Hooked on Fridays

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:

State Fair Area

Tennessee Waltz
I think every park has one of these! A classic ride.

THE Wabash Cannonball

This had to be the scariest ride they had. Once you rode it for the first time, it was hard to ride any other ride in the park! Check out those two loopty loops! Woo hoo!

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

Chaos

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

Riding this meant you might get wet. Or you might leave completely soaked. Either way, it was a blast!

Riverside Area

Carousel

The carousel was so pretty at night with all the lights reflecting on the water.

The "American Music Theater" was located in this area.

Lakeside Area

Old Mill Scream

More fun that riding it... stand on the bridge.

Barnstormer

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

Dulcimer Splash

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

The train was the other form of transport for the park. Personally, I just liked to ride it to take a break. There were railroad crossings and bridges that you could walk under.

This area held yet another theater, "Martin Guitar Folk Music Theater".

American West

El Paso Train Station

See... told you there was a bridge!

Hangman


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".

Tin Lizzies


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



The Hangman



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.**

11 comments

  1. WTH??? I was expecting the picture that you and I took on that motorcycle... I gotta dig that up so I can put it up on my blog!! :D

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  2. I suppose I knew that Opryland closed to down to make way for Opry Mills, but I had forgotten. I went there several times growing up, and always loved it! Thanks for bringing back some memories!!
    ~angela @ peonypatch

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  3. we never made it there when i was a kid, i'm sorry to say. but it looks like a blast!

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  4. Okay, this made me cry.

    I know that sounds crazy, but we went there every summer and it just brought back so many memories. I can smell the smells, and how exciting it was the moment you strapped into a ride, right before the attendant pushed the button...

    Stupid Opry Mills.

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  5. I am visiting via H.O.H. Great post!

    I hope you'll stop by for a visit, I am hosting a giveaway.

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  6. I never went to Opryland myself, but what a fun post! Now I feel like I was there. :-)

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  7. Omgosh I'm crying and I love you,lol.I miss Opryland so bad.It was only an hour from us so we went there every summer.I remember mom getting us a new summer outfit to wear and telling us weeks ahead when we were going.I remember the first time I rode the walbash.We went there on school trips,my husband and I went there while we were dating and after we married.I remember seeing the board on the interstate that said some see the lights ,the last Christmas! I cried right then and there.It is so sad I will never be able to share Opryland with my son.It wasn't just a theme park it was the atmosphere,the beauty ,the smells,the music,it was amazing.Nowhere compares,not even Disney World,sorry Walt.OPRYMILLS SUCKS!!! I refuse to shop there.
    Thanks for this post.

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  8. Oh remember the fruit juices? They were shaped like grape and orange and we can't remember the other one.I wish I had one.

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  9. Well! I love you too, Kimberly! I teared up when I was watching the show, I teared up while looking up the videos/photos, and I all out cried while writing the post. I would love to be able to take my kids to Opryland. There was/is nothing like it. I'm sorry I made you cry, but very happy that you got wonderful memories to share of that place.

    I think they had strawberry too! (But don't hold me to that!)

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  10. And, does anyone remember those crazy monkey puppet thingeys?

    The last time we went, my dad bought one for me. It was so awesome. It had a rainbow and glitter mohawk...

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