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*


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great update, I also remember the rainbow. Keep up the good work.

12/15/2005 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am 35 year old and I remember Magic Landing since I lived about four miles away. During the Summer months they used to have an incredible fireworks display that rivaled Western Playland. I always thought if Magic Landing would have continued they would have grown bigger than Western Playland. They promoted the Ferris Wheel as being the biggest in Texas, at the time. When I was growing up my best friend had a brother who worked at Magic Landing according to him there was a lot of drug dealings going on. This would happen after the park would close for the night. They, the people in power, would ask certain employees to manage the Ferris Wheel
and stop it at the top. An hour or so would pass and they would be brought down by these trusted employees. As he would say they would go up with a suitcase and be laughing at anything that was said. According to my friend's brother they also had problems with the insurance, they kept having too many accidents within a certain time span. I would guess they had three or so within their brief time period. I also remember one of those accidents happened because a careless employee, teenager around 16 or so, went to retrieve a cap which had been flown away from a customer. This happened on a roller coaster they had. He reached up while another roller coaster came barreling down and chopped off his hand. It made the local news. Well rumor said the insurance cost was rising and they could not keep up with so many accidents. If this is true we will never know.

1/09/2006 1:16 AM  
Blogger pgathriller said...

I really doubt that the Rainbow that is currently operating at the feria in juarez is the one from Magic Landing. The rides the feria has are portable rides designed to travel and are for easy set up and take down.These rides are connected to a trailer and pulled on trucks. Most simply fold out. Companys make portable models of most of there rides for Traveling Carnivles. The one at Magic Lading must have been a park model meaning that it was ground mounted. The Rainbow is a pretty big ride and moving it on a carnival route and putting it up and down week to week is near impossible. I might be wrong though. The manufacturer of the Rainbow ride is HUSS manufacturing from Germany. I beleive this ride is now out of production. As for maintaining the Rainbow, its upkeep costs should be high if the ride is now out of production. That is why the owner of Western Playland sold there most famouse ride the Sky Diver because it had been out of production and parts were hard to come by and were expensive. They actually sold it to the feria in juarez. The feria used it for spare parts for there Sky Diver. Im thinking the Rainbow ride is somewhere else. I have ways of finding out where different rides are. I will try to find out where it is. But like I said, I could be wrong.

7/19/2006 1:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember the swinging ship, but wasn't there a swing ride like the Yoyo at Western Playland? The one they had at Magic Landing looked even better then the Yoyo.

8/16/2006 1:47 AM  
Anonymous Jackie said...

I love your site. I never went there being that I was born in 86 but abandoned places and "folklore." Probably why I went to school for archaeology. "Teenagers" destroying things has always bothered me too. Of course as you said later, I am not one of those teenagers whose parents will fix things for them... Anyway I found your website looking for info on my favorite childhood ride the rainbow.

It is possible to have the rainbow as a traveling ride, since the strates shows used to bring the ride to my town every summer. Those traveling ones were probably made different though. The one that the strates show has, looks identical to the picture on this site. Anyway I've said too much. Your website is fascinating.

8/28/2008 5:29 PM  
Blogger The Archivist said...


The company that built the Rainbow only built in-ground rides that were never meant to be mobile. I am familiar with the rides you are talking about, and they are from a different manufacturer and its a slightly different variant of the ride.

Glad you enjoy the website!

8/28/2008 7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yea ive been to the fair in Juarez and i rode that rainbow ride... they have it every year at the Feria Expo de Juarez

4/08/2010 12:15 AM  
Anonymous andrea said...

I just read on the defunct rollercoasters site that The Wildcats cars are being/been sold and that the rest is being sold for scrap metal. That's so sad! It's one of the few rides I remember vividly.

12/30/2010 1:07 AM  
Blogger cmschmaltz81 said...

That is not true huss has trailer mounted all there rides for teaveling carnivals there are carnivals.with rainbows they travel on three trailers and take.two days to set and a day tear down I know cuz ive worked on them

4/01/2011 10:40 PM  

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