Happy Feeling at Great Adventure           

One of the staples of almost every theme park and amusement park built during the 1970's was the petting zoo, and Great Adventure was no exception, with the Happy Feeling area opening with the park and offering an array of tame animals which could be fed and petted.


One of the original concepts for Great Adventure's "Over the Rainbow" area of the park was a petting zoo area described as an "Animal touching and feeding area with more than 400 baby deer and llama plus roosters, sheep, rabbits, mice, giant tortoises, goats, cockatoos, macaws and parrots and other exotic birds" but with the revisions to the plans to fit budgetary and time constraints the idea was incorporated as the Happy Feeling section of the Enchanted Forest.

Happy Feeling was located in the area of the park that in later years would become part of Old Country.

The Happy Feeling area was a favorite for young children who got up close and personal experiences feeding the animals with animal feed available in stale ice cream cones which could then be fed to the animals when all the pellets were gone.

Watch a home movie of
Happy Feeling:

One of the animal features of Happy Feeling was the Snake House which featured giant and exotic snakes behind glass windows.

For the 1976 season the park's entrance was moved to the area that had been home to the Antique Cars ride which was adjacent to Happy Feeling.

With the move of the Front Gate the new Kiddie Kingdom children's section was constructed on the original Front Gate area, which included a petting zoo to replace Happy Feeling.

The former Happy Feeling area was eventually turned into Old Country, with the former Snake House being turned into The Mad Hatter hat shop which later became a game and finally a tattoo stand until Old Country was closed at the end of the 2007 season.   The original tall rectangular windows were still in place on the back side of the building all through its existence.
Happy Feeling Information
Of Animals:
  • -75 Deer (Fallow and a few tame White Tail)
  • -50 Goats (10 of which were Cameroon Goats)
  • -3 Macaws
  • -6 Llamas
  • -10 Pythons, and 7 African Rock Pythons
  • -30 Chickens and assorted Ducks
  Water Feature: A pond about 40 ft. long and 25 ft wide.
In the middle there was an island with trees
where the Macaws stayed in the warm weather.
  Snake Display: The snake house was the only hands-off display
and featured the collection of pythons safely
behind glass in a unique octagonal building.
  Animal Feeding: A small stand which sold Rye Crisp type crackers
and Ice Cream Cones filled with animal feed.
Eventually the feeding was limited as the animals
became more aggressive with guests.
  Remnants: The Snake House was reused as a shop as part
of the Old Country section of the park.
Several of the Happy Feeling animals were
relocated to the Pet-A-Pet area of the new
Kiddie Kingdom area of the park.