My amusement park travels have taken me this time to Lubbock Texas, home of the Buddy Holly Center
, the Texas Tech Red Raiders
, the Lubbock War Memorial
, and Joyland!
Joyland is a small family amusement park that many have never heard of. Located in Mackenzie Park, Joyland is just two miles from Texas Tech and close to downtown Lubbock. The population of Lubbock is relatively small when you take away the college students, but offers most everything you would expect from a mid-sized city including one of a kind eateries that will make your mouth water. Personally, I recommend One Guy From Italy
. To die for calzones and pizza, all freshly made.
The park itself features three coasters including a S.D.C Galaxi (WildCat or similar) and a funky Allan Herschell Mad Mouse that looks like it was built on scaffolding. Both rides are manually operated, no drive wheels, no computers, but they do have pneumatic breaks, all hand operated via levers. The park also has several classic rides such as the roll-o-plane, scrambler, and spider. Recently they added a 140 foot tall Larson built drop tower. For those of you ride manufacture nerds, Larson is located 45 miles away from Joyland in Plainview, Texas. I did drive by the facility, but wind gusts up to 45mph and the volume of dirt being blown around kept me from getting out of the car. I can tell you tho, that some lucky park is getting a new Fireball and/or an Aviator.
On my visit on 4/9/2011, crowds were very light at 6pm, less than 100 in the park. The entire staff were extremely friendly and happy to hold my camera backpack while I rode. I talked with several park employees who were asking about my C-TPR shirt so hopefully we will have some new members soon! Jerry, who was operating the shot tower gave me a super history lesson on the park of which I will share some of it in the photos below. Greezed Lightning is still in storage and I was given directions on how to get to it, those pictures and information I learned about it's current status will be towards the end.
All in all, plan to spend around 2 hours in the park on a light to mid sized crowd day, three hours on a heavy day. For the park index, I'd give this park an overall 2.5, it would be a 2, however, the staff gets a solid 5, food and beverage prices also get a 5. Expect to pay slightly more for drinks than the local 7-11, but food overall was way below industry standard.
So, without further ramblings, I present to you, Joyland!