Abandoned New Orleans theme park

Abandoned carousel Six Flags theme park

All the fun of the fair, lost forever – urban explorers ventured into the creaking ruins of an abandoned theme park which was left to rust after Hurricane Katrina destroyed it.

 

Six Flags New Orleans closed after it was hit by the devastating Hurricane Katrina, which flooded the park.

 

The carousel has not turned for the nearly ten years, the still ferris wheel creaks in the wind and the roller coasters are slowly reclaimed by nature as ivy snakes its way up the eroding supports.

 

Urban explorer Chris Luckhardt went inside the forsaken amusement park and spent three days photographing the forgotten rides.

 

Mr Luckhardt, who entered the park through an open gate, said: “The park is hauntingly surreal – normally an amusement park is very noisy.

 

“You expect to hear loud music playing, kids screaming and roaring roller coasters.

“Here it is silent except for the sound of the bugs in a nearby marsh and the creaking of the old rides in the wind.”

 

Six Flags New Orleans opened in 2000 under the name Jazzland.

 

In 2003 Six Flags, a popular chain of amusement parks in the USA, purchased the lease, rebranded the park and reopened it with upgraded attractions.

 

In its heyday the park featured a Batman and Spongebob Squarepants themed ride.

 

On August 21, 2005 the park opened to the public for the last time. The park was only open at weekends at the time and was scheduled to reopen on August 27 and 28 as usual.

 

Hurricane Katrina was forecast to hit New Orleans on Friday 26. The park decided to remain closed over the weekend to prepare for the storm and begin evacuations.

 

Six Flags New Orleans never opened its gates again.

 

The park was completely flooded after the hurricane hit. The earthen flood barrier running around the perimeter ironically created an artificial basin which caused a build-up of floodwater.

 

The site was submerged in seven foot of brackish water for more than a month.

An initial report from park inspectors estimated that the water destroyed 80 per cent of the park’s facilities and in 2007 the park was a declared a total loss.

 

Mr Luckhardt, of Toronto, Canada, said: “Near the Spongebob Squarepants ride and you can see the mark where the water level was – it was higher than I am tall.

 

“You can still see all the structures of the buildings, but the walls have rotted away.

 

“It is an eerie place. Grass has grown all over everything. It is returning to nature and soon it will be a swamp.”

 

The amusement park is no longer owned by Six Flags. Many companies have unsuccessfully tried to redevelop the park since 2007.

 

The park is currently used as a filming location and has featured in such movies as Killer Joe, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the upcoming Jurassic World.

Abandoned ferris wheel Six Flags theme park
Abandoned ride Six Flags New Orleans
Abandoned theme park New Orleans

More pictures are available on request. To discuss rates for publishing pictures and copy, contact news editor Tom Knight on 07815 004413 or tom@medavia.co.uk.

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