A photo tour of the abandoned Six Flags New Orleans
Theme Park Insider reader Ryan Traylor emailed some photos he took recently of the abandoned Six Flags New Orleans park, which closed after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, then never reopened.
Ryan shared some thoughts, via email:
"The first thing that struck me is how much the coasters and larger rides are still standing. Clearly the damage is from the flooding. And then the looting.
"Being in the park alone is awesome, even though the rides are not operational. Then the abandonment sets in. You hear the wind howling through the park. Broken gates creaking. Leaves rustling across spilled papers and plastic utensils. It's literally a ghost town. They closed the park in preparation for the storm and never returned."
"And the park being accessible is not a big secret. We ran into three other people while wandering around the park.
"It is definitely a park I want to visit again and spend a few more hours in."
Tag, you're it, Mr. Six. Welcome to Zombieland. There's no queue for The Jester, but quite the wait. Anyone up for a ride on the bumper cars? Ironically, this abandoned coaster train ride vehicle is not upside down. How about a ride on the flume to cool off? Don't forget to leave a comment at Guest Relations on your way out of the park. Just have a seat and wait for the next representative.
Very cool to see and thanks for sharing. I wonder why, when they decided not to re-open, why they didn't extract some of the ride components. Surely there was value in the ride tracks, cars, etc. even if they needed refurbishing and they have other parks they could potentially have used them in or sold them to smaller parks. Seems like such waste of those resources.
love the pics, something kinda sad about seeing an abandoned theme park, such a shame to see such great coasters falling into disrepair .
(Edited to defer to a better explanation below.)
The biggest problem is rather then starting a quick clean up they just allowed things to fester. The water damage alone was bad but without them coming in to quickly re-claim the park the mold/mildew and rust alone now has probably made nearly everything worthless. I know that there have been various pieces in the paper about the City and State trying to force Six Flags to do the clean up which was part of their contract but it's very doubtful if anything will ever happen in that regard.
I am truly amazed folks can get in there so easily…If someone gets hurt, sues them and their insurance company..Yikes..
Interesting. I remember passing by this when I went to help my son move out of New Orleans and out of Katrina's wake. Yes, always sad to see such a park in this way, and yet I, too am rather fascinated by these empty/often historic parks. I didn't know it never re-opened.
From NOLA and basically they had a contract with the city, which owned the land, and 6Flags was not doing well enough financially to pay to break the contract thus they couldn't touch the rides. Likely got a court order not to move anything out of the property. Took years for 6Flags, likely there insurer, to reach a settlement with the city. Now that is over, they briefly entertained other parks coming in, but it is ridiculous. Had a pass every year they were opened, and it was a very nice new park. But they never could draw a crowd out of the area, and locals didn't go for sure. It never made a profit. Why would anyone reinvest in a market that has proven it won't work and risk a repeat of Katrina. It was a great asset to the city before though, for those whom enjoyed the annual passes. We would go at least a dozen times a year for a $50. pass. Great times. The rides themselves, may be 2 years after, were checked and determined that most needed to be rewired but the rides were good. Some were totalled. Heard some valuable equipment/rides did leave before the city put a stop to it.
This saddens me. I love amusement parks and have found great interest in reserching closed parks and what they leave behind. I'm sure the many people in the New Orleans miss this amusement park and it seems that someone could come in clean up and re-build. Thanks for the pictures I wished I was close enough to tour the park myself.
If I ever go to New Orleans, I'm going here. It's always been a dream of mine to go gallivanting in an abandoned amusement park and this would be the perfect place. Literally a dream come true. It saddens me that this happened, but I'm also enthralled by it. I must be crazy...
It's very sad indeed. I don't understand the contractual agreement with the city where equipment cannot be removed. It is worthless if not removed. At minimum, the city should allow the removal so they can be sold. Perhaps the city has better ideas, but it might be time to return the park back to nature.
Very eerie. I hope this is not the fate of Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. It is looking at a second year of being shut down since it was closed and even though it is supposed to reopen in 2012 I am beginning to wonder.
from what i had heard, there was also some issue with the ownership rights to the equipment, i.e. Six Flags did remove a ride or two and some parts of rides, but the city of New Orleans claimed IT owned the rides and so made Six Flags stop. i have heard there are new developers interested in opening the park again though.....
I always find that I get such a creepy feeling when I see photos of abandoned parks. To me it is what I imagine viewing a dead body would be like. Something that was once full of life and joy now is left a shell without a soul. Very eerie and sad to witness especially for any theme park fan.
I really love these abandoned ghost park reports, but boy they always creep me out! :)
That's so eerie! I've never seen a "real" abandoned theme park. The zombieland poster made me lol. If I am ever in the area I will def stop here. Sometimes I wonder if our local park (Wild Adventures) will close and become what it was in the movie zombieland. It surely is sad already.
I agree with the previous posters that I find abandoned amusement parks fascinating yet very sad at the same time. I sometimes get emotional whenever I pass by a park in San Jose, California where Frontier Village used to stand.
Thats really sad how the park is. Some rich company should clear it out and make a fresh new park. If i had the money i would totally do it but sadly i dont.
We currently have an abandoned Six Flags theme park in Louisville, KY, but no natural disaster to blame it on. The owners prior to Six Flags say they plan to reopen it, but we will see. There was a dispute over ownership of the land and attractions. We also have a really old abandoned theme park called Rose Island Amusement Park that closed due to the 1937 flood. The former park is currently completely wooded and only accessible by boat. What is left of it truly looks like ancient relics.
Yeah it's a very confusing deal they had with the city when six flags moved in and took over the old Jazzland park.
Great photos Ryan. Thank you. ive been following this story for a few years now. And heres the deal.
I'm sorry, but I lol'ed at Zombieland. I love that movie. But anyways, that was very interesting; to see an abandoned theme park was neat, yet sad.
While these pics are creepy, there was a YouTube video posted a while back that is even more creepy. Check it out everyone - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bcja8UBtXdk
Inverter caption fixed. Thanks.
Whoa how surreal to just wander through such a huge park thats a complete ghost town. Must be kind of eerie and surreal walking through that during the day...and who knows what lurks there at night. Hmm..good premise if they ever wanted to do a paid "haunted" tour of the abandoned park for Halloween. Great photos and story, really shows how popular park establishments can instantly fade in economic strife.
It's interesting how This Six Flags is not operational, I wish i could own this Six Flags!
I worked there several seasons and it is sad that it was not re-opened.
What's amazing is that there's an abandoned water park right on Disney World property. Look up River Country on youtube...very creepy...you can hear music still playing in the park.
Dan Snyder was here.
The way Six Flags really got out of the dispute was through their bankruptcy filing. That's how they got out of Kentucky Kingdom too.
The annual passes scattered on the ground must have been from a batch of bad cards; "VOID" is written on the closest three.
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