A giant Astroworld collection
Alpine Sleigh Ride, Greezed Lightnin’ and Thunder River are all names you might recognize as the famous rides of the former Houston Astroworld. Worldwide attractions guaranteed to bring back fond memories for countless Houstonians.
Judge Roy Hofheinz created the famous amusement park 50 years ago directly across from the brand new domed stadium. Opening day ticket prices were $4.50 for adults and $3.50 for including access to more than 50 international themed rides and live entertainment.
After changing hands several times, Astroworld closed its doors on October 30, 2005. The park was dismantled and pieces were either destroyed or auctioned off.
“My daughter heard that Astroworld was going to close,” Maria Mendeles told Dave Ward’s Houston. “So she came over crying, ‘You gotta go buy me a bench, they’re gonna have an auction, you got to go to the auction, you got to buy me a bench.’ I said, ‘OK sweetheart, I’ll go buy you a bench.'”
While our Astroworld may be no more, fans can relive their childhood memories at Emiliano’s Sports Bar.
Mendeles, who owns the bar, ended up buying much more than just one bench. She showed us the Warner Brothers sign that used to be on the big barn at the employees lunch room.
“I started falling in love with all the stuff that they were putting up,” she admitted. “There is a sign that says if a parent is lost, find them here.”
Mendeles even took one item home with her. A seven foot tall Daffy Duck serves as her personal bartender. She says he is a “great listener.”
Now Mendeles is thinking about auctioning off some of the items.
“I need to share it with the people you know,” she said.
However, not everything will be sold.
“I will not get rid of the Greased Lightning [sign], Daffy Duck [statue] and Speedy Gonzalez and one Bugs Bunny,” Mendeles told us.
And she can’t sell all the good memories from the once Houston icon.
“Dropping off my kids in the morning and picking him up in the afternoon,” she remembered. “I know I did a lot of rides right at the end and I joined my kids in for one last ride. Matter of fact I have a T-shirt that says ‘Oh what a trip, one last ride.'”
One last great Astroworld ride indeed!