Monday, June 15, 2015

Six Flags Over Mid America 1971

I found this inaugural year map from Six Flags Over Mid America at an estate sale about a month ago.  From 1971, it barely resembles today's thrill-ride-choked park.  




When it originally opened, Six Flags was intended to celebrate St. Louis and the greater area history with sections devoted to France, Spain, and England; the "six flags" being those countries, plus the United States, Missouri and Illinois.  Many of the attractions and stores were Missouri-themed as well.  Let's look at each section of the map and discuss, shall we?


The "Mule-Go-Round" was a live mule-powered merry-go-round.  It only lasted 2 seasons.

Courtesy eBay

"River King Mine Train" is a classic wooden timber roller coaster still in operation today, although it has moved from its original location.




Yes, you're reading that right.  It says, "Dolphin Show".  As in real dolphins in a landlocked pool of brackish water.  Dolphins in Missouri is just wrong.


The Ozarkade (see what they did there) was an old school arcade.  Remember, this is pre-video game days.  It was probably closer to games found at a carnival and maybe some pinball machines.



Injun Joe's Cave was "based" on "Tom Sawyer" and was a dark, float ride.

Courtesy Pinterest

Courtesy stltoday.com

It went through a series of name changes beginning with "Time Tunnel" in 1979 and was known additionally over the years as "Tunnel Del Tiempo", "The Dark Castle", "Castaway Kids" and its final incarnation of "Scooby Doo: Ghostblasters".  It closed permanently in 2014 and is being replaced with "Justice Leaque: Battle for Metropolis".  In other news, I just noticed in the picture above... OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT GIANT-HEADED DOG THING?!

The "Hoo Hoo Log Flume" is a standard log flume ride typical of many parks.  It's still in operation today, although it's simply called "The Log Flume" now.





If the "Good n Plenty" cafeteria only served those candy-shelled licorice bites of the same name, I would so be there.

"Mississippi Adventure" (just above "Injun Joe's Cave" on the map) was a water ride in the same vein as Disney's "Jungle Cruise".



"Purina Pet-a-Pet" was a petting zoo that lasted until 1985.


The "Chevy Show" was a 1970's version of virtual reality with the audience watching a widescreen movie presentation of a first-person perspective of racing in a car, riding on a roller coaster, and riding in a canoe.



The Moon Antique Cars are your standard antique-styled cars that ride on a rail to keep you on track. They are still in operation today, although the track has been shrunk considerably.



The Sky-way was aerial gondolas that carried you across the park up to 100 feet in the air.  In 1978, one of the gondolas slipped from the cable when a support arm broke.  Two young girls and a 25-year-old man were killed.  A fourth passenger suffered critical injuries.  The Sky-way was removed after the incident.

Courtesy CardCow.com


I couldn't find much information about the Krofft Puppet Theater, but I do know if it was Krofft as in Sid & Marty, purveyors of freakish puppets as seen in H. R. Pufnstuf.  If I recall correctly, H. R. and his pals Kling & Klang made appearances at the park.


If you have anything to add or any memories to share, I'd love to hear them in the comments section.

5 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yeah, it was. Like a lot of theme parks, it's grown and lost its charm. The funny (or sad) thing is, even though it was only 30 minutes away growing up, I can count on one hand the number of times I went.

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  2. stroll down memory lane!

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  3. The River King Mine Train didn't move. There were two tracks, one which became Rail Blazer for a season. After a death on the stand up coaster, they removed that track. I grew up on this park and it is a shame what is has grown into. I love thrill rides, but wish that this park could have stayed the same as I remember it from the late 70's and early 80's. Thanks for the memories.

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  4. Great picture of the Puppet Theater. I was 11 and loved the Sid & Marty Krofft Show with H.R. Pufnstuff. I moved away from St. Louis in 1972 and this really brings back memories. Thanks!

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