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Tiki Central Forums » » Beyond Tiki » » Jungle island at Knott's?
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Jungle island at Knott's?
tiki mick
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Joined: Aug 11, 2003
Posts: 398
From: Socal
Posted: 2004-04-12 3:01 pm   Permalink

Am I crazy? I seem to remember a jungle island attraction at knott's berry farm, near the liberty hall attraction outside the main park...did I just dream it up? I barely remember a giant pot to cook wayward missionaries in, and possibly a small train....tangaroa, anyone??

What was the name of the thing?


 
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trustar
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Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 253
From: So Cal
Posted: 2004-04-12 6:43 pm   Permalink

Mick

It was "Jungle Island". We grew up in Buena Park and spent a lot of time running around that place. Bridges, tunnels, all sorts of cool places to hide out for tag or ditch-em.

Trustar


 
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Tangaroa
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Joined: Apr 25, 2002
Posts: 1558
Posted: 2004-04-12 6:48 pm   Permalink

Now that - I have information on!

Tick Mick - you are correct - it was indeed called Jungle Island, and was not part of the gated admission to Knott's, but a separate attraction at the long gone Lagoon amusement area behind Independence Hall...



In the early 60's, Knott's expanded across Beach Blvd. by building an underpass leading towards the future site of Independence Hall. Around this time, a Mr. Forrest Morrow, of Illinois (77 years old at the time) - came out to the Farm & convinced Walter Knott to let him build a haven for his "Wood-imals" - naive art carved from pieces of wood he found in the forest...

Forrest Morrow





Under construction in March of 1964. It opened later that year...


But Jungle Island was more than just the Wood-imals scattered about. It was a dense, Jungle-like area where a kid could get lost, dirty & be adventurous with minimal parental supervision... My fondest memories of Jungle Island are in the 1970s, when my brother & I would get dropped off there when my folks were too cheap to pay for Knott's. It was kinda like Knott's lite...

Crossing through the back end of Independence Hall, you would come across a very Jungle-y area, with a moat, and about 1000 chickens running around - screaming their heads off.


Coming upon an old covered bridge, you'd notice various alligator-like Wood-imals that would shoot water at you (controlled by gleeful kids already on the Island). It wasn't actually an island - it butted up to the back end of Bud Hurlbut's Lagoon amusement area - but the illusion was convincing if you were a kid...


You would buy a ticket from the old lady usually at the booth...


And cross over the rickety covered bridge...



Once inside, it was easy to get lost (at least if you were 8 years old). There were many areas, and hundreds of the Wood-imals, poking out from the brush.


Some of the more memorable creations were this "Rollo-saurus"...


and the afore mentioned Natives with a tourist in a pot...


Albiet, very lo-tech by todays standards (I can't even imagine today's House Of The Dead playing kids going for this) - Jungle Island was a convincing exotic playground for kids in the 60s & 70s...

So, what happened? Well, back in October of 1982, Terry Van Gorder had successfully wrested artistic control from the rest of the Knott family. As the newly appointed C.E.O. of the Farm (a position that had never existed before) - he took one look at Jungle Island, and saw an opportunity to create a entertainment area, for corporations who needed event space.

So it became an outdoor patio, with facilities for eating & entertaining.

What happened to the Wood-imals? A few were saved - last time I was at Knott's, I saw them near the swings by the Peanuts Playhouse... That was a few years ago though... I heard that Jim Webb, Mr. Morrow's son-in-law, had saved a few of them - but I have never been able to track him down (admittedly, I haven't looked that hard). I was told he's now a poet (!) in the Orange County area....

Thus ends the tale of Jungle Island.








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[ This Message was edited by: Tangaroa on 2004-04-12 18:54 ]


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Doctor Z
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Joined: Aug 01, 2002
Posts: 1613
From: The Hale Moana Lounge, Torrance, CA
Posted: 2004-04-12 8:40 pm   Permalink

Wow - I thought I'd just imagined that place, as nobody I've spoken to ever knew what I was talking about! "What? A FREE place next to Knott's?? With big carved wood creatures, you say? Never heard of it!"
I fondly remember the 'wood-imals' and even more fondly the "Roll-o-saurus". When I was a tyke we'd go there and the older kids would delight in making the 'tumbler' spin as fast as possible (which wasn't really all that fast), so we'd feel like being in the inside of a dryer. But to a dirty, scruffy kid, all the bumps and bruises I sustained made it all the more fun!

Ahh... more fond memories courtesy of Tangaroa...
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Futura Girl
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Joined: Oct 01, 2002
Posts: 933
Posted: 2004-04-13 06:28 am   Permalink

it seems to me there is some tiny portion of lushly landscaped river or water feature still next to or on the back side Independence Hall? or am i dreaming?

 
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Unga Bunga
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Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5820
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2004-04-13 06:43 am   Permalink

Great pics Tangaroa!
Remember the "Wood-imals" by the pond that you could stand on, and when you rocked them they would shoot a stream of water into the pond? After a fun day there we would head straight to the Alligator Farm (now debunked).
Great memories.
Quote- Futura Girl wrote:
it seems to me there is some tiny portion of lushly landscaped river or water feature still next to or on the back side Independence Hall?
Unquote----------------
No dream, it was there. A large pond. This is where most of the mothers with infants or old people came to feed the ducks and enjoy the sunshine


 
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tiki mick
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Joined: Aug 11, 2003
Posts: 398
From: Socal
Posted: 2004-04-14 09:35 am   Permalink

Thanks Tangaroa!
I have noticed some jungle vegetation near independance hall as well, and that's what made me think about what used to be there!


 
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bongofury
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 1546
From: Ventura County
Posted: 2004-04-16 01:14 am   Permalink

My brother and I hung out there too. Thanks for the memories.....But somehow I also remember a small fishing pond that had starving trout or catfish, so when you put your bait and hook in the water it took less than 3 seconds to "Catch a Fish". .....or maybe that was at the Alligator Farm?

 
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Tangaroa
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Joined: Apr 25, 2002
Posts: 1558
Posted: 2004-04-16 2:22 pm   Permalink

Nope - you're right - it was at the Farm. Here's a pic of it under construction (I think the clipping is from the late 50s):

I never experienced this one in person - I think it was taken out in the 70s. As the various concessionaires died off or retired, the Farm would usually assimilate the attraction into something else, or just get rid of it... I love the trout weathervane!




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Tiki-bot
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Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 1345
Posted: 2004-04-16 2:29 pm   Permalink

Wow, what memeories! I'd almost forgotten about that place. My best friend Craig and I spent many an afternoon running around there in the early 70s.

We also spent a lot of days running around on Tom Sawyer's Island at D-land. Those were the days when you paid an admission fee (2.75!) and then bought whatever tickets you wanted on top of that. This arrangement was great for punk-ass kids like us who used D-land as a day-care center. It's easy to see why they adopted the general admission ticket.
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Unga Bunga
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Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5820
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2010-05-01 12:39 pm   Permalink

Here is a great video of the Alligator Farm in Lincoln Heights before it moved next to Knott's Berry Farm.
Amazing the children and alligators were only divided by a rickety wire fence.

1941, The California Alligator Farm, Lincoln Heights


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King Bushwich the 33rd
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Joined: Jan 10, 2005
Posts: 1182
From: Ling Cod Beach, CA 90803
Posted: 2012-05-31 2:12 pm   Permalink

The complete story of...

MiceAge: California Alligator Farm (across the street from Knotts)

FaceBook: Knotts Berry Farm Jungle Island



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King Bushwich the 33rd
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Joined: Jan 10, 2005
Posts: 1182
From: Ling Cod Beach, CA 90803
Posted: 2014-03-11 2:47 pm   Permalink

An audio-video version of the story of the California Alligator Farm in Los Angeles/Buena Park, CA

Communicore Weekly: California Alligator Farm


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lucas vigor
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Joined: May 12, 2004
Posts: 3985
From: SOCAL
Posted: 2014-03-12 7:32 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-04-12 15:01, tiki mick wrote:
Am I crazy? I seem to remember a jungle island attraction at knott's berry farm, near the liberty hall attraction outside the main park...did I just dream it up? I barely remember a giant pot to cook wayward missionaries in, and possibly a small train....tangaroa, anyone??

What was the name of the thing?



I feel weird responding to myself....but this was me when I first signed on to tiki central.....that makes 11 years now!

Anyway, later on I did my own research...

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=30585&forum=1&hilite=my%20first%20attempt%20at%20urban

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[ This Message was edited by: lucas vigor 2014-03-12 19:34 ]


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VampiressRN
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5768
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2014-03-12 8:23 pm   Permalink

I didn't go to Knotts as much as Disneyland, but I always loved the optical illusion room where you walked in it all crooked like...and the jail where the sheriff knew all about you-that was worth a laugh once and my Dad got a big kick out of it and the mine roller coaster.

http://www.amazon.com/Knotts-Preserved-Boysenberry-Theme-History/dp/1883318971/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-4&qid=1394680608

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