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Opryland U.S.A.


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Wow, hard to believe that I actually got to visit a now defunct park. When I went to Opryland, I believe I was in 7th grade. The Hangman was brand spankin' new. In fact, that video posted in this thread that talked about The Hangman, came on the night before we went to the park.

 

It was a great day there. We got to ride ALL of the rides, many of them multiple times including: Chaos, Wabash Cannonball, Rock n' Roller Coaster, among others. My sister and I rode The Hangman in the front row, it was weird because the ride was so smooth, and so awesome. How quickly vekoma coasters loose their newness

 

Later that evening we stood in line AGAIN for The Hangman and the ride had a safety cut-out. I remember hearing the ride ops saying something about the ride traveling faster than it was supposed to on the circuit, resulting in the safety to stop the train at a break-run or on the lift hill. We were literally the next people in line as this happened. Bummer

 

Well, I do remember the park was beautifully landscaped, the food was delicious, and the staff was excellent. Such a shame its gone . America could use more theme parks like this one.

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  • 7 months later...
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Was in Nashville for Geek Media Expo a couple weekends ago. Checked on Grizzly River Rampage, and it's still there. There's a new fence up where the caution tape was last year. The fill dirt bridge is still in the channel near the old observation deck before the waterfall. Walked by there a few times on the way to the hotel and back to the car. It was pretty and eerie and very dark at night. Still felt wierd to park in the area where Old Mill Scream used to be.

 

Will keep checking back about once a year. Everything that I could get to legally is documented with pictures and video. Not much else to catalogue short of minor site changes.

 

Bloody hell do I miss that park...

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Bloody hell do I miss that park...

 

Ditto!

 

Closing OL is probably the worst decision ever made in Nashville's tourism industry history.

 

Easily the worst decision. That and Fair Park closing too, if you ever had the pleasure of going there, it was a great trolley park.

 

Anyhoo - in the Tennessean today, there's an article about funding for a potential new convention center in downtown Nashville and of course Opryland Hotel has an invested interest in seeing that Nashville doesn't build a convention center (with adjoining hotel), but the article also mentioned Opryland's future expansion plans and how they're delayed - meaning GRR's skeleton may be around awhile. Also mentioned is the idea of Opryland building an indoor-water park (as if you would have had to beat them over the head with the most obvious idea ever, hello - they already have three huge glass roofed conservatories, what's one or two more and add all the indoor water park stuff) - they just Do Not Get It! Though it would be nice to see GRR resurected into an indoor rapids ride, but they're so OUT OF TOUCH they'll never come to that conclusion.

/rant.

 

 

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20091014/NEWS0202/910140401/-1/RSS05

On page three - if you don't want to deal with the link, it says...

 

Gaylord delays plans

Gaylord's own $400 million expansion plan for Opryland — announced in 2007 — is on hold. The Nashville-based company has until the end of 2011 to issue bonds, which would allow it to tap $80 million in Metro tax revenues generated by the expansion to help pay for the project.

 

In 1993, Metro extended a $10 million tax abatement to Gaylord to help fund a $175 million expansion.

 

The latest expansion plan would add a 400-suite hotel and 450,000 square feet of exhibit space at Opryland in Donelson. But the economic recession has stopped the project indefinitely.

 

"The climate is so soft and uncertain right now," Ingram said.

 

The company also has talked about a few ideas, including an indoor water park, for bringing more leisure travelers to Nashville.

 

That segment of the city's tourism industry has struggled since an earlier Gaylord management team shut down the Opryland theme park in 1997.

 

Riebeling said the Dean administration is open to considering any proposal Gaylord might make for a new attraction to boost the tourism mix.

 

The company hasn't pitched any ideas yet.

 

"We've been very open to proposals various groups have made for projects that would be beneficial to the city," Riebeling said. "We would have a duty to take a hard look at it."

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RapidsNerd! Man I missed you again! I've been wanting to go over there to see what they've done lately but I never have time to. Glad you were able to make it over there and give an update.

 

The delay on the hotel expansion is new to me. I was for sure they would be knocking down the GRR remains down real soon, but I'm not complaining.

 

Speaking of the indoor water park, that would be great if the would do that! Even build the park around the GRR.... I don't know if that's possible, but its a thought! lol

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The delay on the hotel expansion is new to me. I was for sure they would be knocking down the GRR remains down real soon, but I'm not complaining.

 

Speaking of the indoor water park, that would be great if the would do that! Even build the park around the GRR.... I don't know if that's possible, but its a thought! lol

 

I think that's possible to do. I don't think Opryland will do it. You could scream the idea right into their ears and they'd just scratch their heads in wonder.

 

How awesome would that be to have a conservatory full of water slides and GRR and maybe even some small flats or a small coaster or two - ala Mall of America or Great Wolf. I just can't give them any cred whatsoever. Loosing Opryland was like loosing a close friend!!! ugh! An outlet mall, really? Really?

 

GRR was one, if not the best rapids ride imho. That huge whitewater section!!

 

Nashville deserves so much better than Opryland, and i wish i could do something about it personally, but i can't.

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I went was I was really little. I think I was 5 or 6 when hangman opened. My only memories of the park are the plane ride, Screamin' Delta Demon, the mine train, log flume, and the skycoaster they had. I was too short for hangman by about an inch, but I remember watching this really big guy with a cowboy hat and cowboy boots being too big for hangman's restraint, so they had to use an extender seatbelt. My mom always talks about how in the years that the park first opened, they would get season passes so that they could go every friday night to ride the old fashioned cars. The only things that I have from the park are two very small hangman t shirts and a brochure (pieces are missing). I'll have to ask my parents if they have any pictures of me at the park.

Edited by sixflagsguy5
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ETapley0687 I goofed. Should've PMed you with dates so we could hang out.

 

Had wondered if the economy put the brakes on hotel expansion, although do they really need any more room or convention space?

 

Like the idea of another atrium and/or indoor water park. If they took a page out of Hershey, they could turn GRR into a lazy river. However, unless they're feeling nostalgic, Opryland Hotel might just flatten everything and start over given Grizzly's age and wear. Now, they could pay tribute somehow with a small section of planters or a piece of the corner rock on display somewhere in a new atrium/waterpark. Also curious how this would jive with Nashville Shores just up the road. Ah, so many possibilities and what ifs. For the record, just thinking out loud here and don't claim to be an expert. Truly, anything's possible.

 

If Opry ever did the waterpark thing, we all know an EXCELLENT fellow here on the boards who could do a bang up job.

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I don't think Opryland will do it. You could scream the idea right into their ears and they'd just scratch their heads in wonder.

 

Your so right. lol The Gaylord company doesn't seem like they're interested in the "amusement industry" that much. They're resorts are amazing though! lol

 

Also curious how this would jive with Nashville Shores just up the road.

 

Oh yea, I forgot about Nashville Shores and better yet Wave Country the next exit down. Once I think more about it, I don't think they would do build a waterpark expansion. The interference with the other parks would be enough for them to say no.

 

I wonder what the park would be like today had Gaylord not closed the park...

 

I think there would be some charm, but not as much as there was when it was open. With the land being so small I think expansions would make the park cluttered. Also, there would be some ride removals for expansion... like Rock N Roller Coaster would probably be replaced for something new. Hmmm its kind of neat to sit back and think how the park would be now.

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It probably wouldn't be too much different... Gaylord never had any intention of investing in the park after the addition of CHAOS... Hangman came along, but it was several years later after attendance started to dip that they finally reacted by putting their money where their mouth was...

 

Now, speaking of a large indoor atrium/waterpark... Gaylord could pull this off with perfection, I think... all the lush vegetation and everything- it would be amazing.

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I always thought that if the park had remained open, they would eventually put a drop tower where Barnstormer was.

 

Besides that, there really wasn't much else major that could of been added. The park was landlocked with the river on one side, Briley Parkway on the other, and the hotel eating up all the land to the north. They may have had room for a compact woodie behind the bumper cars and the Cannonball but I think that was made impossible by one of the hotel expansions.

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I think eventually the Cannonball would have came down... especially given Arrow's demise, the parts for their coasters aren't exactly cheap anymore. CHAOS had been trimmed back to merely an indoor coaster by the mid-90's... it's footprint could have been useful as well.

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I think eventually the Cannonball would have came down... especially given Arrow's demise, the parts for their coasters aren't exactly cheap anymore. CHAOS had been trimmed back to merely an indoor coaster by the mid-90's... it's footprint could have been useful as well.

 

Yea, i think Cannonball would've been replaced too... then there was also that spot back where the sky coaster originally was (behind Cannonball) where they could've put a good flat ride.

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  • 3 months later...

Gaylord is back in the news about Opryland:

 

http://nashvillecitypaper.com/content/city-news/variations-theme-park

 

Meanwhile, the entertainment giant — among the largest corporate citizens here — is considering how to expand its business, including the possible return of a theme park.

 

“Gaylord would like to, on its own initiative and in concert with city, do anything it can to encourage more tourism in the Nashville community,” Ingram said. “Whether that’s a theme park or it’s something else is all part of a thoughtful, deliberate process that’s going on.”

 

Gaylord opened the Opryland Themepark in 1972. It offered visitors shows, games and roller coasters like the “Wabash Cannonball” and the “Screamin’ Delta Demon.” The company closed the park in 1997, much to the chagrin of a large sector of the city. In its place came Opry Mills, the mammoth-sized shopping center.

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Geez we'll see how far this goes. They've said this before I think. [hopes for the best]

 

Exactly, all said before. Unless they're envisioning an indoor park of some sort, maybe a F.E.C., then good luck with that. Anyone remember what happened when Opryland tried to rezone (i think) 100 acres or so on (or slightly off of) McGavock pike a few years ago? Neighbors poured out in droves to protest a POTENTIAL theme park use. NIMBY is strong and in effect in Nashville. Even Nashville Shores was feeling it when it was sold to the former Six Flags execs b/c neighbors envisioned the worst scenario. And the Holy Land Park? Even in this God-Fearing state a bible park fell victim to the NIMBYs. Furthermore!, good luck finding a large enough tract of land in Davidson county that could hold a park, parking lot, traffic to and from, etc. So many puzzle pieces would have to fit perfectly together for this to happen, and i remain skeptical (and bitter/pissed about Opryland closing!). And these little teasers are not helpful either. Put up or shut up, Gaylord!

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A while ago the local PBS station did a documentary on Opryland, did any of you locals get the chance to see it? They used some of my old home movie footage so I was able to get a copy of the program...maybe I should get it posted to this thread.

 

I would love to see a new version of Opryland open in Nashville.

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Being a train enthusiast, I decided to see if I could find any info on the locomotives from Opryland. Surprisingly enough, they're still around and operating!

 

Named Rachel, originally an 0-4-0T, from Opryland, later Tennesee Central Museum, Nashville, later ET&WNC Doe River Gorge, Hampton

 

 

Named Elizabeth, from Opryland, Nashville, later Six Flags Astroworld, built as diesel hydraulic.

 

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Named Elizabeth, from Opryland, Nashville, later Six Flags Astroworld, built as diesel hydraulic.

 

 

It's nice to know that this beautiful engine was saved from the scrap yard once Six Flags closed AstroWorld. If I'm not mistaken, it's still in daily operation. She was bought by Santa Margarita Ranch near San Luis Obispo, CA

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A while ago the local PBS station did a documentary on Opryland, did any of you locals get the chance to see it? They used some of my old home movie footage so I was able to get a copy of the program...maybe I should get it posted to this thread.

 

I would love to see a new version of Opryland open in Nashville.

Please post it! I never got to see it!

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It's nice to know that this beautiful engine was saved from the scrap yard once Six Flags closed AstroWorld. If I'm not mistaken, it's still in daily operation. She was bought by Santa Margarita Ranch near San Luis Obispo, CA

 

This one was listed as diesel hydraulic. So it's not real steamer. I'm guessing it's like the ones at SFGAm where it's a diesel in disguise. Still pretty, but not as much as the other engine. Which incidentally is the same model type as the Forney at Disneyland.

 

Steamers need new boilers every fifteen years, so most likely neither of them will run again, but it's nice to know they're still out there.

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