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This Bud's Not For You
A tribute to the lost rides and shows and the unbuilt rides and shows of the Busch Company, as well as other projects planned in the Florida area by other companies that never took off.

This is probably my favorite section, because it's the rarest section you'll ever find on your internet map. This is a real once upon a time job, with no real chance of ever finding out any more information than what is contained in here. Before I get started, I need your help. I need more info. I need LOTS more info. To tell you the truth, this page isn't for you, its for me. Its to satifsy my unending desire to find out as much info as possible about all the projects listed below. I am not a historian, so much of this info might be deep rooted in rumor, and perhaps the truth will never come out. But I need your help, to help me find out more info. Any info you have will be good. Now on with the web page.

Well, I guess I'll start out with the lost rides, etc of Sea World of Florida first. I don't have any info at all about any of the other Sea Worlds so, help me please.
Many moons ago, when I was very young, and Sea World was still owned by HBJ, they had a wonderful little kids play area called Cap'n Kidd's Funship. It was their first attempt at cashing in on their own lovable characters. The best way to describe it was that it was like Shamu's play area, only much smaller, and much more mediocre. But, to a 9 year old, I was in heaven. I never saw such a place. They had a boat, with guns around so I could squirt water at people, and ladders for you to climb, and endurance tests, like bars to hang from over water, etc. Today, they're pretty standard at kids area's all across the nation, but at that time, 1987 or so, I thought that was the greatest thing I'd ever seen.

Now, the Funship has walls surrounding it, or at least it did when I was there last, but I believe that they have plans to uproot that area of the park for other purposes. I made it an obligation to myself to get down on the ground last time I was there and take a look under the wooden doors at the old Funship, and feel nostalgic about a time long gone.

Well, as far as Shamu goes, he's had so many different shows so far in the past 20 years or so, that I've lost count, and I am not even going to try to put them all in order. It's best to say that they all involve Shamu jumping around the pool, and splashing, Lots of Splashing The ski shows also have had a number of incarnations, the current one Baywatch at Sea World, being the worst to date, and that includes the Western one. I mean, what's next. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen narrating the Shamu show. I'm sorry, but I can only take so much cute.
As previously mentioned, the ski show prior to Baywatch was themed towards the Old West, with prospectors looking for gold. It wasn't all that bad, and it had a long run (I believe three years). Anyway, before that gets a little fuzzy for me. I remember there being a 50's theme ski show that was basically a ripoff of Grease. But before then is very sketchy for me. Needless to say, these shows are just like Shamu. Standard pattern: daring jump, followed by the leggy girls creating a giant pyramid and skiing around the lake.

Just this year, those IDIOTS at Busch Gardens in VA, replaced their best simulator attraction to date, Questor, with a vastly inferior 3-d job involving King Arthur, that made no sense what so ever. Let me describe the old one. Questor

involved a small elf like creature, that shrinks your cabin down to a smaller size, and sends you on a wild adventure. The audio animatronic elf was cool in the preshow, and the ride wasn't half bad, despice the grainy picture and the way that the cabin jarred around. You could tell that this was an early attempt at a simulator ride, but it was very cool. The new one, the Kind Arthur one, leads you down the same dark corridor, into the preshow area, where arthur appears to you within a flame, which proves to be the most exciting part of the show. The pre-show with the flame involved some pretty cool holography, and can't be missed. But the ride itself is so horrible. You get in the cabin and don your 3-d glasses, which you'd probably be better off without. Then you are led into and obviously computer animated castle, so you don't even feel like you're in danger, especially since the animation is so smooth, that you know its fake. You don't fall, and you don't drop. Instead, you're bombarded by different torture apparatii, in a bad attempt to make you feel like something has pierced the screen in 3-d. Then, you are shot up this tower, where you retrive Arthur's sword Excalibur, and ta-da, you've saved the day. Blecch. I guess the biggest letdown was the fact that when you're shot up the tower, someone didn't even think to make you fall down the tower at the end. That would have been exciting. Instead you get a pat on the back from Arthur, and are expected to exit feeling good. Trust me, you'll get more excitement from the tilt-a-whirl.

Once upon a time, Sea World of FL didn't have that big office building across the street from it. In fact, that used to be Sea World's own answer to Disney's Village Marketplace (the one next to Pleasure Island), called the Florida Festival. The outdoor facility was located in a tent outside the main gate of Sea World, but was destroyed when HBJ bought the Sea World family, and decided to build an Office Building there instead.
Another thing that Sea World had at one time was the Stars Hall of Fame, which I never visited, but only heard about. This was replaced by Places Of Learning

which I did visit at one time, I think. I remember visiting a place that was sort of like a science museum, which I think was this. I can always remember passing the sign for it as we drove back to International Drive when I was young. Then the letters disappeared from the sign one year, and never reappeared again. Not that it was any big loss anyway.

Around the time Epcot was being build, another company decided to take a stab at the Amusement Park business, in Kissimmee. The project is so far known by two names, either The British Kingdom (the name I heard) or Little England (the name I've heard others say). Needless to say, this project bombed simply because of Epcot's World Showcase. But they say that some of the buildings were built, and still sit on US 192. I'd love pictures or more info. Please e-mail me if you have any.

Now, here's the mother of all closed projects. If you drive out to Cypress Gardens, you will pass an empty lot, with a lonely baseball field sitting on it and an old tent that once served as an Imax building, which at one time, the Royals still use for Spring Training
That empty lot wasn't always empty. As a matter of fact, it once held one of Florida's last Amusement Parks, known as Circus World. Around 1985, though one sunny afternoon, around 5:00, guests were informed that the park would be closing shortly, and were instructed to leave the park as soon as possible. They did, and Circus World closed its gates, seemingly for the last time.
Then HBJ steped in, and decided to take a look at this lost park. From the ashes they built one of their greatest flops, Boardwalk and Baseball

It wasn't that Boardwalk and Baseball was bad, it was just that it had such a poor location that nobody ever visited it. I know that I didn't, although every trip we went, up to BWaB's closing in 1990, or 1991, I pestered my parents to take me. The closest I got to it was this picture of a guy I like to call Puffy Guy

This picture was taken at Sea World, so you know how desperate they were for business, in both Boardwalk and Baseball, and Cypress Gardens. Actually, the only reason I got to Cypress Gardens was because we had won free passes there only nights before at Sea World's night magic celebration. Anyway, I always wanted to go there, and I never got to. Pictures and Info are welcome, as always.

An interesting postscript to the BWaB story. It is rumored that when the park closed, it was done in much the same way that Circus World had been closed only about a half decade earlier. Guests were rounded up, told they had to leave, and the gates were closed for good. The rides from the park were auctioned off to other park owners, including BWaB's Wooden Rollercoaster, which ended up in an amusement park in Arkansas. There it was known as the Arkansas Twister, at Magic Springs Family Theme Park in Hot Springs, AR until that park closed down for good. The woodie coaster sits on their lot to this day, supposedly, rotting, waiting for that day when it will once again stand in glory.

(Added 7/18/97)Another interesting postscript. Just yesterday, an article appeared in rec.parks.theme, one which seems to be very popular. I've heard many rumors about Six Flags purchasing the BWaB site outside of Orlando, but trust me, I don't believe that that will happen any time soon, for the same reasons that Circus World and BWaB failed. Actually, I'm still trying to figure out how in the world Cypress Gardens has survived. Anyway, end of story

(Added 7/18/97)I need info on Busch Gardens California. Anyone with any info or pictures, please e-mail me. Also, I've heard rumors that at one time Six Flags Great Adventure in NJ had another theme park besides their safari based around the Looney Toons characters. Any info is appreciated.

(Added 7/19/97)I just recently recieved info on the ski show at Sea World during the late 70's and early 80's. It involved a Super Friends theme, meaning Superman, Batman, etc., and it apparently followed the same pattern as the normal ski shows. The funny part about it is, after I recieved the e-mail telling me about it, I remembered seeing it also. I have a picture of it somewhere in my mound of Orlando memories. One of these days I'll find it and post it right here. In addition, there was a Pirates Ski Show at Sea World in the Mid 80's.

(Added 7/19/97)From and anonomyous user, "Okay, about Busch Tampa, Right after BoardWalk and Baseball was bought, the great white coaster (I had been on it, It was just as fun as the "Metal Mosters" out there) was originally intended to go to Busch Tampa....right in the spot for the "Kumba". After some marketing analysis, it was suggested that a "metal monster" would be better. (This is very much like the Busch higher ups, they change their mids all the time). Well, after a few weeks, Boardwalk and Baseball was torn apart and sold. Many of the upper employees were given jobs at Busch Gardens, after a signifigant drop in pay and rank. The original plan was get cheap rides and put them into the two Busch gardens. Now, Disney was responding to Busch gardens by putting in critters." So, the Boardwalk and Baseball plot thickens.

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You can mail me with any comments at: ranma2@ix.netcom.com

This page created on July 12, 1997


Special Thanks for Extra Info to:
mackt@voicenet.com(for info on BWaB's woodie)
rolsan@gte.net(for info on the Royals)
themeparks.guide@miningco.com --Robert Brown (for his reply in rec.parks. theme to the Six Flags Orlando rumor)
tjevans@datasync.com --for his info on the superfriends ski show at Sea World
griffin@pacifier.com smile14@geocities.com --for info on the Pirates Ski Show.

Boardwalk and Baseball Forever