Six Flags Is Born – 8/1/1961

US History |

The whole Six Flags’ chain is very popular now-a-days and for very good reason. It has continued to revolutionize the amusement park industry and the standards that were set for them in the 60’s. It was on August 1, 1961 that Arlington, Texas got to witness the birth of this lovable amusement park, as Six Flags over Texas opens. 

At the time of their opening, Six Flags brought a lot of new features to the amusement park industry that hadn’t been introduced yet. In fact, a lot of them are some concepts that are still used today. Six Flags was known for breaking the barrier when it came to “log flume and mine train rides” and even came up with the world’s first 360-degree looping roller coaster. Their parachute drop took park goers by storm, as well as the river rapids, which is a lot of people’s favorite part of parks, even to this day.

Another major difference Six Flags started was the concept of having attendees pay one solid price for all of the rides. Before this, people would pay an entrance fee and then have to buy tickets for the rides in order to go on. Not anymore.

What were costs like at this time? Well, for an adult it would cost $2.75 for a day pass and $2.25 for a child. For food, hamburgers were sold for 50 cents and a soda was sold for 10 cents.

The amazing park only took a year to completely finish building and ended up costing the company a total of $10 million. The man behind it all was Angus Wynne Jr., a real estate developer and oilman. Wynne saw this as an opportunity to make some extra money, since he planned on turning the land into an industrial complex. However, those plans all changed when he saw the success Six Flags was enduring. It wasn’t long before he made back his initial investment and instead of making this a temporary amusement park, he chose to keep it up. After seeing 17.5 million visitors in the first decade, the park now sees nearly 3 million every year – almost double.

The thing that attracted people most to the amusement park was the fact that it was themed around the history of Texas. This made it an enormous tourist attraction for tourists wanting to take an adventure through the Lone Star’s history. Much like we see with Disneyland and Disneyworld, it followed that same concept of having a theme. 

Six Flags quickly spread and eight years after opening, Wynne ended up selling the company. Since then, it has expanded into the largest regional theme park in this country. You can find Six Flags amusement parks in 30 different locations in North America and people from all over the world visit them on a daily basis. Almost a decade ago, nearly 250 million hours were spent by nearly 34 million people at parks located around the country.

That’s a lot of amusement for one company, don’t you think?

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Amanda Miller

Contributor & Chief Coffee Maker

Being from San Diego I have always gone to the Ocean and wrote my thoughts onto paper. Since a young girl writing has been my passion and now I love being creative with what I love. In school I started early writing for my middle school paper and have learned so much since then. I now have an opportunity to do what I love and work from home every day you can't beat it. I look forward to writing some great content for you all and to see the feedback I get in the process. My favorite topic is positive stories showing people helping others.