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Sandy Lake Amusement Park is Closing

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Another small park is closing. The land has been sold to a landscaping company and the previous owners are expected to sell the parks assets over the next 12 months.




This popular DFW amusement park is closing for good after 50 years

By Stephen English


October 18, 2018 10:56 AM


Sandy Lake Amusement Park, a popular Dallas-Fort Worth attraction for nearly 50 years and home of the annual FunFest music competition, announced yesterday that it is closing for good.


The announcement, made on the park’s Facebook page, said that the owners have sold the property “after 48 successful years.”


The post didn’t go into details about the sale, but owners said the park was bought by a nearby landscaping company, Southwest Wholesale Nursery, for an undisclosed sum.


“We’ve had 48 successful years,” said former co-owner Frank Rush.


“Things change. Nolan Ryan quit pitching baseball at one time. And we’re going out on top,” he said.


He said he and the other owners were glad to sell to Southwest, which won’t bulldoze the land and build on it, like previous potential buyers had proposed.


Rush, like the other co-owners, lives on the property and says Southwest is allowing them to continue living there for another year as they sell off rides, picnic tables and other property of the park.


The former owners noted on Facebook that while the park’s history dates to the 1930s as a swimming attraction, it wasn’t until 1971 that Sandy Lake blossomed into a true amusement park featuring rides, miniature golf, an arcade, paddle boats and annual events.


One such annual event was the FunFest competition for school bands. The park reported that more than 65,000 students were entertained at this year’s competition.


“At this time I do not have any plans to continue Funfest,” another former co-owner, Suzy Self, said via email. “However, you never know what the future holds in store.”


Self said it makes her smile to know so many kids had the experience of competing at FunFest, which she organized.


“We felt like we gave thousands of students the opportunity to display their musical talents,” she said.


“For years, I would wear my Sandy Lake hat into a restaurant and a waiter would tell me, ‘I was at that music thing,’” Rush said.


The park, which operated seasonally and charged $2 for general admission until the day it closed, said it also hosted thousands of company picnics, reunions and birthday parties over the years, along with giving thousands of teenagers their first jobs.


“If the park’s legacy is leaving most people with golden memories or pleasant thoughts, then the park has done its job,” the post reads.

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Thanks for posting, Larry...I got tagged by my mechanic in Dallas about this two hours ago - he knows that I'm a theme park geek.


I never like seeing amusement parks close, but it is what it is, I suppose.

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I also think it's getting harder for these smaller outdoor parks to compete with some of the giant indoor FEC, trampoline, ninja warrior type places that don't have to worry about weather.

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I've never heard of this place but hopefully somebody picks up some of these rides, especially the Rock-O-Plane, Paratrooper and what appears to be the weirdest looking swinging ship in America.


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I visited a couple of years ago when I had some time to kill before a flight. There was barely anyone there, and it does feel like a carnival, but I could tell that it'd be a good host for events. There's a fantastic old-school pretzel there that I hope can be salvaged. There was an old man running it who, apparently, had been running it for many years. He talked my ear off for a solid hour.




The pirate ship is weird in that it's less of a swing and more of a rocking movement. Also, they have a chair swing ride (a "yo-yo" I believe) that's way more intense than it should be.

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Jake has a pretty good TR from this park back in 2009. Not much has changed!




I’m actually sad it’s closing! They host the SWA Chili Cook-off every year and its a super fun event. Glad I was able to make good memories at this year’s event.


Hope the rides find a new home!

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It was fairly vacant on my one visit way back in August, 2007, which I enjoyed. TBH it's kinda surprising the park lasted this long after though, but maybe they held many community events to keep it going, This is just too bad as it would've been cool to see the park develop into something akin to Knoebels south.

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