Deforestation in Midvale: Jungle Jim’s Playland closes down

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Deforestation in Midvale: Jungle Jim’s Playland closes down

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For many, Sunday, March 11 was just the change of daylight savings, but for the staff at Jungle Jim’s Playland, it marked the beginning of the end. Sunday was the last day the 29-year-old company would be open.

It was a small establishment but was well known for kids around the valley because during the long winters it offered a warm indoor amusement park for kids. Back in November of 2017, Good4Utah included Jungle Jim’s in an article called “Three places your kids will love when it’s cold outside”.

It was home to six amusement park rides, a carousel, swings, spinning tops, jets, bumper cars and a rollercoaster featuring an elephant in the middle. The back featured bounce houses and a toddler zone for smaller kids.

Newer to the business was the arcade games. Unlike other arcades like Nickelcade, they had game cards you carried around and played the games with. The game card kept track of money, and tickets. There was never a worry of tickets falling out of pockets or carrying nickels in a cup everywhere.

Unknown to all but the workers, there was a secret menu at Jungle Jim’s. The menu featured things like pizza pretzels, ice cream slushies and even a junkyard pizza. A pizza pretzel was simply a soft pretzel with sauce and cheese and whatever toppings you wanted on it and put in the oven like a normal pizza. It sounds simple, but souls could be sold for such a tasty treat. 

There was a breakfast pizza but it was only added after the business was closed. Monday March 12, there was a final employee party where any employee could bring pizza toppings and try what they wanted on the pizza. Sebastian Tame, general manager, had wanted to try a breakfast pizza for awhile. It was a normal pizza crust but instead of the normal pizza sauce there was country gravy. Toppings included bacon bits, sausage and right in the middle a single egg. The pizza was eaten in minutes by staff.


Students at Hillcrest have personal ties with the playland as well. Most kids can recognize it as a place they went when they were a kid and will even recognize ‘the elephant ride’ as their favorite. However, due to its close proximity to Hillcrest many students found employment at Jungle Jim’s Playland.

Despite efforts to remain open the last Jungle Jim’s announcement was released Sunday night after closing via Facebook saying, “ Dear friends, after an amazing 29 year run, we are sad to say we are closing our doors. It has been a pleasure sharing so many amazing moments with you over the years. Thank you for all the amazing memories!”

To read up on the best Jungle Jim’s memories read it here.

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