Hard Rock Park Opens to ‘Awesome’ Reviews

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  05.15.08 | 1:00 PM ET

Photo by scmikeburton via Flickr, (Creative Commons).

It’s hard to believe it’s taken this long for the United States to get a rock ‘n’ roll theme park. After all, aren’t rock and roller coasters two of the things America does best?  (And I say this as a Canadian.) But at long last, Hard Rock Park has opened in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and according to Myrtle Beach Online, “awesome” was the word of the day at the park’s recent “soft” opening. Since then, rave reviews have continued to pour in.

Most of them focus on the Led Zeppelin roller coaster, designed, as we noted recently, with some help from guitarist Jimmy Page.

An AP story sets the scene for the ride: “Lead singer Robert Plant shrieks, ‘Woman. You need. Loooooooove…’ And as he does, riders scream as the car falls from a height of 155 feet, reaching speeds of 65 mph.”

(Watch a test run of “Led Zeppelin - The Ride” here.)

In an especially entertaining report, Times of London writer Chris Haslam concludes that America’s newest theme park brings the genre “from the preschool plastic of Disney to a new age of insubordinate adolescence through a combination of nerdy attention to detail, startling irreverence and sly wit.” He concludes: “I came. I saw. I rocked.”

Hard Rock is hoping that 3 million people a year will do the same.