A little while back (OK a year ago) Major over at Gorilla's Don't Blog (link) sent me some amazing scans of the construction of Magic Mountain from 1968! The park would open in May 1971 and I've heard construction started in 1969, however these are presented as 1968 and they definitely show the early stages of construction. First, Thank You Major! secondly, these are actually View-master's so lets head over to Majors to see them in 3D!
There are a few shots from what must have been a showroom of some kind, possibly even a trailer? There are some cool models of the park (we'll see those in part 2) and this nicely framed shot of the concept art for the park.
The same concept art can be found on the original park brochure given out during the guest preview openings in May 1971 - previous Inaugural Guest Preview Day post here (link).
For today's "Before and After" comparisons, lets focus on what was originally the front left corner of the park. As seen here in this section from the 1971 fold out map (full high resolution 15MB 1971 map here - link).
This was taken from the top of the hill, most likely from the base of the tower. This shot is impossible to get today, besides being covered in trees, there's two roller coasters in the way; Revolution and Tatsu. Fortunately there are a couple closeups from down below, let's check them out.
Center left on the photo above, the cute little structure below was originally the Coffee Grinder. It was later renamed the Troll House and sold ice cream for decades.
More recently this little building became the "Cyber Cafe", back to coffee! They also have incredible fresh made to order donuts and incredibly slow wireless internet. I got lucky the fountains were off, otherwise this shot is impossible. (Most of the "Today" photos in this series were taken on September 26, 2012, a few were taken last November 2011 and those will be noted as such.)
The waterwheel is long gone, but hey, water still trickles down the shoot!
Ice cream and cigarettes, who else misses the 1970's?
Here we've got a nice view of the "Grand Carousel" and "The Gazebo" later to become the "Carousel Bandstand". Where's Revolution, X2, Viper and Tatsu?
This view is a little difficult to get today, everything is still there, but there's a large tree in the way and as you can see, The Gazebo grew some extensions when it became the Carousel Bandstand (I recall "Saturday, in the park, I wish it was the fourth of July" used to echo from the speakers in the bandstand when the park opened in the mornings).
The top of the Gazebo itself hasn't changed much as you can see from these before and after shots.
(Taken November 2011)
The Grand Carousel has yet to have been installed in the construction shot.
The Grand Carousel today still looks great. Did you know it's celebrating its 100th birthday this year? It's actually a 1912 Philadelphia Toboggan Company classic (link).
The last couple before and after's for today's post are a bit of a stretch. Looking back at the first scan taken from the tower area, the building in the upper left was originally the "Feather Merchant" (I guess they sold feathers?)
Now that feathers are out of fashion, the little merchant is now the "Mporium" - clever name...
Again from the first scan, this is the back side of the lower station to the Funicular Railway.
Since I can't get a picture of the back, you'll have to just see the front. Trust me, other than a name change to "Orient Express" this building and attraction have not changed since 1971. (Today photo's taken November 2011).
This sure beats walking around and UP the hill.
Come back tomorrow (yes tomorrow!) for Part two; The Candy Shack and the Log Jammer!