Abandoned Water Wonderland
My Odessa/Midland friends should get a kick out of this one. I have a fascination with abandoned things…whether it’s buildings, furniture, cut-down trees, etc. Thankfully my wife shares my preoccupation with the forgotten. In fact, if she wasn’t afraid of someone knifing us in an empty building, she’d probably be even more enthused than I.
At any rate, we recently took a trip to my “hometown” (whatever that means) of Odessa/Midland, to spend some time with family for Easter. As I meandered around the old hotspots and hangouts from years gone by, I became more and more intrigued by one of my favorite childhood spots. Water Wonderland, whose name was changed to Hero’s Water World at some point when I was a kid and was finally abandoned in 2007, stood as one of my favorite places to go in the summer. I joke with Yvette that it’s the place I discovered that I really did like girls. I can remember vividly the zip line, the wave pool, trekking up the stairs with those God-awfully heavy raft things for the slide I actually was terrified of in the first place; I remember the tube ride, and purposefully ditching/pretending to lose track of our tubes for the last big slide (knowing we were going to get yelled at by the lifeguards).
All of these memories were a flood of nostalgia, marred by a tinge of loss when I looked at the park beyond hope or repair. We crept through the fences and traipsed around the grounds of the forgotten wonderland. And the pictures here are what we saw, taken with only our iPhones. We also did no color correction or Photoshopping of any kind…so you’re seeing them pure and untouched. Enjoy.
(Also…I happened upon this cool video that shows off even more photos of the park. It’s funny, because the photographer went there at least two years prior to us…and many of the graffiti tags and abandoned items are in the exact same place as when we were there.)