Experts disagree about potential for success of former Freestyle Music Park

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

The owners of the former Freestyle Music Park continue to search for a buyer or new operator as experts wonder whether the third time might be a charm for the twice-failed theme park. To have time to get the park ready by next summer, a new owner or operators should come on board this fall, officials said.

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It hurt the last two times I punched myself in the face. Maybe if I ask this other guy to do it it won't hurt this time.

It failed with a huge debt load.
It failed with essentially no debt load.

I'm not sure how much lower you can push the cost basis.

What, if anything, did the Freestyle people do to reduce the park's reliance on live entertainment? I never made it to Freestyle, but that was my observation about Hard Rock, that because of the way the park was designed, live entertainment is very important to the operation, and that makes operation quite expensive!

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

rollergator's avatar

I think the "Mon-Stars of Rock" rehab cost set them back quite a penny, and that's what caused FMP to fail... :)

Lord Gonchar's avatar

It takes a lot of something to take one of the greatest dark rides ever and turn it into one of the worst.

janfrederick's avatar

I'm still bummed I never got to ride it. I was a huge Moody Blues fan when I was a kid.

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza

Lord Gonchar said:
It takes a lot of something to take one of the greatest dark rides ever and turn it into one of the worst.

This may be a naive question, but it comes from someone who rode Nights In White Satin, and agrees with your assessment above (and I might even eliminate the "one of" part)...

Was Mon-Stars Of Rock really as bad as I've read here and elsewhere?

The amusement park rises bold and are huddled on the beach in a mist

Vater's avatar


I'm more bummed I rode Monstars of Rock than I am that I never got to ride Nights In White Satin. Although I think the letdown would have been even worse had I ridden both.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

Never rode Mon-stars, but it appeared to be a poorly done even for a 'plywood cutouts' ride. I don't think I've ever heard anyone say anything even remotely positive about it.

I love the people in the comments who say that an amusement park is an expensive waste of money for people, and they'd rather see the site turned into a casino.

Vater's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
Never rode Mon-stars, but it appeared to be a poorly done even for a 'plywood cutouts' ride.

Very accurate statement. I've been on some horribly cheesy rides that were easy to make fun of and joke about. Mon-Stars was in a class by itself. It was literally depressing and insulting to ride. If I didn't know that they had rushed to re-theme it to get it open for the 2009 season...well, I would have after riding it. So blatantly obvious...

It would have been a better idea to keep it closed for a year to design and implement a quality ride...whether the park made it beyond that season or not.

Last edited by Vater,

I live in Myrtle Beach. I was one of the first 100 to have my season pass for Hard Rock Park. Hard Rock was amazing and so was Moody Blues. The main purpose of HRP was to create an atmosphere to enjoy all day long. The names where perfect and the themes fit perfect. The main reason it failed was because no one was interested in the little things, all they though about was the rides and how many there where. Also the high entrance rate and the fact that the park wasnt exactly kid friendly with all the drug references and adult themes but its hard rock not kiddie park or disney. Moody Blues and Led Zeppelin where the best rides. Maximum RPM was too but because of so many problems was rarely ever open. They couldnt even get it running properly till after opening. The first test run the mini fell right out of the ferris wheel. Zeppelin was amazing but the most complained thing about it was the video before the ride, which to me got you pumped up for the ride. Moody blues was the best. They had the rolling tunnel as part of the entrance hallway. A employee stood at the entrance and handed out 3d glasses and not the cheap ones either. The entrance way was painted in florescent colors. The 3 colors seperated and the walls, floor, and ceiling seperated and became 3d. it was like you where walking out in a trippy version of space. The spinning tunnel was even trippyer. Once on the ride everything was great. Nothing cheasy at all. It was mainly projections and lighting. The ride was amazing, but was the biggest thing complained about among locals because it was Night in White Satin "the trip" and was advertised as an acid trip through the 70's. I wish HRP had never left. I spent more time there than some employees. Now FMP was nothing. I worked for Freestyle and even though I loved working there they made the park way to kiddie. And they discraced so many Hard Rock Park things. All the rare pieces and memorability the Hard Rock donated was quickly seized after HRP went under so many of the walls where left empty. The only rare thing left was something Hard Rock Cafe Atlanta was going to throw away. It was a Tri-fold stain glass window that depicted little richie, elvis, and james brown singing. And James Brown had signed his Left Leg on the window 3 days before he died. (goes to show you how much amazing stuff HR has if they where gonna trash that.) But FMP did a horrible job of rethemeing. On Monstars the trippy walls where painted solid blue with bland gray office carpet. and the ride was nothing but moving cutouts. utter crap! the time machine was not bad, but no zeppelin. The biggest discrace was all the stuff they piled up behind the fences. the 10 foot iron sculptures from the heavy metal graveyard where piled up behind the ice show. the born in the usa vw bus sat rusting behind the fence. the hrp stretch limo was painted lime green and pink but they never got it out of the shop before closing. the hermit and the rolling stones sculpture along with many others where thrown into a pile. the huge blow ups of the zeppelin albums where disrespected. the houses of the holy lay in the dirt and evently where covered in dirt and ran over with the golf carts. the zeppelin 4 cover was laying against a dumpster and used so people woulnt get wet in the rain when throwing trash away. the monstars rock was shutdown whenever it rained because the ride floor flooded. alices resturaunt turnend into the employee cafe. all the shows sucked. the good thing where max rpm actually was kept on a frequent running schedule, the fireworks where cool, no rhapsody though. and the tickets where fair priced. On july 4th they sold 4 tickets for 17.76 and 4 person meals for 17.76. we had almost 18,000 people in the park. the fireworks show was phenominal. better than any disney thing or anything ive ever seen. the lines where crazy. The money made from that night actually paid for most of the rest of the year. The deals we ran later paid the way too. the park actually made enough money to sustain itself for the entire operating season. but at the end of the season they couldnt even afford light bulbs. we had a great season. and if they wouldnt have gone under they had a entire extension plan already planned. Monstars was actually going to be revamped because it recieved so many complaints. full animtronics where going to be installed. A log flume was going to be added behind the kid section and the park was going to be expaned a little with a couple more rides. Overall HRP was the best but was built at the wrong time. It was planned to be much larger and was suppose to cover most of the 140 acre property. But the economy took a hit and the planners found out about the air zone restrictions. so the park was downsized. About a month before closing plans where about to go into effect to build a Hard Rock Hotel on the property on the waterway and eventually a casino. What I just dont get is that HRP had a higher attendance rate than FMP. Daily FMP averaged 1000 people a day except Friday and Saturday. Friday was about 5000 and 4000 for Saturday. Yet HRP averaged more daily and the shops made more money as well. Standard nights where 25,000 in retail. where FMP was lucky to make 10,000 a day. HRP Grand Opening made 100,000 where as July 4th at FMP ( which was the most populated the park had ever been ) made only 25,000. I will forever remember HRP and if another one opens somewhere else I will be sure to visit frequently.

Moody Blues >>>> Monstars

Zeppelin >=< Time Machine
+Zeppelin +Differnt Eras of music
+Whole Lotta Love +More songs
+Music fit perfect and changed

Life in the fast lane ~ Iron horse
(Eagles) (Devil Went Down to Georgia)

Max RPM < Round About
+good music +worked
---Never worked +music was decent

Shake, Rattle and Rollercoaster >>> Hang 10
(SRR is such a cooler name)

Slippery when wet >> Soaked
(Gotta love Jovi)

HRP Shows >>>>>>> FMP Shows
(awesome) (CRAP!!!)

HRP Names and Themes >>> FMP Names and Themes
(fit perfect and cool) (didnt fit and was to kiddie)
*(across the pond was good name)

The obvious

HRP >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> fmp


obxKevin's avatar

Wow! Really? I did try to get through that, gave up cause it hurts the eyes.

Any chance you could go back and edit that into paragraphs so it's readable?

The poster formerly known as 'Zcorpius.' Joined 2004
slithernoggin's avatar


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Tekwardo's avatar

Out of all of that non separated paragraph madness I think I actually saw the poster claim that FMP's fireworks show was better than anything Disney.

Ha. That was mildly amusing.

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