Theme Park Maps
November 11, 2009 1:43 PM   Subscribe

Theme Park Maps showcases those hand-drawn brochures that showed where the roller coasters and bumper cars were at your favorite theme park.
posted by Wild_Eep (24 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
Man, I spent who-knows-how-many hours poring over this one as a kid, daydreaming about a family trip that never happened.

The irony is that I grew up to hate roller coasters, probably would have had a terrible time if we had gone.
posted by jbickers at 1:47 PM on November 11, 2009


Heh. That just jarred loose a few neurons and many memories of a summer spent as a season pass holder at one of the Six Flags parks.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:47 PM on November 11, 2009


Love this. No time to comment. Planning trips.
posted by JeffK at 2:07 PM on November 11, 2009


This is wonderful. Facinating to compare Alton Towers 1986 to 2001.
posted by WPW at 2:09 PM on November 11, 2009


Wow. This takes me right back.

Great post.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:11 PM on November 11, 2009


Ontario Place circa 1986. My mind is blown.
posted by The World Famous at 2:15 PM on November 11, 2009


LONG LIVE CEDAR POINT
(note: not a native ohian, but my friends grandparents lived out there and for a few years we made the yearly trek and it was awe-inspiringly awesome for coaster fans)
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 2:19 PM on November 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Great post. It made me yearn for the Walt Disney World attractions of yesteryear (and cringe at most of the things those whippersnappers have replaced them with).
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:37 PM on November 11, 2009


Nothing between '61 and '91 for Six Flags Over Texas? That misses all my theme-park years.

Now, they have fancier rides, but everything else in that part of town is a horrible dump. Of course, now you can also see the new Cowboys stadium, AKA, the Pimple on the Prairie, from the rides too. Arlington, you make me sad.
posted by emjaybee at 2:47 PM on November 11, 2009


Wow. Thanks for this! This takes me right back to my stage management days in high school when I was a swing stage manager here.

That summer the plush costumes caught fleas, I learned to shoot and clean a gun in safety training, Miss Kitty from Miss Kitty's Saloon got fired for being a diva and telling everyone that the material was beneath her, and I learned that magic show doves were actually white pigeons who received tiny enemas to prevent them from crapping on the audience.

Which is to say it was the summer that launched my professional show-business career.
posted by Thin Lizzy at 3:02 PM on November 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


LONG LIVE CEDAR POINT
posted by Lacking Subtlety


Goddamn right.
posted by marxchivist at 3:03 PM on November 11, 2009


That summer the plush costumes caught fleas, I learned to shoot and clean a gun in safety training

I can think of better ways to get rid of fleas.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:11 PM on November 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


....I learned that magic show doves were actually white pigeons who received tiny enemas to prevent them from crapping on the audience....

Wow. While I learn something new every day, I didn't expect it to be THAT. :)
posted by bigbluepig at 3:13 PM on November 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Man, I spent who-knows-how-many hours poring over this one as a kid...
That pre-Beast KI map really brings back memories. I'd forgotten just how empty that place was in the early days.

LONG LIVE CEDAR POINT
Can't be said often enough.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:23 PM on November 11, 2009


LONG LIVE CEDAR POINT

Amen. Man, sure, it's November, and the wind off the lake would be brutal, but now I wanna go ride the Millenium Force and the Magnum and the Mean Streak and...
posted by ubersturm at 3:38 PM on November 11, 2009


Wow. While I learn something new every day, I didn't expect it to be THAT. :)
posted by bigbluepig


Yeah, who knew they were pigeons?
posted by marxchivist at 4:02 PM on November 11, 2009


I really regret never going to American Adventure when I had the chance...

C'mon, people, I'm American! Surely I get a discount!
posted by Katemonkey at 4:26 PM on November 11, 2009


This is great! Someone should put together a similar site for ski slope maps.
posted by oulipian at 6:58 PM on November 11, 2009


Intrigued, I searched (not on linked site) and found a map of the Palisades Amusement Park of my youth.
MAP for any other tri-state area boomers.

All the times I went there I can't remember ever going into the salt water w/waves pool though it seems I probably did somewhere along the line.
posted by HTuttle at 7:19 PM on November 11, 2009


Awesome.
posted by sararah at 8:17 PM on November 11, 2009


These are great :)

I love Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. It really is a lovely park.
posted by vronsky at 4:32 AM on November 12, 2009


The vast magical country that was Kennywood just got a lot smaller for me.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:08 AM on November 12, 2009


Great website! Wow, I used to love maps like this when I was a kid.

In fact, somewhere in my closet right now I've got an absolutely huge poster-size one of Disneyland from 1976. If I can get my scanner working I could send it in.

I used to make up my own theme parks as a kid and draw maps of them. Imagine my delight years later as an adult when Roller Coaster Tycoon came out!
posted by dnash at 8:34 AM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I collected manila envelopes full of brochures on every family road trip. I'd insist on stopping at every state's Welcome Center and load up on every brochure that looked interesting. Civil war dioramas, tourist caves (SEE HOWE / LURAY / CARLSBAD CAVERNS), Wild West Trail Ride & Cowboy Cookout tours, hillbilly dinner shows in the Ozarks (each one claiming to be "the Original" but invariably featuring the same stock characters, such as the "Uncle Lud" zany with a toilet seat around his neck), I read 'em all. In a pinch, even the National Parks brochures with their industrial dry writing would do ("Open dawn to dusk. Parking fee $5 per vehicle. No alcohol, no glass containers, no fires, no swimming." Well, it beats counting the mile markers...)

But for sheer entertainment value, the amusement park brochures were the best. Of course they were; they had to bring you in somehow. Some brochures had breathless copy bragging about the latest freakout rides they'd put in, others promised hours of magical, wholesome fun that will undoubtedly bring your entire family closer together. And some just said "Check out this humongous park full of fun stuff!"

I spent hours on the road poring over each park map and began drawing my own amusement park maps in the same loopy cartoony style. That turned into drawing logos for fake rides which turned into ideas for souvenirs which then took up so much time we'd made it home and I'd put the projects away until the next summer's road trip.

So I think it's reasonable to say that this site is freakin' awesome.
posted by Spatch at 9:35 AM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


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