Friday, April 30, 2010

Jungle Island - Woodimals or Woodniks?

With the exception of April Fool's Day, Easter Day and Tax Day, April has turned out to be "Knott's Month" here at Meet The World. Today we have some souvenirs from Jungle Island which was located across Beach Boulevard at the Knott's Lagoon area.

I think the wooden creatures over on the Island were usually referred to as Woodimals, but this ticket that I saved from childhood lists them as Woodniks. I wonder when the name change occurred? I like that tag line, "Where Adults Enjoy Exploring and Children Love to Play." Sounds like a Walt Disney philosophy, "Where children and adults can have fun together."

Here are two postcards featuring the Island. The first one shows the covered bridge at the entrance. On the far left is a Woodnik/Woodimal that looks like it could have been related to the original Ghost Town "Catawampus" (not the one that resides there today.)

In the postcard below, that little girl is riding a Woodnick rocking horse that would spit water out of it's mouth when you rocked forward.

This next pic is from an amateur slide. Those kids are riding on a Woodnik Merry-Go-Round.

I miss Jungle Island and the entire Knott's Lagoon Area! (I'll try and make this my last Knott's post for a while!)


Davelandweb said...

Great to see this stuff now that I've actually been there!

outsidetheberm said...

The 'Woodnik' name seems to have been used in the early days before evolving to 'Woodimal'. And yes, a few of those critters still survive ;)

Knott's posts are always welcome. Thanks for this.

Major Pepperidge said...

Funny, I think my brother still has a Jungle Island ticket, and I'm almost sure they are referred to as "Woodimals". I wish I could find it to make sure!

Anyway, this is the first time I've seen "Woodniks" on any Knott's item, so... Cool!

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone! I was waxing nostalgic for my family's old place and came across this blog! My grandfather, Forrest L. Morrow invented the "woodimal" in Elgin, IL and my family all moved to Buena Park to create Jungle Island in 1964 at Mr. Walter Knott's invitation. My grandparents and parents created Jungle Island (with a lot of help of course!) and I worked there as a teenager from 1964-1972. Lots of memories!

Anyway, my grandfather and my mom (Evalee Webb) both passed in 1974 and my dad James F. Webb carried on until 1983 before retiring. The term "woodniks" came about because my dad kept creating these wooden creatures and he needed to distinguish those from the much earlier pieces created by my grandfather (his father in law.

After my dad retired, the place became a picnic area for parties, etc. but all of the woodimals/woodniks are long gone. :(

Thanks for your post!

John Webb

Anonymous said...

PS. that is my mother in the green outfit and straw hat - 2nd to last pic. Evalee Webb,
1913-1974. Miss you mom!

Thanks again for posting!

John Webb

TokyoMagic! said...

John, thank you so much for commenting and clearing that up! Wow, so you worked there from '64-'72. I bet you do have a lot of wonderful memories! If you ever feel like sharing any of them, feel free to leave more comments here! Thanks again, for explaining the difference between "Woodimals" and "Woodniks"!

- TokyoMagic!

Hendel Thistletop said...

Just for fun, some of us have started a fan club for the lone remaining Woodnik, the famous Catawampus. said...

I am apart of a group of fans of the catawampus at knotts I have been looking for a jungle island ticket for some time now any one know where I can get one or that has one for sale im with the the catawampers

TokyoMagic! said...,

There is a current listing on ebay for a Jungle Island ticket:

And there is a separate ebay listing for a Jungle Island brochure and map:

Hendel Thistletop said...

John Webb, if you happen to see this (or Admin, if you know how to contact him) I'd *love* to talk with you a bit about your family's history with Jungle Island and the Woodniks, especially anything you might know about your grandfather working on the Catawampus creature in Ghost Town. I can be reached as or through the Catawampers web page at