Celebration City Update – Aug. 2011

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[Editor’s note: This gallery was originally added to SDCFans in 2011 and has been moved to the new format of the site in 2014]

The rides have been slowly disappearing from Celebration City since its closure at the end of the 2008 season. At this point, its easier to name the remaining rides than those that have been removed. As of this update, Roaring Falls, Accelerator, Thunderbolt, and Ozark Wildcat are still on site, and it is believed that the Log Flume, Carousel, and at least one kiddie ride are still on site as well. The park’s iconic Ferris wheel was removed recently, leaving a void in the park’s old skyline.

Thunderbolt, the Log Flume, and a few kiddie rides remain up for sale though various industry brokers. Roaring Falls and Accelerator seem poised to make a move into other HFEC properties, most notably Silver Dollar City right up the road. This year the park released a slew of new ride concepts for pass holders to express interest in, and one of them looked very much like CC’s Accelerator shot tower. Roaring Falls has been rumored to be considered for the park as well.

The park has confirmed on several occasions that a crew remains on site keeping various assets of the park from falling into ruin, especially the park’s famed Ozark Wildcat wooden coaster. Weeds do seem to be taking over some parts of the park however, such as the old kiddie area where all of the rides have been removed.

To this date no one seems to know what HFEC’s long term plans are for the site, but with the Branson tourist market wavering as a result of the economic downturn, it doesn’t seem like the company is willing to do very much very soon. The company uses the park for various staff functions, and a few groups now operate out of old park buildings. A church has taken residence in a building that was once an arcade in the Branson USA days, and a local branch of Big Brothers Big Sisters operates out of another building.

That’s not to say the chain isn’t still reviewing their options. We do know of at least once concept that was pitched to the park not long after it closed by an outside consulting firm which would have turned the park into a amusement/zoo hybrid park somewhat similar to Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay. You can read more about that Here. In the long run however, it is growing increasingly doubtful that the chain will develop anything quite so large on the property anytime soon as the effects of the economic downturn are beginning to be noticeable at their current Branson properties, and numerous other Branson businesses have been failing. It probably will take a strong recovery before the chain is ready to invest in a new venture on the property.