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Hard Rock Park: South Carolina's Rockin' New Theme Park

Jul 11, 2008
Hard Rock Park is America's newest theme park and the latest attraction to hit Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. For an area that is defined by its tourism industry, the $400 million project is the single largest tourism investment in the state's history and will presumably target some of the customers who would have frequented the Myrtle Beach Pavilion up until its closure at the end of last year.

Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world's greatest collection of music memorabilia displayed at its locations around the globe. The park's theme is not movies, fairy tales, animals or water shows but reflects the company's commitment to rock's culture, lifestyle, legends and irreverence. This rocking celebration of the history of rock and roll is set to help Myrtle Beach enter into a new level.

Located off Hwy 501 just over the waterway, the groundbreaking 55-acre park is a totally immersive, full-day attraction that features something for rockers of all ages, including roller coasters, live shows and entertainment as well as children's play areas, restaurants, retail stores and a multi-purpose live music amphitheater. Six custom-designed sections bring to life the genres from Rock 'n' Roll, showcasing the Beatles and artists from the British Invasion to artists like Led Zeppelin and the Eagles. All of the park's shops, eateries and attractions are blanketed in an ultra-modern sound system specifically developed for the project.

A giant Gibson guitar sets the tone to the rock & roll inspired Hard Rock Park after guests enter the All Access Entry Plaza and explore eateries like I Want Candy sweets shop and the Amp'd coffee bar. At the Gibson Vegas High Roller Plaza, guests can grab some souvenirs at All Access Merchandise or catch a bite and see a show at The Whammy Bar and Peavey Lounge. The entry plaza also includes the Origins Theater where guests can watch a 12-minute movie about the history of the Hard Rock Café.

The Cool Country area pays tribute to southern rock influences and features attractions like the "Just A Swingin' " swings, "Muddin' Moster Race" and the park's longest roller coaster, the "Eagles Life in the Fast Lane". This runaway mine coaster includes two lift hills, head-snapping turns and a very familiar Eagles tune blasting in your ears. Guests can get their fill of Southern food at the Rockabilly BBQ and follow it up with a rowdy country/rock show at The Icehouse Theater.

In the Born in the USA area, kids will get a kick out of the pint-sized rides at "Banana Splitsville" as well as have big time at the "Kids Rock! State Park playground. This giant romping area features forts, boulders and climbing bridges along with the "Slippery When Wet" treetop ride. Also included here are the "Shake, Rattle N' Rollercoaster" family coaster, the Gibson Guitar Gallery and the Live Amphitheater.

The British invasion area features the "Maximum RPM!" test track ride guests wait line in the world's first Karaoke Queue Line to test their skills as a British rock star. Dominating the brick and steel manufacturing plant-style building is a first-of-its-kind Ferris wheel structure that lifts riders up into place high above the plant. Other attractions include the "Punk Pit" bounce house at Piccadilly Circus.

Hard Rock Park's Lost in the 70's area is a blast from the past where guests can explore attractions like the Pinball Wizard" arcade, the "Roadies Stunt Show" and the "Nights in White Satin: The Trip" dark ride. Riders exit the dark ride into the Kings Road Boutique where retro memorabilia abounds. Kids will enjoy launching foam balls at the "Garage Jam" multi-level playground.

The theme park's flagship roller coaster, "Led Zeppelin: The Ride", is located in the tropical Rock & Roll Heaven area. The signature coaster features a three-quarter mile track that rises to more than 155 feet at its highest point and thrills riders with a six and a half minute experience, partially over water, reaching speeds of 65 mph and boasting six breathtaking inversions, the largest of which is a 120-foot loop. Kids can cool off at the "Reggae River Falls" sprayground or the "Colossal Guitar Fountain" while kids of all ages can catch a cool show at the Malibu Beach Party.

Hard Rock Park plans to be open 10 months a year and hopes to attract 30,000 visitors a day and about 3 million a year. Myrtle Beach has an abundance of area hotels along with an international airport, which makes reaching Hard Rock Park a quick trip in a rental car. With attention to detail, rides and attractions for all ages and a friendly and welcoming staff, you will want to visit Hard Rock Park on your next trip to Myrtle Beach.
About the Author
Kelley Falgout is a theme park enthusiast and publisher of www.FamilyThemeParkVacations.com, a vacation planning tool and continuously growing database of all theme parks, amusement parks and water parks located across the United States. Click here to get your free copy of the Orlando Attractions Vacation Guide.
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