Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hippo Boats, Jeeps and More at Lion Country Safari 1971

I love looking at Irvine when it was rather bare and undeveloped. One of the best ways is to find images from Lion Country Safari. These shots are dated 1971 and feature more than just animals seen from a car. First up is a fun paddle boat in the shape of a river horse, the Hippopotamus.

Another attraction for the kids was driving a safari jeep. There is a similar ride at Legoland in Carlsbad.

Of course there is a scenic pond, and with a pond comes ducks and a place to pose for a family photograph.

A closer look shows the Afritheater in the background and the girl is eating one of the all day, gargantuan lollipop. (This photo is for you Major.)

The last image is of the petting zoo area with buildings of the African Village in the background.

7 comments:

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

WOW - Flashbacks!!! I remember those jeeps and that duck pond. I recall constantly looking around for "wild" animals that could be on the loose! Don't recall the petting zoo, but never did like those anyway. I'm getting Major one of those giant lollipops for Christmas!

Chris Merritt said...

These are great! I loved that Jeep ride - designed by Dave Bradley of Beverly Park. We have a "kiddie" jeep ride in our Egypt section at USS - can't wait to take the kids on it!

PJ - when you and Jed went "behind the scenes" at the Lion Country ruins - did you guys find the molds for those hippo boats? I remember seeing them sitting out in the back...

Major Pepperidge said...

Great picture of the Hippo Boat! The best I've seen, I think. And that zebra-striped jeep is awesome.

Thanks for the photo of the giant lollipo, you just know that thing sat around for a few days gathering fuzz and bugs, and then went in the trash!

Matterhorn1959 said...

Hey Chris- no Hippo boats when Jed and I went on our exposition.

outsidetheberm said...

These are great! It's near impossible to find photos of that darn Safari Jeep ride for some reason. Glad you have some!

AmyR said...

Whoa, so cool to see!! I love the hippo boats.

Elbert said...

Thank you very much for the Hippo Pedal Boat photo! Somewhere buried deep in my childhood photo albums, I have a similar photo of riding the hippo boat.

I couldn't remember which park it was in though. Until I saw your photos, I thought that maybe it was in Busch Gardens Van Nuys.

I think I have my park memories scrambled, but which L.A. area amusement park had a sort of back lot area with a merry-go-round and some other small attraction (I keep thinking pedal boats...)? It was just an out of the way part of the park--almost like discovering a secret garden with rides. My guesses so far have been Busch Gardens, Lion Country Safari, Knott's Berry Farm, Magic Mountain, maybe Japanese Deer Park...

So cool! Thank you!