Joyland says final goodbye after 50 years of memories

Rides are being packed up to be shipped to amusement parks across the country
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 7:58 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Joyland rides are being taken apart and shipped to new owners today, after a final effort to save the park back in January.

The park opened in 1973, part of a dream that became reality for owner David Dean.

Dean said his father had always wanted to get into the amusement park business, so when the opportunity was presented to him, he took it. Joyland started out small, with only 13 rides.

“Just barely a fence around here at that time; we continued to grow through the years, slowly, but persistence paid off,” David Dean said.

Joyland grew from 13 rides and attractions to 30, but 50 years of fun also came with a rollercoaster of ups and downs. The park was forced to close after flooding and damage from storms, they were forced to close during COVID, then people broke in and vandalized the park.

“Since we are family-owned, there were many years we wondered if we were gonna make it.” Dean said.

Joyland made it half a century and was able to give the Lubbock community memories they will cherish forever, but now they are closing up for good.

Joyland auctions off rides
Joyland auctions off rides(KCBD)

The rides are being split up and taken to amusement parks all around the U.S.

“They’ll honor Joyland in their park in say, Pennsylvania, so that’s pretty cool and that makes me feel as good as I can feel.”

Dean said Joyland would have never made it through without the support of the West Texas community. He said knowing the park makes people smile is why he goes to work every day.

“The support of the people around here, it’s magic. It’s super. It’s heartwarming. I can’t say enough good things. It makes us makes us go.”

David Dean has a final message for the community: “Thanks for the memories. The soul of Joyland will live on forever and the love of Joyland will live on forever.”

Joyland’s Facebook will remain open so you can follow the rides and Joyland’s journey across the country into their new homes.

Dean reminds us that Joyland’s legacy lives on and memories never die.