Random Ephemera

Videos: This Is What It Was Like to Ride the Rides of AstroWorld


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.



Serpent
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.
Looping Starship
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.
Bamboo Shoot
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.


XLR-8 
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.


Excalibur
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?

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Cory Garcia is a Contributing Editor for the Houston Press. He once won an award for his writing, but he doesn't like to brag about it. If you're reading this sentence, odds are good it's because he wrote a concert review you don't like or he wanted to talk pro wrestling.
Contact: Cory Garcia