Most amusement and theme parks feature some sort of games for extra revenue as part of their lineup of attractions while providing fun for park guests who get a chance to win a souvenir or prize. Games geared towards smaller children often provide a chance for the little ones to have the excitement of "playing" a game, with a guarantee of winning each time.
|When the Schwabinchen was re-introduced in the park as El Sombrero, a giant fiberglass hat was fabricated to change the theme of the ride from its original Bavarian motif to a Mexican inspired attraction. However, after a decorative giant fiberglass hat atop the ride proved to be too heavy for the aging ride to reliably operate, it was removed at the end of the 1997 season.
| With the giant sombrero (which was fabricated at some cost) just
lying around, a decision was made to repurpose its use on a small games
stand not far from the El Sombrero ride in the neighboring Bugs Bunny
Land kiddy section of the park. A plan to build a totally new game
stand called Freaky Frogs was tweaked to make use of the massive hat.
A small steel frame was erected to serve as a support structure which would be capped off by the massive sombrero as its roof. Originally intended to be named Speedy's Frog Popper and incorporate a 2-D image of Speedy Gonzales on the sombrero's brim, the stand opened in April 1998 without the themed sign and would remain without any type of signage during its years in Bugs Bunny Land.
|A fishing-type game
was originally installed under the sombrero where children lowered their
fishing line complete with plastic flies as bait into one of the many
multi-colored frogs each with their mouths opening and closing as they
rotated around a small pond. Each frog was secretly associated
with a specific size prize which was revealed to the fisherman once
their frog was caught.
This game was eventually removed and the stand modified with its front wall removed. Installed within the remaining half circular counter were several brightly colored, coin-operated massage chairs under the sombrero roof within the shade it provided. The massage chairs were a welcomed resting spot by parents and children alike.
At the close of the 2004 season Sombrero Games was removed along with the rest of Bugs Bunny Land to make way for The Golden Kingdom. The giant hat was hauled away as debris along with the rest of the leveled children's area.
|Original Spotlight: April 17, 2020; Updated: May 20, 2020. GAH Reference#: GAMES-1998-001