Remembering an Iconic Texas Amusement Park: Astroworld 50 Years Later

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50 years ago on June 1, 1968, Astroworld opened its doors, and Houston (not to mention Texas itself) would forever be remembered for having one of the most thrilling amusements parks of all time. In its heyday, it was a child’s haven for entertainment and the best place to land a job for the summer.

Astroworld was a marvel with daring roller coasters and other thrilling rides that took your breath away. In its opening weekend, over 20,000 visitors descended upon the park, according to Houstonia, “marveling at the carefully constructed worlds, created by a former movie-set designer and built on more than 50 acres of land.” The YouTube video below is a short synopsis of what a guest encountered in a visit to one of the happiest places in Texas at the time.

If you grew up in Houston, Texas, you probably remember Astroworld as the place to hang out with friends and family while taking in the sights and sounds of this magnificent park. So when its doors closed on October 30, 2005, it was a day of mourning for generations of kids who grew up with access to such a place without having to travel to Disneyworld to experience a world-class amusement park.

Now sitting as an empty overflow parking lot for the nearby NRG Stadium and yearly events such as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, it’s hard to imagine this magical place ever existed.

If you stare long enough, though, you can still hear the roar of the Greezed Lightnin’, a roller coaster that went from zero to 60 mph in seconds. If you grew up in the 70s and on, until its demise, you definitely knew what a rush the Texas Cyclone could be. Thunder River was the best way to cool off during those hot summer months. Who could forget the Viper, XLR-8, Ultra Twister, and Batman The Escape?

Remembering an Iconic Texas Amusement Park: Astroworld 50 Years Later

Photo: Facebook: 100% Houston

Astroworld thrived for decades as one of the best places for fun, family-friendly entertainment. In the park’s first two decades, in excess of 30 million guests walked through its doors. Since its closure, rumors have risen that another “AstroWorld-style attraction” could be built, but as of yet, nothing has been formally announced. Mayor Sylvester Turner has stated that he wants to see another world-class amusement park come to his world-class city, but that ultimately it will all depend on attracting the right developer.