Attractions That No Longer Exist in DFW

Today I happened across a forum discussion about a DFW attraction that no longer exists, and it kickstarted a chain reaction of memories. Here are a few attractions that no longer exist, but were once a BIG deal in DFW:

Sesame Place (now a Walmart on Esters and Airport Freeway in Irving) – theme park with tons of activities for kids.

International Wildlife Park (Grand Prairie) – flooded twice in 1989. 200+ acre preserve that was located directly across Beltline from the Race Track in Grand Prairie.

Casa Bonita (Hulen Mall, Fort Worth) – only the coolest Mexican restaurant EVER.

White Water – Water park now a Ford dealership on northwest corner of I-30 and Beltline in Grand Prairie.

What else have I forgotten?

Beltline Station (Hwy 183 and Beltline Rd in Irving) – Go carts, arcade, and batting cages. Possibly also mini golf. Very similar to Putt Putt Golf and Games, I think.

About the author

Daniel

Proclaimer of God's goodness. Daniel is an idealist reconnecting with God's purpose thru soil, compost, & changing seasons. It's his personal mission to savor sacred moments displayed thru Creation. #INFP

8 comments

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    • Good call. I don’t think I ever went there, but I know that some of the Irving-based Shady Grovers probably did. I’ll add it to the list.

  • My wife and her best friend had my wife’s bachelorette party at Beltline Station.

    How about The Movie Studios of Las Colinas? That’s pretty much died off.

    I guess you could also list Texas Stadium.

    • Well, i worked in Las Colinas in 2007 while they were filming Prison Break on an ongoing basis. I don’t think it’s died off necessarily.

  • There was once a Sea World-style aquatic park there in Arlington near Six Flags. It was called Seven Seas. (Sort of in the middle of that entertainment corridor of Wet N Wild (now Hurricane Harbor), Six Flags, White Water, Ripley’s, the Wax Museum, and Lion Country Safari (International Wildlife Park). I believe there are some remnants of Seven Seas within the property of the Arlington Sheraton hotel. At one point Seven Seas had an orca (killer whale), dolphins, and some other animal attractions. Maybe a boat ride? It was a pretty small park, with a nice seafood (the irony!) restaurant in front. The city of Arlington was responsible, somehow, for the loans that had been taken out to build it, some sort of taxpayer bond that ruined the city’s credit rating for many years. The park didn’t stay open past a few years. It went belly up, and they tried to wangle a couple more seasons out of it, renaming it Hawaii Kai (or something like that) but that was a fail, too.

    Wet N Wild at one time had a sister park called FunSphere. (Was later incorporated into the main park, but for a time was a separate gate.) When FunSphere first opened, it was a pay-by-the-attraction type thing, and they had a couple different go-kart tracks, mini-golf, and a wave pool with bumper boats that was super fun. Sand volleyball, too, and a big arcade. I’m guessing it was not profitable at all, because they’d changed it to a pay-one-price ticket by the second time I visited, and by the third, they’d incorporated most of it into Wet N Wild. (I don’t believe they ever operated the go-karts after that.) It wasn’t too terribly long after that that Six Flags bought them out. Was the FunSphere thing a very expensive mistake that brought them down? I don’t know, but the timing would sort of indicate that it was.

    Wet N Wild was built a few years after the other water park which was very close by, White Water. White Water had two locations, the one there in Grand Prairie (now the site of a car dealership) and another one in Garland. When White Water went out of business, Wet N Wild bought up both parks, but closed down the Grand Prairie location. They rebranded the Garland one to a Wet N Wild, though I don’t think it lasted more than a handful of seasons before they closed that one as well. It was a smaller park, but always quite crowded and popular, so I’m not sure what happened, there.

    They moved several of the slides and attractions from White Water directly over to Wet N Wild, and legend has it (I have heard that it was, indeed, legend and not fact, but everyone repeated this rumor for YEARS) that Wet N Wild’s owners decided to fill the pipes on the former White Water property with cement, guaranteeing that nobody would ever try to re-open the property as a water park (that would potentially compete with their flagship park 2 miles down I-30.)

    Indeed, nobody ever did, and it sat vacant for many years, but there was an attempt to make it into a (non-water) theme park at one point. The park was called… erm… Boardwalk Fun Park (? I think that was the name, it really didn’t last for long at ALL, so don’t sue me if I got it wrong.) And they weren’t open very long maybe just a few weeks or a month, when the sole little rollercoaster they’d installed had a malfunction, and a little girl fell from it and was gravely injured. (Maybe she died, I don’t know, I have heard it both ways.) I believe that the accident occurred in July 1992, and the park closed that day and never reopened.

    Anyway, the rollercoaster “Pipeline Express” was a Bailey’s Auto-sled model, which is a weird little duck of a rollercoaster, neither steel nor wood, maybe 35 or 40 feet tall. It was made of PVC plastic, with little 2-person sled things that you’d strap into, to zoom around the coaster on. I don’t believe that the coaster ever operated again. It was standing not operating for quite a while and then removed. The coaster was brand new though and barely operating for a week when the accident occurred, so it seems kind of like a waste to me.

  • Just an FYI, I worked at International Wildlife park during one of their floods. I was in college, I graduated in 1984. Not sure of the year but it was between 82-84 for one of their floods. I was there. that was a very hard 32 hour day. Funny thing, in hindsight I don’t remember getting paid for more than my shift lol. At the time there simply was no option. What? Leave and let the animals die? Even a college student knows better than that. 🙂 I tell more stories about that 1 year job than I have about any other job in all the years since.

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