November 1, 1999
New Orleans, LA -- Just off I-10 and just 20 minutes from downtown New Orleans, the intersection of 1-510 and Lake Forest Boulevard is one of the most exciting areas of New Orleans right now. It's the site of Jazzland Theme Park, the only theme park now under construction in the Unites States.
No longer a desolate wooded acreage, the area is peppered with cranes, bulldozers, cement mixers, trailers and nearly 300 workmen. And according to Phil Clark, Vice President/GM, with its many themed attractions, Jazzland is quickly taking shape as a thrilling amusement park.
Scheduled to open in May 2000, Jazzland Theme Park currently has 12 of the 31 rides in place; these span three of the six themed sections of the park.
Catch the Carnival spirit where every day is Fat Tuesday and everything is bigger, brighter and bolder!
The first thing you notice from the interstate is the 4,000-foot-long wooden coaster. This signature ride, called the Mega Zeph, is reminiscent of the Zephyr from Pontchartrain Beach but is four times as long and much sleeker and faster, with speeds up to 60 mph. Custom designed for Jazzland, this steel structured, wood track roller coaster is designed to provide the surprises of a twister-style layout in addition to the speed and "airtime" associated with an "out and back" style of coaster. A 110-foot lift hill will provide a classic, straightforward first drop leading into a high-speed turnaround near the lake's edge. This is destined to be one of the premier wooden coasters in the country.
A second ride is the Inverter. This is a serious thrill ride with "over the top" action. First it lifts riders 50 feet in the air, then flips 360 degrees repeatedly, with very disorienting action and a wide variety of sensations. The Inverter is a great-looking ride with its neon colors and eye-catching lights on a 50-foot tower. This ride is fully in place.
Third is Jocco's Mardi Gras Adventure -an Interactive Dark Ride which brings people into a cool, interactive family attraction. Patrons will travel through a ride and actually interact with it. Jocco's Mardi Gras Adventure combines with a shooting gallery for fun. The challenge is to score the highest among your friends in your car, as well become the highest "scorer of the day."
Fourth is the Wave Swinger which assumes the name Zydeco Zinger at Jazzland. A classic family attraction, this ride will swing over the lake, and its thousands of lights will reflect off the Basin.
Fifth is the Trabant, a long-time popular thrill ride; patrons sit face to face while spinning and tilting. This ride is fully in place.
The Bat, otherwise known as Krazy Krewe, marks ride number six. A multi-sensational, thrill-seeking ride, Krazy Krewe has many movements.
Seats are suspended, and people dangle their feet. Boom arms take them in 360-degree motion, and the center column rotates to make riders feel as if they are in a mixer. This ride is fully in place.
Number seven is Chaos, which is a circular motion ride. The cars are controllable, and the whole structure comes up at an angle, with
three-dimensional rocking, rolling and rotation and a spinning platform. As it whirls riders, its lights are very eye-catching. Although thrilling, Chaos appeals to families and kids. This ride is fully in place.
Delight in the nostalgia of this recreation of New Orleans' famed amusement park.
The eighth and ninth rides in place will be a Jazzland landmark-the 185' Bayou Blaster and Sonic Slam, Jazzland's version of the popular Space
Shot and Turbo Drop. These two companion rides will shoot riders up and propel them down at 4.5 G's. Bayou Blaster and Sonic Slam mark the
highest points in the park and will provide riders with an incredible view of the city. These rides are fully in place.
A tenth structure you notice is the Skycoaster. Popular at theme parks around the world, this attraction hoists patrons to a height of 170 feet, and then a guest pulls the ripcord for the free-fall swing over the water Basin.
It feels just like a Louisiana bayou with alligators, boiled crayfish, native crafts and high-spirited Cajun dancing.
Aviator is the eleventh ride in place. It's the "Flying Dutchman" of the past embracing the technology of the future. It ascends a telescoping pole in excess of 100 feel while allowing patrons to independently steer the float of their individual, double winged car. The flight characteristics of this ride actually allow the rider to experience stalls and dives in-flight at an altitude of ten stories!
Lafitte's Pirate Ship marks the 12th ride currently in place. This family thrill swing ride is in the shape of a pirate ship and provides the guest with an exhilarating "out-of-your-seat" experience at the apex of each swing. This ride is fully in place
The other three themed areas of the park are:
The magic of Jazzland starts here in a charming setting reminiscent of Old New Orleans.
The Children's Area is the next area planned for construction. Work should begin there later this fall.
A venue for corporate picnics and gatherings, Gospel Gardens will host live entertainment reflective of Louisiana's music culture.
General Jazzland Construction Information
Concrete: 9,000 cubic yards of concrete have been poured out of a job total of 12,400 yards
Pilings: In addition to the 638 wooden coaster pilings already driven, 10,000 of 12,000 pilings on site have been driven.
45 buildings are near structural completion, including gathering halls, gift shops, restaurants and restrooms.
There are hundreds of full- and part-time workmen employed by Broadmoor Construction and the subcontractors on site. This workforce includes those assigned to the rides, the parking lot, the utilities and other specialty areas. The workforce will peak at approximately 300.
Unlike any park in the United States, Jazzland is being built on a four-foot raised platform. Because New Orleans is below sea level, the park needs to be raised above its soft-soil setting. The deck will be beautifully landscaped, and guests will have no idea they are actually on an enormous platform.
These are the common walkways throughout the park. Presently workers are roughing in all electrical and special systems conduits under the midways. There will be literally miles and miles of wiring throughout the park.
Food and Beverage
The park will have food for all tastes and price ranges. Fare includes traditional festival food like hot dogs, hamburgers and funnel cakes as well as foods reflective of Louisiana, like gumbo, crawfish and beignets. Visitors can dine in at several restaurants, grab a bite at food kiosks or graze at food carts scattered throughout the park.
Jazzland has three parking lots. The employee lot was the first one to be finished, and it holds 400 cars. The main visitor lot, whose entrance is off Lake Forest Boulevard, is 30% complete; it holds 4,111 cars. The overflow lot, which accommodates 756 cars, is now complete.
Jazzland Theme Park is slated to open to the public in May 2000.