Ever since the loss of Six Flags Astro World, Houston Texas has been missing the pressence of a theme park. However one design firm decided to cease the opportunity and press forward with making a massive educational center and theme park in the Houston Area dubbed Earthquest.
Earthquest was originally designed to be a full educational facility. But with the loss of Six Flags Astro World the designers decided to create a theme park addition as well that was incorporated with the message of learning and knowledge at the educational facility. Earthquest’s theme park will be divided into four different sections, each dedicated the sky, land, sea, or prehistory called Pangea. It is interesting that in an interview with one of the key designers, he refers to “…several ‘E-Ticket’ attractions.” Now E-Tickets are an old Disneyland term that was used back when Disneyland ran on individual tickets that ranged from A-E, E being the biggest and best attractions. Seeing that one would even refer to a ride like that means that we may be seeing Disney qualities here.
What is very interesting is the concept art which is incredible. It portrays a massive project that will be a very sufficient replacement for the now gone Six Flags.
Here we have a concept rendering of one of the themed lands of Earthquest. In the foreground you can see what appears to be a small family or kiddie coaster. It winds around the backwoods, crosses a bridge to a small mountain and goes around there before returning back to the other portion of land. Also, a huge mega coaster can be seen in this concept art that goes in, out of a mountain or volcano of some sort. that is surrounded by water. What I find interesting is the details, for example the solar panels on top of the building, the picnic tables, and the fountain.
This fairly futuristic area of Earthquest features a very modern architecture style with several well dressed rides. In the foreground, some form of a steel family coaster of seems to wind above a heavily landscaped area. A wave swinger can be seen but is hardly recognizable with its great make up. Near the center of the rendering you can see a S&S Space Shot with a unique top to cap it off. In the left you can see yet another giant mega coaster towering over the park. It’s also great to see Sky Way’s returning to a park as they have not been having the best of times lately.
In this zone of Earthquest, you can notice numerous water rides, and yet again, impeccable theming. We have a log flume perhaps? Rapids can be found on winding through the “Water” themed area and a Huss Top Spin serves as the major thrill for this area. I love the architecture for this park because of its modern, yet distinct accents that create a very unique style.
Finally we have a rendering of the stunning Earthquest Institute. Included in this educational facility will be exhibits, reconstructed ecosystems, and much more. At a costs of $100 million this museum type facility will be worth the trip alone, not including the theme park.
Earthquest is a $500 million project that is said to be in the final phases of the design. The Earthquest Institute is set to open in 2011 and the theme park is set to open in 2012. Located just 40 minutes from Downtown Houston, this project has a projected attendance of 3 million people its inaugural year.
While Earthquest looks phenomenal I just don’t see it happening for only around $500 million considering that Disney’s California Adventure cost somewhere around $650 million when it was built and didn’t seem to be nearly this big. But only time will tell and it will be interesting to see more about the future of this project.
What do you think of Earthquest? Leave your comments and park thoughts.