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Six Flags New Orleans is an amusement park in New Orleans, Louisianamarker, which has been closed since Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.

The park is located in Eastern New Orleans, in the Ninth Ward of the city off Interstate 510. The park first opened under the name "Jazzland," opening in 2000 and operated by Alfa Smartparks before Six Flags took over the park lease in 2002.

The land, owned by the city of New Orleans, is currently leased to and operated by Six Flags. After Hurricane Katrina, Six Flags has sought to end its lease on the site. The owners claim the park must remain shut down as long as outstanding claims with insurance companies remain unsettled.

As of early 2008, the site is overgrown with debris and weeds. Removal of the debris and underbrush has now begun.

On August 18, 2009, it was announced that the land would be re-developed into a Nickelodeon-branded water/theme park.

On September 18, 2009, the city of New Orleans fined Six Flags $3 million and ordered the park to vacate its lease.


View of a portion of the park
Rides included the Mega Zeph, a wooden roller coaster track built on a steel frame to prevent termite infestation and withstand hurricane force winds. The Mega Zeph was inspired by the old Zephyr roller coaster at the closed Pontchartrain Beach Amusement Park that was located next to Lake Pontchartrainmarker by the University of New Orleans. The original intent was to rebuild the Zephyr but it was a smaller roller coaster so that idea was scrapped in favor of the current larger Mega Zeph. Other rides include Batman: The Ride, The Jester, Zydeco Scream (a Vekoma Boomerang), and Spillway Splashout, as well as many others. A water park was in the planning stages before Hurricane Katrina struck.

History After Hurricane Katrina

Sign by Six Flags entrance still displaying post-Katrina floodwater lines a year later
Eastern New Orleans was badly flooded in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (see: Effect of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans). The park grounds are located on a low-lying section of Eastern New Orleans, with a 6-foot earthen flood berm running along the perimeter, creating an artificial basin. After the park's drainage pumps failed during the storm, the berm retained the combination of rainwater and sea water overflow from Lake Pontchartrain caused by Katrina's massive storm surge, submerging the entire park grounds in corrosive, brackish floodwater to a depth of 4–7 feet. The floodwater was not drained for over a month. Due to the damage received, the park has been (and is currently) closed indefinitely with no plans to reopen.

Damage reports by Six Flags inspectors stated that the park buildings are 80% demolished, all of the flat rides (except for one which was being serviced off-site at the time of the storm) have been effectively destroyed by long term salt-water immersion, and both the wooden track and steel superstructure of the Mega Zeph have been damaged beyond likely hope of repair. The only large ride to escape relatively unscathed was the Batman: The Ride roller-coaster, due to its elevated station platform and corrosion-resistant support structure.

On July 1, 2006, having previously announced that the park would be closed "at least" through 2007, Six Flags Inc. announced that they had concluded their damage assessments and declared the park to be an "effective total loss"—with no desire or intent by the company to undertake the prohibitive cost of rebuilding—and was in negotiations with the City of New Orleans to make an early exit from the 75-year lease which Six Flags entered into on the property. However, Mayor Ray Nagin says he plans to hold Six Flags to the lease agreement and force them to rebuild. If held to the terms of the lease agreement, Six Flags would be legally obligated to rebuild the park on the same site, but only to the extent of the insurance money Six Flags receives. Six Flags determined the value of assets destroyed by the storm at $32.5 million. As of September 2006, Six Flags had collected $11.5 million of insurance proceeds, bringing the insurance receivable balance to $24.4 million. It remains unknown whether the amount of money the park receives will be enough to successfully rebuild it. In January 2007, Six Flags officials revealed to the Times-Picayune that the company is suing its insurers for the remaining amount of $175 million in coverage.

The park had long been one of the least profitable parks in the Six Flags portfolio, being well away from the French Quartermarker and other tourist attractions. It has been stated that the park would most likely have been more profitable had it been built somewhere on the West Bank or in Metairiemarker, as these places are a shorter distance from tourist districts. Even more so, these locations would have placed the park much closer to affluent population centers where a strong local base of repeat customers could be cultivated, as opposed to the poverty and crime-afflicted Eastern New Orleans district where few residents could afford or were interested in expensive season passes to an amusement park.

On December 15, 2006, Six Flags confirmed that they were removing Batman: The Ride for refurbishment and relocation to a new park, as it was considered to be the only salvageable ride. Batman: The Ride was reassembled in 2008 at Six Flags Fiesta Texasmarker in San Antoniomarker and opened under the new name Goliath. In addition to Batman: The Ride, Six Flags removed shade coverings, ride parts, lights, security cameras, planting structures, and various other salvageable items. Six Flags also removed their large lighted sign from the top of the park entrance, effectively indicating their intent not to return.

Despite the park's current condition, the Six Flags Corporation website still states the following: "Six Flags is still in the process of settling claims with its insurers due to substantial damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. As a result, Six Flags New Orleans will remain closed at this time. We know that it is still a difficult time for the residents of New Orleans, and we remain committed to working with the city in support of the recovery efforts."

Renewed Interest

In April 2008 Southern Star Amusement Inc. proposed to take over the site lease, promising to expand the park to over 60 rides (more than double its pre-Katrina size), complete a water park that Six Flags had been planning, and add an RV park. Southern Star Amusement Inc. pledged to open the park as Legend City Adventure Park, with 60 rides in place, including a new water park by the summer of 2009 if the city approved the lease takeover, with the campground to follow. The New Orleansmarker City Council is studying the proposal. One issue concerning rebuilding has been Six Flags' continued removal of infrastructure from the park. In a quarterly conference call Six Flags discussed plans to remove the S&S Towers by 2009 with more ride removals to follow. Items from existing Jazzland rides, such as Mega Zeph's trains and Spillway Splashout's boats, have been sent to other parks. On September 27, 2008, Southern Star Amusement stated on their website that they would no longer be trying to revive Six Flags New Orleans. Southern Star does not comment on what situations influenced their decision, but it is speculated that the extensive recycling and removal of rides and current economic situation were key issues.

As of February 2009, Southern Star Amusement Inc. is taking another look at the park and considering a takeover bid with the City of New Orleans. Should SSAI go forward it would be a scaled down effort, with intentions only to reopen the park with a waterpark added within the existing midway area. The idea is to reopen and build incrementally, saving about $50 million in improvements for the next few years. Given the current economic situation, this plan seems to be the only way that the park can be saved. The basic idea is to use investors and Go Zone Bonds to raise the $35 to $40 million needed to just reopen the park with basic improvements that are needed to make a real recovery and profit. Southern Star Amusement's CEO Danny R. Rogers is asking that Six Flags stop all removal action of equipment from the park, as the equipment in question belongs to the City of New Orleans and not Six Flags Inc. The return of other equipment taken from the park by Six Flags Inc. is also being asked for. The lease that Six Flags has with the City makes it clear that the equipment in question is City property, and its removal was not allowed.

Standing but not operating rides

Roller coasters

Flat rides

Water rides

Upcharge attractions

Former Rides

Roller Coasters

Flat Rides


  3. Nickelodeon Enters Into Licensing Arrangement to Create a New Nick-Branded Water and Theme Park in New Orleans, Louisiana
  4. City Orders Six Flags To Pay $3M, Vacate Lease

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