In the 1970's the new trend in theme parks was to introduce elaborate climbing structures as part of children's areas with parks like Sesame Place leading the way. Over time more elaborate play equipment was introduced in theme parks around the world, replacing more traditional sandbox and standard playground areas. The trend continued as more elaborate themed structures were created.
|Last update to this page: June 1, 2012 (Original Publication)
|The Cub's Corner play area was a smaller version of the towers of the Tigerland Treehouse designed for the youngest park guests. The lower tower with its smaller steps and slides were designed to appeal to the pre-school crowd. The tower was colorful and full of really unique elements that made it special.
|For even younger guests, a set of soft play elements including tiny slides was built right next to the tower. The play elements were colorful fun shapes made of a soft vinyl material and surrounded with a soft play surface. All of the pieces were set under a sun shade keeping them cool enough to play on even on the hottest, sunniest days.
|The tower that was
the heart of the Cub's Corner play area was built using a tubular steel
framework to create the structure, and finished with decorative
fiberglass pieces. Those fiberglass parts included a domed roof designed
to look like thatching and corner columns designed to resemble parts of
an ancient temple. These were identical to the roof and columns used on
the adjacent Tigerland Treehouse though scaled down for the smaller
The dominant feature of the tower was the four fiberglass tiger heads on each side of the tower, with the names and markings of the corresponding tigers in the neighboring Temple of the Tiger.
|The play elements of Cub's Corner were really unique, with a telescope, bongo drums and even a gong featuring the Golden Kingdom logo all being featured on the upper deck. The lower level featured a small slide as well as an area of punching bags. The whole structure was designed to encourage exploration and movement through fun and interactive experiences.
|The Cub's Corner area
was designed to fit seamlessly into the Golden Kingdom's pathways, like
an ancient temple emerging from the thick jungle vegetation.
One of the most unique features of Cub's Corner was the soft play elements designed for the use of the very youngest of guests. The tree, elephant, and tiger soft sculptures were cute and fun, and offered a place for toddlers to play safely.
|Despite the beauty of the Golden Kingdom and Balin's Jungleland, the park had four children's areas, which created much more capacity than necessary. Though the play elements like Cub's Corner were unique, families put a higher priority on rides, and the rides in the other children's areas offered a true family experience where parents and children could ride together. The tough decision was made to close the Balin's Jungleland area and use the space for future development.
|Elements from Cubs Corner relocated to
Safari Exploration Station site:
|After the removal of Cub's Corner the soft play elements reappeared in the Wild Safari hospitality area.