Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I sit here and write a real fine, thin line about vandalism found rampant in the park. I have always featured the disclaimer at the top of the site to let people know that breaking & entering into the park is illegal and immoral beyond all of the risks of what someone would consider rather meaningless photographs of a place that means little to so few people now. I had gone to the park with two trusted friends and took photos of the land and surviving buildings and was pretty shocked to see what sorts of vandalism is rampant in the park.


Picnic Tables

This is the skeeball building. Inside this building (the door was unlocked, but jammed pretty well) were the parks picnic tables. Piled on top of each other, they filled the entire room. While looking around the room, flashbacks and images of what the room looked like filled my head with the sound so deafeningly silent. At one point I closed my eyes and for an instant, saw the rows of skeeball machines clanging and making noise, watching the red & orange lights flash and dance along the back wall.

Artistic Talent

This area of the back wall shows some of the make-shift signs that the park had all over. Obviously the most talented employee had the daunting task of making these signs look appealing and whimsical as they could. Now, they are just distant reminders of one person's talent hidden away forever. Some of the other things that surprisingly remain are these numbers tacked onto the wall. I can't even wager to guess what they were used for, but they stay where they were last touched by human hands now 18 years after the closing of the park.



This isn't to say there aren't some human intervention. Sadly, my companions and I spotted this poster. A closer inspection shows one corner of the poster (above) has been burned, and a small area of the carpet looks as if its been singed. Vandals broke in to the park, broke several windows (fake as they were) at the front of the skeeball building and tried to set fire to it. A Chill ran up my spine when I saw this. As much as we were there to show the parks current condition, we saw people's attempts to burn down history.


This stuffed animal was housed in a shop cart still standing in the middle of the rear area of the park. It was half hidden underneath months & years of leaves & debris. Hidden inside the leaves and debris were plastic toys & soldiers. These were also inside the shop cart, now decimated. The top few items were blackened and brittle, obviously the same people who tried to burn the skeeball building succeeded in burning these plastic toys. Digging deeper, the bottom toys were water damaged and ruined from time on the ground.


Nothing says hilarity than "poop jokes".

Theater of distant memories

Looking around the rest of the buildings, the Bijou Theater took a pretty severe hit. Inside the children's theater, the benches have been used to smash into walls, lighting fixtures damaged and the fuse box next to the screen looks like whoever was there was trying to put the power on to the building. Several ceiling tiles were taken down and broken, definitely not from water damage. The theater housed at one point a projector hidden behind a wall, that projector is gone. The popular consensus between my companions and I have reason to believe the projector might have been stolen long ago.

One might argue that what I did, and what the unknown numbers of people who vandalized the park prior to my visit are one in the same. Entering a location off limits to the public is wrong. Not getting proper authorization to do so was wrong. I don't, however, group myself with the people who entered the park with destructive intent and had their way with buildings & trinket carts. Since my sophomore year in high school, where my classroom faced the park I had always wanted to go back one last time to see what the park looked like right now. My excursion into the park caused no further harm or deterioration to buildings or surrounding land, and I suggest that if you try to emulate my attempts yourselves, you share the same mentality & respect for other people's property.


Anonymous The Kid said...

Damn, I wonder has to when the vandalism took place? Anyways, the only thing that I have to say is that I hate teenage vandals! How do you think they got in?

2/01/2006 6:12 PM  
Anonymous The Kid said...

I meant to say "as" not has!

2/01/2006 6:13 PM  
Anonymous cindy said...

...i came upon your site and was really impressed....i went there once or twice...i found out about this site from a friend at work and glad she did tell me.....i'm surprised "people" didn't do worse things to this place...keep up the great job....

2/02/2006 6:52 AM  
Blogger pgathriller said...

I think those numbers that are posted on he wall were used for a balloon game. Have you ever played the ballon game where the ballons are blown up and only select few have numbers behind them. If you pop the one with a number behind it you win a prize. I'm pretty sure that's what it is because the it looks like there is a imprint of a board in the wall where the balloons used to be hung.

I really like this site and I'm glad someone cares about this place. I am an amusement park freak and I love Western Playland. When I heard there was an old amusement park here I had to larn more. I found this site and it is the greatest.


3/14/2006 10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much money would one need, in order to buy Magic Landing from the Dipp brothers??? A million or more?

3/24/2006 7:04 AM  
Blogger Cube said...

pgathriller is right. The numbers were used by the balloon game. The one you popped would determine which prize you got by the number under it.

3/28/2006 1:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that the buildings are going to be torn down in the next couple of years.

4/09/2006 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you been able to find any construction photos of Magic Landing? I would love to see some photos of Magic Landing in its construction stage!

4/09/2006 3:02 PM  
Anonymous 77danzig said...

This place WILL be torn down if people(the kid)try to beat around the bush and ask dumb questions just to try to get inside the park.This info obviously has fallen into the hands of the wrong kind of people. I too, along with companions arrived at the Magic Landing on both July 5 and 9 the first time we arrived we got this eerie ugly feeling as we stood looking at Old Galveston Midway from the artificial pond.(those of you who see the pictures the doors are slide- down aluminum doors) well get this, no wind, (i know this because i would have felt the nice breeze compared to the El Paso inferno heat) so we're standing there in oblivion because we had never seen anything like this or would have imagined that a place like this existed in el paso and probably 30 seconds after standing there the Old Galveston Midway doors started shaking Histerically! not even 30 mph winds would have done such a thing. Honestly it sounded as if a bunch of people were behind them just shaking with all their might. so naturally we ran. Now I am not trying to spread any rumors about it being haunted but im not making this up. So we go back on the 9th with one more companion and this time everything was calm. We EXPLORED not vandalized, like the archivist said, there is a big difference. we were surprised to find things inside the magic shop but it was too late. Everything thrown around and such like raccoons on steroids (most likely drunk teenagers)invaded the place. If you kids decide to go in act as if you were in a strip club, just look DO NOT TOUCH.

7/10/2007 1:18 PM  
Blogger The Archivist said...

I would love for 77danzig to email me @ so we can compare some notes!

7/12/2007 5:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

along with danzig companions as well entered through the same feeling of an old town destroyed everything boarded no intestion to destroy the place only to adhere to the rumors about its existance everything was already destroyed something should be done to resotore the place

1/08/2008 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

agree with danzig look but dont touch

1/08/2008 10:35 PM  
Anonymous bianca said...

it is so weird that pic u took of that stuffed animal. when i went about 5 mnths ago i took a pic of the exact same stuffed animal only when i went it was faded & i could barely see the pink color, was it near the artificial lake where people could ride boats, eat shrimp & fruit?

1/18/2008 12:49 PM  

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