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.

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 the 1970s¹.

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 would have been removed sometime in the early ’80s when the area was developed into the Carousel Plaza which exists today. Currently, the Carousel Theater sits in roughly the same space where Octopus had been for most of its time at Lagoon.

The New Midway, circa 1954
This postcard shows the Spook House, Octopus and Patio Gardens, circa 1954.
Octopus, 1973
Octopus near the Carousel, 1973. Photo: The JetStar2 Archive

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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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An ongoing exploration of Lagoon's past