Treasureland was a pirate themed attraction located on Busch Boulevard in Tampa, just down the street from Busch Gardens, that existed in the mid-sixties to early seventies.
The main part of the attraction was a Pirates of the Caribbean like dark ride. Visitors boarded a continuously moving chain of "boats" (really wheeled, tracked cars rolling on the quite dry floor) at the entrance which carried them past the various dioramas that made up the show. We followed the progress of a band of pirates as they pillaged and looted a town, got drunk, and then sailed away -- only to be attacked by another ship. After a ship to ship cannon battle the ride ended with a simulated underwater scene of the sunken ship as mermaids and various undersea creatures played with the pirates treasure.
The pirate figures themselves were fairly stiff and mannequin like, with their animation being strictly store window, single repetitive motions. Still, there were a few memorable scenes, such as a pirate holding up a comrade's shirt and looking through the cannonball size hole that went right through it, as well as the "underwater" finale.
At the end of the ride was a small museum and gift shop, and a theater where the story of Tampa's favorite legendary pirate, Jose Gaspar, was acted out several times a day.
Return To Florida's Lost Tourist Attractions, a site celebrating the now defunct tourist attractions of the Sunshine State. The attraction profiled on this page no longer exists.|
Postcard from the author's collection.
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