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Six Flags South Carolina 1975-Today [RCT3]

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Two very long and grand years this topic has gone on. This has been an amazing park to follow, and deserves several medals and a noble peace prize.


I've made it Front Page worthy. Such a great park, and a great thread!


About Time!

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Hello all,


It is with great pleasure that I present the final Six Flags South Carolina update. I would like to thank each and every one of you for your support of this project over the past two years. I would be lying if I said that I did not thoroughly enjoy reading through the countless replies you all have sent me, both positive and negative.


I began work on this park during my spring break of my senior year of high school, March 2009. This park marked the beginning of a really great time in my life. I graduated high school and began college. These past two years has been extraordinary, yet busy, and having this park as something that was consistent through all the changes I experienced was great.


However, like all good things, I knew that this park would have to end someday. The lag unfortunately took a toll on the park (see below this update for the reason for no download). I also didn't want to work to far into the future. Who knows where Six Flags will be in 2 to 3 years. Things change so quickly.


I look forward to sharing with you all the next two projects, one of which I have already begun work on.


Again, thank you so much for your support of this project. Words cannot express my gratitude.


- John


Six Flags South Carolina, A Farewell?

January 5, 2011



TOMMY POWERS: Hello friends! Today is January 5, 2011. Let me bring you up to speed on the interesting turn of events that I've experienced lately.



TOMMY POWERS: Last month I received word from a close friend that a communications/marketing position opened up at the park. Long story short, I interviewed for the position today!



JOSEPH REYNOLDS: Well, well, hello there! It's been an awfully long time, hasn't it? You may wonder why I'm here. Well, even though I am enjoying life as a retired park manager, I occasionally return to the park to help out with things here and there, especially interviews.



TOMMY POWERS: I think the interview went well. I was obviously nervous, especially because this is my dream job. Since I was a child I have dreamed of someday working at an amusement park, but I never thought I would be able to start my career at my home park. If nothing else I at least got to see inside the park's offices!



JOSEPH REYNOLDS: We interviewed three individuals. It's nice to see that there's hope for the next generation. All three applicants were not only qualified but seemed to be smart, innovative thinkers, something the amusement industry desperately needs. Six Flags South Carolina needs innovation in order to survive. Michael May, one of the park's founders, craved innovators and smart thinkers over everyone else. He's the one who got this park started, I simply carried out his dream.



TOMMY POWERS: After my interview, I roamed around the empty park for a little while. Hey, nobody was there to stop me!



JOSEPH REYNOLDS: We were in one of the conference rooms inside the park's offices for quite some time conducting the interviews. Although all three applicants were impressive, there was one who stood out too all five of the interviewers.



TOMMY POWERS: If I get the job I will have to close this blog, but you all are smart, and I'm sure that you'll find another way to get updates from the park.



JOSEPH REYNOLDS: I believe the park is on the right track. It has a great team working day and night behind the scenes to make sure it stays true to May's idea: serving the customer. And that cannot be said about all Six Flags properties.



TOMMY POWERS: I love this park so much. It would be an honor to be able to work with the great group of people working at the park.



JOSEPH REYNOLDS: On my way out, I noticed one of the applicants, Mr. Tommy Powers, still at the park. He was taking pictures. For a split second, I saw a little bit of myself in him. He has a bright future ahead of him, regardless of this position.



TOMMY POWERS: Right after taking this shot I noticed one of the people who conducted the interview, Mr. Reynolds walk behind me. As one of the park's former managers, I'm sure he has some say in who receives the position. I was embarassed, but I hope it didn't hurt my chances. I left quickly afterwards.



JOSEPH REYNOLDS: Yes, leadership. This park, as will any other park, will need it greatly in the future.



TOMMY POWERS: Great things are in store for this park. An announcement is expected to be made next week regarding the wooden coaster. Construction has already begun!



TOMMY POWERS: And it's common knowledge that a Hurricane Harbor waterpark will open next to the park in 2012.



JOSEPH REYNOLDS: I can't disclose who will be fill the position, but I know that it will be in good hands.



TOMMY POWERS: As I drove down the boulevard and the park's glorious skyline faded from view, I pondered about the uncertainty of my future. The unknown is a scary thing. I'm not sure what the future holds for me, even if I do land this dream job.


If I am unable to return to this blog, please know that it has been a pleasure to share this experience with you. I wish you all the best in the future.


And as the ridiculous new park slogan says, Go Big. Go Six Flags (South Carolina).


So long, friends.


Farewell Video:



And that's that! So now for the question everyone has been asking: Will there be a download? Unfortunately, no. I didn't want to share this with you all until after the park ended, but the park has been split up into different files ever since the park reopened as Six Flags. I've tried my best to hide this, but after having to split the park into quadrants after the 2009 season, it became increasingly difficult to mask all the empty areas of the park. I don't want you guys to see all the ugly "backstage" areas of the empty sections of the park, and offering four separate downloads would be a nightmare to say the least.




The History of Six Flags South Carolina (Charleston Gardens Amusement Park)




The South Carolina Amusements Company, which was comprised of entrepreneur Michael May and his business partners, purchased over 200 acres of land outside of Charleston, South Carolina in 1973 to build a family-oriented amusement park that would serve as a regional entertainment destination. The land chosen for the park was a tree-filled hilly tract of land with several small and medium-sized lakes.




Construction quickly took off during the second half of the year. By January of 1974 a significant amount of the park's infrastructure was in place, laying the foundation for the park's line of attractions.




The park held its grand opening in 1975 and was met with a great response from guests. One of the park's most notable rides was Carolina Calamity, a rather small mine train coaster that utilized the park's hilly terrain. The ride was well-known for its halfway-through-the-ride lifthill and its grand finale drop under the station. Although only a handful of rides opened with the park, including Carolina Calamity, a train, log flume, dark ride, and several flat rides, the quaintness and classic charm of the amusement park attracted families from across the region. Guests were also treated to live entertainment at the park's mainstreet theater.




1976 brought Derecho, a massive wooden coaster that received its name from a powerful windstorm that nearly destroyed the support structure of the coaster during construction. The 10-story wooden monster put the amusement park on the map as not only a family amusement park but also a magnet for thrill seekers.




With the addition of the Atlantic Avenue midway in 1977, the park's paths made a complete "loop." The new midway included a new train station, as well as new shops and restaurants. However, the lack of a new marketable attraction hurt the park, and with falling attendance numbers, Michael May resigned from his position as the park's general manager. Days before the park was to be sold piece-by-piece at an auction, Funtime Parks, Inc. (Geauga Lake) purchased the failing park.




Funtime Parks replace The Great Twist with The Great Swings in 1978. The beautiful, iconic attraction brought families back to the park. However, new General Manager Joseph Reynolds realized that more was needed to make the amusement park sustainable.




In 1979, South Carolina experienced a Heatwave... a Schwrazkopf shuttle loop coaster. Guests were amazed at the ride's then-unique 360 degree vertical loop. The coaster drew large crowds, once again placing the park on thrill seekers' maps.




1980 saw the addition of Gully River Rapids, a large river rapids attraction that left riders soaked beyond belief. The ride was one of the first of its kind, again drawing crowds from across the region to ride the unique attraction.




Gully Gulch Grill, the park's then-largest restaurant, opened in 1981, replacing the park's iconic SkyWheel attraction.




However, SkyWheel would not disappear forever. The ride reopened in 1982 as a part of the Harbortown expansion. The area, themed to a beach town, included SkyWheel and an antique cars ride, and increased the size of the park by 25 percent.


No new attractions opened in 1983. Although, many general improvements were made at the park, including expanded retail and dining options.




1984, the park's tenth season, brought the addition of Vulture, a large Arrow suspended coaster. Standing over 120 over the park and travelling at speeds of 55 mph, Vulture utilized the side of a hill to create an exhilarating, close-to-the-ground ride experience. Although with the addition of Vulture came the closure of Carolina Calamity. The park's first coaster closed for good at the end of the 1984 season.




Gardenhill Pass, the largest addition in the park's history, opened in 1985. This area included a large outdoor theater and a swan boating area. The area also connected Harbortown with the park's mainstreet area.




In 1986, Vortex opened in Gardenhill Pass, expanding the lineup of thrill rides.




The 1987 season was marked by a new parking tram system, along with many general park improvements.




Emerald Bay, a new park area situated around a large lake which included the Millipede family rollercoaster and Washout, opened in 1988.




Funtime Parks, Inc. put Charleston Gardens up for sale before the 1989 season, the park's 15th season.. The new Magic Carpet ride was hardly marketable and so the park continued to see mediocre attendance numbers. Joseph Reynolds was transferred to another FPI park and the park's future was left uncertain as FPI sought out a new owner.




However, the end of the 1989 season brought a new worry: Hurricane Hugo. The Category 4 storm struck Charleston on September 22 of 1989. The park and city were damaged heavily, some areas beyond recognition. Joe Martin joined the Charleston Gardens saga in 1992 as a local journalist assigned to the story of the abandoned amusement park. The city purchased the park in early 1992. The city began clearing out heavily-damaged areas of the park as they sought out a new owner. Several rides were removed including the iconic SkyWheel.




On November 1st of 1992, Six Flags announced that they had purchased the park and that it would reopen in 1994 as Six Flags South Carolina, over four years since Hugo had struck. The park announced that Batman: The Ride would be part of a $30 million investment in the park, along with extensive ride and building repairs. The park reopened to record-setting crowds.




Tidal Wave, a Premier hybrid splash boats ride opened in 1995.




Monster Mash Hotel closed at the end of the 1995 season to make way for Scooby Doo and the Mystery Mansion dark ride which opened the following year in 1996.




The park expanded the Gotham Backlot area in 1997 with two new thrill rides, a food kiosk, and a new outdoor theater showing a Batman stunt show. Viper (Heatwave) closed in the middle of the season.




In 1998, Six Flags South Carolina opened Undertaker, the world's first floorless coaster. The ride occupied the land that was once home to Viper (Heatwave). The compact coaster drastically changed the park's skyline.




Parachute was removed in early 1999 to make way for Rebellion, a 260 foot tall drop tower, that dominated the skies at Six Flags South Carolina. The ride was one of the most terrifying ride at the park, drawing riders from all across the region. Joe Martin was let go from his position with the local newspaper and moved to Dallas in late 1999.




Thirteen-year-old Tommy Powers began posting Six Flags South Carolina updates on his GeoCities website in early 2000. This coincided with the announcement of Superman: Ride of Steel, a 210 foot tall hypercoaster that would change Six Flags South Carolina forever. The coaster quickly became a favorite with guests, and it topped many coaster enthusiasts' top ten lists. This Superman: Ride of Steel differed from its cousins in that it utilized the park's hilly terrain. RoadRunner, originally opened as Millipede, closed in late 2000.


Vertical Velocity, the park's first launched coaster since Viper (Heatwave), opened in 2001 to great reviews. The 180-foot-tall inverted impulse coaster changed the skyline of the park once again. Its two towers intimidated guests as they entered the park.




2002 finally brought a much-needed children's area to Six Flags South Carolina. Bugs Bunny National Park was home to a plethora of rides for children and famillies alike and was one of the largest expansions in the park's history. Several rides, shows, and interactive play structures were the main draws of this new area. The park mourned the death of Michael May, one of the park's original founders, in mid-2002.


SkyCoaster opened in 2003 as an upcharge attraction. The ride was located in a new area of the park, adjacent to the also new-for-2003 Picnic Grove group catering facility. The ride was met with mixed reviews due to its extra fee. Vulture closed halfway through the end of the 2003 season. Joseph Reynolds also retired after the 2003 season concluded. Indigo Plunge, the park's log flume, was renamed Deer Park Plunge.




Bugs Bunny National Park expanded in 2004 with the addition of a new ride and the Character Cafe, an interactive eatery. Scrambler was relocated to the area and renamed Sylvester's Spin.




Green Falcon, a large B&M flying coaster, opened in 2005 as Vulture's replacement. The coaster utilized the hillside terrain and flew riders at speeds of up to 57 mph and climbed to heights of 130 feet. The unique coaster offered a new style of thrill for guests at Six Flags South Carolina.




SkyCoaster did not return for the 2006 season. Despite Six Flags' financial woes, the park debuted Firebomb, an S&S SkySwat in 2006. The park also celebrated Derecho's 30th anniversary.




2007 was a quiet year at Six Flags South Carolina. Other than Garden Grill being converted into a Johnny Rocket's restaurant, no big changes were made to the park. The Summer Concert Series brought well-known musical acts to the Green Pearl Theater during the summer months.




Tony Hawk's Big Spin opened in 2008 and was a great coaster for the entire family to ride. An Xtreme Trampoline ride also opened near the new coaster.




Superman: Ride of Steel was transformed into Bizarro for the 2009 season. On top of the new purple and blue color scheme, fire and other special effects were added to enhance the ride experience.


Buccaneer Battle, an interactive water ride, replaced Deer Park Plunge for the 2010 season. Riders boarded large boats that travelled slowly through a "lagoon", passing various targets (and other guests) that riders could soak with their on-board water guns.


It looks as though Six Flags South Carolina has a bright future ahead. The park has been cleared to construct a 105-foot-tall Great Coasters International wooden coaster for the 2011 season, and the park is already clearing land for a rumored waterpark that will open adjacent to the amusement park in 2012. The area surrounding the park is drawing new businesses, including resort hotels, further establishing Six Flags South Carolina as a resort destination.


Six Flags South Carolina/Charleston Gardens Amusement Park Timeline


Charleston Gardens Amusement Park


1975 - Park Opens

1976 - Derecho

1977 - Atlantic Avenue midway

1978 - The Great Swings

1979 - Heatwave

1980 - Gully River Rapids

1981 - Gully Gulch Grill

1982 - Harbortown (SkyWheel & Harbortown Drive)

1983 - General Park Improvements

1984 - Vulture

1985 - Gardenhill Pass (Green Pearl Theater & Swan Lake Boats)

1986 - Vortex

1987 - Tram System & Parking Improvements

1988 - Emerald Bay (Millipede & Washout)

1989 - The Magic Carpet


Six Flags South Carolina


1994 - Batman: The Ride

1995 - Tidal Wave

1996 - Scooby Doo and the Mystery Mansion

1997 - Gotham Backlot Expansion

1998 - Undertaker

1999 - Rebellion

2000 - Superman: Ride of Steel

2001 - Vertical Velocity

2002 - Bugs Bunny National Park, Phase I

2003 - Skycoaster & Picnic Pavillion

2004 - Bugs Bunny National Park, Phase II

2005 - Green Falcon

2006 - Firebomb

2007 - Johnny Rocket's

2008 - Tony Hawk's Big Spin

2009 - Bizarro

2010 - Buccaneer Battle

2011 - GCI Wooden Coaster

2012 - Hurricane Harbor?


Six Flags South Carolina Attractions, Past and Present




- Carolina Calamity (1975)

- Derecho (1976)

- Heatwave/Viper (1979)

- Vulture (1984)

- Millipede/RoadRunner (1988)

- Batman: The Ride (1994)

- Undertaker (1998)

- Bizarro (2000)

- Vertical Velocity (2001)

- RoadRunner Railway (2002)

- Green Falcon (2005)

- Tony Hawk's Big Spin (2008)

- Unnamed Wooden Coaster (2011)


Water Rides


- Indigo Plunge/Deer Park Plunge (1975)

- Gully River Rapids/Thunder River (1980)

- Swan Lake Boats (1985)

- Tidal Wave (1995)

- Buccaneer Battle (2010)


Thrill Rides


- Scrambler/Sylvester's Spin (1975)

- Vortex (1986)

- Washout (1988)

- Chaos (1997)

- Gotham City Crime Wave (1997)

- Rebellion (1999)

- Skycoaster (2003)

- Firebomb (2006)

- Wii: The Experience (2009)


Family Rides


- Bumper Cars (1975)

- Carousel (1975)

- Charleston Railway (1975)

- The Great Twist (1975)

- Parachute Falls (1975)

- SkyWheel (1975)

- The Great Swings (1978)

- Harbortown Drive (1982)

- Magic Carpet (1989)

- Scooby Doo and the Mystery Mansion (1995)

- Bugs Bunny's Fort Run (2002)

- Tweety's Twee House (2002)

- Tug Boat Turnover (2002)

- Tree Swings (2004)

- Xtreme Trampoline (2008)


*Italics denote attractions no longer operating

Edited by coasterdude5
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Wow, what a great journey it's been. I got chills reading the last update! Good luck in all your future projects as I'm sure they'll be as amazing as this! It's also a shame that the park won't be available for download, but lag is RCT3 is always inevitable...

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This was such a fantastic park and I really loved how you ended it, so much better than having the park destroyed or run into money problems or anything like that.


Perhaps because there isn't a download, we could get POVs of the coasters? I'd really love to see the full layouts as well as the extra things that we don't normally see.


Can't wait to see what comes next, I'm sure it will be great!

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Thanks for the kind words, guys.


I would love to do POVs of all the major rides at the park, but even the "quadrants" of the parks are so big that the in-game recorder does not work, except for the quadrant that Tony Hawk's Big Spin is located in (that's why there was a Big Spin POV).

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I've not posted often, but I have followed this timeline since page 1 and have always enjoyed not just the park but the storyline you created that really gave this park life!


This is without a doubt, the best RCT3 park I have ever seen. It is a shame it had to end.


All the best for future developments, CD5.

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Download The Park Right Now Please!


And that's that! So now for the question everyone has been asking: Will there be a download? Unfortunately, no. I didn't want to share this with you all until after the park ended, but the park has been split up into different files ever since the park reopened as Six Flags. I've tried my best to hide this, but after having to split the park into quadrants after the 2009 season, it became increasingly difficult to mask all the empty areas of the park. I don't want you guys to see all the ugly "backstage" areas of the empty sections of the park, and offering four separate downloads would be a nightmare to say the least.


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Ive read every page and man, it sucks to have such an awesome park go away!!! But I am a little disappointed that the new GCI wooden coaster never really existed! But great park(or should a say parks) any way! I hope to see a new park from you some time!

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Great choices of music for the farewell video. It's sad to see this park go after two incredible years of updates. You did a great job showing what you can accomplish in Roller Coaster Tycoon. Thanks for the consistent updates, and an awesome park! Hope to see your new projects posted in the future!

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I've been following since the beginning....and it really has been a hell of a journey. Thank you for the years of entertainment, you are a masterful storyteller.

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