What Are the Best & Worst Defunct Amusement Parks?

Abandoned Six Flags New OrleansA while back I asked you about your worst defunct and best defunct coasters were. A reader suggested a similar post about defunct amusement parks. And after my last post about Freestyle Music Park appearing on Revolution I thought it’d be fun to hear from you on the topic.

Thankfully, there haven’t been a lot of amusement parks go defunct in the last decade or so. Here are a few that come to mind:
Recently Defunct Theme Parks
Six Flags AstroWorld
 (Houston, Texas) 1968 – 2005 | roller coasters
Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom (Louisville, Kentucky) 1987 – 2009 | roller coasters
Six Flags New Orleans (New Orleans, Louisiana) 200 -2005 | roller coasters
Geauga Lake (Aurora, Ohio) 1887 – 2007 | roller coasters
Freestyle Music Park / Hard Rock Park (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina) 2008 – 2009 | roller coasters

A Few Smaller Defunct Amusement Parks
Kiddieland (Chicago area) 1950 – 2009 | roller coasters
Myrtle Beach Pavillion (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina) 1948 – 2006 | roller coasters
Wild West World (Wichita, Kansas) 2007 | roller coasters
Miracle Strip (Panama City, Florida) 1963 – 2004 | roller coasters
Whalom Park (Lunenburg, Massachusetts) 1893 – 2000 | roller coasters

My Take – Missing the Music

I’ve written quite a bit about my visits to Freestyle Music Park and Geauga Lake. I had some fun rides at Geauga Lake, but of those two, I’d Hard Rock Park - Free Air Guitarssay that Freestyle was my favorite. It was small, but really had some potential. The music theme, with on-board audio on a number of the park’s coasters was pretty neat. Signature ride, The Time Machine, randomly played a mix from hit songs of a particular decade. Many have discussed the causes like the depression and its high prices as Hard Rock Park. I still think that park’s location (away from the beach) was one of the most damaging factors. You could visit Myrtle Beach and have no clue that the park existed.

I don’t really have a least favorite or worst. I can vaguely remember visiting Boardwalk and Baseball (Haines City, Florida) on our way back from Disney World when I was 8. This was way before I rode full-sized roller coasters so all I mainly remember was a long log flume ride. The park had an interesting-looking Schwarzkopf shuttle coaster (Wiener Looping) with steep ends more like a Vekoma boomerang and a loop that wraps around the station. Like most of you, I hate to see abandoned amusement parks, but they’re a fact of life. Like in all forms of business, there are winners and losers.

Here’s an ultra-creepy video showing the state of an abandoned Six Flags New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina:

After a few different false starts Nickelodeon and Southern Star Amusements, now an outlet mall is planned for the former site of Six Flags New Orleans. More about that on Wikipedia.

One last thing, I highly recommend against venturing into abandoned amusement parks. There’s a chance you could hurt with no one around to help, arrested for trespassing, or worse, you could end up like Gillian. It’s not worth it. Instead go watch a movie like Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters. It was filmed at Six Flags New Orleans and it’s set to open on roller coaster day next year (August 16, 2013).

Can you think of any other abandoned amusement parks? Have you been to any of these or some others? Leave a comment below. Images via CC – Flickr user zeterberg