Theme Parks and Amusement Parks in South Carolina

Your Guide to the State's Roller Coasters and Other Fun

Family Kingdom Myrtle Beach.
••• Family Kingdom is one of the few remaining amusement parks in South Carolina. Family Kingdom

Unfortunately, there aren't many theme parks or amusement parks in South Carolina. The ones that are open are listed below. Before we get to them, let's explore a few of the gone-but-not-forgotten places.

The Myrtle Beach area, especially, was home to a number of parks. Perhaps the one that is missed the most is the Pavilion Amusement Park. Dating back to 1948, it was a classic, free-admission, seaside park. The Pavilion crammed a surprising number of rides and attractions into its compact, 11-acre footprint. It featured coasters such as the wooden Hurricane and the Mad Mouse.

Other signature attractions at the Pavilion included the Haunted Hotel, a wonderful, traditional dark ride that incorporated Disney-style illusions, Treasure Hunt, an interactive dark ride in which passengers racked up points by shooting Pirate Booty targets, and a stunning 1912 Herschell-Spillman carousel (the latter of which still spins at Pavilion Nostalgia Park, which is listed below). The Pavilion closed in 2006. 

One of the strangest stories in all of parkdom is Hard Rock Park. The wonderful theme park opened in Myrtle Beach in 2008 just before the economy crashed and didn't even make it through one season before declaring bankruptcy. A different group of developers tried to salvage it in 2009 and changed the name to Freestyle Music Park. It too only lasted one season. The site is now empty.

OK, enough lamenting about the past. Let's move on to parks that are operating in South Carolina. They are arranged alphabetically.

Broadway Grand Prix
Myrtle Beach

Family entertainment center includes go-karts, mini-golf, a sky coaster (bungee-like ride), and an arcade.

Family Kingdom
Myrtle Beach

One of a few remaining traditional seaside amusement parks in the country (let alone South Carolina), Family Kingdom offers a great wooden roller coaster, Swamp Fox, as well as a good collection of flat rides.

O.D. Pavilion Amusement Park
North Myrtle Beach

Small park includes portable, carnival-type rides including a couple of small coasters.

Pavilion Nostalgia Park
Myrtle Beach (At Broadway at the Beach)

A handful of the rides, including the historic carousel and band organ, that used to be at the closed Myrtle Beach Pavilion are at this mini ode to the seaside park.

Pedroland (South of the Border)

Motorists traveling along I-95 can't miss Pedroland. The billboards start building anticipation hundreds of miles in advance of the landmark. More a truck stop/roadside attraction that grew to enormous proportions than an amusement park, Pedroland includes a few rides, like a Ferris wheel and bumper cars, among the tacky gift shops, restaurants, and other diversions.

Other Parks