Six Flags New Orleans in USA
Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Six Flags New Orleans was a fairly new theme park with 7 themed areas that became abandoned after being severely irreparable due to a hurricane. With a supposedly promising future, its ruins are still standing, awaiting demolition or redevelopment.
This theme park opened in east New Orleans next to Lake Pontchartrain in the year 2000 with the name Jazzland as a tribute to the city’s music heritage. It was under the ownership of Parques Reunidos. Since the management back then was focused on their other water parks and arcade centers, it was deemed not profitable and was eventually purchased by Six Flags in 2002.
By 2003, it was renamed as Six Flags New Orleans. Under the new management, they added more exciting rides. There was even a plan to build a water park in 2005. But tragedy struck the area which had been the reason for abandonment.
A Tragic Disaster
With the location being right next to a lake, Six Flags New Orleans had installed flood-proof drainage system. But then on August 29, 2005, no one had anticipated the impact of Hurricane Katrina. More than 80% of New Orleans got flooded. Lake Pontchartrain overflowed the drainage system failed to hold it in. Six Flags New Orleans was submerged more than 20 feet deep.
The fact that the theme park is located at a low-lying part of Eastern New Orleans, it became an instant lake in itself. With the drainage system useless, the whole place was submerged in salt-water flood for over a month. Of course, the flat rides were destroyed. The roller coaster tracks were damaged as well due to the stormy winds. Unbelievably enough, the only ride that was left unscathed was the Batman roller coaster ride due to its elevated platform and corrosion-resistant structure.
By mid 2006, Six Flags was able to finally assess the damages and declared the poor theme park as a total loss. There was no plan of renovation or rebuilding because the insurance was not enough. The cost of devastation was at $32.5 million and the insurance was only at $11.5 million. It was also revealed that Six Flags New Orleans was the least profitable theme parks under the Six Flags brand name and would eventually close permanently.
Due to the tragic story of abandonment, Six Flags New Orleans became an instant destination for adventurers and explorers. For years, it just stood there in its abandoned glory, haunted by the calamity that struck.
After a couple of years of Six Flags trying to save some rides and transfer them to their other operational theme parks, the city government got hold of the property by 2009. From then on, there were several unsuccessful plans to redevelop the area from different theme park investors. With no plans pushing through, Six Flags New Orleans was taken over by nature. Weeds and debris were everywhere.
By August 2011, the city government called for redevelopment proposals instead. There were interested entrepreneurs who wanted to build a power plant, outlet mall, and a green theme park. Around early 2012, it was decided that a Jazzland Outlet Mall was going to be built on its property. But by March 2013, it was suddenly called off.
Since 2011, despite all the failed redevelopment proposals and deals, the ruins of Six Flags New Orleans became a popular filming location for movies and music videos including Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Jurassic World, Stolen, Deepwater Horizon, Killer Joe, and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.
From then on, there were more failed redevelopment plans and troubles with trespassers here and there. By 2019, there were talks of demolition instead. But with what the world is going through, the fate of Six Flags New Orleans remains uncertain.
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