Most of us raised in Alabama and Tennessee visited Opryland USA, a theme park that operated in Nashville from 1972 to 1993, when it closed with the exception of holiday shows that continued through 1997. (When I lived in Georgia as a small child, we went to Six Flags over Georgia in Atlanta instead).
Opryland was certainly a part of my middle and high school years and I hate I was never able to go there with Baby Girl, who was born in 1993. I recently came across a Change.org petition started by someone who wants the park to re-open. While it is highly unlikely the original Opryland USA will ever re-open – all the rides were dismantled and scrapped or sold – there is a new park coming to Nashville. The water park, however, will be part of the Opryland Gaylord Hotel complex and open only to guests. It will be part of a $400 million addition to the already massive hotel, according to the Tennessean.
I also read Dolly Parton planned to open a theme park in Nashville similar to Opryland and Dollywood but dropped out of the project in 2012 when Gaylord became a Marriott property. Click here to read about that.
To be honest, like movie remakes, a theme park that tried to be a new Opryland would likely not measure up to our memories of the Wabash Cannonball, the Flume Zoom, Doo Wah Diddy City and the Grizzly River Rampage.
If you really want to go back in time, check out this 1981 family video that puts you right back in the park. I think I had a strapless terry cloth onesie just like the girl in the film is wearing.