Lost and Abandoned: Forgotten Amusement Parks

By Sophia Maddox | December 28, 2023

Six Flags Stopped Flying Over New Orleans

Very few places bring memories of joy and laughter more than a theme park. Whether you've snacked on cotton candy while visiting with some of your favorite Disney characters or you have memories of spending your summer vacation soaring upside down with friends on a roller coaster, you likely have fond memories of a theme park. While some theme parks continue to provide people of all ages with a variety of memories, the world is filled with some theme parks that have closed their gates and shut down their rides for the last time. 

These once-thriving playgrounds now stand silent, nature reclaiming what was once a realm of excitement. Ferris wheels stand frozen against the sky, their stillness a stark contrast to the dynamic scenes they once framed. Carousel melodies have faded, replaced by the whispers of wind through rusting structures. Join us as we unravel the stories of these lost amusement parks, where the echoes of joy linger amidst the rust and decay.

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Kristina Rogers/Shutterstock

Nestled on the banks of the Mississippi River, Six Flags New Orleans was once a bustling hub of entertainment and excitement. Originally opened as Jazzland in 2000, the park underwent a transformative rebranding in 2003 when Six Flags, a prominent amusement park chain, took over. The new identity brought with it a promise of thrilling rides, family-friendly attractions, and a vibrant atmosphere that would make it a staple in the region's leisure landscape.

Tragically, this promise didn’t last long. Hurricane Katrina, the devastating storm that struck in 2005, wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast and left Six Flags New Orleans in ruins. The park, situated in a vulnerable flood-prone area, faced insurmountable damage. Floodwaters submerged the grounds, submerging rides and structures and rendering them unusable. The magnitude of the destruction dealt a severe blow to the park's operations, prompting its closure in 2005. Despite efforts to revive it, the extensive damage proved too extensive, leading to the abandonment of Six Flags New Orleans.

Today, the abandoned park stands as a haunting reminder of the destructive forces of nature. While the skeletal frames of roller coasters and the faded hues of once-vibrant attractions remain, Six Flags New Orleans shows the fragility of man-made entertainment in the face of natural disasters.

Gone Under, Down Under: Atlantis Marine Park

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Perched along the shores of the Indian Ocean in Two Rocks, Western Australia, Atlantis Marine Park was a marine-themed amusement park that captured the imagination of visitors for a brief but magical period. Opening its gates in 1981, the park was designed to be a marine paradise, complete with captivating dolphin shows, vibrant underwater displays, and a distinctive ancient Greek theme. The centerpiece of the park was a colossal statue of King Neptune, welcoming guests to a world where marine wonders and myth converged.

Despite its initial popularity, the park struggled to maintain its momentum. In 1990, the park closed its doors, leaving behind a surreal landscape.