Have You Ever Been on a Banana Train? No, And You Never Will

As a native Southern Californian, I’m a little surprised that I’ve never seen any photos of Pacific Ocean Park. It’s one of those lost pleasuredomes that people of a certain (really old) age like to reminisce about on local-access documentaries as if it was Xanadu on earth (it’s not. There’s only one Xanadu on earth and it involves my two favorite acronyms: ONJ and ELO).

But this recent trove of vintage photos on Boing Boing shows that those old fogies may have been on to something after all. It certainly looks and sounds like a delightfully weird place. Aside from the aforementioned Mystery Island Banana Train (which, the more I think about it, can’t possibly be as incredible as it seems), there were simulated earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, “coconut-throwing monkeys” and something called a “Goony Bird,” the latter of which probably lives on in the drug-addled nightmares of many a Boomer.

Anyhoo, while we’re all here, let’s share some childhood theme park highlights/lowlights if you have any. My go-to story would be the time that I was on the skyline at Disneyland and my way-more-socially-unhinged-than-me best friend tried to goad me into hocking loogies over the side with him. We were thoroughly (and rightfully) yelled at by a college-aged man in a spacesuit when we debarked. I think they permanently closed that ride because of us. Embarrassing!

(via Boing Boing)

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About Casey

Sassiness mistaken for horribleness.
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11 Responses to Have You Ever Been on a Banana Train? No, And You Never Will

  1. Kate says:

    Electric Light Orchestra and Olivia Newton John! Did I get it right?!? I swear I did not cheat by clicking on the links.

  2. artdorkgirl says:

    My cousin and I would get on roller coasters or other thrill rides and make really loud “jokes” like “oh…I shouldn’t have had that large slushie, I’m gonna puke” or “wow, this ride’s held together by just that one bolt…” just to mess with the people right behind us. I’m sure we were jerks.

    • I like to ride the rides where they pretend something bad happened and freak out as though I really believe it all. The last time I rode the Jaws ride at Universal (RIP), I yelled and freaked out SO MUCH and it was so hilarious and that will always be my favorite memory especially because the girl next to me was not amused.

  3. Can you imagine the instagram pictures this place would have inspired! Thanks again for destroying the middle class, Ronald Reagan. This is why we can’t have nice things!

  4. My senior trip to Orlando was pretty much a start-to-finish disaster. It’s a long, boring story, but the highlights were a horrific sunburn, having my ticket to Islands of Adventure stolen, and having the long-held suspicion that none of my high school “friends” actually gave a shit about me heartily confirmed. GOOD TIMES.

    But on the plus side, when I was 15 I went to California for my cousin’s wedding, and one of my other cousins knew someone who worked at Disneyland, so we got in for free and basically had a private tour. It was awesome.

    (I did eventually get in to Islands of Adventure, don’t worry.)

  5. catweazle says:

    I got lost at Kiddieland when I was little. There was some sort of obstacle course type attraction and I wanted to go on it a second time, and I saw an old dude sitting on the bench next to it who I thought was my grandpa because apparently even as a child all older white men looked the same to me, but it was so not my grandpa. So I wandered around for a bit and found a grownup who took me to I guess the lost and found for children and later my mom yelled at me for talking to a stranger, but whatever mom, that stranger gave me a coloring book and crayons.

    Also I just looked up Kiddieland and found out that they demolished it five years ago and it’s a Costco now.

  6. Did you guys grow up with DC Discovery zones and places like that? We had one called space place and it was two giant levels and it was the best. I wish they still exsisted.

  7. gnidrah says:

    Aged 16 we performed at Disneyland Paris with our school band. We went backstage and that ruined pretty much all of the magic of the Magic Kingdom for me. Goofy with his head under his arm smoking a gitane will do that to you.

  8. Casey says:

    “L’enfer, c’est les autres. Uh, I mean, ‘Garsh’!”

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