Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A view from another's eyes...

Ah, springtime.

What is it about the coming summer months that I love the most? Is it the smell of a charcoal brickette fresh from the bag? Is it the quick onset of heat stroke when walking to your car at the mall, or is it the hypnotic sound of a lawnmower running over a sprinkler head that gets me in that mood?

I guess its everyones cabin fever subsiding and the giddiness of months old pent-up energy under layers of clothes and blankets that makes summertime activities that much more fun.

It also marks the time when you can go to the amusement parks and enjoy yourself to the point of puking. The warm nights mean you can stay outside longer and enjoy more things, like puking.

With that said, a viewer of the website was kind enough to send me pictures of Magic Landing back in the day.

Visiting hours are from... No, looks like it though. Note the 1970's era stroller parked lazily in the middle of the frame. Stroller manufacturers don't dare make anything remotely resembling metal these days. Dammit I love how not only were our amusement parks screaming metal death traps, but our strollers were too. I think my parents dragged me around in something similar to this, but thats another story.

WATER SLIDE!! Just in time for the warm weather!

So, as I am looking at the pictures from back in the day, some of the children's rides look so cheap and portable... Having worked for Western Playland years back, I remember that a majority of the rides were portable carnival rides, anchored to the ground. This, however, took cheap to a new level.

Do you know what this is? Does it have a proper name? I WANT ONE. I used to call these things "scooty-butt"s because you sat on them, then wiggled back and forth like a dog with worms to propel yourself forward. I remember I got up to speed one day and ran right into another kid at full bore. That kid was a screamer, but I guess its all fun and games until someone loses a finger...

Okay, when did this start? I don't remember hay rides in the park. In interviews with people on the streets, nobody remembers hay rides. This seems to be a pictured rarity at the park.

I must say, I lived vicariously thru him for a while. As always, if you have pictures of the park in its heyday, drop me a line at

I'd love to feature your pictures!

Until next time, kids!

*A very special thanks goes out to Galen Zerbe (pictured above) & his family for use of the photos. All pictures circa 1985 & used with permission.


Blogger marc30 said...

Oh my God. I was doing the Facebook application of Jobs I've Had and went searching for a picture of the first place I worked, Magic Landing! I heard it had closed but didn't here about the post closing drama.

Thank you so much for these old pictures. Back in the day you wouldn't think about taking your big camera to work to take pictures. I wish I had.

It was the best first job ever! I got punched in the crotch, as the "Welcome Rabbit" in 120 degree weather, I got into a squirting match with the syrup jugs in the Agua Fresca stand with a co-worker because we were so bored and when I quit, I had to climb over the fence because the park was on lockdown. It really was great training for the rest of the jobs I've had in life after Tragic Landing!

Thanks for still having this blog up. I have to look at more pics. - Marc

5/04/2009 11:30 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I believe those toys were called "Sit N' Skate", manufactured by Wham-O in the 80's. I had one, but they're impossible to find these days. (Unsafe!!!)

5/10/2009 6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


5/12/2009 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Eddie said...

Has anyone seen the movie "Adventureland"? It reminds me of Magic Landing.

6/11/2009 7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well am not going to lie but am 18 and realy liked magic landing even thou never went when it was open it is sadthat no want to do something about it

9/28/2009 6:22 PM  
Blogger Paul Pedroza said...

Anonymous, if you're only 18 you weren't alive when the place closed, so...

I was born in 1981, but never got the chance to go. I've always wondered what the place looked like. Thanks for the pics!

10/26/2009 2:40 PM  
Blogger Clemenza said...

I remember those things.....the red skater seat things. I think they were called Rockin Rollers, or something to that degree. I even remember Western Playland having some at the time. I was only 12 years old when the park finally closed down. The memories I have are very vivid. I've GOT to find pictures to give to you!!

I'm sharing your blog on my Facebook page, in hopes of resparking interest in the park.

Keep up the damm good work........I miss this place, so much.


6/15/2010 5:31 PM  
Anonymous andrea said...

I remember the hay rides! I had to have been 4 or 5 at the time. I loved Magic Landing.

12/30/2010 1:19 AM  

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