Most people know that Nashville, Tennessee is synonymous with America’s diverse and vibrant music scene. In addition to producing some of the country’s most well-known artists, however, Music City boasts a rich and interesting history. This essential American city has been the site of noteworthy Civil War events, famous musicians’ legacies, and oddities like the Opryland USA Theme Park. Yes, even Nashville’s theme parks garner loyal fans! Here’s everything you need to know about this once-bustling part of Music City’s entertainment scene.
The Opryland USA Theme Park no longer stands, but there are still plenty of exciting things to do in Music City! For a complete, hand-picked list of our favorite restaurants, activities, historic spots, and more, simply request access to our free Nashville Travel Guide. This helpful resource has helped so many travelers spend less time planning and more time experiencing. Be sure to get your copy today!
What You Need to Know About the Opryland USA Theme Park
What Was Opryland USA?
Those born after the early 1990s may not remember the Opryland USA Theme Park, or know about it at all. For some, this unique place was a summer activity to look forward to every year. Between 1972 and 1997, this music-themed park entertained millions of visitors in suburban Nashville. It opened every May and closed every October, only to reopen again every December for its highly anticipated holiday-themed attractions. The park offered exciting rides like roller coasters and carousels, and was known for its popular music shows encompassing all genres. Traveling artists and shows like Family Feud hosted live shows on the grounds of Opryland. The rides themselves were popular enough over the years to bring guests back again and again, though. Some of the most memorable Opryland rides included the Grizzly River Rampage, Chaos, Wabash Cannonball, and The Hangman.
Why Did Opryland Close?
In December of 1997, Opryland USA said goodbye to its last visitors. Though an incredibly popular seasonal attraction, the attraction was hampered from the beginning. Its location made it prone to occasional flooding, and its size did not allow for much expansion as consumer preferences changed. The primary reason for the closure was the fact that Gaylord Properties, the park’s parent company, wanted to replace it with a year-round attraction. New plans began with Opry Mills, a shopping mall, but the plan never came to fruition. Afterward, some buildings at the site were used as Gaylord employee training facilities, and others stood purposeless.
By 2011, none of the original structures from the park remained. Some of Opryland’s biggest rides were purchased by other theme parks, but many were turned into scrap metal. Interestingly, some individual pieces of the park have been located by loyal fans. One of the Wabash Cannonball’s cars was even spotted at a theme park in Belgium! Nostalgic fans can relive their fond memories at the park by viewing old Opryland Theme Park pictures and by purchasing gear in the company’s online store.
Stay in a Private Vacation Rental and See Nashville as a Local
There will probably never be a new Opryland USA Theme
Park, but there are still so many fun ways to make memories during a visit to Nashville! Whether you prefer experiencing an iconic Tennessee spot like Robert’s Western World or catching a show at the historic Ryman Auditorium, you’ll find an exciting way to spend your time here. Before creating an itinerary, you’ll need a place to stay! Reserve a Playlist Properties accommodation in Downtown Nashville or 12 South and enjoy being close to everything the city has to offer. Plus, our private vacation rentals offer premium amenities you won’t find at a hotel. Take full advantage of fully stocked kitchens, chic decor, and so much more!
Ready to embark on an unforgettable trip to Music City? Check our availability today and get started planning!