Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Remembering Busch Gardens

(Image from Kenneth A. Larson via Places Earth)

I do remember Busch Gardens in Van Nuys. A bit of tropical/jungle paradise in the middle of a brewery. Now all that's left is the brewery (and the overpowering smell of hops malt), but it used to have exotic birds, tours, a tram (the tracks are still there) and, of course free beer. Did I taste the free beer as an 8-year-old. It was the '70s, so I'll leave the answer to you.

(Discovered via L.A. Observed), this guy has virtually re-created Busch Gardens and other amusement parks -- past, present and future -- in an Atari game program called Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 .

There's a disclaimer on his site: You may not host the files at your site. They are only available here. So click to see what Busch Gardens would look like in a video game.

Here's a quote from the text:

Most of Busch Gardens Van Nuys was scenery and drinking lots of low cost, high quality Beer!

Not so sure about "high quality," but we'll let that pass.

Note: Hops/malt controversy addressed in the comments here and on The Valley Observed, Kevin Roderick's revamped companion to L.A. Observed. Suffice it to say, it kinda smells like urine.


Anonymous said...

For the last time, it's not HOPS, it's MALT you smell from the brewery. Bud doesn't contain enough hop leaves to roll your own cigarette with. You smell the boiling wort, giving primarily malt aroma.

sebar said...

Thanks for the recognition. I have been an RCT3 fan for a long time and one of the RCT3 community leaders who has had great influence on Atari and Frontier on their Game/Modeling Program. Busch Gardens was a lot of work and fun. Unfortunately due to the certian limitations within the game it isn't nearly as accurate as I would have liked.

The main problems were the rides. There currently are no actual Jungle Cruise boats and the water transports in the game expansion entitled "Soaked" does not allow a tracked path to be added. Also the motorboats for the bay area of the park had to be substituted with bumper boats.

But overall it comes pretty close to what I set out to do originally.

As you read this, my two remaining projects are Marineland of the Pacific and also Pacific Ocean Park, probably my largest and most ambitious project. After that I should be done with the historic socal parks series.

Just glad to give back I guess, hope you all enjoy the parks if you do get roller coaster tycoon 3. Its a great game and not only for kids but adults as well. It becomes extremely addicting as you get into it, and with the custom scenery by the community, it only greatly enhances the experience.

Thanks again.

"Mark Paul" Sebar
Sebar Literary Network

"Mark Paul" Sebar said...

Pacific Ocean Park is now completed for RCT3 and you to visit. The main site is here at

There were some compromises because of rides or scenery not available. But overall its pretty close to the original. The pictures are available and you can download the park for free as well.

Working in Van Nuys said...

It doesn't smell like urine, it smells like french fries to me... although the aroma is not very appetizing.