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  1. #1

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    Busch Gardens Van Nuys - Remember??

    Anyone else have fond memories of this park? I sure do. It's the park that got me started on having a love affair with amusement/theme parks.

    I lived 2 blocks away from the park (and could smell the hops daily too from the brewing beer). My folks would take in-town guests there all the time for the free beer and the boat ride and monorail tour of the brewrey (another catalyst for my love of monorails, the ride there).

    I used to love riding the monorail over and over and over again. I remember they had to counter balance the cars with the passengers as they were the hanging style monorail cars and ya sat on seats in the middle of the cars, like a bench seat covered in vinyl. The cars used to be painted black at first, then they made them all multi colored and then I think towards the end, they were all red.

    In the mid 70's they expanded the park to a small parcel of land on the other side of the train tracks (5 acres I think) and I actually remember seeing the big crane helicopters flying in the big green Sky Trolley tracks from my backyard, that was awesome to see. They added the St Louis Section with an arcade, fun house and bumper cars, the Sky Trolley monorail that took you from the front of the park to the new section across the train tracks. There you had the Ya Hoo Flume Ride, the motor boat cruise and a big aviary with birds galore flying freely inside, as well as a show or 2.

    I can still remember in 1976 for the Bicentennial they had a big fireworks show from the lagoon and being that I was only 8 at the time and had to go to bed early, I can remember being in bed in the middle of the summer with my window open hearing the fireworks being shot and seeing some of them as well from my window (they were not the "in sky" fireworks but huge fountains). And if the climactic conditions were just right, the smells of the park concessions could be smelled from time to time as well, like churros and such.

    That back secion of the park closed down around 1978 or so, and the park then became the Busch Bird Sanctuary for a couple years before entirely closing down in 1979 to expand the brewrey. I was so sad when they closed down. I'd ride my bike to Roscoe Blvd and just watch the construction crews tear everything up. So sad.

    Unfortunately I dont have any pictures from those days that my parents took (or if there are photos I cant find them). My friend has a site with a few pictures on it, and I have my old ViewMaster reels with pictures of the park on it, but thats it. If anyone has pictures they could share, or memories, go ahead and post them, it'd be fun to hear them and see them

  2. #2

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    Oh my gosh do I!

    I can still remember that park quite vividly. I can remember watching the bird show, going across the lake in a boat, the monorail tour, the back section of the park, and the tasting area at the end of the monorail (we were able to taste beer, even though we were under 10).

    When they took out the park portion, I was very sad. We lived close by, and our grandma used to take us all the time. To this day, I wish that palce was still there.

    The rumor I heard growing up was that the flume ride is now the Log Jammer at Magic Mountain. Either that or it went to a park on the east coast.
    Anything listed on the park maps as an attraction is fair game for inclusion in the Rally.
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by mamabot
    The rumor I heard growing up was that the flume ride is now the Log Jammer at Magic Mountain. Either that or it went to a park on the east coast.
    Nope, Log Jammer opened up with the park back in 1971 or whenever that was that SFMM opened, Ya Hoo I think went someplace back east like you mentioned. It was a TINY flume ride too, compared to some. I remember it had white lifts instead of the traditional black ones which is odd.

  4. #4

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    Although I was quite young, I have vague memories of this park. It was a tradition for our family to go here every year like Disneyland. Wish I could remember more




  5. #5

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    Is this your friends site?

    http://themepark.sitesbyrob.com/galleries/busch.htm

    Great pics, sure wish I had been able to go there, from the one aeriel pic, looks absolutely gorgeous!
    "I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I'll do it again..."- Bart Simpson

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by jomo
    Is this your friends site?

    http://themepark.sitesbyrob.com/galleries/busch.htm

    Great pics, sure wish I had been able to go there, from the one aeriel pic, looks absolutely gorgeous!

    Thats it. Some of those picts are ones I "donated", for lack of a better term - lol. The aerial shot is from a book I have called Above Los Angeles. Others are from my ViewMaster reels.

    I'd love to see other peoples actual family photographs, that'd be cool!!

    I wish I had some memorabelia with the logos of the park on it. Or a park map. I would DIE to have a park map (ok not that dramatic but, you know ) The only thing I have is a small purple jar that I got that had little mini jawbreakers in it, but its not a Busch Gardens "thing", meaning no logo or anything.

  7. #7

    • Minion
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    I vaguely remember it but I do remember the bird show and the boat ride. My mom still has one of those teacup sets from the park.

  8. #8

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    I actually have an old park brochure burried somewhere at my parents house, I think it was from 1977 or somewhere around there (used to grab all the park brochures from the motel when we used to visit DL once a year). I'll try to remeber to look for it the next time I'm down there and scan it.
    "I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I'll do it again..."- Bart Simpson

  9. #9

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    Unfortunately this entire neighborhood has gone downhill. I think most of the people who live here now are the ones who attend SFMM (another thread) if you know what I mean. I grew up in the same area as Olympicnut and have seen this area go down. (I still drive by mom's MQ). I wonder if this would have happened if the theme park stayed and the brewery went elsewhere.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by TacAlert
    Unfortunately this entire neighborhood has gone downhill. I think most of the people who live here now are the ones who attend SFMM (another thread) if you know what I mean. I grew up in the same area as Olympicnut and have seen this area go down. (I still drive by mom's MQ). I wonder if this would have happened if the theme park stayed and the brewery went elsewhere.

    ACTUALLY, my mom still lives in the same house (and has since it was built in 1957!). We've seen the area go up and down and at least in the 'hood directly north of the brewrey where she lives. It's ok, much better than it was say, in the mid 80's. The area's east of there on Roscoe and such are kinda "gritty" however.


    Jomo, I would LOVE to see that map.

  11. #11

    • ...or just Tonny
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    I don't understand, what is this park, where is it? Is this what is now Busch Gardens Tampa? :confused:

  12. #12

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    There used to be a Busch Gardens park in Van Nuys California adjacent to the brewrey, which is still there. They closed the park down in 1979 and added on to the brewrey.

    If you go to http://maps.google.com and type in 15800 roscoe blvd., van nuys, ca and click the satellite view at the upper right, you can see the brewrey. That GIGANTIC building at the left side of the property is where the park was. The only remaining part of the park is the bridge over the railroad tracks, which you can see lead to a parking lot/storage area. The overflow parking for the park is still there as well across the street from the park at Roscoe and Woodley.

  13. #13

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    I think what happened is that they needed to make a larger brewry for the west coast.... and they didn't have the money and they park was not making as much as BGT??

    I know BGT shut down their brewry in 96 and rmeoved the structure in 97.... they built a huge new brewry in lakeland so the tampa one closed... not a rollercoaster sits on it... (and part of the brewry parknig lot.)

    Wasn't their a fourth park??
    somewhere in the mid west?

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by figment1986
    Wasn't their a fourth park??
    somewhere in the mid west?
    Hmmm, I'm not sure! There was the one in Van Nuys, Tampa, Virginia, but I don't recall there being another one anywhere. There was a Busch Gardens in Pasadena back in the early 1900's that was just that, a garden, but I cant recall there being another actual theme park anywhere else.

    Another memory I have is that every so often the brewrey tour monorails would somehow jump the track and de-rail. YIKES! Especially since they were the hanging type of monorail. I remember them being controlled by the tour guide/driver so maybe they were always going too fast around the curves when they should have been slower.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympicnut
    ACTUALLY, my mom still lives in the same house (and has since it was built in 1957!). We've seen the area go up and down and at least in the 'hood directly north of the brewrey where she lives. It's ok, much better than it was say, in the mid 80's. The area's east of there on Roscoe and such are kinda "gritty" however.
    Thats the area I meant. The immediate area around the brewery and everything east of the 405.

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