My husband and I were watching a show on the boob tube Wednesday night called, “Memories of Opryland”.
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it so today I’m hooked on memories from trips to Opryland USA!
Opryland was the best themepark when I was growing up. Sitting there watching that show brought back some great and funny memories. Made me all nostalgic and sad too. I miss that place and I wish that I’d been able to take my kids! It closed to make room for Opry Mills. Yet another ginormous shopping extravaganza.
It was an honest to goodness “theme” park. Walking through the park, you could see everything from the state fair to New Orleans to the 50’s. I loved it! I rode my very first rollercoaster there. After going twice and being too chicken to get on one! It was called “Chaos” and it was an indoor rollercoaster. I only rode it because I couldn’t see it so I guess I thought I was safer on some level.
Here is just a sample of what we are now missing:
THE Wabash Cannonball
What else should you have at a State Fair? Country Bumpkin (bumper cars!), a Petting Zoo, and the too scary for me to even think about ever doing…. Skycoaster… That’s one of those arches that acts like a giant sling shot for people.
Grizzly River Area
The waiting line inside Chaos had clocks everywhere. I don’t think a single one of them had the correct time, but they continuously played this tick tocking sound that would just about drive you insane!
Grizzly River Rampage
The “American Music Theater” was located in this area.
Old Mill Scream
To get to this ride you had to walk through a really cool tunnel like thing in a fake rock like thing… I know that sounds confusing, but if you’d ever been there, you get it. The Barnstormer was essentially like the Tennessee Waltz, but went way higher and you were in a plane.
In this area, there was also a theater called, “Theater by the Lake” and a little island that had monkeys on it.
New Orleans Area
Screamin’ Delta Demon
I always called this a rollercoaster, but I guess it was more like a bobsled. You’d get beaten, you’d get banged, but it was the most fun seeing how close to the top of the chute you could get. It was loud too so that mixed with it’s name made it a kind of ooohhh aahhh kind of ride.
The “New Orleans Bandstand” was in this section as well as an entrance to the Skyride. The skyride was one of the forms of transport in the park. It was those little baskets that would go way up in the air on tiny little cables and take you from one side of the park to the other. I think I was only brave enough to ride that once.
Do Wah Diddy City
Rock N Roller Coaster
If you didn’t know the Rock N Roller Coaster was there, you’d have missed it. It was tucked nicely away in a wooded area behind a “burger joint” in the 50’s area. It had two (or maybe one continual spiral) curves that made this ride so fun! It’s now at Six Flags Great Escape in NY as “Canyon Blaster”.
This area also housed the other “end” of the Skyride, the “Chevy/Geo Theater” and the Little Deuce Coupe. The Little Deuce Coupe sounds mild enough doesn’t it? It was one of those what I like to call “urpy” rides. You get in, sit down, you spin, the ride spins… often in opposite directions… makes you go.. “Urp”.
Hill Country Area
Better known as the log ride. Just like the Old Mill Scream, but on a smaller, less scary scale. You can ride this at Idlewild Park in PA as “Paul Bunyan’s Loggin’ Tobaggan”. (Which I think is an awesome name!)
Grinder’s Switch Train Station
This area held yet another theater, “Martin Guitar Folk Music Theater”.
El Paso Train Station
This was the scariest ride EVER. I wish I could say great and wonderful things about this ride. I can not. It scared the bejesus outta me! It was tall, it was fast, my feet were dangling, and when I got off the ride I literally could not walk a straight line. It is now beating people half to death at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in CA as “Kong”.
LOVE these! Thank goodness you can still putt putt around in them at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, KY.
The “Angle Inn” and the “Durango Theater” could also be found in this area.
Throughout the entire park there were “area appropriate” places to eat. In the State Fair area – hot dog stands, in Do Wah Diddy City – burgers, root beer floats, and so on. Every area had there own “theater” were they would do live shows 8 times (!!!) a day.
After watching that show and looking on the internet, I’m so bummed that it’s gone now. So I went to YouTube and found some videos for you guys!
It’s not the same as being there, but it’ll do.
This video features the Screamin’ Delta Demon, Barnstormer, Wabash Cannonball, Grizzly River Rampage and the Rock N Roller Coaster.
The Old Mill Scream
Dulcimer Splash, Flume Zoom, Log Ride
This one is just some raw footage probably shot for promotional reasons. I love how you can hear the trumpet playing in the New Orleans area.
Now that I’ve bored you all with some of my childhood memories head on over to the Hooked on Houses blog party to see what everyone else is hooked on!!!
** I have to say thank you to “Thrillhunter” who has a website about Opryland. Nearly all the photos are from that site and it was so nice to see all the comments in their guestbook of people who enjoyed the park. Please take a moment to visit the website.**