Miracle Strip, RIP

Unless you grew up in the Southeast, or wandered a bit off the drunken path during Spring Break, you’ve probably never heard of it, but Miracle Strip Amusement Park in Panama City Beach, Florida opened up its gates for the last time today. The site has been sold, and will be razed to make room for condos and upscale shops. If you needed proof that the old, familiar, seedy, but still comfortable as an old pair of flip-flops Redneck Riviera is going the way of the dodo, this is it.

I haven’t been on the Miracle Strip premises since I was a kid, but I sure wish I’d gone and taken one more ride on the Abominable Snowman when I had the chance.

A little piece of the past, passing. RIP.

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25 Responses to “Miracle Strip, RIP”

  1. Tom Moore Says:

    PC will never be the same. KIds have been riding these rides for four generations…

  2. Capt Smythe Says:

    Will,
    So where are they gonna hold House Party now? Or have I already completely dated myself with the “Denaro’s” question on your other post?

    War Damn Eagle,
    Capt J. Chris Smythe USMC
    Class of ’93

  3. Steve Teeter Says:

    Hmm. Considering the projected path of the storm, their timing for closing down is spectacularly good. Now all they have to do is stand aside for their new demolition contractor, a really mean bitch named Frances.

  4. Will Collier Says:

    House Party is still going on. I think that one is going to be around for the forseeable future–but the kids are definitely going to have to pay more for hotel rooms. The cheap old beachfront fleabags like the Barney Grey (stayed there my freshman year) are very much a thing of the past.

  5. Jeff Says:

    I was taken off guard by this post. I lived in PC for most of my youth and was surprised to hear of the plans to demolish Miracle Strip. It is a shame. Last time I was home it was all condos. No more family oriented fun. I loved the abominable snow man. And dante. Sigh…I can still hear the G N R songs as the Snowman reved up.

  6. Jeff Says:

    I was taken off guard by this post. I lived in PC for most of my youth and was surprised to hear of the plans to demolish Miracle Strip. It is a shame. Last time I was home it was all condos. No more family oriented fun. I loved the abominable snow man. And dante. Sigh…I can still hear the G N R songs as the Snowman reved up.

  7. McGehee Says:

    Will — where in PCB was it? I’ve only been there once and that at — I believe — at the county pier, across from an amusement park. But I don’t remember that name being on it.

  8. Will Collier Says:

    Miracle Strip used to be across the street from a pint-sized mock-up of the Space Needle–but they blew that one up (real good) about three years ago. It’s a good piece from the pier, but you could probably see it from there.

    There used to be another amusement park down there called Petticoat Junction, but it was razed years and years ago. It’s a Super Wal-Mart today…

  9. Bob Says:

    I saw this in the Northwest Florida Daily Mulletwrapper – bummer how these things are changing. As Will’s mentioned, TK101 ain’t what it used to be. And it takes over an hour to cover less than forty miles between Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola, and Destin’s just a wall of concrete along the north shore of the gulf. Still, nowhere else I’d rather be!

  10. Dex Says:

    anybody remember Six Guns Territory? It was a park also and Maro Polo Park.

  11. jay Says:

    This is bad news for manufacturers of carved coconuts and purveyors of blue parrots. In all seriousness, I wish I hadn’t stumbled across this item tonight.

    This is the saddest thing I’ve read since Destin decided to change its city logo and motto from “Luckiest Fishing Village in the World” to “One More Outback” or whatever.

  12. jay Says:

    P.S.: Yeah, Dex, Six Guns Territory was Mecca.

  13. Mike Caldwell Says:

    Damn.

    I worked at Petticoat Junction for two summers growing up (we lived on the beach running a motel, but my dad taught JROTC at Mosley High School in Lynn Haven.) Even though PJ had an old fashoned wooden roller coaster and a beautiful hand carved carousel, the Miracle Strip was a “cooler” park to go to. The Abominable Snowman was just a Scrambler, but inside an igloo with lots of blacklights and neon colored paint.

    Of course, they were playing Blue Oyster Cult “Don’t Fear The Reaper” when I was going there.

    Great place to meet chicks from LA.

    That’s Lower Alabama, in case you didn’t know.

    Damn.

  14. mbesg Says:

    My mother just told me about this today, and now I’m depressed. I used to go to Miracle Strip every time I visited my PC-living grandparents. First time I ever rode on a spinning swings ride. A piece of my childhood is being razed .

    So what about the water park next door? Is that going too?

  15. American Mother Says:

    Ah, noooo….another piece of Americana gone away. Now that’s one more place my future grandchildren won’t get to go to that their parents did! Time and progress march on, but it’s nice to have landmarks to stir the memory!

  16. Russ Goble Says:

    Sadly, I may be part of the problem. I haven’t stayed for more than a night in PC since roughly ’88 (I did have a 24 hour stint in like ’92 for Auburn’s house party). I’ve been one of the crowd-a-phobes who stayed semi-annually over off 30-A in Walton county since ’90. Yeah, Seaside and it’s various offshoots are a bit snooty, but it’s still really nice over there (and the prices are great if you stay in Greyton, Seagrove, or Dune Allen).

    My friends and I haven’t cruised the strip since about ’96 and I honestly don’t miss it all that much. I do miss the nostalgia of visiting the tie-dye (sp?) t-shirt shops and busting into Spinacker’s over the back porch (mental note, they notice you when don’t have shoes on). But, I really like the beaches of South Walton better than PC anyway. I guess I’m just old and boring now. But, with a family, renting a house or condo is more convenient and comfortable anyway. And that Watercolor monstrosity has brought a needed Publix to the area (did I just write that? Shoot me now. I’m so old.)

    Is that cool ass maze still there on eastern part of the strip (near Thomas Drive I think)? And my Snowman theme song is Night Ranger’s “Still Rocking America.” I still can’t hear that song with out thinking of Miracle Strip. RIP indeed.

    Maybe we should pay homage by playing a little Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season by Mr. Buffett (or perhaps Migration? Hmmm…).

  17. wes g Says:

    Memory Lane…
    Miracle Strip…Petticoat Junction…
    Wow..
    I grew up there in PC and spent many wayward days of my youth out there on that beach.
    Miracle Strip was almost catty-corner to the county pier – not to be confused with the newer City pier which was out farther (Near the Fountainbleu/Funland?)

    Next to Miracle Strip was Fun World arcade where there were bathrooms….Right down the F/B road was the old Beer Garden, with the palm-frond-thatch roof and sand floor.
    Sitting up on the top deck of the Fountainbleu, drinking J.W. Dant 100-proof Bourbon out of the bottle….

  18. Julie Says:

    Hey I spent many hours at Miracle Strip…I grew up about an hour north of Dothan, Al and we vacationed in PC and in Destin…(when I got a little older, it was La Vela and the cool places up and down the strip)..I hate to see Miracle Strip gone (my oldest daughter has had many fun times there)..

  19. McGehee Says:

    It’s a good piece from the pier, but you could probably see it from there.

    I’ll have to take your word for that — the day we were there we couldn’t even see the rides at the park across the street from the beach.

    The last four pics here were from that visit.

  20. John W. Says:

    Alas, the end of an era! I was in PCB last Sept. for a triathlon (and going back next week Ivan-willing!) and saw all the old haunts; most of which are boarded up, condemned, or already gone condo. Remember being evicted from hotels like The Chateau and The Paddocks, drinking underage at The Down Under, and getting god-awful airbrush T-shirts at Alvins. Growing up in Eufaula, Alabama, PCB was THE place to be on high school spring break.
    My Abominable Snowman song goes a little farther back and will always be “Fantasy” by Aldo Nova!

  21. Blind Hen Says:

    They paved paradise and put up a friggin’ parking lot.

  22. Larry Says:

    Shipwreck Island water park is not closing…….yet.

  23. Drew Says:

    I’m feeling sooo old. Hell, we used to go shark fishing off the beach that is now Seaside. I don’t think the new residents would take too kindly to me trying that these days.

  24. scott orrell Says:

    Dude, this sucks. What else can I say? The abominable snowman, Dante? Wow I haven’t thought of those in years. Now 28 feels old. Good thing I live in Los Angeles now, where attachment to anything is damn near impossible.

  25. Cousin Dave Says:

    Mike and Ross: I am really, really dating myself, but my Snowman theme song was Question Mark and the Mysterians’ “96 Tears”. Of course, I was only five at the time…

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