Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Aerial Antics: Freestyle Music (Hard Rock) Park

Freestyle Music Park, née Hard Rock Park, lived a short life in South Carolina, only two seasons to be specific.  The first year it was branded and known as Hard Rock Park, and under new owners the second season it was Freestyle Music Park.  Without funds, the park has sat closed since 2009. 

Here she is, the entire property in one shot.  The park closed with the hopes of reopening one day, so none of the rides have been removed, and at least when these shots were taken the park looked to be in good condition.

When the park opened this area was known as the All Access Entry Plaza because it was, well, the park's entrance plaza.  A fitting name, but also pretty cool to see from the air.  At the end of the entrance street, lined with shops and food locations, was a huge guitar built into the ground that bordered up against the park's lake.

Moving around the park clockwise, the first section that guests would enter was originally known as Rock & Roll Heaven, which as you can see had a large expansion pad built into the area.  Sad that it never got put to use.  The area also had an amphitheater (there were several in varying sizes throughout the park) that featured a stunt show.

One of the park's star attractions was a large B&M sit down roller coaster originally known as Led Zeppelin, the ride.  I've mentioned before that I have always enjoyed the ride's paint scheme.  Having never ridden it, I can't comment on the ride experience, but it featured a fairly common collection of B&M elements.

Once visitors "crossed the pond" they entered the British themed section of the park aptly titled British Invasion.  With streets themed as roads in the city, guests encountered another of the park's roller coasters, the unique Maximum RPM.  The coaster utilized a Ferris wheel style lift that dropped the cars into a twisting course.

Lost in The 70's was themed to the trippy times of the decade, and also was home to a one of a kind dark ride: Nights in White Satin: The Trip.  The dark ride, with elements from Sally Corp., was based on the song of the same name by the Moody Blues and used some space from a former outlet mall for its path.  It garnered quite a following in the year it was open, since it was rethemed when the park reopened as Freestyle Music Park.

A lot of folks thought that we'd never see another water coaster of the style built, but the park forged on and had Premier Rides create Slippery When Wet.  Using a vertical lift, the individual suspended cars traveled around the track in a series of gentle twists and turns past and through some misters, geysers and water curtains.

Here's a twofer!  The park's roller coaster collection also contained a kiddie ride, a standard Vekoma roller skater named Shake Rattle 'n' Roller Coaster.  That can be seen on the left of this image, on the right was a Vekoma mine train named Life in the Fast Lane, and themed to the song by the Eagles.

If you'd like to check out the aerials of the park, use Google's maps 45 degree feature via this link.