How Many Amusement Parks Does Texas Officially Have?
With Universal Studios opening up a park in Frisco in the future. How many places can we go to for a fun day riding some rides?
Grand Texas - Houston (Opens in 2023)
In doing some research on this place, it sounds like a headache. This news report is from 2018 talking about how this place was already supposed to be open. It's now 2023 and they're supposed to officially open in March. It looks like it is mainly a waterpark, but it will have a few rides as well. So it does make the list.
Joyland Amusement Park - Lubbock (Literally Just Closed This Week)
In doing some research, I found this place called Joyland. Who unfortunately got some bad news in 2022 that the owners were looking to sell this place. Back in October, some people were willing to buy the place and open it up in 2023. Sadly, just two days ago they backed out of the sale and it looks like they will be selling off the rides. Sounds like this could be the end for Joyland, but I will add it to the list in case someone comes to save the day.
Wonder World - San Marcos
I feel like I am scrapping the bottom of the barrel with this one. It has a train ride, but that's literally the only ride at this place. They have something called the "Wonder Cave".
Let us lead you into Wonder Cave: The only real dry-formed cave open for viewing and an eye-opener to Mother Nature’s raw power.
They also have something called the Anti-Gravity house which sounds somehow lamer than the cave. I would be pissed if this was my amusement park as a kid.
Wonderland - Amarillo
From Wonder World to Wonderland. At least this one has several ride options. This is pure old school amusement park right here. I love old timey rides like this that haven't been updated in decades.
ZDT Amusement Park - Sequin
Another place that seems to be primarily a water park, but also has some rides. It has a roller coaster called Switchback, a parachute drop, and something called the Dizzy Toucan. On their website they have something called 'The Trampoline Thing". Really?! Couldn't give it a real name, what's this, "Oh the trampoline thing".
Kiddie Park - San Antonio
America's oldest children's amusement park? That's what Kiddie Park claims. Been operating since 1925. From the looks of it, if you have a kid under six, they would have some fun at this place. It's all basic rides that go in a circle that little kids love. For $16 your kid can ride all the rides they want and get a hot dog. Sounds like a good day to me if I was five.
Houston Aquarium - Houston (DUH!)
An aquarium is an amusement park? Actually here...yes. They have an aqua wheel, shark voyage train, and a ride called the lighthouse dive to name a few. So yes, this place has a good variety of rides to go along with the giant aquarium.
Kemah Boardwalk - Kemah
I love a good boardwalk and honestly need to go check out the ones in South Texas. A boardwalk always has an amusement park on it and the Kemah Boardwalk appears to be a classic one. A sign of a good boardwalk amusement park, wooden roller coaster. Here they have the Boardwalk Bullet.
Pleasure Pier - Galveston
This looks like a much more updated version of a boardwalk amusement park. I've never been to Galveston, but this area looks absolutely gorgeous in the video. Looks like the star attraction is the Iron Shark rollercoaster. Not a bad name at all.
In The Game Funtrackers - Corpus Chirsti
^So I looked this place it up and it looked like an arcade with some go karts. That's not an amusement park and then. Bam, they do have some rides, so I guess it counts. They have lightening drop, himalya, ferris wheel, and a frog hopper. Yeah, I'll count it.
Morgan's Wonderland -San Antonio
So this is one of the most unique amusement parks I have ever seen. It is an entirely handicap accessible theme park. Here's the story behind it from their website.
In 2006, Gordon Hartman observed his daughter, Morgan, wanting to play with other vacationing kids at a hotel swimming pool, but the kids were leery of Morgan and didn’t want to interact with her. Then and there, Gordon resolved to create opportunities and places where those with and without disabilities can come together for fun and a better understanding of one another.
Can't hate on that whatsoever.
Sea World - San Antonio
I always though of Sea World as the show theme park place and not really a ride park. I have heard the Wave Breaker roller coaster is legitimately a pretty cool coaster. I went here sometime in the early 2000's. I remember riding the Great White and Steel Eel over and over again. Everyone was at the shows so I just kept re-riding the coasters. I definitely got sick in the afternoon. Your body is not meant to ride upside down coasters several times in a row.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas - San Antonio
Now we're getting into the big boys. When it comes to theme parks in Texas I think everyone thinks of Six Flags. You may notice that the two Six Flags in Texas have the same exact rides, but different names. For instance in San Antonio they have the Joker Carnival of Chaos. In Arlington, it is The Riddler Revenge. They're literally the same ride, just different paint jobs.
Six Flags Over Texas - Arlington
I close it out with the only other amusement park I have been to on the list (besides Sea World). Six Flags Over Texas, I mainly just go for the games and a couple of rides on the roller coasters. This area has blown up since the Dallas Cowboys moved in next door in 2009. We will see how well Six Flags does when new competition moves into Frisco with the Universal Studios option for kids.