The Original Balin's Jungleland from 2005
Click on any of the attractions below for more information.
To replace Bugs Bunny Land as part of the new Golden Kingdom area of the park, an entirely new children's area was built in 2005- Balin's Jungleland. Balin's incorporated traditional kids rides (three of which were formerly part of Bugs Bunny Land) along with interactive play structures, a water play area, and a new children's ride, all in a lushly themed jungle area. The focus of the new area was towards the park's youngest guests, with most of the attractions geared towards toddlers.
|Last update to this page: June 1, 2012 (Original Publication)
Monkey Around was originally the children's swing ride (known by many
names over time) from Bugs Bunny Land.
The generic ride which could be found in many parks and even fairs was given an elaborate retheme with tropical leaf design panels at the base, scenic panels of jungle and mountains on the top, and a bamboo look for the canopy.
The real standout of the new theme elements was the crown of monkeys and bunches of bananas at the top of the ride.
Raja's Rickshaws was originally the Kiddie Scrambler ride known by many names over the years as part of Bugs Bunny Land.
This miniature Scrambler ride went from being very generic to becoming a highly themed children's ride. The ride cars were dressed up with rattan style coverings and wheels and yolks to make them resemble rickshaws.
The upper arms of the ride were fitted with beautiful peacocks to complete the transformation to the new theme.
The Bugaboo was a long time favorite ride as part of Bugs Bunny Land and the former Kiddie Kingdom that came to Balin's Jungleland with a colorful new look.
The ride vehicles were painted in bright new colors and the center of the ride was fitted with an oversized flower as part of the makeover, making it stand out in the green jungle foliage.
The Tigerland Treehouse was the elaborate centerpiece of the Balin's Jungleland area, rising to the height of the surrounding trees.
The Treehouse was the larger of two play structures, geared towards the older children with lots of levels to explore and climb and a variety of bridges and slides.
Introduced as part of Bugs Bunny Land in 1988, the Bugs Bunny Land Railway was reconfigured and rethemed as part of the new children's area as the Jungleland Express.
The ride was designed to wind around the base of the Tigerland Treehouse including an elaborate station structure. The station was never completed and the ride was delayed in opening due to access issues for the Treehouse tower.
The Royal Elephants ride was moved to the park for the new Balin's Jungleland area, relocated from the Great Escape park in Lake George, New York.
The off the shelf "Jumbo" ride was a good fit for the new themed section of the park, and was dressed up with Indian style themed elements to further make it fit the area.
Splashwater Oasis was the second water play area in the park when it was introduced in 2005, improving upon the Koala Kanyon area of the park that had been part of Adventure Rivers in 1991.
As part of the new Balin's Jungleland area, Splashwater Oasis' play elements were designed to resemble an Indian temple.
Cubs Corner was a toddler play structure, with smaller slides than the neighboring Tigerland Treehouse. The structure featured giant tiger heads on all four sides, originally featuring name plates of the four tiger cubs that had been part of the Temple of the Tiger.
Along with the main structure, two additional small slides which were made of soft material were built alongside and catered to the very youngest guests with its tiny slides and padding.
|Balin's Jungleland Publicity Materials
|Though it was just one aspect of the elaborately themed Golden Kingdom, Balin's Jungleland was trumpeted as being a big part of the new area that was designed to cater to guests of all ages. Families who had been coming to the park for years and remembered Bugs Bunny Land were glad to have a new children's area to replace the section of the park that their children knew and loved.
The overall look of Balin's Jungleland was rustic, with rough hewn logs
as the fences and signs. Every aspect of the newly themed section was
designed to contribute to the overall theme including the signs and
Initially the greenery of the area was very sparse, but the fast growing plants like bamboo and ornamental grasses filled in nicely and created the true jungle look that the designers were trying to achieve.
The beautifully themed area of the park was an immediate hit with
families. Despite the best efforts of the park, there were difficulties
getting the Jungleland Express running since it was determined that the
Tigerland Treehouse needed a second exit point which required crossing
the electrified tracks.
In later seasons, mechanical upgrades to the Royal Elephants ride lead to its closure for an extended period.
In 2009, the toddler rides were closed and temporarily removed from the park but were reintroduced quickly after guest outcry, though minus the Bugaboo ride.
Balin's Jungleland Changes Through the Years
Despite the beauty of the Balin's section, the park had four children's
areas, two of which were newer. The rides and attractions in those other
areas were much more family friendly, allowing parents to ride with
their children rather than let them ride on their own.
The changing needs of the park led to the decision to close Balin's Jungleland for the 2011 season. The area was slated for the expansion of the Safari Discoveries attraction as well as for future developments.
|FRIGHT FEST'S PROJECT XI MORTUARY MANOR
With Balin's Jungleland closed, the area was ripe for building a Fright
Fest attraction, and the Mortuary Manor walkthrough was created. The
central location in the park made it an ideal location for a Fright Fest