Magic Springs and Crystal Falls
|Location||Hot Springs, Arkansas, United States|
|Operated by||Premier Parks, LLC|
|Opened||July 22, 1978|
|Operating season||April–October daily through May–August|
Magic Springs and Crystal Falls is an amusement park and water park located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, about 50 miles from Little Rock. A single price admission includes all day use of the rides and attractions in both parks. The park is open weekends from April through October and daily late-May through mid-August. Magic Springs and Crystal Falls was opened in the late 1970s, closed in 1995, and reopened in 2000. Magic Springs and Crystal Falls is owned by EPR Properties and operated by Amusement Management Partners, LLC.
Magic Springs (reopened as Magic Springs and Crystal Falls in 2000) opened July 22, 1978, but investors became burdened by millions of dollars of debt and sold the park in the 1980s to a group headed by businessman Melvyn Bell, who then had his own financial troubles. It closed in 1995. Fitraco, a Belgian company, bought the amusement park at a foreclosure auction in 1995. Ed Hart of Themeparks LLC was approached by Fitraco, and decided to take on the project.
Magic Springs and Crystal Falls reopened in 2000 after Hot Springs voters approved a bond issue providing financing for the park. Attendance totaled more than 362,500 in 2000 and beat expectations. In 2001, attendance fell about 25 percent to roughly 272,000, and then to about 254,000 in 2002. The park continued to expand its ride offerings instead of hunkering down. Attendance grew again to more than 291,000 in 2003, the year the Timberwood Amphitheater debuted. It topped 400,000 in 2004 when The Gauntlet was added and the concert series was expanded. In March, owners of Magic Springs agreed to sell the attraction to CNL Income Properties. They leased back the park to the former owners, who continued to manage it. On June 10, 2008, it was announced that PARC Management had taken over the park's management. The leasing agreement between owner CNL and PARC Management was terminated in November 2010 and a new operating agreement with Amusement Management Partners, LLC was announced in January of 2011. In late 2016, CNL sold a bundle of its theme park properties, including Magic Springs, to EPR Properties, a REIT based in Kansas City. It was announced at that time that management responsibilities for Magic Springs would be assumed by Premier Parks, LLC.
Rides and attractions
- Arkansas Twister – (48") A classic wooden out and back coaster. Features a 92 ft. drop. Relocated from Boardwalk and Baseball in Florida in 1992 where it operated as the Florida Hurricane. Designed by Don Rosser and William Cobb, built by Michael Black.
- The Gauntlet – (52") A Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster. Built in 2004 by Vekoma for Six Flags New Orleans (Jazzland). The sale never finalized and Magic Springs and Crystal Falls bought the coaster. Features a 110 ft. drop and is the first Vekoma SLC to feature a redesigned wheel assembly to give a more comfortable ride.
- X-Coaster – (52") Only Sky Loop Coaster in North America. 150 ft inversion. Built in 2006 operating since.
- Diamond Mine Run Roller Coaster - (between 36" and 42" with adult) A small but fun and exciting coaster. Built by Miller Coaster, Inc.
- Big Bad John – (42") An Arrow Dynamics Mine Train Coaster. Tallest drop of 41 ft. Originated in Six Flags St. Louis as one half of the River King Mine Train duo. Removed from park in 1988 and sold to Dollywood. Relocated from Dollywood in 1998 where it operated as "Thunder Express".
- The Hawk – (48") A boom that rotates both clockwise and counter-clockwise at speeds of up to 13rpm that spins you over 70 ft. in the air. A Zamperla spinning ride.
- Rum Runner Pirate Ship – (between 42" and 48" with adult) A Zamperla pendulum ride in the style of a pirate ship that swings you back and forth higher with each swing. Opened in 2000.
- Old No. 2 Logging Company – (between 36" and 42" with adult) An Arrow Dynamics log flume ride that takes you through the rapids before taking a huge drop into a splash pool. Opened in 1978.
- Carousel – (under 42" with adult) The classic ride with horses and carriages.
- Plummet Summit – (42" to ride alone 36" with adult) A splash down ride with a 50 ft. drop. Built exclusively for Magic Springs and Crystal Falls and debuted in 2005.
- Fearless Flyers – (under 42" with adult 1 adult per car) Small airplanes where you control up and down movement while the ride spins.
- Looney Ballooney – (under 42" with adult 1 adult per car) Hot air balloons that rise up while the ride spins.
- Bugga Booga Wheel – (under 42" with adult 1 adult per car) A bug themed miniature ferris wheel.
- Kit 'n Kaboodle Express – (less than 42" with adult) A miniature train ride that is exciting for the kids.
- Lil' Leapin' Lizards – (minimum 42" maximum 48") A gentle yet fun freefall tower.
- Twist N' Shout Zamperla Wild Mouse – Added in 2000. Removed in 2012. Relocated to Family Kingdom in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
- Dr. Deans Rocket Machine - Removed for the 2016 season.
- Wild Thang - Removed before the 2016 season, relocated to Frontier City and opened as 'Gunslinger.'
- Roaring Tornado - Added in 1980 and sold in 1990. It was relocated to Denver, Colorado. It is now owned by Elitch Gardens and operates under the name "Sidewinder."
The Timberwood Amphitheater is a state-of-the-art concert venue which offers a variety of entertainment. Concerts are held every Saturday during the operating season. While there is free lawn seating, there are also 26 rows of bench reserved seats in front of the stage. Currently VIP Reserved seats (the first six rows) are $10.00 while the price for the rest of the reserved seats is $5.00.
- Education In Motion - School group days where fun at the park is linked to lessons in the classroom.
- Magic Screams - Halloween festival in October where Magic Springs is transformed into a scary and frightening Magic Screams.
Crystal Falls is the water park portion of Magic Springs and Crystal Falls and is included with park admission. Crystal Falls is open daily from May through mid-August and weekends to the end of September. Crystal Falls has many water attractions which include:
- Bear Cub Bend - kid play zone
- Crystal Cove Wave Pool
- Crystal Lagoon - four tube slides, three body slides and an activity pool (Opened in 2007)
- Grizzly Creek Splash Zone - kid activity zone with a suspended bridge and three smaller water slides
- High Sierra Slide Tower - four tube slides, each different in darkness
- Kodiak Canyon Adventure River
- Rapid Falls Raceway - seven side-by-side racing slides (Opened in 2008)
- Boogie Blast - FlowRider wave simulator (Opened in 2010)
- Splash Island - Whitewater Giant Water Play Area (Opened in 2012)
“Best of the Best” – Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Readers Poll
Golden Guard Award – Excellence in lifeguarding, Ellis & Associates
Southern Travel Treasure – AAA
Gold Elite Award – Performance of water safety staff, Ellis & Associates
Platinum Elite Award – Performance of water safety staff, Ellis & Associates
The Natural State Award – Arkansas’ top tourist attraction, Arkansas Governor's Conference on Tourism
Best Area Attraction – Hot Springs Sentinel-Record, Readers Poll
Silver Elite Award – Excellence in lifeguarding, Ellis & Associates
Large Business Recognition – Excellence in landscaping, Hot Springs/Garland County Beautification Commission
Large Business of the Year – Excellence in community service, Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce
Outstanding Achievement for Access to Persons with Disabilities – S.A.I.L.S.
Silver Cup – Outstanding effort in tourism, Garland County Hospitality Association
Top Three Family Friendly Parks in the Nation – Better Homes and Gardens
- On June 9, 2007, a power outage left 12 roller coaster riders stranded upside down 150 feet in the air for 30 minutes.
- On September 4, 2006, an 11-year-old boy was shot in the wrist by a falling .22 caliber bullet.
- On July 30, 2006, a 45-year-old woman from Memphis, Tennessee fell from the Twist and Shout coaster. Inspectors said that she was too large for the ride, causing the restraints to not work properly.
- Kentucky Kingdom, Amusement park in Louisville, Kentucky currently operated by Ed Hart
- Themeparks LLC, Amusement park company founded by Hart
- Blooloop. "Theme parks: CNL Lifestyle Properties and PARC Management End Lease Relationship blooloop". blooloop. Retrieved 2017-02-07.
- admin. "CNL announces new management for eight parks : Park World Online – Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News". www.parkworld-online.com. Retrieved 2017-02-07.
- Christmann, Samantha (2016-11-03). "Darien Lake has new owner, who isn't talking about theme park's future". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 2017-02-07.
- Read, Charles. "Arkansas' Magic Springs Shifts Ownership Dec. 1 blooloop". blooloop. Retrieved 2017-02-07.