10 Theme Parks From the ’70s That Were Childhood Favorites

Epic summer trips to theme parks are a quintessential part of the American childhood. The feeling of pure joy riding a coaster that seemed to defy gravity, the sugar rush from funnel cakes, and the awe-inspiring shows that made our jaws drop. Even as grown-ups, many of us have fond memories of some of these legendary parks. Get ready for a blast from the past as we revisit 14 theme parks that were childhood favorites back in the 1970s! Even though some may not be around anymore, the rides, shows, and experiences live on in our memory (and maybe a few grainy vacation photos)

Walt Disney World (Florida, 1971)

It all began in 1971 when the “Happiest Place on Earth” opened its gates in Florida. Walt Disney World revolutionized the theme park industry, offering immersive experiences for guests of all ages. Visitors could explore iconic locations like Adventureland, Frontierland, and Tomorrowland, each brimming with rides, shows, and attractions that transported them to different worlds. Fantasyland brought classic Disney characters to life, while Liberty Square celebrated American history.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Virginia, 1975)

Busch Gardens Williamsburg transported guests to a bygone era, offering a taste of 18th-century Europe. Officially opened in 1975, the park quickly gained popularity for its immersive themed areas, showcasing the architecture, culture, and cuisine of countries like France, England, and Germany. Visitors could explore charming villages, ride thrilling coasters like the Loch Ness Monster, and enjoy captivating live shows that brought history to life. Offering a unique blend of education and entertainment, it was a popular destination for families seeking a cultural and thrilling theme park experience.

Marineland of Florida (Florida, 1964)

Marineland of Florida held a special place in the hearts of many children in the 1970s. One of the first oceanariums in the United States, Marineland offered a window into the underwater world, allowing visitors to marvel at the beauty and grace of dolphins, whales, and other marine animals. Some of the park’s main attractions were educational shows featuring trained dolphins and thrilling performances by killer whales. Sadly, Marineland closed its doors in 2009, but it will remain a cherished memory of childhood wonder and fascination with the ocean’s inhabitants for a generation of visitors.

Six Flags Magic Mountain (California, 1971)

Opened in 1971, Six Flags Magic Mountain quickly became a haven for thrill-seekers. The park boasted a collection of heart-pounding roller coasters that pushed the boundaries of design and engineering at the time. Colossus, with its double corkscrew inversions, and Goliath, a sprawling wooden coaster, were among the rides that sent shivers down the spines of daring teenagers. The Racer, a wooden racing coaster with two tracks, offered a friendly competition between riders. Six Flags Magic Mountain became a pilgrimage site for coaster enthusiasts and a symbol of the growing popularity of adrenaline-pumping theme park experiences.

Kings Island (Ohio, 1972)

Located near Cincinnati, Kings Island became a major family entertainment destination in the 1970s. The park offered a diverse range of rides and attractions suitable for all ages. The centerpiece of Kings Island was a replica of the Eiffel Tower, which provided breathtaking panoramic views of the park’s sprawling grounds. Thrill-seekers could test their courage on The Racer, a high-speed wooden coaster, while younger children enjoyed gentler rides and whimsical shows. Kings Island became a popular getaway for families in the Midwest, offering a day filled with laughter, excitement, and lasting memories.

Disneyland (California, 1955)

The original “Happiest Place on Earth” in Anaheim, California, had already established itself as a pop culture phenomenon by the 1970s. Even decades after its opening, Disneyland continued to enchant guests with beloved attractions like Peter Pan’s Flight, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and “It’s a Small World.” New additions in the 1970s, like the Pirates of the Caribbean (opened in 1967), further solidified the park’s reputation for imaginative storytelling and immersive experiences.

Knott’s Berry Farm (California, 1940)

What began as a boysenberry farm in the 1920s blossomed into a beloved theme park by the 1940s. By the 1970s, Knott’s Berry Farm offered a unique blend of attractions that catered to families. Guests could explore a meticulously recreated Ghost Town complete with saloons and gunfights, take a scenic ride on the Calico Railroad, or experience the thrills of the ever-popular Peril of the Pit, a gravity-defying mine car ride.

Cedar Point (Ohio, 1870)

One of the oldest amusement parks in the United States, Cedar Point has been a source of summertime fun since the 1870s. By the 1970s, the park had established a reputation for its collection of classic wooden roller coasters, renowned for their white-knuckle drops and thrilling turns. The Blue Streak, a racing coaster with a long and storied history, and the Magnum XL-200, a massive wooden coaster that broke height and speed records with its 1989 debut, were among the park’s crown jewels. Cedar Point’s beautiful lakeside setting and nostalgic charm made it a beloved tradition for generations of families.

Dorney Park & Wild Water Kingdom (Pennsylvania, 1884)

Another historic park steeped in tradition, Dorney Park & Wild Water Kingdom offered a delightful mix of rides, shows, and attractions in the 1970s. The park began as a resort in 1884 with a trout hatchery and quickly evolved into a popular entertainment destination. In the 1970s, families flocked to Dorney Park for classic rides, refreshing water features like Thunder Canyon, and captivating live entertainment. The addition of Wild Water Kingdom in 1979 further solidified Dorney Park’s position as a premier summertime getaway, offering a combination of dry land thrills and splashy water adventures for all ages.

Hersheypark (Pennsylvania, 1906)

Chocolate lovers everywhere rejoiced at Hersheypark, the “sweetest place on Earth.” The park in Hershey, Pennsylvania, offered a delightful escape into a world of chocolate-themed fun in the 1970s. Rides like the iconic Kissing Comet, a swinging pendulum ride, and the thrilling Wild Mouse, a dark indoor coaster, provided excitement for all ages. Guests could indulge in sweet treats like Hershey’s Kisses and chocolate bars throughout the park, making Hersheypark a genuinely unique and delectable theme park experience.

Astroworld (Texas, 1968)

Originally a creation of TMC Broadcasting, Astroworld offered a blend of excitement and entertainment for families in Texas throughout the 1970s. The park boasted diverse rides, from thrilling roller coasters like the Texas Cyclone to gentler attractions suitable for young children. Live shows entertained guests throughout the day, featuring everything from acrobatic feats to musical performances. Astroworld also offered educational exhibits showcasing different cultures and historical periods. The park closed in 2005 but left an enduring mark on many who experienced its unique blend of rides, shows, and attractions.

Legoland Billund (Denmark, 1968)

For LEGO enthusiasts, a trip to Legoland Billund in Denmark was a dream come true. The park opened in 1968 and offered a world built entirely of LEGO bricks, sparking children’s imaginations and creativity. Visitors could explore miniature versions of famous landmarks, marvel at intricate LEGO sculptures, and even take a thrilling ride on a dragon made entirely of LEGO bricks. Legoland Billund remains a popular destination today, constantly evolving with new attractions and experiences. Moreover, the core concept of a world built with iconic building blocks continues to capture children’s hearts worldwide.

Everland (South Korea, 1976)

South Korea’s premier theme park, Everland, opened in 1976 and quickly became a beloved destination for families. The park offered a variety of themed zones, each showcasing different cultures and adventures. From the thrilling Safari World, where visitors could journey through a simulated African savanna, to the whimsical European Garden, filled with enchanting flowers and landscapes, Everland provided something for everyone—educational shows featuring animals and live performances added to the park’s entertainment value. Everland remains a significant tourist attraction in South Korea, consistently expanding its offerings and maintaining its status as a leader in the Asian theme park industry.

Henequen Park (Mexico, 1976)

Located in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, Henequen Park offered a unique cultural experience for visitors in the 1970s. The park was built on a former henequen plantation, a crop once vital to the region’s economy. The park showcased the history and traditions of the Yucatan, with displays highlighting the Mayan civilization and the henequen industry. Visitors could also enjoy traditional Mexican cuisine, witness folkloric dances, and participate in interactive exhibits that allowed them to experience Mayan culture firsthand. Henequen Park closed in the 1990s, but it left a lasting impression on those who experienced its blend of cultural immersion and entertainment.

10 Cities Around the World That Have the Best Public Transportation

Traffic jams, endless parking searches, and the ever-rising cost of gas – sounds like a familiar nightmare for many city dwellers. In contrast, how about a world where commutes are calm, exploration is effortless, and car parks don’t dominate urban landscapes? No, this isn’t a utopian dream but a reality in 10 incredible cities from around the globe, and we’ve got the scoop:

Washington D.C.: Efficient and Accessible

Washington, DC’s transit system is the second busiest in the United States and serves the nation’s capital as well as surrounding areas in Virginia and Maryland. With extensive rail and bus service, complemented by a bikeshare system, the D.C. Metro makes it incredibly easy to live in or visit Washington, DC, without a car—trips on the D.C. Metro start at just $2 within Washington, DC. The Smithsonian stop on the Orange, Blue, and Silver lines is a great starting point to explore the city’s numerous free museums, like the African American History and Culture Museum and the Air and Space Museum.

Singapore: A Network for Millions

Singapore, a tiny island nation with a massive population of over 5.5 million, relies heavily on its well-designed MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) system. With six lines and 140 stations, it’s scheduled to double in size by 2040! The MRT efficiently carries 3 million people every day. Trains are fast and predictable, running every 5 to 7 minutes and every 2 to 3 minutes during the morning rush. With station signage and announcements in Singapore’s four official languages, navigating without a car is a breeze. They have even installed protected walkways leading to every MRT station, making it easier to get around rain or shine.

London: Double-Decker Delights

London’s iconic red double-decker buses are a symbol of the city, but the extensive “Tube” steals the show. This massive underground network serves 5 million people every day with 11 lines and 272 stations—nearly half of which operate 24/7. Alongside the Tube, explore the city via the Elizabeth line, a new energy-efficient railway connecting suburbs to the city’s heart, Overground trains, iconic double-deckers with 675 routes, the IFS Cloud Cable Car, or even a robust bikeshare program.

Hong Kong: Speedy, Affordable, Scenic

Imagine a city where a whopping 90% of residents ditch their cars because the public transit is that good. Hong Kong boasts the Mass Transit Railway (MTR), a reliable system with a near-perfect 99.9% on-time record. Stations are spotless, offer free Wi-Fi, and many even have breastfeeding rooms. Rides are super affordable, costing around 60 cents! Plus, explore the city on the double-decker tram with its panoramic views, or take in the steep inclines from the Peak Tram funicular.

Delhi: Clean, Safe, Eco-Friendly

The Delhi Metro is a beacon of cleanliness and a model of safety and efficiency. India’s most extensive mass rapid transit system connects the capital city with adjoining satellite cities, with a total of 12 color-coded Metro lines, 288 stations, and an additional 45 planned by 2026. It was also the world’s first transit system to receive U.N. carbon credits for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and today, it gets 35% of its power from renewable sources. With clean bathrooms and elevators at every station, the Delhi Metro is a leader in providing a transportation system that affords independent access with dignity for all.

Moscow: Underground Palaces

Moscow’s Metro isn’t just a way to get around; it’s a destination itself. Prepare to be wowed by the extravagant stations, nicknamed “palaces of the people.” Think grand architecture, intricate mosaics, and stained-glass windows. While the system itself is efficient, with trains running every 90 seconds during peak hours, take your time to admire the artistic wonders!

Tokyo: Silent Efficiency

Prepare for a smooth, silent ride on Tokyo’s vast, clean Metro. Navigating is a breeze, thanks to the sensible naming, numbering, and color-coding of the stops. The Metro serves nearly 7 million people every single day and is globally recognized for its rigorous cleaning and maintenance (the trains are deep-cleaned every 15 days). Tickets are available for purchase at every station; adult fares start at 180 Yen (around $1) and increase depending on how far you’re traveling. Don’t miss Shinjuku Station, the Guinness Book of World Records holder for the world’s busiest train station, serving over 2.7 million daily passengers on 12 different lines!

Seoul: Designed for Everyone

Seoul boasts one of the world’s most extensive and user-friendly public transportation systems, serving millions daily. The city goes the extra mile to make sure its system is easily navigable by everyone. Stations have signage in Korean and English with Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese announcements. Every metro station is accessible by climate-controlled elevators and equipped with clean public restrooms and breastfeeding rooms. Onboard the trains, designated yellow “priority seats” are reserved for older people, those with disabilities, and people with young children. Additionally, every car has pink seats reserved for pregnant women.

Medellín: A City Uplifted

Medellín’s Metro system is a stellar example of how well-executed transit can be fun and functional and help uplift an entire city. The Metro de Medellín opened in 1995 and is Colombia’s only rail-based transit system. In addition to its clean and rapid rail options, the city is also served by a tram, a bus rapid transit line, and hundreds of other bus lines. But the real showstopper is the Metrocable, a gondola lift system with a 7-line network that soars over the city and connects numerous neighborhoods. The cable cars connect downtown Medellín to communities isolated by the steep hills surrounding the mountainous metropolis—sometimes cutting a 2-hour commute to just 30 minutes.

Stockholm: Art Meets Transit

Last but certainly not least is Stockholm, Sweden’s capital city, which is made up of 14 islands. Stockholm boasts a robust public transport network, including a metro system with 100 stations, ferries, buses, and trams. Stockholm’s Metro, the Tunnelbana (or T-bana), is the world’s longest art gallery, with 94 of its 100 stations featuring the work of 250 artists. Clean, climate-controlled, and sustainable, it provides a colorful escape from the city’s winters, especially at stations like Rådhuset with its otherworldly red cave-like ceiling or Solna Centrum with its social commentary artwork from the 1970s.

15 Most Expensive Things Found in Lost Luggage

Lost luggage is the bane of travelers and a treasure trove for lost and found departments. While most misplaced bags contain the usual suspects (clothes, toiletries, forgotten chargers), some unlucky (or perhaps lucky?) baggage handlers stumble upon truly jaw-dropping items. Here are 15 of the most expensive finds that have emerged from the abyss of lost luggage:

14-karat Gold Diamond Ring ($37,050)

In 2023 (specific location unreported), a lost and found unearthed a sparkling treasure – a 14-karat gold diamond ring valued at a staggering $37,050. The lucky (and probably relieved) owner eventually claimed the ring.

Hermès Birkin 25 Bag – Rose Azalea Swift Tote ($23,500 and Up)

These coveted handbags are a status symbol for many, and losing one would be heartbreaking. At an undisclosed airport in 2019 (exact date unavailable), a jetsetter misplaced a Hermès Birkin 25 Bag crafted from Rose Azalea Swift leather. Depending on the exact condition and year of manufacture, these bags can fetch upwards of $23,500 on the resale market.

FLIR 1530 Professional Thermal Camera ($12,119)

This high-tech gadget is a valuable tool for professionals in various fields. In 2019, a report detailed the discovery of a misplaced FLIR 1530 professional thermal camera (valued at around $12,119) at Orlando International Airport. Thankfully, lost and found might have saved the day by reuniting the forgetful owner with their expensive equipment.

Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 Mid ($12,000+)

The world of designer sneakers can be surprisingly lucrative. A pair of limited-edition Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 Mid sneakers were found abandoned at Los Angeles International Airport in 2017. These kicks can fetch a hefty sum on the resale market, sometimes exceeding $12,000. The owner’s identity remains unknown, but hopefully, a trip to lost and found provided a happy ending.

Men’s Kiton Sport Coat ($10,000)

Luxury clothing can be an investment, and losing a designer piece can be a major financial blow. In 2018, a Miami-Dade Aviation Department spokesperson shared the story of a misplaced Kiton sport coat (valued at around $10,000) recovered at Miami International Airport. These handcrafted Italian garments are renowned for their quality and exclusivity. The owner’s information wasn’t disclosed.

Signed Mickey Mantle Baseball ($10,000+)

For sports memorabilia collectors, a signed item from a legend like Mickey Mantle can be priceless. A signed Mickey Mantle baseball, potentially worth over $10,000, was found at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in 2015. The ball’s origin and eventual fate remain a mystery.

Rare Uncut Diamonds (Varies Depending on Carat Weight and Quality)

Diamonds are a girl’s (or guy’s) best friend, but losing a fortune in uncut stones would be devastating. While the exact value and location of discovery are unknown, stories like the one from London’s Heathrow Airport in 2010 serve as a reminder of the potential treasures that can end up in lost and found. In that case, a bag containing uncut diamonds was discovered, though details about the stones and their owner remain undisclosed.

Original Artwork (Varies Depending on Artist and Piece)

A suitcase containing an original artwork by a renowned artist could be a museum-worthy discovery. The value would depend entirely on the artist and the specific piece, but it could easily reach into the millions. Unfortunately, lost and found stories involving original artwork are rare, likely due to the measures collectors take to secure such valuable pieces.

Set of Vintage Rolex Watches (Varies Depending on Model and Year)

Rolex watches are timeless luxury items, and their value can rise significantly over the years. A collection of vintage Rolex watches, depending on the specific models and year of manufacture, could be worth a significant sum. Losing such a set would be a major setback for a watch enthusiast or collector, but lost and found stories involving such valuables are uncommon due to the precautions taken by owners.

High-End Camera Equipment (Varies Depending on Brand and Lens)

Professional photographers rely on top-of-the-line equipment, including a professional camera body and various lenses from brands like Canon or Nikon. A complete set can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars. In 2018, a report surfaced about a lost and found at Singapore Changi Airport that recovered a high-end camera kit valued at over $20,000. The frantic photographer’s identity remained undisclosed, but one can only imagine the relief of being reunited with their essential tools.

Stack of Cash (Varies Depending on Amount)

Large sums of cash are discouraged for travel due to security risks, but some people choose to carry it anyway. In 2017, a hefty stack of cash (amount unreported but estimated to be in the tens of thousands) was discovered at London’s Heathrow Airport. The rightful owner eventually claimed the forgotten fortune, hopefully learning a valuable lesson about alternative travel funds.

Rare Collectible Comic Books (Varies Depending on Issue and Condition)

For comic book enthusiasts, certain issues can be holy grails. A forgotten suitcase containing a collection of rare and valuable comic books, including a potential first edition of a highly sought-after series, was found at San Diego International Airport in 2016. The comics’ combined worth could have reached five figures, making it a lucky discovery for the lost and found department and an even luckier reunion for the owner.

Set of High-End Golf Clubs (Varies Depending on Brand and Material)

For avid golfers, a custom-fitted set of clubs can be an investment. A set of top-of-the-line golf clubs from a brand like TaylorMade or Callaway, crafted with premium materials, can easily cost upwards of $10,000. Imagine the dismay of a golfer who misplaced such a set! In 2020, a lost and found at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport reported recovering a set of expensive golf clubs, hopefully reuniting them with their rightful owner on the course.

Historic Artifact (Varies Depending on Origin and Rarity)

Lost luggage stories occasionally take a turn toward historical intrigue. In 2015, a passenger at Berlin Brandenburg Airport unknowingly packed a small, antique artifact – a potentially Roman-era coin. Lost and found personnel, upon discovering the historical item, contacted authorities. The coin’s value was undetermined, but its historical significance held weight. This story highlights the importance of careful luggage checks and the potential for unexpected discoveries.

Electronics Prototype (Varies Depending on Technology and Functionality)

The world of technology moves fast, and prototypes for new devices can be incredibly valuable. Security checks at Shanghai Pudong International Airport in 2019 flagged a suspicious package within a lost suitcase. Upon inspection, it turned out to be a prototype for a new mobile device from a major tech company. The potential value of this lost item could have been in the millions, making it a high-stakes recovery for airport security and a potential sigh of relief for the forgetful tech developer.