It's bigger, better than the Magic Springs you remember. | Rock Candy

It's bigger, better than the Magic Springs you remember.




Rain couldn’t keep us – and thousands of other people – from Magic Springs on Saturday afternoon. At 1 p.m., the Hot Springs theme park was crowded with kids and adults of all ages, despite the windy and wet conditions. The main attractions – the X-Coaster, a brand-new, bright yellow, zipper-like ride that twists and turns at 100 mph and the Arkansas Twister, an old, wooden favorite that spans several acres – were temporarily closed due to weather. We got in a half-hour-long line at the Log Flume for the nostalgia and an easy-on-the-stomach thrill.


To dry off, we walked the grounds, noticing the landscaping (flower beds, rose gardens, sculpted hedges) and agreeing that they’d put some money into the place since our parents brought us here as kids. (Investors will pump $10 million more in it over the next two years.)


Next up was the Gauntlet, another bright-yellow, big-kid coaster (pictured above on a sunny day). For this one, you’re seated, legs dangling (Think: the Batman at Six Flags over Texas). If you’re brave enough to open your eyes while climbing the 100-foot incline, you’ll get a beautiful – but terrifying – view of the lush forest that surrounds you, but enjoy it quickly, because soon you’re falling, then flipping, flopping, dropping and cork-screwing. The ride beat us up like we’d been in the middle of a mosh pit. Winded and red in the face, we decided to grab lunch. For $16, we snacked on chicken strips and a “gourmet” burger, both served with fries, and Pepsi, which is available in free, unlimited amounts at various stations on the park grounds.


We waited in line for the up-and-running X-Coaster but gave up. It would’ve taken at least an hour longer to get on-board. Instead, we eased onto Big Bad John with little waiting time. A kiddie train on speed, it was as enjoyable for me as the five-year-old in front of me.  


As season-pass holders, we plan to take on the X-Coaster, the Arkansas Twister and Plummet Summit next time. We’d also like to take a leisurely boat cruise at River City Landing, and, on a hot, sunny day, we’ll tackle Crystal Falls. There’s really to much to do in one day. They've also got a summer concert series at the Timberwood Amphitheatre that boasts some big country and rock acts, including Creedence Clearwater Revisited in July.


Tickets are $44.95 for the day and $49.99 for the season. Parking is $8. Concerts are free with admission. Visit for more info.

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