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International Wildlife Park ;)


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#1 lobster

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 12:07 AM

Since I brought up Sesame Place earlier I thought I might inquire about the ol' International Wildlife Park .. another faint 80s memory, but something I didn't really find quite as fun.. my question is, where was it? Another Irving venture?

...and now that it's gone, what did they do with the Giraffes?

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#2 JBB

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 09:50 AM

Grand Prairie, near I-30, in the area of Lone Star Park and Grand Prairie Ford. I believe the park was heavily damaged during one of the terrible floods in the late 80's/early 90's.

#3 Bretley42

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 03:12 PM

At the Grand Prairie / Irving border, a couple miles west of Beltline at Hunter Ferrel (this is the road on the northside of the racetrack) This road used to be Wildlife Blvd on the Grand Prairie side, not sure if it still is.

I've done a little looking out there, and it looks fairly empty. I know for a while one of the two towns was using it for parking of some city vehicles and equipment.

The West Fork of the Trinity cuts in there and there are several old gravel pits (none as large as Lake Vilbig).

I spent a lot of time there as a kid, and remember the floods quite well (there were large animals running all over the place).

I need to go take some photos of the aera (I'm not a photographer like so many on this site, but that doesn't stop me from shooting anyhow).

hope that helps someone.

-b




Grand Prairie, near I-30, in the area of Lone Star Park and Grand Prairie Ford.  I believe the park was heavily damaged during one of the terrible floods in the late 80's/early 90's.

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#4 utamav91

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 09:25 AM

That was back in the era when the other water park was over there nearby, too right?

With two water parks a mile or two from each other, only one could probably financially survive, and Hurricane Harbor (I still call it Wet N Wild sometimes by mistake, the former name) still thrives to this day.

Didn't the Arlington park buy out the GP park?

It had a cool ride where you'd lie on your tummy on a mat, slide down a ways on a slide, and then come off the slide a little bit and land on a slick padded part of the hill and continue going down to the pool/stopping area below--it was fun.

The Grand Prairie water park would later have a short life as an amusement park (Broadway?).

#5 Bretley42

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 01:51 PM

Looks like all the old roads and stuff are still in place.

linkie



That was back in the era when the other water park was over there nearby, too right?

With two water parks a mile or two from each other, only one could probably financially survive, and Hurricane Harbor (I still call it Wet N Wild sometimes by mistake, the former name) still thrives to this day.

Didn't the Arlington park buy out the GP park?

It had a cool ride where you'd lie on your tummy on a mat, slide down a ways on a slide, and then come off the slide a little bit and land on a slick padded part of the hill and continue going down to the pool/stopping area below--it was fun.

The Grand Prairie water park would later have a short life as an amusement park (Broadway?).

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#6 lobster

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 04:07 PM

Looks like all the old roads and stuff are still in place.

linkie

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heh.. switch off to the "maps" feature of that link and zoom in you'll see the streets are named "Safari" and "Wildlife" :]

#7 lobster

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 04:12 PM

That was back in the era when the other water park was over there nearby, too right?

With two water parks a mile or two from each other, only one could probably financially survive, and Hurricane Harbor (I still call it Wet N Wild sometimes by mistake, the former name) still thrives to this day.

Didn't the Arlington park buy out the GP park?

The Grand Prairie water park would later have a short life as an amusement park (Broadway?).

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It was called White Water and was known for having a pirate ship in the middle of the park... Wet n' Wild (built in 86?) was clearly the better one with 3x the slides etc so ultimately I think White Water just closed out of unpopularity.. but I do remember in the early early 80s it seemed to be the only major water park around.. (does anyone remember a small water park somewhere near Camp Bowie a long time ago? I have a faint memory of one that had only 3 slides and was somewhere on the west side..)

White Water turned into "Boardwalk" I think it was called, and if memory serves, they shut down on their 2nd day of operation due to a girl getting killed on one of the rollercoasters.

#8 Sam Stone

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 04:26 PM

Does anyone remember an amusement park near the Zoo? How long was that in operation?

#9 gdvanc

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 04:55 PM

It was called White Water and was known for having a pirate ship in the middle of the park... Wet n' Wild (built in 86?) was clearly the better one with 3x the slides etc so ultimately I think White Water just closed out of unpopularity.. but I do remember in the early early 80s it seemed to be the only major water park around.. (does anyone remember a small water park somewhere near Camp Bowie a long time ago?  I have a faint memory of one that had only 3 slides and was somewhere on the west side..)

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I don't remember that one, but I do remember one off S Cooper in Arlington (probably around California Lane or a few blocks south). I remember my sister driving me there to meet a friend and most of all I remember being very, very taken by the scenery.

White Water turned into "Boardwalk" I think it was called, and if memory serves, they shut down on their 2nd day of operation due to a girl getting killed on one of the rollercoasters.

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I believe a girl did get killed on a ride there. If they shut down, it wasn't permanent. I went there some time ago (hadn't heard of the accident). I remember pointing out the closed ride to my wife and telling her it looked like fun - then she told me about the accident. So sad.

#10 gdvanc

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 04:58 PM

Does anyone remember an amusement park near the Zoo?  How long was that in operation?

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I do remember that. I believe it was part of Forest Park. My mom used to take me there a lot when I was a wee lad. There was a roller coaster called Mighty Mouse or Mighty Mite or something like that. There was a ride called the Himalaya - Mom's favorite - that was a half-outdoor version of the old Rotoriculous at Six Flags. I believe there was a tea-cup style ride. Good memories.

#11 JBB

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 08:07 PM

The roller coaster at the Zoo was one of the original rides from Six Flags Over Texas. I believe the rides closed in the very early 80's, but I can't remember the exact year.

#12 Funkdoobiest

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 10:50 AM

White Water opened in the early 80s and it was a few years before Wet 'N Wild. My uncle worked at LTV(now Vought Aircraft where I now work) and he would buy the whole family tickets every year. They had private parties where they would shut the whole park down just for our company. I was in 2nd grade the first time I went. I almost drowned there until a female lifeguard high school cutie rescued me, I would have been embarrassed if I were older. Anyway, they had a section that was called "night water" where the floor was painted black and made the water look black. The ship had all kinds of water-shooting guns and a jail with rubber bars.

When Wet 'N Wild came along all the parties went that way and it was a whole lot better. The rumor was that Wet 'N Wild bought White Water out and filled the pipes with cement so it could never be a water park again. I don't know how true that is, but that had always been the rumor. Those twisted blue slides at Hurricane Harbor that look like a Twizzler that you can even see from the freeway is the exact one from White Water(farthest left or west side). They still have the embedded White Water logo on the floor where you step into the slide. I remember that and The Black Hole both at White Water. It was a feature slide there before they were shut down. Wet 'N Wild got theirs a few years later, I don't know if it's the exact one too. White Water was located exactly on the spot where that Ford dealer is now off Belt Line and I30(Grand Prairie Ford?). I also remember when the Wax Museum next door burned pretty badly. I think after that is when it became Ripley's too.

I never went to Sesame Place but my sister did in the 80s. I remember you could fly against a blue screen in the TV commercials. We went to a fun place that was like Crystal's Pizza called Casa Bonita. It was before Crystal's and had the cartoon theater, wishing well, etc. I was told it was off Hulen. I was a kid, I'm 30 now. I don't remember. Where was Sesame Place located?

#13 AndyN

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 08:37 PM

(Thank god nobody knows my REAL name... OK, here goes...)

I remember watching some cartoon show after getting home from high school that had a couple of clowns named poppy and bonkers (which was kind of like the bozo show and kind of neat because we didn't have local kids shows when I was younger in west Texas). Anyrate, I remember watching one evening and on one of the games when the kids won, the prize was tickets to the Wax Museum. I remember waking up the next day to hear it had burned and half laughing - half feeling sorry for those kids. Also it seemed highly ironic for a wax museum to burn. I wonder if anyone sang happy birthday?

Hey Fundoobiest, if you do a search, there is a thread on here somewhere about Casa Bonita and its affiliated businesses.
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#14 rantanamo

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 11:39 PM

Most probably don't know or remember, but there was also a White Water in Garland at LBJ and Shiloh. When Wet n' Wild took over, it changed into Wet n' Wild. I don't recall when it closed, but I believe it was maybe 90 or 91. It was super popular and I was very surprised to see it close. The parking lot and its tunnel remain abandoned, but the main park area is now a large car dealership.

#15 safly

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 04:00 AM

QUOTE(AndyN @ Feb 1 2006, 08:37 PM) View Post

(Thank god nobody knows my REAL name... OK, here goes...)

I remember watching some cartoon show after getting home from high school that had a couple of clowns named poppy and bonkers (which was kind of like the bozo show and kind of neat because we didn't have local kids shows when I was younger in west Texas). Anyrate, I remember watching one evening and on one of the games when the kids won, the prize was tickets to the Wax Museum. I remember waking up the next day to hear it had burned and half laughing - half feeling sorry for those kids. Also it seemed highly ironic for a wax museum to burn. I wonder if anyone sang happy birthday?

Hey Fundoobiest, if you do a search, there is a thread on here somewhere about Casa Bonita and its affiliated businesses.


That's HILARIOUS! I can't believe I missed that post earlier. They must have won that ALL-EXPENSE Paid trip to the wax museum after I got there. If I recall, right off of I-30, near Six Flags. Had a wax sculpture of a man's head chopped off inside of a stable looking thing, fake blood spouting about from some water pump deally-o. GEE WHIZZZ, that was like, 20 years ago or so. I remember going there with some distant cousins from Arlington. Their father owned a local art gallery. May have been his way of "exposing" us to the "art" world. Awwwh the memories. wub.gif

That was a cool summer. Gots my Davey Crocket coon-skinned hat on and pioneer musket from the SFOT. Also got to see a gruesome wax art scene. Remember you had to be yaaae tall to view it too, WITH AN ADULT present.
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#16 shipman

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 09:10 AM

I'm not sure why I never shared my International Wildlife Park story, but since this is back at the top I'll indulge...

My family went there when I was a youngster, and about all I remember other than the giraffes sticking their lips in the car windows to get at the boxes of feed, is the fact that the engine in our old clunker Grenada caught fire as we were driving through the park!

We were driving through the part where all the rhinos were, and smoke started coming through the vents! It got so bad we had to stop and get out (scary amongst the huge rhinos!) and soon some park employees were helping to shovel manure onto the burning engine to extinguish the flames... All I remember is the fear and embarrassment, not how we got home or what happened to the car after that.

#17 safly

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 05:09 PM

Well, at least you guys weren't rollin in a Gremlin. One raging rhino rush into the back bumper of that puppy.

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#18 Pam Lea

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 01:08 PM

Hi, I am new to posting, but a long time board stalker.

There was a park in the same spot as White Water back in the 70's called Seven Seas. I was just a kid then but I believe the pirate ship was from there. It was right next to the Wildlife Park.





#19 JBB

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 01:53 PM

Seven Seas was in Arlington, not Grand Prairie. It was behind the hotel at the corner of I-30 and Ballpark Way (I can't remember what hotel it is.)

#20 Pam Lea

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 02:43 PM

Yikes!! Your correct. Thanks, I was young then so my memories are a little foggy.

#21 JBB

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 02:53 PM

I believe Seven Seas and White Water both had large pirate ships, so that would be easy to confuse.

#22 Funkdoobiest

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 11:51 PM

QUOTE(AndyN @ Feb 1 2006, 08:37 PM) View Post


Hey Fundoobiest, if you do a search, there is a thread on here somewhere about Casa Bonita and its affiliated businesses.


I came upon it while Googling Casa Bonita. It brought me right back to this board. I found this board while searching about White Water, there are some very interesting topics here.

Anybody have any info on Seminary South Mall(previously a lake)?





#23 pelligrini

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 02:36 PM

QUOTE(Funkdoobiest @ Feb 6 2006, 11:51 PM) View Post

Anybody have any info on Seminary South Mall(previously a lake)?

I can't remember anything about it being a lake. I moved here in '72 or '73, and I always enjoyed it when my folks took to to Seminary South. It used to be more open, with all the stores opening into a courtyard with a waterfeature running through them all. The courtyards were kind of like the large open halls in our malls now, but not enclosed. One end was anchored by Sears and I think the other was Wards. I'm not sure what it is called now, Town Center or something like it, right on the corner of I35 and Seminary. It's nothing like it was then.

Seminary South really started struggling when Ridgemar Mall was built, and even more so when Hulen Mall sprung up. I still wish Sears was there. I could park really close and walk right into the hardware department for my Craftsman tools fix. I don't think I have ever ventured into the new mall area.

#24 Funkdoobiest

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 05:00 PM

Yeah, we went there alot when we were kids. Their Wyatt's Cafeteria was the nicest one around. The roof did allow alot of light to come in, I remember that. There was also a Whataburger you could walk through as an entrance. Me and my friends always heard from our own parents about it being a man-made lake before it was drained and building Seminary South there.

Another memory was when part of the Sesame Street crew made a stop there and had a small show in the courtyard. It got a makeover(reminded me of Miami Vice theme) and became Town Center Mall and it's ghetto, it's been ghetto and pretty empty for years now. I know they filmed Point Blank with Mickey Rourke there where they took the mall over.




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