Special Note- Park Closed in 2010:
Read more about the re-branded park in an interview with the president of Freestyle Music Park.
Hard Rock Park bankruptcy News briefs:
Location:Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Hotel InfoCompare rates for Hard Rock Park-area hotels at About.com's booking partner, Kayak.
Hard Rock Park DirectionsFrom Charleston: US-17 N. Merge onto US-501 N. In Myrtle Beach, take the Waccamaw Blvd. ramp. Left onto Waccamaw Blvd., left onto River Oaks Dr.
From Wilmington: US-17 S. Merge onto SC-9 toward SC-31. US-31 ramp to US-31 S. Merge onto US-501 S. Take the George Bishop Parkway/River Oaks ramp to George Bishop Parkway.
From Columbia: I-20 E to I-20 Spur E. Take Palmetto St., US-76 E to SC-576 E, which becomes US-501 S. Follow 501-S directions above.
From Charlotte: I-77 S toward Columbia. Exit 16A to I-20 E to I-20 Spur E. Take Palmetto St., US-76 E to SC-576 E, which becomes US-501 S. Follow 501-S directions above.
Other Hard Rock Park InfoHard Rock Park Photo Gallery
Hard Rock Park Features:
- Led Zeppelin- The Ride
World-class thrill ride with a wild Led Zeppelin overlay
- Eagles Life in the Fast Lane
Mine train-style family coaster
- Maximum RPM!
Prototype wheel-lift coaster
- Slippery When Wet
Inverted coaster with onboard water cannons
Hard Rock Park Dining:
- Alice's Restaurant
The park's full-service eatery features Thanksgiving dinner and clam chowder
- Taste of Paradise Grill
Tropical island fare
- The Whammy Bar
Biker-themed pub with appetizers
- Carnaby Street Cafe
British specialties such as bangers with mash
Oddly, there is no Hard Rock Cafe at the park. However, there is a Myrtle Beach Hard Rock Cafe, in a distinctive pyramid building, at the nearby Broadway at the Beach complex.
Official Web Site:
Hard Rock Park OverviewThe 55-acre, $400-million Hard Rock Park is the first park themed to rock music. It offers rock-influenced attractions, along with lots of rock 'n' roll memorabilia, shows, live music, restaurants, shops, and an amphitheater that presents concerts. The park features six zones:
- All Access Entry Plaza What would a Hard Rock Park be without retail shops? This is the place to make impulse purchases on the way in and out of the park.
- Cool Country It's only natural that a park in the South--even one that's focused on rock and roll--would tip its cowboy hat to country-rock music.
It doesn't have the squeaky-clean persona, highly immersive environments, or blockbuster E-ticket attractions of a Disney park (although Nights in White Satin- The Trip is near-Disney quality--and quite trippy). Nor does it have a Six Flags-worthy arsenal of thrill machines (although the 150-foot tall, 65-mph Led Zeppelin coaster more than holds its own among white knuckle rides). But the Hard Rock Park does have a compelling theme that it has cleverly exploited to create an engaging, fun experience.
Music is everywhere: in the background throughout each land, providing the inspiration for every ride, performed live on multiple stages, and piped into the restaurants. The music even follows guests into the park's bathrooms.
The level of detail is often astonishing. For example, the original version of a song, say "Purple Haze," that's playing along the walkways in the Rock & Roll Heaven area seamlessly morphs into a note-for-note calypso version of the tune as guests approach the Reggae River Falls attraction. Those kinds of moments, along with the park's considerable whimsy (i.e. an Elvis-looking cow statue makes small talk with onlookers before spraying them with his udders) and innocuous irreverence (the neon in the Great Meals Diner sign is conveniently broken to read "Eat Me") set an infectiously upbeat tone and can't help but generate smiles.
Rock music, which ironically once served as a generation-defining clarion call, now bridges generations and serves as an ideal point of reference to connect the park with its broad range of guests. Having said that, is the Hard Rock Park for everyone?
Don't let the "Hard Rock" tag throw you. Like the Hard Rock Cafes, the park features many music genres, with an emphasis on age-spanning classic rock. Unlike the cafes however, the music is not ear-splitting, so families and older guests can maintain their sanity--and their hearing. With the shows, live music, and cool vibe, coaster-averse visitors should find enough to do. It would be nice if the park had more attractions like the Moody Blues ride, however. Parents may balk at paying full price for young children; the activities geared for kids under 36 inches might not justify the cost.
I know: It's only rock & roll. But nearly everyone likes it. And nearly everyone will get a kick out of the Hard Rock Park.