Do You Remember… Coin Operated Rides




Thanks Hawaii Seventy Two for this blog idea!


Do you remember the coin operated rides that were outside of Wigwam or maybe Star Market?  Or on the sidewalk of Gibson and GEM?


The ride that immediately comes to mind for me is the horse ride.


Coin Operated Horse


I remember my friend showing me the secret push lever thing to make it go faster.  It was just in between the stirrup and the back leg of the horse – so you could pretend you’re making the horse run faster by putting your leg back and kicking in the lever while yelling “Hyaaa, Hyaaa!”


Unfortunately, I was only able to sit on the horse and pretend as my dad couldn’t spare the quarter to feed the horse ride.


Remember the see-saw ride?  It had the clown head in the middle of the see-saw?  I remember Walrich Drug store in Kailua had one right outside by the pay phone.


Coin Operated See-Saw



Do you remember the rocket ship that you could sit inside and it goes up and down?


Coin Operated Rocket


Or the Space Ship?


Coin Operated Space Ship


Or the Helicopter




And finally, my favorite was the single seat Ferris Wheel


Coin Operated Ferris Wheel


Brings back some memories, eh?  Probably most of our parents didn’t have the money to spend for us to ride on these.  But we were happy just to run up to them and sit on them and pretend.  Or stand and envy the other lucky kids who did get to actually ride them.


How many of you MLCers are thinking of Keiki Land right now?


Do you remember these coin operated rides?  What other rides do you remember outside of your neighborhood market or drug store?  Keiki Land memories?


And remember MLCers – as much as we like to relive our youth – please think twice before jumping on the rides…

Coin Operated Ride


Here’s a picture I forgot I had on my phone – a coin operated carousel at Ala Moana center:


Coin Operated Carousel Ala Moana



For everyone who came out to the Hawaii Meals on Wheels event – Reminisce – thank you for supporting our elderly.  For those who didn’t make it – well, all I can say is that you missed out on a fun night!    Thank you to LS34, TRK, and Funkshun (and Darla Pestana) for donating your time and talents for our kupuna.

The next big event will close out the summer.  You don’t want to miss this one.  I’m sure it’s going to be a sell-out.  Email me for ticket info.

Endless Summer 03

34 Responses to “Do You Remember… Coin Operated Rides”

  1. sally says:

    …and Iolani is not even a Carnival. It’s a Family Fun Fair with keiki rides… but awesome food and Country Fair tent! Best place to buy produce! Think… Aloun Farms, ‘Nalo Farms, and a myriad of restaurants owned/operated by Iolani alum.

  2. M says:

    Guud morning MLCers ❗

  3. M says:

    Remember when almost every High School had carnivals. There’s only Punahou and Iolani now.

  4. losthawaiian says:

    Hey Rod, there’s another topic for you. Carnival and amusement park rides and games.

  5. Rodney says:

    Paula and I were reminding our daughters about how when they were young and we were driving on the freeway, passing the 50th State Fair or Farm Fair at the Aloha Stadium parking lot, we’d say “Look, there’s the Ice Palace! Have you ever been there?”. And they’d be looking the opposite way of the carnival rides and miss the whole thing. LOL

    What rotten parents, yeah?

  6. Masako says:

    I was at the movies once and a kid in front of me asked his dad for more soda and popcorn. Dad told him “sure, i’ll get some during the next commercial”. Smart answer!

  7. 4G says:

    @DIO – LOL! My parents probably could have given Ray’s parents lessons! 😉

  8. DIO says:

    4G: parental conspiracy theory? That reminds me of something I saw on that tv show, Everybody Loves Raymond. The mother on the show convinced Raymond and his older brother when they were kids, that when the ice cream man came driving through the neighborhood and was playing music, it was a sign that he had run out of ice cream. 😆 Maybe your parents had similar ideas. 😆

  9. 4G says:

    I have only a vague recollection of those rides. IIRC, I only rode those things a couple/three times. I remember the see-saw, car, and horse. I think I rode the horse. The see-saw seemed kind of silly to me since you could go to the playground and ride those for free. I don’t see see-saws on playgrounds anymore, though.

    I remember the rocket ship that was poised like a car. I don’t remember the “vertical” rocket ship that went up and down. The Ferris Wheel and Carousel came around well after my time.

    Keiki Land – I vaguely remember seeing it. I don’t think I ever actually went in it much less rode any of the rides. I have come to the conclusion that it was a grand conspiracy on the part of my parents so they wouldn’t have to tell us, “No.”. LOL. I do not hold this against them. 🙂

  10. LINDA KATO says:

    Good morning, MLCers ❗ Happy Tuesday ❗ 😀

    Have a great day ❗ 😀

  11. sally says:

    I used to drop off/ pick up my daughter off right at that area when she worked her old job. Never saw kids on it, only Japanese tourists lol.

  12. Kage says:

    @sally – yeah that clown seesaw was a bit disturbing, and I like clowns.

  13. Kage says:

    Good Morning.

    I remember the Ferris wheel with the single seat in front of Rexall in Wahiawa. I have pictures of it stashed somewhere deep in my closet at home.

  14. M says:

    Guud morning MLCers!

  15. NaPueo says:

    As I recall on some of the horse rides, pulling back on the reins made it go faster. That’s the exact opposite of a real horse.

  16. Rodney says:

    @dihudfan – dat’s da one!

  17. dihudfan says:

    @Rod… saw that carousel by the old slippah house…

  18. Rodney says:

    I added a late picture of a carousel at Ala Moana center. I just took this picture about a month ago. Dare I ride it?

  19. LINDA KATO says:

    Good evening MLCers ❗ Happy Monday ❗ 😀

    I recall all of those rides but had no quarters to ride them when we were little. As for our children, we’d let them ride once in awhile.

    I think sally is right about the person who invented these rides must not have children. It was difficult to pass these rides without all of our little ones having a ride. 😀

  20. sally says:

    All these stories of keiki throwing fits when ride time was over or denied makes me think that the person who invented these never had kids. LOL!!!

  21. Lowtone123 says:

    A number of years ago we went to the outlet stores in Waikele and they have a Dino character ride and my son, who was around four at the time screamed bloody murder when we told him we had to leave after riding it twice and we had no more quarters.

  22. volleymom2 says:

    I remember the rocket, ferris wheel, and horse. My brother would always ride the horse. I didnt know there was a lever to make the horse go faster! I still ride the carousels at amusement parks! Most recent was last summer at Tokyo Disney Sea!

  23. Rodney says:

    Hi Jali! Welcome to the blog and thanks for posting. And especially thank you for being good sports. 😉

  24. mows says:

    @M-I shake the ride now with my kids. It’s almost the same thing.

  25. Jali says:

    This was such a heartwarming article…it brings back fond memories of my childhood…Keiki Land was definitely my all time favorite place to visit…Talk about the innocence of childhood!

    Thanks Rodney, on such a great article!!!

  26. Kailuagirl says:

    Omigosh… Times in Kailua had one outside their door. It was that musical ferris wheel! LOL can’t believe my mom wold let me ride that at TEN years old when I asked her!!! ( hee hee, hee kind of too old at ten…)

  27. Masako says:

    Good morning! I would always ask to ride those and most of the time the answer was no. Once in a blue moon she would say yes and I would be so happy! My favorite was the horse. My friend had to let her kids ride those things every time they run into one, otherwise they have a fit…I wouldn’t have dared to do that!

    I was going thru my baby album yesterday and there was pictures of Keiki land. I think it was on my third birthday. I didn’t like the ferris wheel there, it was like a little cage and I felt like a monkey in there. The tanks and the boats was fun and of course the Merry Go round!

  28. sally says:

    Never rode in one of these 🙁 The kids who could ride looked like they were having so much fun!

    Except that clown one. Clowns creep me out LOL!

  29. M says:

    At DisneySea in Tokyo, Japan there’s a double decker Merry Go Round and of course we had ride the upper level.

  30. M says:

    Masako and I still ride the merry go round at Disney and carnivals.

  31. M says:

    Guud morning MLCers!
    I didn’t know about lever to make the horse go faster.
    I used to shake the horse with my kids sitting on it and they were happy with that.

  32. Mark'75 says:

    I remember riding them waaay back when! Its mostly my kids I remember more. My son would ask if he could ride. My daughter would just jump on and point to the coin slot. (gee)

  33. ankleBYTERS says:


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