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Shane's Amusement Attic


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^ But no other park was on a piece of property located next to major venues. Basically, the land was worth more than the park.

 

The empty field is now used as a parking lot for rodeo events, etc. Burke torn it down to replace it with a grassy lot.

 

-Tatum "This should teach everyone a good lesson: Greed ruins things for others!"

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I am so glad I got to go to Astroworld in October of 1992.

 

Got the same all-Six Flags Parks-composite Guide Book, too in fact LOL! I went there Columbus Day weekend, after the new stand-up Batman had opened that summer season.

 

The whole park was pretty well put together and I really enjoyed what I think was/is still one of my fave suspended cars coaster... XLR8. Mmmm.

 

Thanks for the great memories of a really nice park, I felt, Shane.

 

Edit - oops. Forgot to ask. Where was that sleigh ride, in the park? And was it like a railed bobsled ride like the Matterhorn in DL? Or something different? And what (if anything) replaced it? I pretty sure I didn't see it there, in 1992, lol.

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^ It was located in the Mountain near Ultra Twister.

 

Each sleigh had wheels and used a "buzz bar" type system to move them around. Arrow developed the ride.

 

After it was closed, it was a walkthrough attraction as part of the Enchanted Kingdom children's area, and later part of the Batman: The Escape queue, and then nothing.

 

RANDOM FACT: The Alpine Sleigh Ride was not ready for AstroWorld's June 1st, 1968 Grand Opening.

 

-Tatum

 

Photos are from Six Flags Houston.

 

 

 

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^ But no other park was on a piece of property located next to major venues. Basically, the land was worth more than the park.

 

One of the major reasons the park was closed was because AstroWorld did not own the parking lot, the leased it from the owners of the Astrodome. The lease expired and the owners wanted an outrageous amount of money to renew the lease. Without that parking lease the park had no parking.

 

For that reason they decided to close the park and try to make a profit off of the land, of course we see what happened with that brilliant idea.

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Great post Shane.

 

Astroworld was the first park I went to when I was 7. I was a little shrimp then and wasn't tall enough to go on most of the rides (or because I was scared) but some how my Dad got me to go on XLR-8 with him, my first roller coaster and from then on I was hooked. I have faint memories of Astroworld as I was so young but the pictures help me to remember. Thank you for letting us all relive memories we'll probably never experience again.

 

Oh I did have a question. I remember on the Skyscreamer, before it dropped the car, didn't it make two siren noises? Does anyone remember that? I can still hear that siren in my head from when I was 7!

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Oh Astroworld. What can I say? So many of my memories from my growing up are tied to this park. From my first coasters to my first jobs to meeting my first (and only) wife. Still remember getting my first season pass for thirty bucks. So sad to see it go. Glad to say I did get to take my junior CoasterFreak to the park to ride the Serpent before it was tragically torn down.

 

My job history started in shows at Fright Nights and then transferred over to Sky Screamer / Gunslinger. I also ended up working on both stations of the Astroway (Von Roll Cable Cars) and Tidal Wave.

 

And yes, the Sky Screamer did have a siren that would give two "woops" before dropping the car. This sound could be heard from far across the park. Not only can I still hear the sounds in my head, but I remember the Mockingbirds that lived nearby could be heard giving their rendition of it as well.

 

Ahhhh the memories

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Lets have some AstroWorld fun...this is how I discovered AstroWorld. My mom took me to Sears one year to do my school clothes shopping and they had this "Billy the Kid" sweepstakes. With every pair of pants you bought you were elligable to enter the contest for a free trip to the park. Needless to say I made my mom buy me several pairs of pants. I didn't win the sweepstakes but after purchasing several pairs of "billy the Kid" pants I just bought a plane ticket and went to the park on my own.

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Texas Cyclone

 

Here is some great footage of Texas Cyclone shot the opening year. This rare promotional footage was shot by the park and given to me by the General Manager. It is some of my favorite, I love the helicopter shots.

 

[coastertube]http://www.themeparkreview.com/coastertube/play.php?vid=TexasCyclone_fsvp[/coastertube]

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Greezed Lightnin'

 

This super 8 film was shot by me when I was on the crew. I was able to get some GREAT shots of the ride from areas that weren't accessible to the GP. I really hope this ride gets another chance at life!

 

[coastertube]http://www.themeparkreview.com/coastertube/play.php?vid=GreezedLightnin[/coastertube]

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Excalibur

 

This coaster was the parks original coaster and one of Arrows first ventures into steel coasters. It was originally known as Dexter Freebish's Electric Roller Ride and was located in the County Fair section of the park. It was later renamed Excalibur when the park rethemed that section of the park into Nottingham Village.

 

[coastertube]http://www.themeparkreview.com/coastertube/play.php?vid=Excalibur_5k0a[/coastertube]

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Viper

 

Eventually AstroWorld became the dumping ground for Six Flags. This was the first of several coasters to be relocated to AstroWorld when the other parks removed them for better attractions. The Viper was originally the "Jet Scream" at Six Flags over Mid-America.

 

[coastertube]http://www.themeparkreview.com/coastertube/play.php?vid=Viper_deq5[/coastertube]

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A few memories and other stuff:

 

Skyscreamer, the first gen drop tower was so named because of the backstory that they tried to use (which never caught on) of a terrible winged creature who would swoop down, pick up people, then squeal with delight as it dropped the people from dizzying heights. Hence, the two "whoops" of the siren before the drop. On opening day, they sold black and red foam visors that said "Skyscreamer" across the bill and had two bat-like wings sticking out from the sides. Two enormous white eyes in the center of the visor completed the look.

 

"Dexter Frebish's Electric Roller Ride" may just be the world's most often misspelled ride. Even the band "Dexter Freebish" (named after the coaster) added that extra "e" in there. The attached photo is of me, age 5, right before my first-ever coaster ride. Note the spelling on the station.

 

Oh, Shane... all those pics of TxCyclone with the four-bench PTC trains!!! I'm drooling! Those things MADE that ride. It was the undisputed #1 wood coaster in the world when it ran those, and for good reason. The first two drops, the northern upper turn drop, and the post turn were beyond thrilling in the back car... they were downright terrifying. There was a reason that the height requirement was 4ft for the ride, but 5ft for the back car! Once they changed the trains (causing much modification to the profile), it was just never the same. Still good, but no longer terrifying. In the 29yrs of its life, I rode TC more than 10,000 times. Sadly, most of those rides were with the crappy trains. Oh, well.

 

I still have the park map from my first visit to AW: 1969. It's amazing how much green space was in there! Still hard to believe that a 35-acre park managed to squeeze in nine coasters. Perhaps only Blackpool has a greater coaster density than that. I just remember that you could plant yourself anywhere in the park and look in any direction and see at least two coasters.

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^^ No, I wish I did. XLR-8 wasn't one of my favorites, but I sure like the name.

 

^ I don't think I have much from Coney Island. I do have a show on the Coney Island Cyclone in my Retro VCR collection.

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Thanks Shane... FWIW, the parking lot story is a red herring. The county was in breach of contract and was offering a sweet long term parking deal when Burke and Co. decided to take Six Flags to Court.

 

A Due Diligence had been run during the 2004 season, we had hoped it for a new investment in capital but we know the truth now. They grossly overestimated the value of the land and even turned down a bid from the Rodeo that was more than they eventually sold it for. So the Rodeo got its parking for pennies on the dollar...

 

The entire thing was just very, very stupid.

 

Thanks for the great pics and Video's! I worked on Excalibur, the River of No Return and did fireworks in the lagoon... Those are some great pics.

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^ When did you work at the park? You are a year older than me and I worked at the park in 1980, I was 16. I was also on River of no Return. I wonder if we worked there the same time?

 

When I was with Six Flags Corporate, Burke was held in very high esteem, everyone praised him as a genius. Time sure tells a different story now, he drove that company into the ground and pulled on of the BIGGEST mistakes in theme park history..the closing of AstroWorld.

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Some of you may remember when Shane allowed me to borrow the keys to his patented time machine for a visit to SFOG the year Mindbender opened. Well that was so much fun I asked if he'd allow me to take the time machine out for another spin, and he said yes! Without delay, I hopped in the contraption, cranked the engine, and was immediately transported to Houston circa Halloween 2005, the final closing weekend of SFAW.

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The 2005 Fright Fest Entertainment Schedule

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The 2005 Fright Fest Brochure

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The 2005 Park Map and Guide Brochure

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2005 SFAW Promo Card

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The 2005 SFAW Brochure

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GREAT post Mark, thanks for contributing. Please feel free to add to this thread anytime. That 2005 brochure is one of the better looking ones IMO

 

Here is a look at AstroWorld as it went through it's identity crisis, Am I Six Flags AstroWorld? Six Flags Houston? or simply AstroWorld a Six Flags theme park????

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Park guide 1997: Dungeon Drop

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Park Guide the year Ultra Twister opened

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10 coasters and only one survived. What a waste

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Revolution standing in for Viper

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1989: NEW VIPER

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Shane

 

First and foremost amazing!

Thank you for ending with my first job, AW, and my home park.

A real tribute to a good ole gal!

Your collection is unbeatable.

 

Secondly I am on the planning committee for an AW reunion this August 15th in Houston. I would like to chat with you about getting some photos from you on CD for our visual background slides. I will send a PM. that tells you how strong the relationship was with the park fans. We still have get togethers to remember and enjoy history.

 

I don't know if it is OK to post the reunion info here but we have a My space and Face Book ad for it.

 

Thanks again for keeping memories that mean a lot for me.

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