43 years have passed since Warner Brothers Jungle Habitat© closed its gates for the last time. After all this time, people still fondly remember this special place in West Milford, NJ. Take a step back to a groovier time, when safari animals roamed (kinda) wild in the woods of West Milford. Remember, animals always have the right of way. Maintain a speed limit of 10 mph and stay to the right if you're moving slowly! While prowling along the Jungle trails, keep your car radio tuned to station W-I-L-D, 640 on the AM dial so you can hear about what you're seeing.
This covered van was used for special group tours and V.I.P.s. It even had air conditioning; a rare treat for 1972.
All visitors to the Habitat received a cassette tape and a cassette player upon entering the park. This is an audio file of the contents of that cassette. Best cassingle ever!
In May of 2014 we put the call out to find the missing Jungle Habitat entry way sign. Within one week and 1,400 hits you delivered! This sign was made after the first season the park opened. The metal sign which initially graced the entryway was replaced. The metal sign is only visible in the Warner Brothers press film from opening season (and countless family photos from the summer of 1972). The metal one has also been found. This plywood gem was taken by a group of Ringwood hooligans who remain my favorite archivists of local history.
To answer the question, "How's it hanging?"
The sign comes out once a year for special occasions, here it is in its native state. We finally learned the whereabouts of the metal sign! It has taken many years and many questions, but now we know! Photos are coming soon with a blog post on the story.
If you have a good story, hit the CONTACT US page and start typing!
I've been told I talk too much, so this is the spot to catch up on what's new in written form. We welcome your comments and suggestions for future topics. You're going to get a random smattering of silliness, so be prepared. 90% history, 10% fun. Upcoming events on the Jungle Habitat property are on the "Habitat Happenings" page. Link to it here
The upper parking lot today. Where are all of those cars? It was built to have a 4,000 car capacity.
I wanted to give credit to some of the people who have helped me move this forward in one way or another. Gathering photos, information and memorabilia for a park that closed almost 40 years ago is a collaborative (and daunting!) process. While there are too many contributors to list all by name, my sincere thanks and gratitude go out to everyone.
Here are a few deserving special recognition:
Mr. Rafael de la Sierra - Vice President of Warner Brothers Jungle Habitat & Chairman, President and Chief Executive of the Cosmos Soccer Club.
The de la Sierra family for welcoming me to discuss the park's history.
The Township of West Milford Planning Board for humoring my repeat OPRA data requests.
The Township of West Milford Police Department for solving the security related mysteries.
The West Milford Museum and its dedicated staff for keeping the Habitat (and other things West Milford) alive.
Cousin Phil for his digital mixology
The Computer Whisperer for helping me decipher all of those damned PDFs!
Harry Applegate - the official Six Flags historian/site admin of the Great Adventure History page for seeking out information that has long since evaporated into thin air. I appreciate your efforts!