Road Trips to Theme Parks in the Past
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Learn how whole families would make long road trips just to go to theme parks.


Road trips in America- Trips to Theme parks Host: So far on Are We There Yet, road trips down memory lane, we remembered ways to keep cool in the desert stop at road side restaurants and explore the great outdoors. But at the top of almost everyone’s list of favorite places is this. Remember your first visit to the Magic Kingdom? Female: Oh it was cool. Host: Themed amusement parks have always been a hot ticket for travelers and went quickly became the worlds’ favorite opened its gates in July of 1955. Female: Just going in I mean it was like the most exciting thing to do down there was to go to Disney land and to go on the rides and in those days I mean you got real excited with the Pirates of the Caribbean and the you know the rides that they had because they weren’t quite as sophisticated as they are today so really was an adventure. Host: Disney land was such a hit with some families that they were willing to go the extra mile just to get to Anaheim. Male: We started off actually going to British Columbia. Well we got to the Dells in Northern Oregon and it was just hotter than blazes. It was just where no air conditioning in the car and these what was rolling off the bar, they’re sitting there, the kids were complaining and I said Oh the heck was it let’s go to Disney land so we turned around with straight on back through the Disney land from the Dells in Oregon. Host: The best part for parents, seeing the park through their children’s eyes. Female: My favorite thing was just watching my girl has such a great time. I mean for—because he were so little I mean it was just like wow everything was wow you know? Look at that—look at that. Host: And if you made a trip to Disney land, chances are you also made your way to Nuts berry farm in Orange County. The western style theme parks started as a road side berry stand in tea house in the 20s’ grew into the world’s largest chicken dinner restaurant. Folks still flock in for Mrs. Nut’s fried chicken and boys in berry pie. Female: Great jelly. We always went there to eat. That was our thing you know. You on for a couple rides but it were really to go eat and I think that was Nuts berry farm to us. Host: Some families mix in a bit of sun and surf in there amusement park vacations. In Santa Monica the Nautical theme Pacific Ocean Park or POP opened in 1958 a day long passed caused a whopping 90 cents. The Coney Island of the Pacific closed in 1968 but the fond memories linger. Female: They had these gondolas that went out over the cliffs of California and had glass or plexiglass bottoms and I remember being so impressed you could sit there on a bench and look straight down onto the cliffs and the waves up against the cliffs and it was quite long and it was very exciting and I didn’t find out till later on that my father wouldn’t go with us and that my mother was extremely scared of when she looked down. But she said I do not want to be scared because I didn’t want you to be scared so it worked. Whatever they did, it worked because I really remember that and enjoy it. Host: For those that wanted to escape the valley heat, Santa Cruz and the beach board walk were the place to go. The Cacelli family from Sacramento has been going every year since 1953. Female: The boys like the beach because they love the board walk and it was not too far to drive because they never cared to go to Disney land because it was too far to go. Host: It’s a tradition that the boys have carried on with their own families. Male: The strange thing for me is when I am down there with my family no matter what it always feels there is always something missing and that is because they are not there. There is just that feeling of I mean I can walk through Santa Cruz and look at anything and have a memory that goes that is associated with it whether it’s board walk the beach at certain point on the beach—a place where we stayed it is just sort of—a sort of a strange feeling that there is something that is—that is not there. Male: It is that endless summer thing I mean if you put on endless summer and you hear all those beach boy songs that recreates the feeling. I mean it was all there—beach the board walk, guys driving their suite up cars down the main drive. I mean it was—it really was there and I was lucky, I cut the tail end of that and that was a very special thing.