In the early sixties, the very first suspended monorail system in the United States was built at Santa's Village in Skyforest, California. The Bumblebee Monorail gave guests an aerial view of the park while riding in suspended bee-shaped vehicles.
The map below, shows the monorail route. I've highlighted the path in yellow since it didn't show up very well in the scan.
Here we see a monorail car traveling past the spinning Christmas Tree Ride.
Well, today the Christmas Tree Ride is long gone. You can see the old railing that used to surround it in the photo below. The Bumblebee Monorail however, is still standing....cars, track, station and all! This shot was taken from pretty much the same angle as the one above....just several yards further back. How sad is this photo? Look away if you want to, because it only gets worse from here!
Here's a better shot of the station. The piece of track on the right is a spur that leads to a storage area. The track outside of the station does not seem very high compared to the first two vintage photos. I wonder if there was originally some kind of fencing in this area to keep guests from being hit by the cars?
This car is in a perpetual state of "entering" the station.
Step right up to the beehive-shaped ticket booth to buy your monorail ticket!
There are more cars parked on the spur track in the storage area.
These two cars have been left hanging high above another section of the park.
The track layout can be seen in this aerial view.
Zooming in closer, we can see the station and the beehive ticket booth. Also, if you look just to the left of the station, you can see one of the cars suspended among the trees.
Once again, I will leave you with a happier image of the park during it's glory days. If you compare this photo of the Christmas Tree Ride to the other one, you will notice that many of the decorations were removed from the tree. Also, the ride vehicles lost their detailed paint jobs at some point.
Tune in tomorrow as we venture deeper into the remnants of Santa's Village!
Santa Cruz Beach & Boardwalk, CA
4 hours ago