MAGIC SPRINGS & Crystal Falls
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Owned by EPR Properties
Managed by Premier Parks LLC
Park News - (4/8/17) I'm not sure why, but a few news articles came out yesterday claiming that Magic Springs has been purchased by a new owner. This would actually be old news, as Magic Springs was sold off from CNL to EPR Properties along with the rest of CNL's theme park division back in November 2016.
I think there was a little confusion in the article I read though, as the one thing that caught my eye was that it stated that Magic Springs was retaining Premier Parks LLC to serve as an operator for the property, apparently along with running the rest of the former CNL owned parks like Darien Lake and Frontier City. Previously we had Magic Springs being operated by ARM (Amusement Management Partners, LLC).
(2/9/16) One of our readers drove by Magic Springs the other day and confirmed that, as rumored, Dr. Deans Rocket Machine is either down, or in the process of coming down, as it was no longer visible from the road. So for those keeping track, the park will now feature two less rides than before for the 2016 season with the removal of Dr. Dean’s Rocket Machine and Wild Thang. Meanwhile, nothing new at all (thus far) has been reported to be coming to the park for 2016 either, which is starting to make the park’s fans wonder about the future of the park. After all, it was only a couple of years ago when the park announced they had sold off their newest coaster (X Coaster) to a new owner, only to discover that the coaster had been mostly welded together, rather than simply bolted together, which would make the job of taking it apart with the intention to rebuild it elsewhere a far more difficult situation than it is worth, so it remains at Magic Springs.
While I have received no information (official or unofficial) so far from anyone with true insight into what the park’s management has in store for the park, it seems clear to me that the park’s future will be primarily as a waterpark destination and not as a mixed amusement park / waterpark combo. We’ve seen this sort of evolution happen elsewhere in the south, specifically over at Alabama Adventure which went from being a mostly amusement park with a small waterpark, to just being a waterpark only (Alabama Splash Adventure) for several years. Only now, under new ownership, is Alabama Splash Adventure, in the early process of starting to add hard rides back to the park with last year’s reopening of the Rampage roller coaster.
Meanwhile Magic Springs seems to be headed towards that same kind of concept, that will see the park transformed into being primarily a waterpark, but with a few dry rides, coasters and upcharge attractions thrown in for a mixture. The park’s own history of expansion also backs up this theory over the past decade, with the last big steel ride added being X Coaster back in 2006. Every other attraction added since then has either been an upcharge attraction (SkyShark in 2014) or an addition to the waterpark: Crystal Lagoon (2007), Rapid Falls Raceway (2008), Boogie Blast (2010) and Splash Island (2013).
So far the only rumor about the park’s next expansion will be for another waterpark project to take up the site of Dr. Deans and Wild Thang. So far my theory is looking fairly solid.
2017 - Nothing is known at this time... nothing was added in 2016, but two rides removed in 2016 (Dr. Dean’s Rocket Machine and Wild Thang) to possibly make room for a 2017 project.