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The Myrtle Beach Pavilion Amusement Park

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The Myrtle Beach Pavilion Amusement Park Jeremy Levine, 2005. Licensed to About.com.

Special Note:

The park closed permanently in 2006. A handful of the rides are now at the Pavilion Nostalgia Park at Broadway at the Beach.

The following info was written during one of the final years of operation for the park:

Myrtle Beach is in a period of transition. Vacationers have always flocked to South Carolina's Grand Strand for its miles of glorious beaches, and Tiger Woods wannabes still descend on the golf-mad area for its 120 courses (and nearly 50 mini-golf courses). But for generations of fun-seekers, The Pavilion, and the arcades, gift shops, food joints, and other funky, honky-tonk establishments that surround it have also defined Myrtle Beach. That may be changing as developers kick around plans to gentrify and redefine the area. And that would be a shame.

The free-admission park crams a surprising number of rides and attractions into its compact, 11-acre footprint. The highlight is The Hurricane, a CCI-built wood coaster that straddles one side of The Pavilion. Other signature attractions include the Haunted Hotel, a wonderful, traditional dark ride that incorporates Disney-style illusions, Treasure Hunt, an interactive dark ride in which passengers rack up points by shooting Pirate Booty targets, and the Hydro-Surge river raft ride. The park also offers some wild thrill rides like a Top Spin and Enterprise, as well as a stunning 1912 Herschell-Spillman carousel and a decent collection of kiddie rides.

But The Myrtle Beach Pavilion is more than a collection of rides. There's something about the sand, the surf, and the screams of coaster riders that dovetail perfectly. The smell of the salt air complements the distinctive aroma of the fries, and a shoreline sunset melds seamlessly with tacky, mismatched carnival lights. Seaside parks are a piece of Americana that's quickly fading. Visit The Pavilion before its rough-hewn, shaggy charm gets tossed out to sea in favor of some bland, homogenized mall-like retail-dining-entertainment complex. Instead of authentic greasy burgers at the vintage food stand, they'll be serving retro greasy burgers at the corporate restaurant chain.

Location:

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Rides and attractions:

Wood coaster, wild mouse coaster, two dark rides, river raft ride, log flume, vintage carousel, thrill rides, kiddie rides, clown shows.

Photo Gallery:

See the Park Being Torn Down:

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