04/02/04 - posted by Roy Thomas
I've been enjoying a re-reading of all the "re Playland Oddities". One of my favorites was the "Crazy House", (located across the alley from the Big Dipper entrance.) It was a walk-thru with angled floors and seemingly gravity-defying features, (water running "uphill", etc, etc. Also enjoyed the "Laff In The Dark"....the first "spook" ride I ever went on. It was located on the corner just N.E. of the Muni "B" streetcar end-of-the-line loop. The airplane ride was a rotating tower adjacent to the Chute the Chutes. You sat in little airplanes that circled on the end of cables as the spindle rotated. The prettiest ride was the "Red Bug". It was located on the Great Hwy at the extreme north end of Playland, just below the "fake cliffs". There was a little windmill just at the beginning of the cliffs that survived many years after the ride was gone. The ride consisted of little gasoline-engined cars that you drove around a fenced course. I don't think there was a center guide rail, (a la Disneyland), you actually had to steer the car. It was an "open" ground floor under a 2 or 3 story building, with some landscaping & a bridge that you crossed under & over. I'm not sure why it disappeared, my best guess is WWII and gasoline shortage.
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