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The park opened on June 1, , and was developed originally and constructed as part of the Astrodomain , the brainchild of local philanthropist and former Houston mayor Roy Hofheinz , who intended it to complement the Astrodome. Notable rides featured at the park included the Texas Cyclone , a wooden roller coaster built in that was modeled after the well-known Coney Island Cyclone , and Thunder River , considered the world's first successful river rapids ride when it opened inWaterWorld, an adjacent water park , was acquired and added to AstroWorld inFollowing declining revenue, rising property value, and other issues facing Six Flags, the company closed AstroWorld permanently after its final day of operations on October 30, , the final night of Fright Fest.
Many rides were sold at auction or relocated to other Six Flags' properties, and demolition of the remaining structures was completed by mid Judge Roy Hofheinz , who was one of the original owners of the Houston Astros baseball team and spearheaded the lobbying effort that resulted in Harris County financing the construction of the Astrodome , founded the "Astrodomain" holding company after the Astrodome's opening inIt owned acres 47 ha in south Houston surrounding the Astrodome.
Hofheinz continued to develop the Astrodomain, creating AstroWorld , the Astrohall convention center which hosted twice-daily stagings of the Ringling Bros. In , Hofheinz initially denied that preliminary work for an amusement park had been underway,  but later announced on September 16 that approximately half of the remaining land, acre 23 ha , was being developed for a park to be named "Astroworld".
Additional design work for the park was performed by I. Executives commissioned Ed Henderson, a Disney animator, to build a scale replica of the park and design maps for park guests. Architecture students at Rice University and the University of Houston sculpted many of the buildings.
He stored it in his garage before it was displayed in fall at the Optical Project gallery, operated by artists Bill Davenport and Francesca Fuchs. Naman and Associates, the same firm that had designed the park's outdoor air conditioning; they donated the model to the Houston Public Library.
The Hofheinz family, Roy and his three children Roy Jr. AstroWorld opened on June 1, , just south of the Astrodome, creating a multi-facility entertainment complex; 50, guests visited the park during the first weekend. Hofheinz enlisted two of his grandchildren to launch the amusement park with the release of 2, balloons. Marvel McFey, the park's official mascot branded the "Ambassador of Happiness" , was introduced inIn , just two years after the opening of Astroworld, Hofheinz survived a stroke that left him in a wheelchair.
Six Flags purchased a year operating lease for AstroWorld in mid McFey's tenure as the park's mascot ended in as Bugs Bunny and other Looney Tunes characters moved into the Enchanted Kingdom for the season;  AstroWorld's parent corporation, Six Flags, had acquired the license to use the Looney Tunes characters in for its theme parks from Marriott along with the Great America in Gurnee theme park;  Marriott had held the license since for its twin Great America parks.
Six Flags continued to change ownership, being purchased by Bally Manufacturing in , then by a private equity firm, Wesray Corporation , inTime Warner acquired a minority stake in and owned the company outright by SeptemberAttendance increased during these earlier years.
The Six Flags acquisition was part of an ambitious Premier Parks purchasing program, which bought 31 amusement parks in four years, including the 12 Six Flags parks.
The land tract was reported as taking up acres 42 ha. The land owners hired real estate consultants, Croswell Torian Commercial Properties, to subdivide and market the property to other developers under the "SouthPoint" brand, though no development had yet occurred. The original amusement park site occupied 57 acres 23 ha of that.
Parts of the tract were developed, and other parts were undeveloped; the HLSR was using some of that property for overflow parking and conveying those visitors over the long pedestrian viaduct, the last remnant of the former amusement park.
There were ten themed areas by the early s. WaterWorld, an adjacent water park built in ,  became part of AstroWorld inAt the time the park closed, the themed areas were: . To compensate for the humidity in Houston, the park included more than 2, tons of cooling with vents in the shaded areas of the park, which AstroWorld called "the largest outdoor air conditioning system in the world" at its opening.
Bamboo Shoot a log flume later named Ozarka Splash  and the Serpent junior coaster were installed inSerpent carried 24 passengers on a ft m track in six cars.
After Forest Park was sold to make way for a shopping center, AstroWorld purchased the carousel and moved it to Houston. Muller and Bros. The Swamp Buggy a dark ride with a 55 ft 17 m drop over a spiral track "wrapped around a huge tree" , Magnetic House a fun house  and a wooden bridge were added for the season to an island themed "Fun Island" in the lagoon between the Astroneedle and Plaza de Fiesta.
Country Fair included typical midway attractions and the first major roller coaster in the park, the Dexter Frebish Electric Roller Ride renamed "Excalibur" in with the retheming of the expansion to Nottingham Village. After the park closed, the coaster's trains were relocated to La Ronde. Thunder River , installed in ,  has been described as the "first commercially successful river-rapids ride". Louis B. Parks of the Houston Chronicle said of the ride at the time: "After being shot to the top of the tower in a super fast elevator ride, you are now about to free fall back to the bottom.
As you reach the base of the tower, several weeks ahead of your stomach, you will be swooshed along a curving track, changing your horizon and your bearings, and braked to a quick stop while lying on your back. Gonzalez recalled, this "crash course in physics AstroWorld removed the ride during the s. Looping Starship was installed inSix Flags purchased the ride after the fair's bankruptcy and installed it at AstroWorld in , replacing the Lost World riverboat ride.
Ultra Twister was installed inThe 1,foot m coaster was housed inside a Mayan pyramid. Teens are delightfully horrified. It wound through a jungle past skeletons in crashed jeeps and was probably the best themed wait outside of Batman: The Escape. The ride's entry was based on a medieval torture chamber.
It closed at the end of the season and was demolished during the season. WaterWorld, Houston's first water park, opened in JuneThe acre 4. According to the Houston Chronicle , other attractions included the Lagoon, "a lush swimming area with waterfalls and diving platforms".
Runaway River was an attraction that saw riders float through a series of pools and thrilling drops that eventually lead back to the Lagoon. Peak attendance reached approximately 20, people on Saturdays.
AstroWorld and WaterWorld merged inThe music video for the Debbie Gibson song " Staying Together " was filmed at the concert venue inSix Flags AstroWorld originated the " Fright Nights " special event for the Halloween season in , designed to help drive attendance during the otherwise light fall season.
Dan Dunn and Jeff Martin worked as a caricaturists at the park. In , the bar Moving Sidewalk launched an AstroWorld-themed cocktail menu. American rapper and singer Travis Scott , born and raised in Houston, called his third studio album Astroworld to commemorate his hometown. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Defunct theme park in Houston, Texas, United States. Hofheinz family — Six Flags — AstroWorld early ephemera. Themed areas and key locations within AstroWorld . Texas portal. June 15,Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on May 22,Retrieved August 31,Longview News. Archived from the original on July 19,Retrieved July 19,Galveston Daily News.
May 21,Brookshire Times. December 21,Archived from the original on July 20,Retrieved July 20,Tucson Daily Citizen. June 29,Houston Chronicle. September 17,Archived from the original on July 14,Retrieved July 14,Astrodome Memories. September 27,The Corpus Christi Caller-Times. October 22,Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Archived from the original on July 15,Retrieved July 15,The New York Times. December 4,
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