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Six Flags might be selling Splashtown so they can focus on their parks that profit more.

Why aren't theme parks working in Houston? Is it the heat, the price?

I wonder how Six Flags Over Texas and Fiesta Texas are making out. You would think it wouldn't be too hard for one to do well here.

I bet Schlitterbahn is stealing a good bit of their business.

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I wonder how Six Flags Over Texas and Fiesta Texas are making out. You would think it wouldn't be too hard for one to do well here.

I bet Schlitterbahn is stealing a good bit of their business.

Fiesta Texas is doing great from what I have read and have the best "live entertainment" of all the Six Flags parks.

Schitterbahn was smart with the indoor parts, they will survive and be successful.

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Fiesta TX and the others were about 25-30 years newer than Astroworld, of course they were going to be successful. The more the better as they drive each other's business.

With that said, Houston is a booming metro of some 5.4 million and travel costs are getting higher and higher. I think somebody will come in and test this market's potential again.

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I don't think it's an issue with theme parks in Houston as much as it's an issue with Six Flags. Apparently they're not able to run a profitable theme park...and not just in Houston...the article mentioned they're looking to sell 9 parks.

But I don't think theme parks are very profitable businesses as it is. The younger generations now are soaked in virtual reality video games and digitally-enhanced DVD's before they're old enough to climb onto their first merry-go-round. Roller coasters were a big thrill 100 years ago. Now they're ridiculously expensive to build and a liability nightmare. I go to park, wait in line for an hour (in the hot sun), and then get a 90-second ride? A kid these days could theoretically have more fun with a GameBoy on the ride home in the minivan than on all the rollercoasters at the theme park.

Unlike Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio, Houston also has a beach. When it gets hot and even muggier during the long Houston summers than it does in the other big Texas cities, the beach is the #1 draw. That's probably why 2 out of the 2 theme parks left in Houston are water parks. Splash Town is obviously doing better financially than Astro World was doing, or it would be closed already. Contrary to that article, I bet Splash Town stays open for a number of more years. Even with Schlitterbahn open now.

Someone's got to reinvent the theme park concept. The whole idea of virtual reality rides is a step in the right direction. Not to mention it's got to be more cost-effective. For example, it had to be a lot, lot cheaper to build Disney's MissionSpace virtual ride than it cost to build Space Mountain (in inflation-adjusted dollars).

I think the roller coaster model is just too passive for generations raised on video games. Sitting on a bench next to some other people while you're moved around to different sights - that doesn't cut it like it did in 1900, before there was TV, radio, or computers. Something like laser tag is more enticing for kids these days to get up from the couch, because it allows almost complete control and interaction with their environment. I'd like to see a theme park where you strap on a VR helmet, VR gloves, and maybe even grab a light sabre or laser gun, and walk through the park making your own adventure. Maybe at one point you'd hop in a go-cart and drive around doing battle with the aliens. You'd do battle with other guests as well as robots. And digital images of foes would be coordinated across the visor screens of all the guests by wireless networks. So 3 people in your party would all see the same digital dragon in the same place at the same time - and all be able to interact with it collectively at the same time. So if 1 person killed it, the other 2 wouldn't have to. Essentially it would be like a real-life video game.

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Six Flags might be selling Splashtown so they can focus on their parks that profit more.

Why aren't theme parks working in Houston? Is it the heat, the price?

I wonder how Six Flags Over Texas and Fiesta Texas are making out. You would think it wouldn't be too hard for one to do well here.

I bet Schlitterbahn is stealing a good bit of their business.

I think the issue was with Six Flags, not with Houston. They purposely stopped putting money into Astroworld in the form of new rides and upkeep a couple of years before they pulled out. Then they cited a decline in attendence as a reason for leaving. I believe they engineered the demise of Astroworld in order to sell the land. Did you ever notice how much cleaner it was at Fiesta TX vs. Astroworld? And they had the same parent company. It was gross standing in line at Astroworld the last few years, gum and spit and vandalism everywhere.

I think Houston is very much in need of an Amusement Park, it's just a matter of where is there room to build it with great accessability?

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I think the issue was with Six Flags, not with Houston. They purposely stopped putting money into Astroworld in the form of new rides and upkeep a couple of years before they pulled out. Then they cited a decline in attendence as a reason for leaving. I believe they engineered the demise of Astroworld in order to sell the land. Did you ever notice how much cleaner it was at Fiesta TX vs. Astroworld? And they had the same parent company. It was gross standing in line at Astroworld the last few years, gum and spit and vandalism everywhere.

We always got "recycled" rides, from what I read, the last "new" ride we got was the "Ultra Twister", everything else from the "Texas Tornado", "Batman the Escape", "Viper", "Mayan Mindbender" and maybe even "Serial Thriller" and Dungeun Drop (not sure about those) were all from other parks.

It would have been nice to have a constant flow of cutting edge new rides that were not hand me downs.

Edited by Pumapayam

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Why is this in the "Great Northwest" section.

True, or is Splash Town in Spring, or is it closer to Conroe/Woodlands?

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Six Flags might be selling Splashtown so they can focus on their parks that profit more.

Why aren't theme parks working in Houston? Is it the heat, the price?

I wonder how Six Flags Over Texas and Fiesta Texas are making out. You would think it wouldn't be too hard for one to do well here.

It's not because of the market; it's because of Six Flags. They wanted to become a monopoly by buying out all their competition, and it ended up biting them in the ass. They tried to be a Starbucks, when a successful theme park needs inovation and strong focus and individual drive from the owners in order for it to survive. Look at Astroworld. When they came out with new rides, yea, more people would come out to see the ride (Ultra Twister, Batman, Serial Thriller), but you never saw a big and bold roller coaster pop up there like at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Magic Mountain in Cali, or Cedar Point in Ohio. After time, people outside Houston were like "if Orlando, San Antonio, and L.A. have a better theme park than you, and you're not doing anything to be better than them, why should we come to Houston's Astroworld instead?

Then Houstonians felt the same way. You had to travel out of town for a world-reknown theme park, when we had a theme park right there across from the Astrodome, and has been there for over 30 years? Someone in Six Flags f*cked up...

We always got "recycled" rides, from what I read, the last "new" ride we got was the "Ultra Twister", everything else from the "Texas Tornado", "Batman the Escape", "Viper", "Mayan Mindbender" and maybe even "Serial Thriller" and Dungeun Drop (not sure about those) were all from other parks.

It would have been nice to have a constant flow of cutting edge new rides that were not hand me downs.

Exactly. They thought we didn't notice.

When Houston gets a theme park that has better rides than in Orlando, Ohio, or California, I guarantee it will be a theme park with high attendance, and Houston would do everything to promote it to an international audience.

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Another thing is that Houston is not really a tourist location. You always hear, Houston is a great place to live but not visit. You go to San Antonio and see the river walk, missions, Fiesta Texas, Seaworld, hill country, ...

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Another thing is that Houston is not really a tourist location. You always hear, Houston is a great place to live but not visit. You go to San Antonio and see the river walk, missions, Fiesta Texas, Seaworld, hill country, ...

The Buffalo Bayou redevelopment is a good attempt to try at recreating our version of a river walk, and with Landry's Aquarium, it does help liven the downtown area with a theme park type environment.

We are getting there, slowly. . . :ph34r:

Edited by Pumapayam

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Another thing is that Houston is not really a tourist location. You always hear, Houston is a great place to live but not visit. You go to San Antonio and see the river walk, missions, Fiesta Texas, Seaworld, hill country, ...

Look at where Las Vegas, San Antonio, and Orlando are located. They're all tourist locations because of the attractions within them. If Houston had the same quality theme-parks with the same quality rides that create an international buzz, Houston would be considered a tourist location as well.

I think Houston's theme park secret is this: If Houston wants to have a quality theme park, it will need to be run by someone that's willing to put everything into that one park. Not a franchise. Other franchises like Universal Studios, Busch, Disney, and Six Flags would consider building in Houston to compete with the world-reknown park already here, and poof, a healthy tourist influx would be developed

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Splashtown is in spring. Sits inbetween 2920 and Louetta. That's why it's in the Great Northwest. Plus, it was initially about Splashtown/Six Flags, not Astroworld/Six Flags.

Kids didn't notice they were recycled rides. Growing up, I had not been to Dallas or SA parks. And even if I had, the joy comes in the moment, not the thought that, "Oh man, been down this curve before. This is boring, been down this drop one too many times."

And we lived at Splashtown as a kid too. I don't know about them these days.

SpringTX, I think you have some valid points. It does kinda stink to wait for Batman Escape for three hours and then ride for 90 secs. But hey, part of the fun was hangin out in line with your friends messin around.

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Splashtown is in spring. Sits inbetween 2920 and Louetta. That's why it's in the Great Northwest. Plus, it was initially about Splashtown/Six Flags, not Astroworld/Six Flags.

Kids didn't notice they were recycled rides. Growing up, I had not been to Dallas or SA parks. And even if I had, the joy comes in the moment, not the thought that, "Oh man, been down this curve before. This is boring, been down this drop one too many times."

And we lived at Splashtown as a kid too. I don't know about them these days.

SpringTX, I think you have some valid points. It does kinda stink to wait for Batman Escape for three hours and then ride for 90 secs. But hey, part of the fun was hangin out in line with your friends messin around.

As a kid, I noticed. All of SWAT noticed. All you had to do was see how many people were planning trips to Orlando and San Antonio but had no plans of going to Astroworld because "they've seen better"...

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As a kid, I noticed. All of SWAT noticed. All you had to do was see how many people were planning trips to Orlando and San Antonio but had no plans of going to Astroworld because "they've seen better"...

Those are destination cities though, so you can't say it's just because of duplicated roller coasters. I for one don't think I'd vaation to another city just because they have different roller coasters as the single reason. Didn't you ever go on slow cold days when there were no lines and you rode rides over and over? It was fun, regardless if they were the same twist and turns.

The most important thing to me was how big and fast and crazy they were, and if there were a lot of them. I think Astroworld had all of those.

Splashtown needs some rides that go up like Schlitterbahn. Or something like the body boarding ride.

Edited by lockmat

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SpringTX, I think you have some valid points. It does kinda stink to wait for Batman Escape for three hours and then ride for 90 secs. But hey, part of the fun was hangin out in line with your friends messin around.

Most of the rides, minus XLR-8 and Thunder River were so short. The really just put lots of short rides in a tight space. but your are right, waiting in line for so long is a burden.

It is not like the Pirates of the Caribbean in Disneyland, that attraction is almost 14 minutes long! :o

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Those are destination cities though, so you can't say it's just because of duplicated roller coasters. I for one don't think I'd vaation to another city just because they have different roller coasters as the single reason. Didn't you ever go on slow cold days when there were no lines and you rode rides over and over? It was fun, regardless if they were the same twist and turns.

The most important thing to me was how big and fast and crazy they were, and if there were a lot of them. I think Astroworld had all of those.

They're destination cities in part because of their theme parks. I can't think of any other reason why I'd want to go to Orlando to vacation if their theme parks weren't there.

Astroworld had rides, but nothing spectacular. Houstonians only loved them because they were the best in HOUSTON. Not even the biggest and best in the state, muchless the country or world.

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I just needed a little validation.

DJ V Lawrence, I just would like to say that everything you have been stating is absolutely right on and were things I had been saying for years. I could kiss you just for being someone on this board that recognizes Houston could use a legitimate tourist element. In fact I'm surprised you haven't been greeted with, " Houston is a business town and don't need or want tourist attractions or tourists".

I was a AstroWorld employee for 5 years in a former life, and everything you stated about it with regard to the rides and the position Six Flags put it in, to why the park wasn't as successful as it probably could have been, was 1000 % correct.

I knew I wasn't crazy. :wacko:

Edited by VelvetJ

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By the way, I think the best place for a park doesn't necessarily have to be in Houston's city limits. IMO, the best place would be somewhere up 59 North the Eastex Freeway area possibly not too far from Liberty. There the park would have legitimate room to expand and build what I call truly large rides. However the main reason would be because of the well established natural shade. It would be great if a park could be built out 288 but the lack of trees would be a killer in the summer, and waiting for newly planted trees to mature to the level of AstroWorld in a park there would be just as painful.

Northwest Houston's population is growing too fast and I think there would be strong opposition there. Northeast Houston would work best imo, if no other reason than the shade.

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By the way, I think the best place for a park doesn't necessarily have to be in Houston's city limits. IMO, the best place would be somewhere up 59 North the Eastex Freeway area possibly not too far from Liberty. There the park would have legitimate room to expand and build what I call truly large rides. However the main reason would be because of the well established natural shade. It would be great if a park could be built out 288 but the lack of trees would be a killer in the summer, and waiting for newly planted trees to mature to the level of AstroWorld in a park there would be just as painful.

Northwest Houston's population is growing too fast and I think there would be strong opposition there. Northeast Houston would work best imo, if no other reason than the shade.

59 north?

ewwww

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When I first read DJ V Lawrence's post about competing with Orlando and Anaheim, it didn't click. But then I realized his vision is for a unique, one-off, mega theme park in Houston which will put us on the map. The market is ripe - there are no other players in the market. This is a bold dream, but it could happen. Some might say San Antonio is competition, but all they really have that is lasting is the Alamo. Everything else they have could be duplicated somewhere else in 10 years. And the one thing we have that no other major city in Texas has is Galveston. Why not load both barrels of the shotgun? Why drive an hour out into the woods to go to an amusement park when you can drive an hour to the beach, which is where you were probably already headed on that sunny Saturday in July. We have a historic island in our backyard offering Schlitterbahn, the Strand, East Beach, Moody Gardens, and the cruise ship terminal. The property values are still pretty tame there. I think the Galveston is the potential goldmine that half the other cities in the country would kill for.

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We always got "recycled" rides, ...everything else from the "Texas Tornado" ... were all from other parks.

It would have been nice to have a constant flow of cutting edge new rides that were not hand me downs.

Montrose1100 doesn't believe this.

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When I first read DJ V Lawrence's post about competing with Orlando and Anaheim, it didn't click. But then I realized his vision is for a unique, one-off, mega theme park in Houston which will put us on the map. The market is ripe - there are no other players in the market. This is a bold dream, but it could happen. Some might say San Antonio is competition, but all they really have that is lasting is the Alamo. Everything else they have could be duplicated somewhere else in 10 years. And the one thing we have that no other major city in Texas has is Galveston. Why not load both barrels of the shotgun? Why drive an hour out into the woods to go to an amusement park when you can drive an hour to the beach, which is where you were probably already headed on that sunny Saturday in July. We have a historic island in our backyard offering Schlitterbahn, the Strand, East Beach, Moody Gardens, and the cruise ship terminal. The property values are still pretty tame there. I think the Galveston is the potential goldmine that half the other cities in the country would kill for.

In another thread, I suggested that a massive amusement park on Pelican Island would probably be a really good fit.

Pipe dreams...

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It's not that Splashtown is doing bad business or that Houston can't support parks, it's a specific problem Six Flags has where the company is in massive debt and looking to offload many sites so they can concentrate on core properties.

You'd think Splashtown is far enough away from Schlitterbahn that they can both thrive, I would not be suprised if a new operator for Splashtown keeps it as a waterpark.

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We always got "recycled" rides, from what I read, the last "new" ride we got was the "Ultra Twister"

Nope, Ultra Twister was used as well. If I am not mistaken, it came from New Jersey after one of the cars fell down the lift (the lift was actually completely vertical before AstroWorld got it. After the incident, they moved it here and pulled the lift out at an angle resulting in the lift we remember. Plus it made it easier to unload passengers if needed).

AstroWord and Houston were short-changed on so many levels when it came to Six Flags and Houstonians didn't even realize it. And most of those who did know didn't seem to care. Settling in mediocrity was once again at work in Houston.

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As far as AW goes, the last new rides the park got were SWAT and Diablo Falls which were installed around 2003. SWAT was even the prototype ride of its type and is now located at Six Flags New England. The last new rollercoaster in Houston was Serial Thriller, the Vekoma SLC that replaced Excalibur in 1999. Serial Thriller and Diablo Falls were both hugely popular rides, SWAT seemed a little more intimidating and never had much of a line.

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59 north?

ewwww

Well, what freeway would you rather ride out? I-45 North, or 290 out West? I would take the wooded 59 North anyday. A lot less commercial stuff out there Could you imagine riding from IAH out to Liberty county surrounded by trees, then going into a top-notch theme park?

I think Conroe would be good, also, because Conroe has hills ;).

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Guest Marty
By the way, I think the best place for a park doesn't necessarily have to be in Houston's city limits. IMO, the best place would be somewhere up 59 North the Eastex Freeway area possibly not too far from Liberty.

I think it would be a great ideal to build a themed park in that area. :)

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Well, what freeway would you rather ride out? I-45 North, or 290 out West? I would take the wooded 59 North anyday. A lot less commercial stuff out there Could you imagine riding from IAH out to Liberty county surrounded by trees, then going into a top-notch theme park?

I think Conroe would be good, also, because Conroe has hills ;).

You're probably right. I don't know.

I just don't like driving down that section. At least I wouldn't wanna live there.

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Forested areas make for pretty amusement parks. I would rather see something on the north side than the west side as well.

Sam Houstonland, build it!

i imagine that with david adicks plaster sculptures all around.

bet he could make some huge whimsical scupltures/structures

to augment a park like that...

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I can imagine the "Black Hole" around SH 288 having the best potential. It wouldn't be far from Astroworld's old location and it could spark more development along that corridor.

Also, Galveston would make an ieal location.

But, like someone mentioned earlier, the whole theme park concept is rapidly becoming outdated. If we could construct some CRAZY tourist attraction that entertains and thrills people of all ages, I'm sure Houstonians and tourists would need to look no where else.

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I can imagine the "Black Hole" around SH 288 having the best potential. It wouldn't be far from Astroworld's old location and it could spark more development along that corridor.

Also, Galveston would make an ieal location.

But, like someone mentioned earlier, the whole theme park concept is rapidly becoming outdated. If we could construct some CRAZY tourist attraction that entertains and thrills people of all ages, I'm sure Houstonians and tourists would need to look no where else.

Oye Oye Oye. It either has to be one of the top 5 best theme parks in the country in terms of rides and entertainment, or it will fail miserably within 5 years in the Houston market. There's enough entertainment in Houston for people to not want to settle for half-ass like Six Flags made Astroworld...

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By the way, I think the best place for a park doesn't necessarily have to be in Houston's city limits. IMO, the best place would be somewhere up 59 North the Eastex Freeway area possibly not too far from Liberty. There the park would have legitimate room to expand and build what I call truly large rides. However the main reason would be because of the well established natural shade. It would be great if a park could be built out 288 but the lack of trees would be a killer in the summer, and waiting for newly planted trees to mature to the level of AstroWorld in a park there would be just as painful.

Northwest Houston's population is growing too fast and I think there would be strong opposition there. Northeast Houston would work best imo, if no other reason than the shade.

I have heard there is a new theme park going in on 59N Just to the North of FM 1485. Supposed to be a prehistoric theme to the park.

Brian

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My bad it's not theme park but it is interesting.

http://www.newschannel5.tv/News/Other/4575...r-Texas-in-2008

http://www.tracyleerealty.com/

Heres the text of the article from the second link.

East Montgomery County has been selected as the site for the largest dinosaur park in the world.

Frank McCrady, president and CEO of the East Montgomery County Improvement District, announced on Oct. 31 that Dinosaur City, a $50 million educational park and live-animal facility, will be built in New Caney by 2010.

The facility will feature a 110,000-square-foot exhibit hall and dinosaur display, an IMAX theater, a water recreation park, hotel and convention center. Leading theme park designers, one of Germany's leading zoo directors, robotics and special effects experts are all involved in the planning for the facility. "It's going to be a nice project," said McCrady. "It can truly define our area in the future as far as travel and tourism."

The park is expected to attract more than a million visitors each year.

The facility is the concept of the dinosaur expert known as "Dino" Don Lessem, an author of 47 books on dinosaurs and advisor to Universal Studios' Jurassic Park, Walt Disney Company and Animal Kingdom dinosaur attractions.

"It will have the largest dinosaur educational facility in the world," said Lessem. "I dug up the biggest dinosaurs and they need a place to live."

Construction of the facility will be a five-year project, according to McCrady. The first phase is a $200,000 site study paid for by the improvement district to analyze the property, which is located north of Caney Creek on the west side of U.S. Highway 59 North.

"We'll partner with the state for additional financial needs," said McCrady. "It's a regional attraction not just a state attraction. A lot of people will come from out of state. It's a win for our area and a win for Texas, as well."

The park is expected to create 500 to 1,000 jobs, according to McCrady.

New Caney beat Dallas as the final location for the facility, according to Lessem.

"I liked the look of the community," he said. "The land was completely undeveloped. We want to celebrate nature. This is not a theme park. This is something that hasn't been done before. We want to keep it as pristine as we can."

Lessem wants the facility to have allied programs with the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Houston Zoo and have mobile exhibits. Live exotic animals will also be included at the park. Other projects at the facility will include educational outreach tours and field trips.

Lessem also hopes to create a university affiliation with one of the Texas universities and create a nonprofit foundation to help generate revenue to fund dinosaur research.

"We want to steer a bit of revenue towards education," he said.

Lessem explained that the dinosaur park is one way to get children interested in science.

"You can teach them all about science when they are interested in dinosaurs," he said.

Brian

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Guest Plastic

However said kids today wouldn't like rollercoasters are dead wrong. The thing with all things, toys, music, and rides kids now deal with are either electronic,complex, or extreme.

Rollercoasters are no doubt extreme. That's why they've taken off in California. Parks like Majic Mountain cater to the Ztreme,surfer,skateboarder typed people in California. INfact they names one of their coasters C. Seems company's like to put the Generation X everywhere.

Some more sophisticated,electronic types might like virtual reality. But a large majority are gonna want the big rollercoasters. The reason Astroworld went out is cause their rides were verry sorry. The Texas Cyclone and Taz's Tornado were the only one's worth northerners coming and seeing. That combined withthe park looking old and crumby drove down attendence. We need something like Majic Mountain or Cedar Point. That and thugs kids hung out and they took away tthe tram.

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Dinosaurs? Here? It's a possibility. The article states that 64 locations were possibilities for the project, yet East Montgomery County was chosen. I'd like to see the list of the other locations.

Imagine riding roller coasters and water slides while learning about prehistoric animals.

That is the basic theme of the new dinosaur park that is slated to be built in East Montgomery County. At this time, the latest name given to the park is Earth Quest Adventures.

Dinosaur Park

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