Forget about overcrowded theme parks like Disneyland or LEGOLAND. There are all sorts of cool, weird, and unique theme parks that need to be taken advantage of. If you grew up watching The Flintstones or have a child (or inner child) who is really into dinosaurs, a park in Arizona will transport you right back to the Stone Age. See how to ride with the family down the street to Bedrock City at Raptor Ranch.
There have been a few theme parks across the U.S. bringing the Hanna-Barbera show to life.
- Bedrock City in Custer, South Dakota
Opening in 1966, the theme park was a staple in South Dakota until new owners decided to close it down in 2015. The site reopened in 2019, but without the classic Flintstones characters, and was renamed the Buffalo Ridge Campground Resort.
- The Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina
The Carowinds opened in 1973 and had The Land of Hanna-Barbera until the 1990s.
Canada has tried to capture the Hanna-Barbera magic with various theme parks over the years, and even Warner Bros. World in Abu Dhabi has a Bedrock-themed land.
In the U.S., one park is decked out in the Flinstones theme and still open to the public. In Williams, Arizona, at the Raptor Ranch, you will be on a page right out of history.
Back in the day
Opened in 1972 to piggyback off of the success of the South Dakota park, the original plan had a movie theater to play the show continuously, a diner, a gift shop, and rides. A miniature train took people on a ride around the park, which must have been so cool.
The architect unfortunately passed away, and rather than close down, his widow kept the park going. In 2015, though, she wanted to sell the place off and retire but thankfully decided against it. The park was closed for part of 2019, and by 2020, it was thought it wouldn’t reopen.
In 2022, to celebrate 50 years of the park’s opening, the Raptor Ranch conservation incorporated it and promised to keep it open indefinitely. They have reopened Fred’s Diner, and the menu is as Flintstones-themed as you’d want it to be.
Ways to enjoy the park
- Stay at the Ranch in your RV.
- Book one of their glamping tents.
- Just go and visit for the day.
Things to do
You could visit Fred’s house, take a slide down Dino, and wander around the rest of Bedrock. The park does flight demos every day, where you will watch gorgeous, winged creatures take to the skies. It’s a weird bit of Americana that’s as perfect for an impromptu stop on a road trip as goats on a roof or the largest ball of twine.
When to go
The park is open all year round, which is great, and is only closed Thanksgiving and Christmas. It opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 7 p.m., or when the sun sets, and the entry is $10.
The picture opportunities will make the trip worth it, but don’t forget the magic of nostalgia it will make the adults feel. Even if you don’t have kids, this Flintstones theme park is a trip every person should make once in their life. Kick the dust off your Flintmobile and get your feet ready for a yabba-dabba-do time.
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