Grand Ole Opry star Jeannie Pruitt
performs with her band at Opryland's
Martin Guitar's Country and Bluegrass Theatre
Pictures by Joanne Adams
Opry member Bill Anderson
1973: Tennessee Ernie Ford & Wayne Newton join up with some "high-strung" aquaintances, Yancy Banjo & Barney
Bass,
for a little buck and wing in this scene from "Timex Presents Opryland USA - The American Music Scene" airing
Monday,
October 22, 1973 from 7-8pm on the NBC Television Network. Also starring in the musical hour, filmed inside
Nashville's $30 million entertainment park,
Opryland USA, are Petula Clark, Carol Lawrence & Melba Moore
Opryland USA Theme Park
Tanya Tucker
The GEO Theater
Opryland in 1995
Tanya Tucker pictures by Pat Adams
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Website by Pat Adams. pat@tennesseeconcerts.com
Footage of The Hangman ride at Opryland Theme Park
The second part has no audio and seems to be the kind of footage
that a company probably shot for an Opryland television advertisement.
Courtesy of YouTube & oprylandusa
Footage from Opryland Theme Park in Nashville
Features Screamin Delta Demon, Barnstormer, Wabash Cannonball,
Grizzly River Rampage & Rock n' Roller Coaster
Courtesy of YouTube
Opryland 'Old Mill Scream'
The short water ride. Video taken July 17, 1992
1975 Footage of the Opryland USA Theme Park
Nashville Area Concerts
www.tennesseeconcerts.com
Website by Pat Adams
pat@tennesseeconcerts.com
Opryland in the
1980's & 1990's
from Wikipedia

In 1982, Opryland expanded for the second
and final time. The new area, entitled "Grizzly
Country", was built on the extreme north end
of the park to house the Grizzly River
Rampage, a whitewater rapids ride.

In 1984, Opryland added a third roller coaster,
"The Screamin' Delta Demon" (an Intamin
bobsled-style ride), in the New Orleans area of
the park. This project also included adding a
second (albeit subtle) park gate adjacent to the
parking lot.

In the mid-1980s, "Trickets" (three-day
admission tickets for one price) were
introduced and large numbers of season passes
were sold to residents of the Nashville area.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, two new
competitors to Opryland would emerge:
Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Kentucky,
and Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
(which had recently been converted and
expanded from its previous incarnation as
"Silver Dollar City"). These two parks grew
into regional destinations, contributing in part
to a decline in Opryland attendance. Partially
in response to the competition, and to entice
out-of-town guests to come, package deals
including rooms at the hotel, tickets to
Opryland, and admission to the Grand Ole
Opry were developed and marketed
throughout the region.

Annual changes were made to the park to
continue to attract local Nashvillians as well as
out-of-town visitors. Large attractions such as
the General Jackson Showboat, new roller
coasters, and water rides were installed on a
biennial basis until 1989, with the opening of
the "Chaos" roller coaster. The next (and final)
large attraction to open would be "The
Hangman" roller coaster in 1995.

The park also attracted top country music
stars to perform nightly concerts at the park's
premier venue, the Chevrolet-Geo Celebrity
Theater, built in 1992. Initially included in
park admission during the first two seasons,
Opryland began upcharging for the concerts in
1994. In 1995, Opryland added two venues
(Theatre By The Lake and Roy Acuff
Theater—including a renovation and
expansion of each venue) to the series, billing
it as "Nashville On Stage". After lackluster
sales, the multi-venue series reverted to only
the Chevy-Geo Theater in 1997.

During the summer of 1993, the popular Mark
Goodson game show Family Feud traveled to
Opryland and taped several weeks of episodes
that opened the show's sixth season with Ray
Combs as host. These syndicated episodes
began airing in September and featured some
of country music's brightest stars including
Porter Wagoner, Boxcar Willie, Charley Pride,
Brenda Lee, the Mandrells, and the Statler
Brothers, as well as at least one week of
regular Nashville families playing against each
other. As of 2012, it remains the only time in
the history of the long-running series that
episodes have been taped outside of its home
studio.

Also, beginning in the early-1990s and
continuing through its final season, as a nod to
TNN's NASCAR coverage, as well as
Opryland's official designation with
NASCAR, the annual "TNN Salute to
Motorsports" event would take place over a
weeklong period. This included numerous
motorsports exhibits as well as meet-and-
greets with racing personalities.

In 1994, Gaylord Entertainment invested
heavily in the renaissance of the entertainment
district in downtown Nashville. The company
converted an old Second Avenue building into
the Wildhorse Saloon, renovated and reopened
the Ryman Auditorium, and began to provide
water taxi service along the Cumberland River
between the docks adjacent to the amusement
park and a dock downtown. As part of this,
the amusement park's official name was
changed to "Opryland Themepark". The
"Opryland USA" name was then designated as
the destination's name, to encompass all of
Gaylord Entertainment's Nashville properties.

In September 1995 and September 1996, the
Grizzly River Rampage was used as a course
for the NationsBank Whitewater
Championships, which (in 1995 alone) served
as a qualifier for the 1996 Summer Olympics
in Atlanta. Following those events (as well as
1997), the course was drained and a
temporary Halloween attraction—
"Quarantine", tied into the storyline of the
neighboring indoor roller coaster "Chaos"—
was constructed in its bed.

In 1996, a third park gate was added near
"Chaos", which allowed pedestrian traffic
between Opryland Hotel and Opryland
Themepark for the very first time. Previously,
hotel guests wishing to visit the amusement
park would be shuttled between the two on
buses.
OPRYLAND USA THEME PARK
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