided to fall apart... plus that horrible, horrible clown. scary stuff.
August 3, 2007 at 3:13 PM · There was a Busch Gardens in Los Angeles??? Are you kidding me???
August 3, 2007 at 3:18 PM · Woa!! A Busch Gardens in LA? when was this? Holy cow...I thought I knew about all the theme parks that ever existed....But, my vote goes to Boardwalk and Baseball, had some good times there.

Oh, and isnt Marineland still open? I went to their webiste a few weeks ago to check out prices for the dolphin swim and they were still open.

August 3, 2007 at 3:25 PM · The vote option is for Marineland that used to be in Palos Verde, southwest of L.A. (Many of its animals ended up at SeaWorld San Diego, if I recall correctly.)

Busch Gardens L.A. stood next to Busch's brewery in the San Fernando Valley (Van Nuys), until it was closed in the late 1970s. The story goes that Busch decided the property wasn't big enough for both the park and brewery... and chose the brewery. (To its defense, the 1970s was a tough period for the L.A. economy and the theme park competition was fierce from that newcomer Magic Mountain up the I-5....)

Busch Gardens L.A. was not Busch's first Southern California park, however. The *original* Busch Gardens, which was an actual garden - no rides, was located down the street from TPI world headquarters, right here in Pasadena, Calif. It's now a residential area just south of the Rose Bowl.

August 3, 2007 at 7:58 PM · LOL. I have never heard of none of these parks!
August 3, 2007 at 8:09 PM · Had to go with "other", Crescent Park & Rocky Point in RI and Lincoln Park & Paragon Park in MA. These were the parks that I went to with my parents, on class trips and when I turned 16 and could drive there myself. I have tons of memories there and they will always be my favorite parks.
August 3, 2007 at 10:25 PM · 'Other' here. Specifically, I miss the old Marine World/Africa USA. Heck, I grew up with the place! Sure, it had its faults, but no park is perfect. MW/AUSA had a true sense of 'family' to it that extended itself around any regular if you stuck with the place long enough, and you could always get an honest answer out of any of the animal handlers about what was going on, good or bad.

With that said: I also miss Marineland a bit, but I'm kinda glad it went away as well. I would not have wanted to be there during any kind of serious earthquake, and I would have felt the same about any of the animals.

Sea World Ohio? Went there once, was actually more impressed with it than most of the other SW parks. Seemed friendlier, somehow, which was probably directly related to it being smaller.

Oddly enough, I miss the "older" SFMM park (Valencia) as well, at least from the time they had their dolphin show. Probably has a lot to do with the fact that it's where I spent a lot of my volunteer time.

Oh, and Iris? Wrong Marineland. The one in Florida is indeed still operating, and is a fascinating piece of oceanarium history to visit. There was once one in California as well, built in the late 1950's at Rancho Palos Verdes.

Keep the peace(es).

August 4, 2007 at 8:03 AM · I think the park I miss the most, for purely sentimental reasons, is a park that isn't on this list: Frontier Village (San Jose, CA). We spent a family day there back in the 1960s, and I remember liking the place quite a bit. It didn't have big thrill rides, but there was the very cool "Lost Dutchman Mine" dark ride. Too bad I never had the chance to visit the park again before they tore the place down.
August 4, 2007 at 8:45 AM · Thank you Bruce, Robert already cleared that up for me. Maybe next time the poll should be a tad bit more specific on which park is being indicated, especially when there is more than one park with the same name. I really dont like feeling like an idiot or make me look that way.
August 4, 2007 at 1:29 PM · I miss Old Chicago. For all you "Youngsters" out there, Old Chicago in Bolingbrook Il was the first (to my knowledge) full size indoor amusement park in the US. If I am wrong, I am sure the faithfull TPI readers will help me out. You should google it and read up on the history. It was really doomed for failure from the ground breaking, but it was pretty neat for a couple years in the mid-late 70's.
August 4, 2007 at 2:05 PM · I voted "other". I also miss the Old Chicago indoor park in Illinois like Mark H. I used to get dragged there by my older cousins once it opened back in '75 I believe? Back then it was kind of nice to have a indoor park to go to while the harsh Chicago winters blew in. You could ride some basic rides and a couple coasters. I remember the coaster called the Chicago Loop. You were also able to shop in a surrounding mall like setting. I think it closed down in the early '80's but can't remember exactly why? Like previous post stated, I'm sure more info is available on the web. Look at the Mall of America now and imagine something simular back then.
August 4, 2007 at 2:21 PM · I don't get to visit parks very often due to lack of funds. The only one on the list I actually got to visit is Astroworld but I missed out on Opryland, Marineland, & Jazzland, well all of 'em really but those 3 I wanted to visit more. I bugged my husband for a long time to visit the New Orleans parks & the Aquarium just to be told in a whiny voice "But I don't WANNA go" & now they're gone. Ya know, next time I'm just going by myself, it'd save a LOT of a$$kicking later. We were also set to visit Opryland back in the '90s but at the last minute, he decides that he wants to go alone which really ticked me off so NEXT time, I'm going regardless. (sorry don't mean to rant, I just keep kicking myself for not going anyway at some point just because I didn't "wanna go w/o him, to avoid hurting his feelings". Next time I'm saying screw it, I'm going! That's the only way it'll happen, that's how I got to goto SFMM last fall, I said screw you, I'm going, and I did!) :)
August 4, 2007 at 4:02 PM · I live in Niagara Falls, Ont. and ,yes, Marineland is still open and going strong. They even added a new ride that just opened and hopefully by 2008 they are going to have a boat on a river through the park and a train ride.
August 4, 2007 at 5:19 PM · Pontchartrain Beach, New Orleans. I got my first woodie there, the Zephyr. Ah, good times...good times.
August 4, 2007 at 6:56 PM · Land of OZ is one few still remember...true it lacked on rides, but had lots of special memories for little ones.
August 5, 2007 at 1:36 AM · Boardwalk and Baseball is the US park I miss most.On my first trip to Orlando (and indeed the US) it was the highlight, I loved the place, it was fun without all the in your face commercialism of Disney and it had the areas only woodie, something Orlando still lacks!
Over here in England it would be Battersea Fun Fair, a park right on the River Thames in the middle of London that sadly closed a couple of years after a fatal coaster accident on it's woodie which was due too poor maintainence. The accident was responsible for a terrible backlash against wooden coasters in the UK that saw most of the woodies in the UK destroyed, only 8 now remain (5 of which are at Blackpool!) with 1 more sbno in Margate.I was only 6 or 7 when it closed (around 1974) but despite several theme parks around the London area there are no currently operating wooden coasters in the whole of the South of England! Battesea Fun Fair is sadly long gone with a childrens zoo covering much of where it stood.
August 5, 2007 at 4:08 AM · Those on the list I have not been to, except for the old Marineland near L.A. It was called Marineland of the Pacific back then I believe; our (5th-grade) class went there on a day-long field trip, which would have been in 1984 or '85 depending on the time of year. (Some might recall that park also featured in an episode of Emergency!.)
August 5, 2007 at 5:23 AM · Ocean View Park in Norfolk, Virginia and Buckroe Beach Park in Hampton, VA are two places sorely missed by many of us Tidewater area residents. We have Busch Gardens, which is wonderful, and King's Dominion 90 minutes away, but there was nothing like the parks on the Chesapeake Bay on the hot, humid summer evenings. Thanks for asking and evoking those happy memories!
August 5, 2007 at 12:02 PM · At Sea World of Ohio, I remember taking my son to the fishing hole and my daughter to the calm pond. The water ski show in Geauga Lake was great. Only dolphins and sea lions back then. Probably about 25 years ago.
August 5, 2007 at 1:09 PM · I know what you mean there Barbara. One of mom's favorite subjects to talk about is when she went to Buckroe Beach as a kid. She says we're lucky that we the Griffon and AC and all she had as a kid was 1 wooden coaster.
August 5, 2007 at 5:31 PM · opryland is the park i miss the most. my girls grew up there. had great rides at that time and also great shows. still se a few of the preformers we got to know. could let my young daughters do what they wanted to do and husband and i what we wanted we all had a good time.
August 5, 2007 at 7:49 PM · Now that some of you have mentioned specific memories you have at now-defunct parks, it's brought back a lot of mine.
Anyone here familiar with Rocky Point Park in RI will remember riding the SkyWheel during twilight when the park lights came on and you could see way out into the bay from the top of one of the two wheels - and the breeze of the bay blowing onto you as you took a ride on the chairlift.
As fun as all the newer parks are, they can't compete with all those memories. That's one reason I want to go to Kennywood - I think it would remind me of those times.
August 5, 2007 at 8:29 PM · My wife and I went to Opry Mills (the mall that replaced Opryland) yesterday.
She was reminiscing about the park, remembering where all the rides had been and how much fun she had growing up there. She commented that she wished our children had gotten to frequent the park before it closed instead of having to go to Dollywood since it’s somewhat close to us. We now spend most of our time in WDW and will progress to Universal as the kids get older.
However, we are carefully watching the events unfold regarding a Bible Theme Park that has been proposed just a few miles from us. Many in the community oppose it and feel that it will not be successful and I must agree with them on one point, the location is horrible. I assume that some theme park conglomerate will pick it up if it does fail.
August 6, 2007 at 12:57 AM · I confess to not being familiar with any of these Parks and would love to know more about the MGM Grand Adventures Park. Where was it ( California ? ) and what was there ?
Does anyone have any old photos from these Parks that Robert might be kind enough to display for us ?
August 6, 2007 at 5:18 AM · If you grew up in the NY, NJ area you have no choice but to miss Palisades Park in New Jersey. They had one of the greatest wooden coasters (The Cyclone) and the largest "salt water" pool you can imagine. Great fries with vinegar also. Of course, it didn't hurt that my uncle worked there and I got on all the rides for free.
August 6, 2007 at 9:10 AM · Hey Chuck!
3 cheers for Frontier Village!
That Lost Dutchman's Mine was the best dark ride outside of a Disney!
I still talk about the rainbow caverns trout fishing that was there. A tramatic experience for the fanciful child excited over catching a fish, only to see it beat over the head with a pair of pliers by the attraction operator. That attraction took a "special" kind of guy to work I imagine. I NEVER ate the fish, & to this day cannot eat trout!
Remember that apache whirlwind coaster? Wonder who has it now?
Once while sitting along side the river, holding my corndog, a duck came out of the water & swallowed my corndg whole(minus the stick). It was one of the funniest moments I ever had at a theme park.
I came across the book for the park in my old things at my mom's last year.
Do you know that when it closed they auctioned off most of what was inside the park?
I always mourn the loss of that park & not knowing about the auction when it happened.

I wonder who got the stocks you could take your picture with your head & hands poking through?
I sure miss the days when a park was more about the theming than anything else.

August 6, 2007 at 10:22 AM · The MGM Grand Adventures theme park was located behind the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas. It opened with the hotel in 1993, was converted to a private-party hosting facility in 2000 and closed entirely in 2002, and now stands where MGM Grand is building condos.
August 7, 2007 at 2:59 AM · Thanks Robert.

Having been to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas you might have thought I'd have made the connection.

My vote goes to that Park as I think it would've provided an added dimension to the Strip.

August 7, 2007 at 11:37 AM · I also miss Opryland - that and Six Flags Over Georgia were the fixtures of my childhood growing up in East Tennessee.

Just before it closed, my wife-to-be and I spent a leisurely weekend there and were very impressed with their newest ride, Chaos - and indoor coaster where you wore those refracting glasses so all the lights looked like rainbows. That may have been my favorite coaster of all time.

Last I heard it had been sold to another park, then was dismantled and left out rusting in a field somewhere....

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