Octopus

Aerial view of Octopus, circa 1954
View of the Octopus from atop the Ferris Wheel, circa 1954.

Opened: 8 May 1954
Closed: ca. 1980-82
Manufactured By: Eyerly Aircraft – Salem, Oregon
Ride Model: Octopus
Number Of Tubs: 16
Ride Capacity: 32 (2 riders per tub)

After a fire swept across the west side of Lagoon’s midway in November 1953, the park’s management worked quickly to rebuild the park in time for the next season. The “New Lagoon” opened on May 8th with several new rides and attractions. Among the new rides were the Tilt-A-Whirl, Spook House and three Eyerly rides: Rock-O-Plane, Roll-O-Plane and Octopus.

Aerial view of Octopus in its original location. Photo courtesy of Deseret News
The New Midway, circa 1954
1954 postcard showing the Octopus next to the Spook House (left).

The Octopus was first installed near the west entrance, but wouldn’t have been there for much more than a year. A new Fun House began construction in that spot in 1955 and was completed two years later. Octopus was moved to a spot south of the Carousel and east of Roller Coaster as seen in this short film clip from  1970.¹

Lagoon’s Octopus was somewhat unique because it had two tubs at the end of each arm instead of one like most models. Here’s what one former employee remembers of the ride:

“…the Octopus was the best ‘puker’ on the park. The summer I worked there, ride operators kept a running tally with little hash marks indicating how many people had come to grief.”

Octopus in its second location south of Carousel, some time around the 1960s. Photo courtesy of Deseret News

By 1972 the Octopus moved southward, taking the place of the old Whip ride and creating more space on the Midway between it and the Carousel.

1972 aerial view showing the Octopus in its third location. Photo courtesy of Deseret News
Octopus, 1973
Octopus in 1973. Photo: The JetStar2 Archive

Octopus was removed some time in the early ’80s as the Carousel Stage became more popular. Today the Carousel Theater sits on part of the same space where Octopus was last located.

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NOTES

1. From the DVD Parks From The Past, Volume I available from Sharpshooters Productions. Used with permission.

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LINKS

Eyerly Aircraft

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SOURCES

Lagoon Resort Slates Opening Saturday With New Rides, Games. Deseret News, 5 May 1954.

Deseret News 107 Soon – You’re Invited To Party. Deseret News, 15 May 1957.

Deseret News Birthday Set Wednesday. Deseret News, 31 May 1957.

RE: jetstar2.8m.com. Email message to author, 25 May 2004.

PS: Octopus. Email message to author, 17 Oct 2010.

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