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Reference Data.
Corporate Ownership.
Anheuser-Busch Companies.
1966-1979

Under hung monorail
Built by Arrow Development Company. 1

Length
3,500 feet

Equipment
7 pars of cars

1. Arrow development is best known for the invention of the modern roller coaster using tube rails. They also built the cars for Disneyland's Mr, Toad’s Wild Ride.

Last Updated: May 4, 2016

Anheuser-Busch Skyrail.

Busch Gardens, Van Nuys was one of a series of beer gardens and amusement parks built the Anheuser-Busch family.1 The park was located next to the Anheuser-Busch brewery, which sat along the tracks of the Southern Pacific. The brewery received both grain and bottles via rail, and the in plant trackage included a track (with steam and electrical connections) for August A. Busch III’s 88-foot private streamlined railcar the Adolphus.

The Skyrail monorail provided the brewery tour, snaking its way between and even into buildings, allowing guest a view of the brewing and packaging process though glass windows. Ed McMahon narrated the recorded tour.

The Skyrail ride ended in the 17 acre beer garden, with tropical birds2, a boat ride, and five beer pavilions.3 Initially admission was free, but there was a fee for parking and the boat ride. The park closed briefly in 1976, then re-opened as a expanded facility with additional rides and an entrance fee. The park and monorail closed in 1979.


Revised: May 4, 2016.
1. The other parks are/were Pasadena, 1905 to 1937, Tampa Fl, 1959 to present (Tampa also had a monorail since removed), Houston TX, 1971 to 1973 (Houston had a 2’ gauge railroad) and Williamsburg VA, 1975 to present (at one time Williamsburg had a monorail named “Eagle One” which took visitors from the park to tour the brewery.) The parks at Tampa and Williamsburg are no longer associated with Anheuser Busch.

2. On one occasion the park housed tropical birds seized by US customs. Today, it is believed by many that exotic birds found wild in the San Fernando Valley and LA are decedents of birds who escaped the park.

3. Guests were permitted two 10 oz. glasses of beer at each pavilion… We at PacificNG note that is 100 oz of beer per visitor/visit. Of course that included Budweiser and Busch Bavarian beers.

Reference Material Available Online:

Photographs.

Water and Power Associates, Early Views of the San Fernando Valley.

Video.

1967 home movies of the monorail and park.

Articles.

Busch Gardens in Van Nuys on LAist.

A history of Anheuser-Busch in Southern California. The Los Angeles Times. June 13, 2008

California \ Anheuser-Busch Skyrail
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