There’s a Six Flags in New Orleans that has been abandoned for 13 years — and the photos are haunting

An aerial shot of the park directly after Hurricane Katrina.

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An aerial shot of the park directly after Hurricane Katrina.
source
Wikimedia Commons

On August 25, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of the United States. After the storm, it was estimated that 80% of New Orleans was under water.

One of the eeriest and long-standing reminders of Katrina is the abandoned Six Flags in New Orleans East.

After the floodwaters receded, what was left of the amusement park was a wasteland, though it has become a popular attraction for brave urban explorers.

Keep scrolling to see what the park looks like almost 13 years after the storm.


The park, which spans 140 acres, has been abandoned since Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005.

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The sign still states “Closed for Storm.”
source
Talbot Troy/Flickr

Originally called Jazzland, the park opened in 2000, but was acquired by Six Flags in 2003 and renamed Six Flags New Orleans (SFNO).

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Shattered glass is a common sight throughout the park.
source
KEG-KEG/Shutterstock

Source: Theme Park Tourist.


SFNO takes inspiration from its location — including areas based on the famous architecture of the French Quarter.

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There’s a lot more graffiti here than in the actual French Quarter.
source
Sumner Caughey/Flickr

After the storm, the park was left standing in four to seven feet of water, and had extensive wind and flood damage.

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Almost all of the “flat rides” were submerged.
source
KEG-KEG/Shutterstock

Source: Modern Day Ruins.


The severity of the damage caused the park to close indefinitely.

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No tickets necessary.
source
Wikimedia Commons

In 2006, Six Flags declared the park a “total loss” and reportedly tried to get out of its 75-year lease.

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This looks like a bizarro version of Bourbon Street.
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Erik Jorgensen/Flickr

Source: Abandoned America.


The park had already been one of the least profitable parks in the Six Flags family.

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New Orleans East is around 14 miles away from Bourbon Street.
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Erik Jorgensen/Flickr

Its location in a low-income neighborhood that’s far away from other classic New Orleans tourist attractions, like the French Quarter, was not ideal.

Source: Theme Park Tourist.


There have been numerous attempts to re-open or revamp the park. In 2008, Southern Star Amusement announced their plans to completely refurbish the park and even expand it, but in 2009 these plans were canceled.

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This roller coaster was originally painted the traditional colors of Mardi Gras: purple, green, and yellow.
source
Erik Jorgensen/Flickr

Source: Business Report.


Later in 2009, Nickelodeon announced their own plan to turn the park into a Nickelodeon-themed attraction. These plans were also scrapped.

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This ride was located in “Cajun Country.”
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Erik Jorgensen/Flickr

Source: NOLA.com.


By 2011, the city of New Orleans had approved plans to construct a shopping center called Jazzland Outlet Mall in its place, but just two years later this idea was called off too.

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It’s Mardi Gras season.
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KEG-KEG/Shutterstock

Source: The New Orleans Advocate.


Another proposed idea in 2011 was re-opening the park under its original name, Jazzland.

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2012 ended up being a bust for the park.
source
Wikimedia Commons

While the Industrial Development Board of New Orleans originally went with the outlet mall plan, Jazzland continued pursuing the idea and maintained its interest in purchasing the land in 2017.

Source: NOLA.com.


The Industrial Development Board turned over decision-making power to the mayor in May 2017.

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Mitch Landrieu was the Mayor of New Orleans from 2010-2018 — his term ends in May.
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Erik Jorgensen/Flickr

Source: NOLA.com.


When another company made their interest in the land known, pitching the “Dreamlanding Festival Park,” Mayor Landrieu didn’t approve.

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The park is essentially bayou-adjacent.
source
Wikimedia Commons

Source: The New Orleans Advocate.


So, 13 years after Hurricane Katrina, the park still stands as a marker of the devastation that the storm caused.

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This area has held up surprisingly well.
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Erik Jorgensen/Flickr

But the land hasn’t been completely ignored. Many movies have been shot at the park, like “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters,” which transformed it into Circeland.

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The sign welcoming Percy and his friends to the fictional Circeland.
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Erik Jorgensen/Flickr

Source: NOLA.com.


Blockbusters that have taken advantage of the decidedly creepy atmosphere are “Jurassic World” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”

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Post-Katrina tax credits made it cheap for movies and TV shows to film in Louisiana.
source
KEG-KEG/Shutterstock

Source: Wired.


However, the last film shot at Six Flags New Orleans was “Deepwater Horizon” in 2015.

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“Deepwater Horizon” mainly used the parking lot of SFNO to build a gigantic oil rig.
source
KEG-KEG/Shutterstock

Source: NOLA.com.


So for the past three years, the park has stood empty, making it an extremely popular attraction for tourists and urban explorers.

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People have even climbed the roller coasters.
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Erik Jorgensen/Flickr

At lot of the park is still shockingly intact. Visitors have said that it looks like the site of a “Leftovers”-esque disappearance, as if all of the park’s visitors magically vanished.

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The plan was to re-open the week after the storm.
source
Sumner Caughey/Flickr

Source: NY Daily News.


Visitors should know that SFNO is dangerous. After years of disuse, nature has run its course. There are even alligators living in the park’s waterways.

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Slowly but surely, the swamp is absorbing the park’s structures.
source
Erik Jorgensen/Flickr

Source: YouTube.


Hopefully New Orleans will decide what it wants to do with the land soon, just to discourage people from putting themselves in potentially dangerous situations — trespassing is illegal and the attractions are extremely decayed.

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The New Orleans Police Department has installed cameras to discourage explorers.
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KEG-KEG/Shutterstock

But for now, the park stands as a testament to the long-lasting and apocalyptic impact of Hurricane Katrina on the city of New Orleans, and the entire Gulf Coast.

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The sign still shows where the water level was post-Katrina.
source
Infrogmation of New Orleans/Flickr
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