Monday, October 5, 2009

Aerial Antics: Western Playland

Western Playland, originally located in El Paso, TX, and currently in Sunland Park, NM, has had what one could say is an interesting history. Not many parks have been completely relocated, and even less have done so and been successful. These are just a few of the reasons I wanted to take a look at Western Playland in this week's Aerial Antics.

The park's former location, mostly deserted.

Opened back in 1960, the amusement park thrived in its former El Paso, TX location until the early 2000s when it started looking to expand and found the local officials were less than agreeable. They would not extend the park's lease and so Western Playland dropped plans to build was was rumored to be a CCI wooden coaster and started searching for a new location.

Remnants of a log flume, among other attractions.

That new location happened to be in Sunland Park, NM which is about 17 miles from it's former location. (The park's former location was on the far West side of Texas, just above Mexico) The park moved all their major rides and attractions there and opened the new Western Playland in 2006.

The new location in New Mexico, still under some construction.

The park's largest coaster is named El Bandito, which is a Pinfari Zyklon that made the move from the former location. Western Playland also features the Miner Coaster, a small family ride.

You can also see in the above photo that the park did move the splashdown ride that can be seen still standing in the first photo of the Texas location.

To see the aerials, here's the former location, and the new one.