Small Park Showcase: Frontier City
In some states, it feels like you can’t drive more than an hour or two without the chance to ride a roller coaster. But, what if your state only has a single amusement park? This is the case in Oklahoma, home to the park that’s the subject of our latest Small Park Showcase, Frontier City. Originally opened in 1958, the park is celebrating its 60th season in 2018.
If you’re like me, you probably didn’t know very much about Frontier City until they pulled a Cinderella-esque upset in the first round of this year’s Coaster101 Park Mania Bracket. Also, if you’re like me, after doing a little research, you wanted to know a little more about the park with the passionate social media following that boasts 62.5% (5/8) of the operating roller coasters in the state of Oklahoma. Luckily, I was able to connect with Alyssa Baier, Promotions Manager for Frontier City, to learn more about the park.
C101: For our readers who might not know much about Frontier City, can you give us a little history and backstory of the park?
Alyssa Baier: Frontier City – Oklahoma’s only amusement park – opened alongside Route 66 (now Interstate 35) in 1958 as a Western town replica featuring a Marshall’s office, saloon, bank, post office, fire department, hotel, and numerous storefronts – many of which can still be seen in the park today. Attractions have grown from a haunted farm, mine train, staged robberies, jails, and gunfight shows to roller coasters, thrill rides, kiddie attractions, water features, and premier entertainment facilities featuring world-class shows and concerts – all included with park admission!
C101: What are some of Frontier City’s “can’t miss” attractions, roller coasters, or otherwise?
AB: For guests looking for a thrill, we always recommend our four classic roller coasters – Silver Bullet, Diamondback, Steel Lasso, and Wildcat. One of our newer additions that has quickly become a local favorite is Wild West Water Works – an area complete with the largest water treehouse structure of its kind and the tallest waterslide complex (Gully Washer) in Oklahoma.
C101: What advice would you give to a first time visitor?
AB: If you can, plan your visit on a weekday to take advantage of light crowds (and short lines). This will give you ample opportunity to experience rides – most more than once! – and enjoy the character and history of the park at your leisure.
C101: What your favorite “hidden gem” or the “best kept secret” at Frontier City?
AB: The gunfight shows are at the heart of the character of Frontier City and have been continuous since the park first opened. They started out in the streets, but now are set in a Hollywood-style stunt set complete with high-falls, explosions, and a surprise ending.
C101: Is there any added pressure for Frontier City, being the only amusement park in an entire state?
AB: We use our position as the only amusement park in the state as a constant motivation to provide our guests with the best possible experience. Many of our guests visited Frontier City growing up, and now they are bringing their children or grandchildren. From new attractions (4 added in the past 4 years), specialty food offerings, and unique entertainment, we work to make sure the nostalgia they feel as they walk through the gates is met with a renewed sense of “Wow!”
C101: Frontier City has a pretty interesting coaster line-up, including some “getting harder and harder to find” coaster models. What makes your coaster line-up so unique?
AB: Like the park itself, each of our roller coasters come with their own rich histories. Most of them are among a small quantity still in operation, and we are fortunate to have such rare models in our collection.
C101: It also looks like Frontier City has quite the live entertainment line-up (both park shows and the concert line-up), can you tell us a little more about what makes your entertainment offerings so unique?
AB: We strive to offer entertainment options for guests of all ages and with all interests. Our Summer Concert Series boasts artists from several different music genres, and our daily shows lineup is the perfect complement to our repertoire of rides. The best part? All concerts and shows are completely free with park admission.
C101: What’s new at the park this season? Are there any big 60th birthday celebrations?
AB: Our biggest addition for the 2018 season will be A Frontier Christmas – an all-new holiday event debuting this winter. A Frontier Christmas will combine the fun of Frontier City with the magic of the holiday season in what is sure to be a new tradition the whole family will love. On Friday-Sunday from November 30-December 30, 2018, guests will enjoy yuletide thrills on a selection of rides, visits with Santa and his special guests, and holiday show spectaculars all under the glow of an unforgettable Christmas light display.
C101: Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about the park?
AB: Frontier City is a small park with a lot of character – and a lot of heart. Our team takes great pride in the memories we help to create, and we’re looking forward to our next 60 years of operation!
Thanks to Frontier City for their time. The park is currently open weekends, and will begin daily operation on May 26. For more information, be sure to visit Frontier City’s website, and follow the park on Facebook and Twitter!
Have you ever visited Frontier City? What’d you think? Let us know in the comments below!