Houston needs an amusement park. Sure, from go-karts to the various tourist traps along the coast to taking the 610 to 59 South exit during rush hour, there are still plenty of ways for an adrenaline junkie to get his or her fix in the greater Houston area, but it's just not the same. Amusement parks are the perfect storm of excitement, ridiculousness and bad decisions. Hell, even if you don't like riding rides, amusement parks offer up some prime people-watching opportunities.
As I'm sure you know, Houston used to have an amusement park, and for a lot of folks the absence of AstroWorld is still a sore spot. Even now, the land across from the Astrodome feels sadly empty.
But we all still have our memories and, perhaps just as good, the videotapes that people shot at the park over the years. We might have people who record concerts on their cellphones, but I think we can all agree that people who record roller-coaster rides are awesome.
Just because you can't cover yourself in sunscreen, get in your car and head on over to AstroWorld for real doesn't mean you can't take a trip down memory lane. Enjoy these POV videos from the rides that thrilled you back in the day.
Let's start with something chill. The Serpent is so laid-back, even those of us most afraid of rides could probably handle it with grace, or at least only a few screams.
Call me a big wuss, but there is nothing natural about being upside down, no way, no how. Still, the Looping Starship was, at the end of the day, a carnival ride on steroids.
I don't know about you, but I don't remember the Bamboo Shoot being as long of a ride as the video shows. It, like many things in life, is a lot of buildup to an all too quick climax.
Watching the video, XLR-8 seems way more chill than I remember. I mean, I'm sure if I went back in time and rode it again, I'd still be horrified, because hanging coasters are insane, but it does seem less intense than it did when I was smaller.
Sure, the music in this video is a little weird, but this is totally worth a watch to see what that part of the city looked like before NRG Stadium came along. Doesn't the Dome look almost quaint hanging out by itself?
You know, I'm surprised that the Rodeo carnival doesn't have something like Greezed Lightin on a smaller scale. Remember when all you needed for a thrill ride was a loop?
Sure, that five-foot tunnel at the start is mad corny, but what I like about this video is how the size of the frame makes it look like the camera guy is going to hit part of the track multiple times. Fun stuff.
Batman: The Escape
When it comes to roller-coaster gimmicks, you've got to think that standing coasters are the worst. I mean, after standing in line to ride the ride, you want me to stand again during the ride? Some of us want that 45 seconds off our feet.
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Even in video, the Texas Cyclone seems super-dangerous, as if the whole thing could topple like a house of cards. Yeah, that's part of the excitement, but even watching this on my computer makes my legs tremble.
Poor Ultra Twister, wasting away in storage somewhere, broken beyond repair. You weren't the longest ride in the world, but you were one of the most unique. Let's all get dizzy one last time.