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Park Profile

America’s newest amusement park has opened in Texas following three years of planning and $60 million of investment by the Landry’s restaurant/hospitality group

LED lighting on the Galaxy Wheel by Chance

alveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier thrusts boldly into the Gulf of Mexico from the Galveston seawall at 25th Street, occupying the same location as the city’s original 1944 Pleasure Pier and subsequent Flagship Hotel. Both those structures were destroyed by hurricane, but now the new 1,130ft-long (405m) pier is set to welcome guests in their thousands since opening at the end of May. This all-new amusement outlet can accommodate more than 4,000 visitors at a time, or around 50,000 over a three-day weekend. Designed to recapture the atmosphere of Galveston’s original Pleasure Pier, it also includes several bang up-to-date rides and attractions. The project is the ‘baby’ of Landry’s owner and Galveston resident Tilman Fertitta, who in his youth worked at the Flagship Hotel. Since then he’s presided over more than 400 restaurants and attractions in 34 US states.

“Every project is special, but this one is a little extra special,” states Fertitta. “There is something appealing about an entertainment pier and the United States has some great ones. The original [Galveston] Pleasure Pier was legendary long after Hurricane Carla shut it down in 1961. I’ve always wanted to recapture the feel, and give it back to the Gulf Coast.” Visitors to the new look Pleasure Pier can choose from 16 rides running along both sides of the 120ft- wide (36m) reinforced deck. In fact, the surface has been raised almost 3ft (1m) to contain a network of electronics and other infrastructure.

“ 28 I’ve

always wanted to recapture the feel of the original Pleasure Pier. Now we are making that excitement happen for new generations

Tilman Fertitta

Signature Shark The signature attraction, surely, is the Iron Shark. This a 1,246ft-long Gerstlauer EuroFighter coaster features a 100ft vertical lift, a beyond vertical drop and four

Galveston Island G

inversions. During the ride, passengers reach speeds of up to 50mph as they race through elements including a diving loop and a backstretch that cantilevers over the water.

Other highlights include Chance Morgan’s 100ft Galaxy Wheel, complete with programmable LED lighting, Funtime’s 200ft Texas Star Flyer and Pirate's Plunge, a double drop log flume from Interlink featuring plunges of 22ft and 42ft. From Bertazzon comes Pier Pileup, a bumper car track featuring antique and classic cars with separate ride areas for kids and adults, the Gulf Glider Wave Swinger and Rock & Roll Musik Express. Additional Chance Morgan contributions include a the Revolution pendulum ride and Sea Dragon (Pirate Ship), both of which sing out over the sea, as well as a double-decker Merry-Go-Round with ride-on sea creatures, horses and chariots. Completing the ride line-up are a Larson Cyclone (Fireball), SBF/Visa Sky Shooter (Airborne Shot) and Big Wheelin’ truck ride, Zamperla tea cups and S&S Frog Hopper tower. The Pleasure Pier also offers a selection of games and other midway diversions, including a number of Bobs Space Racer favourites. Guests can have their photo taken as a cowboy or a gangster at the antique photo booth, or buy a shot of themselves and friends on Iron Shark or Pirates Plunge. In addition to Texas’s first ever Bubba Gump Shrimp Co restaurant, the pier offers seven quick service food and beverage outlets, a gift shop, candy store and entertainment stage. Open daily from 10am to 11pm, entry is $10 for adults or $8 for children 4ft (1.2m) and under, with all-day ride passes costing an additional $15.99/$11.99. Galveston Pleasure Pier captures an old-time carnival flavour, with some of today’s latest theme park hardware.

Classic pier launches new attractions

The pier at dusk

JULY 2012

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