The Original Kiddie Kingdom from 1976
Click on any of the attractions below for more information.
|Kiddie Kingdom was
a replacement for Great Adventure's original childrens area,
Ride-A-Rama. When the park's entrance was moved for the 1976 season, the
children's area was relocated to the former entrance plaza area with new
attractions as well as several relocated from Ride-A-Rama.
The new Kiddie Kingdom offered ten attractions in a small area where children (and their parents) could easily move between adventures. The area was landscaped, but offered little shade with the lack of trees in what had been the tram circle at the original park entrance.
|The Clown Bounce was a new attraction that was added as part of Kiddie Kingdom in 1976 where it remained for just two more seasons. The Clown Bounce was similar to the Moon Bounce that had opened with Ride-A-Rama in 1974, but was more whimsically designed to look like a giant clown's head with hat.
The Great Cruiser was originally known as the Roundabout Boats as part of the Ride-A-Rama children's area when Great Adventure opened in 1974. The boat ride was relocated to Kiddie Kingdom in 1976 and remained there through many name and theme changes until 2004 when Bugs Bunny Land was demolished to make way for the Golden Kingdom.
|The Great Race was a brand new attraction that was added in 1976 as part of the new Kiddie Kingdom area. The scaled down bumper car ride was one of the most popular attractions in the children's area. The ride was replaced with the Crazy Cars kids bumper car ride in 1979.
|The Jackson 500 was one of the two "umbrella rides" that opened as part of the Ride-A-Rama area of Great Adventure that opened with the park in 1974 where it was known as "Cars, Cars". The ride was a simple circular parade of vehicles that delighted the youngest guests in Kiddie Kingdom with its lights and sounds. The ride continued operating under varying names through the closure of Bugs Bunny Land in 2004.
|The Kiddie Climb was Great Adventure's first play structure and was added with the new Kiddie Kingdom in 1976. The play area featured climbing elements and a suspension bridge offering a place for kids to burn off the sugar they had consumed throughout the day at the park. The Kiddie Climb was removed by 1984 when the area was reimagined as Shirt Tales Land which introduced new play elements.
|The Lady Bug ride was one of the new attractions added as part of the new Kiddie Kingdom in 1976. The ride continued to operate under varying names as Kiddie Kingdom transformed with new themes and characters through the years. The ride was one of the few that survived the removal of Bugs Bunny Land in 2004, taking up a new name and theme in the Golden Kingdom in 2005. The ride was removed in 2009 but returned as part of Safari Kids in 2011 and is the oldest operating kiddie ride in the park today.
|Pet-A-Pet was Great Adventure's second petting zoo area, replacing the original Happy Feeling area of the park which had been removed when the park's entrance was relocated for the 1976 season. Pet-A-Pet closed after two seasons but was reintroduced in 1979. The area was renamed with the retheme of Kiddie Kingdom in 1984 and again in 1985 and closed at the end of 1987 when the area became Bugs Bunny Land.
|The Red Baron was one of the new attractions introduced with Kiddie Kingdom in 1976. The ride continued to operate in the children's area with changes in name and theme right through the closure of Bugs Bunny Land at the end of the 2004 season. The ride was then moved to The Great Escape park in upstate New York.
|The Screamer was the first roller coaster Great Adventure introduced that was geared specifically towards kids. The small coaster opened in 1976 as part of the new Kiddie Kingdom and was renamed Lil' Thunder in 1979 when its big new neighbor Rolling Thunder opened. The ride was removed at the end of 1983 when the children's area was redesigned as Shirt Tales Land for the 1984 season.
|The Speed Racers was the second of two "umbrella rides" that opened as part of the Ride-A-Rama area of Great Adventure that opened with the park in 1974 where it was known as "Dune Buggies". The ride was a simple circular parade of vehicles that delighted the youngest guests in Kiddie Kingdom with its lights and sounds. The ride continued operating under varying names through the closure of Bugs Bunny Land in 2004.
|The Astro Liner was a short lived attraction that was only in Kiddie Kingdom for the 1978 season. The ride was a portable rocket simulator ride that offered mild thrills to its passengers as they took a journey into space. The ride stood at what had been the entrance to the Pet-A-Pet area which was removed for that season.
|The 1979 season saw
some big changes in Kiddie Kingdom. Three new rides were added with the
introduction of the Lil' Big Wheel, the Kiddie Carousel, and the Kiddie
Swings. These rides would continue to be favorites for many seasons to
come and through the multiple changes in names and themes of the
The Pet-A-Pet area was reintroduced in 1979 as well, bringing back the beloved petting zoo.
Another new attraction for 1979 was the Crazy Cars which replaced the Great Race bumper cars. Why the ride was replaced is unknown at this time, but it was basically a swap out of one ride to another.
The final addition to Kiddie Kingdom was an odd one with the Super Sidewinder being relocated from just outside Kiddie Kingdom to the rear of the children's land.
|THE MISPLACED SUPER SIDEWINDER MYSTERY
The choice to relocate Super Sidewinder into
Kiddie Kingdom was an odd one. The ride which was much more of an adult
ride was moved when the park expanded for Rolling Thunder and the new
Hernando's Hideaway area. It's almost like it was an afterthought and
the park just decided to use the open space at the edge of the parking
lot for the new ride pad, but the location inside the children's area
meant limited numbers of guests actually discovered it. The high capacity ride rarely
drew lines with its out of the way location.
|The 1982 season saw another influx of new attractions for Kiddie Kingdom with the addition of the Kings Sandbox play area and the Kiddie Scrambler. The Kings Sandbox offered more traditional playground equipment allowing kids to get active. Also in the Kings Sandbox, a new puppet theater was added with the Foghorn Follies ship. The Kiddie Scrambler was part of the continuing tradition of adding kid sized versions of adult rides. The ride was located near the Super Sidewinder, another variation of the Scrambler ride.
|The 1983 season was the last year that the "Kiddie Kingdom" named existed and the area operated without being tied to a family of commercial characters like the Shirt Tales or Looney Tunes gang. For the 1984 season the area would become Shirt Tales Land for only one season before being quickly rethemed as Looney Tunes Land in 1985 and then Bugs Bunny Land in 1988 which operated through 2004. The area would be rebuilt as the Golden Kingdom in 2005. That elaborate area included a new children's section named Balin's Jungleland which did see the continued operation of four of the former area's kiddie rides.
|KIDDIE KINGDOM UNIFORMS
The uniforms of Kiddie Kingdom were originally reminiscent of 1970's TV show host costumes. The overalls were replaced with frillier costumes, and later were replaced with standard ride uniforms as the seasons progressed.