Thursday, December 08, 2005

Infamous Rides - Where Did They Go?

I would like to thank everyone who has stopped by the website and left positive comments about the efforts done in the interest of remembering Magic Landing. I would also like to thank everyone who has pushed me into updating because I have been a little lax in that department for a month or two.

Scraps remain of the supports

This is all that remains of The Wildcat inside Magic Landing. The ride was taken down around 1990 and placed into storage for a brief time before being sold to Bosque Magico, Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon Mexico. A friend and I ventured back to the park and found these support beams from the ride. The red/orange paint evident in the photo below is barely visible from the distance we were at, but it looked like a taller support beam used to sturdy the ride.

The Wildcat as Montana Rusa

This is The Wildcat. Renamed Montana Rusa, its been in operation inside Mexico for the past 13 years. There are some factual errors with several websites & TV interviews at the time of the accident what the name of the ride was. I have always known it from all records as being The Wildcat, but often times it referreded to as its former name of the Mountain Express. I am looking into getting the real name of the ride soon.

The Rainbow, but not THE Rainbow

This is the ride I remember the most. The hydraulic pump hummed a loud powerful tone that from my memory overpowered the sounds of the Midway area and left a haunting sound that I can learly hear in my head whenever I close my eyes. This particular Rainbow ride is in operation at a park in Pennsylvania. I am still trying to find action photos of the park in its operating days and finding out that no one took pictures at the park as they did at Western Playland.

I did, however, get a lead as to where the Rainbow might have possibly gone to. In the city of Juarez, in Chihuahua, Mexico (El Paso's sister city), there is what is called the Feria located close to downtown El Paso. Inside this fairgrounds is a slightly different version of the Rainbow ride. Photos of the park emailed to me show a different light design than the one pictured above, but the possibility is there that the one in Juarez might be the one from Magic Landing. I am setting up some time to travel and do some research in Mexico and look for other rides that might have been sold to the Mexican fairgrounds.

Maybe the answer to "where did the rides go" will finally be answered. I still have a meeting to set up with the current owners of the steam train that operated in the park, so that will be at a later update. Hopefully the above resized photos bring out a little more clarity to some of the detail I talk about.

*I would like to thank Raul Gonzalez for helping me locate photos of the Wildcat in its current home*