I was on business in Houston 2 weeks ago and while there I had business meetings at Reliant Stadium with the Houston Texans. Reliant Stadium is on Reliant Park Property, which includes the Astrodome. The Astrodome, of course, is (or was) directly adjacent (across the highway) to Astroworld.
I last visited the park in it's final season, and other than driving by quickly on subsequent visits, had not paid much attention to the former park property.
Here's a link to the 3 pics (not tremendous quality... taken with my cell phone... but you'll get the idea) of the property as it now stands. They are taken from inside Reliant Stadium's office area.
You'll see that there's NO trace left of the park. Pretty amazing, pretty sad.
Shaggs *** Edited 2/15/2007 5:20:59 PM UTC by Shaggy***
Sad all the way around... :(
Nontheless, thanks for the update Shaggs...
Man that must be hard to explain to your kids.
"Um...that park was right here last time..."
I did some informal polling of folks on my various visits to Houston. In casual chatter I mentioned Astroworld to a few when the conversation of local entertainment venues arose. I asked things like "Isnt' there a Six Flags park here?" or "I heard Astroworld closed. Is that true?"
Out of the 5 or so people I mentioned it to, all of them didn't really know anything about the park being demolished. Most *knew* of the closure but said that it was "still there."
Even before the park closure, those I asked about Astroworld were very flippant about the park. Most said they hadn't been there in years and didn't care for it.
No wonder it closed. It obviously was an afterthought in Houstonian's minds. I would suspect most don't really realize it IS gone until they either drive by, visit Reliant or perhaps try to visit the park.
Oh, and I asked one of my business acssociates at Reliant about Astroworld being gone. "What happened to the park that was there?"
His response was simply a non-concerned: "The park couldn't make money, so they bulldozed it. No big loss."
Shaggy *** Edited 2/15/2007 7:29:04 PM UTC by Shaggy***
As I stated in the Miracle Strip thread, it's really sad how people don't appreciate things until they're gone. Except in this case, it doesn't seem like people miss it at all.
Welcome to America of the 21st century- no room for fun diversions like an amusement park as long as there are plenty of malls and condos to go around. Heaven forbid people have a little fun outside of shopping for crap and buying housing with a beautiful view of the highway and high-tension alongside them.
The only ones who seem to be pissed are a bunch of enthusiast who don't even live there.
I suspect this is often the case. If the community wants a park saved, they'll do it.
However I was not emotionally connected to Astroworld, and really don't have a bevvy of outstanding memories from the park.
Well, correction, I do have one outstanding memory... Astroworld is the only park that I have witnessed two minors copulating. (In a darkened corner, near the exit as I left for the final time.)
I visited the park several times over the years, but really am not affected by it's removal. You'll hardly find me lamenting the loss since it was so run-down, so overrun with bad.
It does concern me that Houston, a major US city, has not fought for an amusement complex elsewhere. If I were a Theme Park backer, I'd be all over that town scouting for the best possible location for a new park. There's major money to be had there.
The whole thing just reminds me of sports franchises leaving town (e.g., Oilers, Browns, Hornets). Each of those teams had a fan base, but it got harder to draw when the teams were managed so poorly. All of the teams picked up and started fresh somewhere else, and within a handful of years, each of those markets had a replacement team.
I'm just curious if the major chains even feel it's even worth it to build a regional park from scratch these days. All regional parks are ultimately competing with Disney in the grand scheme of things (along with video games, movies, etc.), but it's hard to compete with Disney's wallet (I'm looking at you, Expedition Everest, and your $100 million price tag).
Whalom stood for a decade before demolition. Idora even longer. Isn't the Lincoln Park Comet still sitting in the middle of a collapsed lifthill?
I'm not saying it hasto be on the scale of CP or Bush Gardens, but a good midsize park with 5 or 6 coasters and other rides. I don't care if it's any particualr theam, just well done.
I believe that the park should start with about 8 different coasters (2 woodies, one hyper, one inverted or floorless, one conventional multilooper, a pair of dueling spinners (for capacity's sake), a family style coaster with theming, and a kiddie coaster) with 2 or 3 more to come in the future. There should be around 4 water coasters (remember -- this is Texas with all of that heat) including a whitewater ride, a flume, a shoot the chutes, and some other ride of this type along with some other water ride such as bumper boats. .
Other essentials include a carousel, an interactive darkride (4 passenger cars for capacity), a 3' gauge train, a double track car ride (again, capacity), a large drop tower, a bumper car ride, several high thrill flats (Top Spin, Frisbee, Hawk, Screamin Swing, Mega Disk-O or similar rides), several interediate intensity flats (Musik Express, Wipeout, Flying Carpet, etc.), a number of family flats (Balloon Race, Pirate ship, themed Tilt-A-Whirl, enclosed Scrambler, Swing ride, etc.) and 10 to 15 kiddie rides in addition to the kiddie coaster.
Upcharge attractions should include a double Skycoaster, a go-Kart track, a climbing wall, and maybe one other ultra-high thrill attraction.
Also there should be a good selection of shows including at least 2 musical shows, a dance revue, one or two stunt shows, a magic show, a motion simulator attraction, a panoramic or IMAX show, and possibly one or two animal shows. This should be supplemented by roving entertainers including some costumed characters.
The park should be well landscaped with planty of shade, fountains, etc as well as gardens.
There should also be a top notch waterpark either within or adjecant to the park.
You must be logged in to post