Old Planes In Amusement Parks
As many of my long time readers know, I have a love of both amusement parks and roller coasters. Currently, I have ridden over 800 roller coasters (I stopped counting) in dozens of countries around the world. Visiting amusement parks is one of the very best ways to leave tourism behind and hang out with the locals.
During our recent trip to South America, my family and I had the pleasure of visiting a small amusement park in Medellin, Colombia and a larger one in Bogota. I was surprised to that each of these parks had their own full sized Boeing 727 aircraft that had been repurposed to be used in the park.
Parque Norte Medellin
Parque Norte is a small city owned amusement park in Medellin, Colombia. The park itself is situated surrounding a large lake. In addition to a roller coaster, they have a really interesting haunted train ride and a jungle cruise type ride with animatronic dinosaurs.
Since I really love to discover these small parks as I visit, I rarely do any research ahead of time. As we circled around Parque Norte, following it around the lake, I was shocked to find a full sized Boeing 727 located in the back of the park. With all of the windows blacked out, this 727 has been converted into a flight simulator that takes guests to different destinations around the world.
We were on a bit of a time crunch at this park, so we didn’t get a chance to experience the ride, however it was a treat just to see the aircraft. If you enjoy the photos, then perhaps you might be interested in a Youtube video that I found of the plane being relocated to the park in 2007.
Salitre Magico Bogota, Colombia
Salitre Magico is the biggest amusement park in Bogota, Colombia. Located in the enormous Parque Simon Bolivar, it houses four roller coasters along with a number of traditional amusement park rides.
Unlike Parque Norte where the plane is hidden among trees in the back of the park, the old Avianca 727-200 at Salitre Magico is right in the front of the park for all to see. As you can see from the satellite photo, it is located next to one of the park’s roller coasters.
This plane has not been turned into a ride, but instead has been refurbished on the inside and shows a video that details the history of aviation in Colombia. Sponsored by Avianca, the film lasts about seven minutes and is very interesting. Of course I was more interested in looking at the interior of the plane. Besides those flat screens look out of place on a vintage aircraft such as this.
As someone who loves both amusement parks and aviation, I was glad to see the two come together. Getting to go inside of the old Avianca plane was definitely a treat as well, even though they have clearly made alterations to it for use in the theme park. I think repurposing these beasts is a great idea and hope other parks join in on the fun. It certainly is better than letting them rot away in the desert!