Facts About Busch Gardens Van Nuys

Life/Recreation - General
By: dptstretch    
01-Jan-2014

Introduction:Busch Gardens operated in Van Nuys, California from 1966 until 1979. A theme park that no longer exists makes for some interesting memories.

  • 01

    In the Beginning

    August Busch Jr. Bought a 17 acre cabbage patch adjacent to to brewery in in 1966 and soon there was a monorail that went around the facility and gave the visitors a view of the brewing process.

  • 02

    Cost of Admission

    Some say it was free in the beginning, but by 1972 there was a five acre expansion and several improvements to the property and the price of admission was $1.75. This price would triple over the next seven years.

  • 03

    For the Birds

    One of the features of Busch Gardens was that they had a large bird collection and featured bird shows, bird focused tours, and educational opportunities. Their collection included flamingos, toucans, storks, swans, parrots, and several others. The collection was more than 1,000 birds in all.

  • 04

    For the Rides

    The place would never compete with Disneyland or Knott's Berry Farm, but did have the monorail and also added a boat ride, a log ride, and bumper cars. While the park has closed, remnants of the monorail can still be seen from the 405 freeway that runs adjacent to the brewery.

  • 05

    For the Beer

    Let's make no mistake about it...August Busch was not in the theme park business. The park was an extension of the brewery and patrons who were of legal drinking age were also entitled to two 10 ounces glasses of beer as part of their admission.




Final Thoughts

The free beer didn't stop with park patrons--the employees at the brewery also had beer breaks written into there contracts until 1986. In 1982 an employee left the property and ran over a pedestrian and that was the beginning of the end to the free beer. The park closed briefly in 1976 or 1977 and reopened for a short period before finally closing for good in 1979. Busch had other theme parks and some of the assets were transferred...it is rumored that some of the birds escaped and there are parrot sightings in the area that seem to support that rumor.




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