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Grand Texas Theme Park - New Caney

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Latest aerial construction footage from 8/28, including the first large, "family raft" slide having gone vertical.  The "grained" mix of colored planks on the tower's walking surfaces look good...  Neat enough view, too, of the panel maze.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igi0sTuQ4iY

 

That's the "Storm Surge" and "Comal Crush" attractions' tower:  https://c4c5h4b3jv11qq3kf399hf3c-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Low-Res-Big-Rivers-Storm-Surge-and-Comal-Crush-Raft-Rides.jpg

Edited by txtiger

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Good grief, looking at the Grand Texas website's projections for opening the actual theme park part, it's going to happen (if they can be believed after all this time) pretty much exactly ten years after this thread was started. Remember, it was originally supposed to open in 2010. Then 2012. Then 2013, then 2015.

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Hope it never gets fully built. It’s a half arsed, poor excuse for a theme park. Houston could support so much better. A mediocre park like this is only going to diminish/dilute Houston’s chances of getting a real, first class theme park in the future. 

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On 10/24/2018 at 8:43 PM, intencity77 said:

Hope it never gets fully built. It’s a half arsed, poor excuse for a theme park. Houston could support so much better. A mediocre park like this is only going to diminish Houston’s chances of getting a real, first class theme park in the future. 

I don't know about how having a mediocre theme park would affect our chances of getting a decent one, though I'll take your word for it, but I do agree with you that the plans for the park kinda suck. For one thing, beating the whole "Texas" theme to death. I think about all the successful theme parks out there, from Magic Kingdom to the various Six Flags, Animal Kingdom, the Universals, etc, a big part of what makes them successful is the theming that transports you somewhere other than the place you are. I've been all around Texas, and if I want to see it again, I can get in my car and go see the real thing, so I'm not interested in a cheesy facsimile of it. Considering how poorly managed the planning and development and marketing of this park has been, I think it's pretty safe to assume that they didn't do their due diligence on planning the theming to make sure it would create a sustainable draw of visitors, and you know the execution is going to suck, too.

Edited by Reefmonkey

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1 hour ago, Reefmonkey said:

I don't know about how having a mediocre theme park would affect our chances of getting a decent one, though I'll take your word for it, but I do agree with you that the plans for the park kinda suck. For one thing, beating the whole "Texas" theme to death. I think about all the successful theme parks out there, from Magic Kingdom to the various Six Flags, Animal Kingdom, the Universals, etc, a big part of what makes them successful is the theming that transports you somewhere other than the place you are. I've been all around Texas, and if I want to see it again, I can get in my car and go see the real thing, so I'm not interested in a cheesy facsimile of it. Considering how poorly managed the planning and development and marketing of this park has been, I think it's pretty safe to assume that they didn't do their due diligence on planning the theming to make sure it would create a sustainable draw of visitors, and you know the execution is going to suck, too.

Yes, agreed.  The whole "Texas" thing is beaten to death and run into the ground lately, especially IN TEXAS - go figure.  Time to diversify and think outside the Texas box for once.

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If they can succeed, well, more power to them, I suppose. That there is any money left behind an idea at least 10 years in the making to re-enter an ailing industry that already died off once in this city is a testament to perseverance if nothing else. 

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Most folks that I speak with from the Porter New Caney area are lukewarm about the project. Too much big talk and small results. They have taken a wait and see attitude

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I've observed that most folks on this website don't even seem to know the difference between the Grand Texas project and the EarthQuest project. 

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So ten years later,  "Grand Texas" is finally opening next week.

https://www.chron.com/neighborhood/east-montgomery/news/article/Grand-Texas-theme-park-Houston-opening-2019-13840991.php?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook&fbclid=IwAR33ol83ZFyHf9kjXbe350nWLJ-Q0DMxWHgEEcakp39sAU_lfOLMRnLlA9c

 

Here's what it offers:
 

Quote

 

The first of its kind in Houston, the combined water and adventure theme park boasts some impressive attractions that are considered some of the best and biggest in Texas, including Houston's biggest lazy river (the Rio GRAND River) and the largest inflatable obstacle course in Texas (Wild Isle.)

The parks offer plenty of kid-friendly attractions, including a 300-component interactive play structure - another attraction that is considered the largest in Texas - called Gator Splash. A petting zoo, pony rides, massive maze, catch and release fishing, gem mining and more are also offered at the parks.

 

Anyone looking for an exceptional thrill ride can challenge themselves on the adventure park's multitude of aerial and ropes courses. Entry-level to expert-level zip line courses and rock climbing walls (including one of the tallest climbing walls in Texas according to Grand Texas) are offered year round. The park even offers a gator attraction that lets visitors get up close and personal with real life alligators, according to the release.

 

One-day general admission starts at $44.99 at the gate for adults, $34.99 at the gate for juniors. Some of the adventure courses are not included with admission and run extra.

 

 

Doesn't really sound like a theme park to me. Seems to have scaled back a bit from what they were saying it would offer 10 years ago. And they ashcanned the "no admission fee" idea.

 

 

Quote

Grand Texas is supposed to consist of several areas, including Boomtown, an indoor entertainment center with rock climbing, a mechanical bull, a giant arcade and other activities; Flint Ranch, an agriculture based play area with pony rides, petting zoos, pig races, hay pavilions, peewee rodeo and exhibits on farming and ranching; and Gunslingers, a state of the art, family friendly paintball facility with four themed fields made out of movie sets and one competition, airball field as well as target ranges. Galland is hopeful these areas, which will incorporate rail and oil history as well, will open in April 2010.

 

According to the website, Grand Texas also is to boast Wild Texas Frontier, an island filled with activities for all ages, including high ropes courses that traverse a river, canoeing, catch & release fishing, and a giant maze; and The Mansion, a reception hall reminiscent of the Texas State Governors Mansion, which can be used for a wedding reception of up to 400 guests or more intimate business functions. Galland hopes these parts of the park will open within a year of the park’s projected opening in Spring 2010.

 

There is to be no admission fee into the park, though some activities will have ticket charges.

 

 

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good lord what a mess haha 🙈

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Big Rivers is a waterpark. Gator Bayou is an Adventure Park. Grand Texas Theme Park is a Theme Park. 

 

Big Rivers and Gator Bayou are opening now. Nothing about the theme park has been scaled back yet because it has not even broken ground yet.

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Posted (edited)

I don’t see anything in the Chronicle article or the Grande Texas website to corroborate that, unless you want to count a broken link to a theme park page. After a decade of delays just to get this much open, I’ll believe it when I see it IRT a theme park ever opening. Let’s see if what they’ve got now survives as long as Hanna Barbara Land or Busch Gardens Houston. 

Edited by Reefmonkey

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3 hours ago, Reefmonkey said:

I don’t see anything in the Chronicle article or the Grande Texas website to corroborate that, unless you want to count a broken link to a theme park page. After a decade of delays just to get this much open, I’ll believe it when I see it IRT a theme park ever opening. Let’s see if what they’ve got now survives as long as Hanna Barbara Land or Busch Gardens Houston. 

 

Maybe Response is saying you can't scale back from nothing. 

 

Pretty easy to mentally confuse amusement concepts up in this end of town, hard to imagine that there would have been one, much less two (or three or four, depending on how you count).

 

Good that the water park seems imminent, hope that it is very successful. 

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Posted (edited)

Don't confuse the Grand Texas Development with the Grand Texas Theme Park. The theme park is just one aspect of the development. The Grand Texas website does corroborate that there are multiple facets to this development. Not sure how you miss that. There's even a map showing you where all the various parks and side developments will be located.

 

No matter what the Chronicle says, what they are opening now is not a theme park (9), it is a water park (5) and an adventure park (3). There is a difference. The theme park may well never open. But they have opened the water park, the adventure park, the speed sport racing park, the RV park, some retail and some of the hotels/motels are currently under construction. So they're almost halfway there.

 

Right before they started construction of the water park and adventure park, (around December of 2017) I was very skeptical that they were ever going to get any more of this project built. But to my amazement, they actually did get 2 of these parks open. So who knows, we may actually see a theme park there one day. But it's years away if it's coming at all.

 

A theme park is a monumental feat of construction. Water park development is small potatoes compared to theme park development and I can't blame anyone for being skeptical about a theme park ever being built. The developers have missed so many timelines and come up with so many ridiculous excuses for delays that I for one would take anything they say with a grain of salt.

 

With that being said, I think it is a miracle they have even come this far.  So I'll cut them some slack for now because although it seems to be taking forever, so far they have been delivering what they have been promising. I certainly credit the developers with persistence.

 

If the theme park is built on the scale of Hanna-Barbara Land or Busch Gardens Houston (those places were built for little kids and had no major rides at all) , it probably won't be around long. But if the theme park is built anywhere close to this plan, I think it will have a very good chance for success. As for the success of Big Rivers, the one thing that will set them apart from the other water parks in town is that the Gator Bayou Adventure Park is included. No rides, but those zip lines look like fun to me. 

 

 

GT-Properties_2019.jpg

Edited by Response
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Response said:

Don't confuse the Grand Texas Development with the Grand Texas Theme Park. The theme park is just one aspect of the development. The Grand Texas website does corroborate that there are multiple facets to this development. Not sure how you miss that. There's even a map showing you where all the various parks and side developments will be located.

 

No matter what the Chronicle says, what they are opening now is not a theme park (9), it is a water park (5) and an adventure park (3). There is a difference. The theme park may well never open. But they have opened the water park, the adventure park, the speed sport racing park, the RV park, some retail and some of the hotels/motels are currently under construction. So they're almost halfway there.

 

Right before they started construction of the water park and adventure park, (around December of 2017) I was very skeptical that they were ever going to get any more of this project built. But to my amazement, they actually did get 2 of these parks open. So who knows, we may actually see a theme park there one day. But it's years away if it's coming at all.

 

A theme park is a monumental feat of construction. Water park development is small potatoes compared to theme park development and I can't blame anyone for being skeptical about a theme park ever being built. The developers have missed so many timelines and come up with so many ridiculous excuses for delays that I for one would take anything they say with a grain of salt.

 

With that being said, I think it is a miracle they have even come this far.  So I'll cut them some slack for now because although it seems to be taking forever, so far they have been delivering what they have been promising. I certainly credit the developers with persistence.

 

If the theme park is built on the scale of Hanna-Barbara Land or Busch Gardens Houston (those places were built for little kids and had no major rides at all) , it probably won't be around long. But if the theme park is built anywhere close to this plan, I think it will have a very good chance for success. As for the success of Big Rivers, the one thing that will set them apart from the other water parks in town is that the Gator Bayou Adventure Park is included. No rides, but those zip lines look like fun to me. 

 

 

GT-Properties_2019.jpg

I did see that map, after 10 years with multiple missed deadlines, a big red block that says "coming soon" doesn't mean anything as far as I'm concerned. The theme park is what Galland led with in his promotion of the project both when he started it and for several years after - even as late at 2017, he said "We bought this land for one purpose, and that was to build a theme park.” Now when I click on the "Theme Park" link on the Grand Texas website, nothing happens, the Investor Information page mentions Big Rivers Waterpark, Gator Bayou Adventure Park, Speedsportz Racing Park, the Grand Texas RV Resort, and then says "shopping, dining, and hotels currently under construction or in planning," but doesn't mention anything about a theme park in planning. So what is it that I'm missing?

 

I'm not just skeptical about the theme park ever being built, I'm skeptical about the wisdom of using a water park as a stepping stone to a theme park, especially out there. The Houston area already has Schlitterbahn down in Galveston, Typhoon Texas in Katy, and Splashtown just 25 minutes away from Grand Texas - and Splashtown is closer to both the Woodlands and Houston's population center. Water parks have such a short operating season with high expenses, I question whether even Houston can sustain four. I don't know enough about adventure parks to know if that'll be enough of a tie-in to keep luring Houstonians away from other water parks, and given Galland's obvious lack of knack for capitalizing projects like this or managing marketing and promotion, I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't look into whether it would be enough of a lure either.

 

Sorry to sound so pessimistic, because I like theme parks and would like to see Houston have a good one, and I initially followed this project with some excitement, but its course has been disappointing, and I worry it may make it less likely for investors to want to participate in other, better theme park projects in the area.

Edited by Reefmonkey

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Posted (edited)

Obviously they started with the water/adventure park because they only had enough money to build a water/adventure park. And after 10 years of promotion, interviews and promises, certainly the investors believed that a water park would be better than no park at all. There's like 8 water parks in DFW. I think Houston can sustain more than 4. (actually there's 5 if you consider Pirates Bay in Baytown) and none of them have an adventure park included in the admission. Maybe it will be enough to keep this place in business long enough to get the investors on board to eventually get that theme park built. Maybe, maybe not, but I doubt you or I know any more about it than the banker that loaned them the 20 million that got them started. 

 

I agree that, "coming soon" doesn't mean much, but it does mean that the plans haven't been cancelled and that's still better than anything else you've got in the way of major theme park construction in Houston right now (I don't count Adventure Point as major construction). There are no details about the theme park on their cheezy, amateurish website, but Galland continues to speak about construction of the theme park in recent interviews. It's still mentioned on the master plans. I think there are no details about the theme park on the website because they still don't have the financing to build it or the plans are still being finalized, modified or re-imagined. Maybe they're starting over from scratch. Who knows. Nobody's saying you have to believe the theme park is ever going to happen. You can be as pessimistic as you please but I wouldn't be basing my entire opinion on whatever you're reading (or not reading) in the Chronicle slideshow or the Grand Texas low-budget, seldom updated website (the last post in their "news" section was in October 2018).

 

But here is an article from 2 weeks ago from a local news org where Galland is interviewed (take it for what it's worth)...

 

“As we get the waterpark operational and we perfect that operation, we’re putting in infrastructure at the same time to get ready for construction of the amusement park,” Galland said. “It’ll certainly be a few years before it opens, but we’re getting there. The infrastructure will take place over then next year—that will be the biggest jump-start on development and construction of Grand Texas Theme Park.”

 

https://communityimpact.com/houston/lake-houston-humble-kingwood/development-construction/2019/05/02/grand-texas-to-open-waterpark-adventure-park-attractions-may-25-for-memorial-day-weekend/?fbclid=IwAR1Xk0oDPHNagIAlGIl3Mz05WV2uJoYig2FnKtdQSLqkHQ3lWRh2-Q_BPyU

 

 

See. He's still talking about it. Galland has been saying they would be starting with the waterpark and the theme park would follow for years now. He said there would be a water park and there is now a water park. He said there would be an adventure park and there is now an adventure park. He said there would be the racing park, the rv park and hotels and they have all happened. I haven't seen any downsizing of anything that has actually been built so far.  So sue me for not being as pessimistic as I used to be about it when he is now saying they are putting in the infrastructure and it will be a jump-start for the construction of the theme park. 

 

 

Edited by Response

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Posted (edited)

Here are some photos taken of Big Rivers/Gator Bayou that were posted on their face book page. Last weekend was their 'soft' opening. Not everything is operational yet. The big slides won't be open until later in the month. It looks like it turned out pretty nice to me. Not as many water attractions as Splashtown or Schlitterbahn right now, but it looks bigger and cleaner and not as crowded - yet. It looks like fun.

 

 

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https://www.facebook.com/GrandTexas/?epa=SEARCH_BOX

Edited by Response
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On 5/21/2019 at 3:38 AM, Reefmonkey said:

I don’t see anything in the Chronicle article or the Grande Texas website to corroborate that, unless you want to count a broken link to a theme park page. After a decade of delays just to get this much open, I’ll believe it when I see it IRT a theme park ever opening. Let’s see if what they’ve got now survives as long as Hanna Barbara Land or Busch Gardens Houston. 

 

Hanna Barbara land suffer from the same thing that most of Houston suffered from in the early 80s. Houston was a way different place back then, we were struggling to designate the last person to leave so they could turn off the lights on their way out of town. the only reason anyone went to this park in the first place was because it was on the way out of town.

 

an ill timed good idea doesn't make all future ideas bad.

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It was actually great to live in the 80s in that period - cheap housing, shiny new stuff everywhere, less traffic, great food, and good sports to watch - Hakeem, Warren, Nolan 

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58 minutes ago, Timoric said:

It was actually great to live in the 80s in that period - cheap housing, shiny new stuff everywhere, less traffic, great food, and good sports to watch - Hakeem, Warren, Nolan 

The Astros-Mets playoff game was one for the record books. Unfortunately the Astros lost.

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