One of the great things about being in Texas is the family entertainment.  Texas has some great amusement and water parks.   Six Flags, Hurricane Harbor, Schlitterbahn, and Fiesta Texas are just a few.

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However, for many the childhood memories belong to those amusements that are no longer open and have been closed for years.

Aquarena Springs/Center - San Marcos

This park was located at Spring Lake.  In 1926 the property was purchased by AB Smith and in 1928 Paul Smith built Springlake Hotel on the lake.  As a part of the hotel and as an attraction they introduced glass bottom boats where hotel patrons could ride the boats and see all the magnificent lake life and beautiful waters.  Unfortunately, the hotel closed during the Great Depression. In 1950 the Submarine Theater and a swimming pool were built. In 1951 Aquarena Springs opened.  The park was fill with rides including the Alpine Swiss Sky Ride, and the Intamin 220 which would spin 360 degrees.

The glass bottom boats were still operating   Other attractions included Ralph the Famous Swimming Pig and Mermaids.   An arcade was included in the park with tic-tac-toe playing chickens.

Texas State University acquired the property in 1994 and the remainder of the Aquarena Springs attractions were finally dismantled in 2012.   The hotel was converted into the Meadows Center for Water and Environment.

Boardwalk Fun Park - Grand Prairie

This amusement was located in Grand Prairie, Texas. It was originally a water park called White Water it was in operation from 1982-1985.  In 1985, Wet N Wild (now Six Flags Hurricane Harbor) purchased the park to squash their competition.  The area was then turned into an amusement park that opened in 1992, that same year a tragic event happened with one of their rollercoasters.  The park never reopened and sat unused for 3 years.  A car dealership purchased the land in 1996 and the park was dismantled.

Busch Gardens - Houston

Busch Gardens was a set of amusement parks created to promote Anheuser-Busch.   They were originally hospitality houses where people could come and sample the Anheuser-Busch products.  The properties also had stables where the famous Clydesdales were kept.   Rides and attractions were added and it was a place every kid wanted to visit.  Texas had a Busch Gardens and it resided in Houston.   The Houston Park opened in 1971 it was built close to the Anheuser-Busch brewery.   The brewery was open 5 years prior.   The park theme was Asian influence.  The popular attractions included an ice cave with penguins, polar bears, and sea lions.  The park also had a railway.  Unfortunately, the park wasn't that popular and it closed a few years after it opened.

Fame City Waterworks

This was a waterpark in Houston. Dari Ansari opened the park in 1986 and sold it in 1993. The name was eventually changed to Adventure Bay, and it finally closed for good in 2005. Some well-known attractions were the Gulf Stream, Rio Lento Lazy River, and the Master Blasters.

Hanna-Barbera Land - Spring, Texas

The park was themed after the animation studio that brought us beloved cartoon favorites like The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, Smurfs, Yogi Bear, and many more.  Hanna-Barbera land was located in Spring, Texas north of Houston and it opened in 1984.  Unfortunately, the park closed in 1985 and the rides were sold.  Six Flags Hurricane Harbor SplashTown is located where Hanna-Barbera once stood.

Joyland Amusement Park - Lubbock

Chad Hasty
Chad Hasty

Joyland was located in Lubbock.  It was founded in the 40s and originally called Mackenzie Park Playland.   In 1973 the name was changed to Joyland and it had 13 rides. In 2022 the park closed and would not reopen.  It was believed that the new owners would reopen in 2023, but they backed out of the sale.  Eventually, the park rides were sold and auctioned off.

Luna Park - The Coney Island of Texas - Houston

Portal to Texas History
Portal to Texas History

Luna Park was located in Houston and operated between 1924 and 1934.  It opened officially on June 26, 1924.   It was the home to Houston's first roller coaster, the Skyrocket.  The Skyrocket was also the largest coaster in the United States at the time.  After receiving a new owner, the name was changed to Venice Park.  However, after multiple deaths, controversy, and the stock market crash in 1929.  The park closed down.

Magic Landing - El Paso

Portal to Texas History/UT El Paso
Portal to Texas History/UT El Paso

Magic Landing opened on Independence Day in 1984 in El Paso.  It was open until 1988.  Unfortunately in the summer of 1985, an 18-year-old worker named Frank Guzman Jr. was killed.  He was retrieving a patron's hat and had his arm laying on the track, and the coaster ran over and severed his arm.  He died from his injuries.

The park closed due to low attendance and inability to afford the $1M insurance policy required.

Peppermint Park - Houston

Peppermint Park was originally opened in the 1950s and was originally named Peppermint Park Kiddieland. The park had 5 different locations The park started in the parking lot of Sears in Pasadena and was later moved to the Gulf Freeway, then to Interstate 610, then to Beltway 8, and its final resting place was Friendswood.

Playland Park - Houston

Playland Park opened at 9200 South Main.  Its claim to fame was the Giant Skyrocket Wooden Rollercoaster.  This coaster was originally in the Luna Park mentioned above. The park closed in 1967.

Playland Park - San Antonio

Playland Park opened in 1943.  Its popular ride was The Rocket rollercoaster.  Parkland Park closed on September 1, 1980.

Seven Seas Marine Life Park - Arlington

The Seven Seas Marine Life Park opened on March 18, 1972.  The park was located near Six Flags Over Texas.  The park featured a killer whale, sea lion circus, dolphin show,  elephant seal, and penguins.  Unfortunately, the park closed in 1975 because it kept losing money.  It reopened in 1976 under a new name Hawaiian Kai, but closed that same year.

Astroworld - Houston

Astroworld opened in Houston on June 1, 1968.  It became a part of the Astrodomain, created by Houston Astro's original owner, Roy Hofheinz, and included the Astrodome and the Astrohall.  It was later sold to Six Flags in 1978.  After 37 years the park closed on October 30, 2005.

Splash Amarillo Water Park - Amarillo


The park originally opened in Amarillo in May 2000 named Firewater Waterpark.  It was located on I-40 on the east side of Amarillo. The park had a lazy river, a wave pool, six slides, and one giant slide that locals liked to call The Taco Slide.  In 2002 the company that owned FireWater ended up filing for bankruptcy.  The new owners took over in 2003 and renamed it Splash Amarillo.   Several years later the park's name changed to Splash Kingdom.  Unfortunately, the park closed in 2016.  All the slides were moved to Plainview where they were supposed to be a part of a place called Royal Splash.  However, all that stands is 2 sets of stairs.

The former Splash Amarillo property is now the Starlight Ranch Event Center owned by The Big Texan and it is a concert venue and event center.

Splashtown - San Antonio

This water park originally opened in 1985 at Water Park USA.   It was also known as Splashtown USA.  The park featured over 50 slides, a lazy river, and a wave pool.  The park closed on September 11, 2021.  The park closed because the owner was retiring and the land was being sold to build a car dealership.

Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park - Dallas

Zero Gravity was opened in 1992 and featured bungee jumping, the Skycoaster a handglider simulator, Texas Blastoff ejection seat, Nothin But Net free fall, and Skyscraper a rotating ride. In 2021, the land owner sold the land and the park had to close.

It's sad when places that brought so much happiness and joy close their doors.  However, when one closes another one opens to bring the fun.   Let's just hope the more popular amusement parks in Texas like Six Flags remain open for another hundred years.

15 Defunct Six Flags Over Texas Rides That Have Been Removed But Not Forgotten

These rides once stood proud and brought joy and terror, in some cases, to those who rode them at Six Flags Over Texas. These rides no longer exist at Six Flags Over Texas. Yes, The New Texas Giant is there, but The Texas Giant went through a complete remodel and redesign and received an upgraded steel track and has a new configuration, and is no longer like the OG, The Texas Giant.

Gallery Credit: Lucky Larry, Mix 93-1

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If you want to rent this property, or just want more information then click here.

Gallery Credit: Sean Alan - 102.3 The Bull

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