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Galveston Island Family Fun Park

A Small but Mighty Amusement Park

Galveston Island may be small, but over the past few decades has become one of Texas’ most popular vacation destinations. Galveston Island Pleasure Pier is easily the local attraction most focused on family fun.

For a small amusement park, it’s made a big impact. “Galveston Island has grown from being a place you go on the weekend to a real resort town, and we’ve helped bring that in,” says Josh Hairgrove, the park’s general manager.

“The parks been around since the 40s, and there’s been some form of attraction in that spot since the turn of the century.” Originally built to be part of a military base, it was later open to the public, going through many incarnations due to hurricanes and other natural disasters. Reborn as you see it now in 2012, it’s now one of the island’s premier attractions.

The park has 16 rides, four food and beverage stops, retailer shops, a stage for live concerts, and the front of the pier is even the home to the first Bubba Gump’s Shrimp. Divided into sections, it’s easy to navigate. Hairgrove says, “When you first come in you see the double-decker carousel.” That’s where you can find the kiddie rides and sweet shops, perfect for making the little one happy. The more moderate coasters are in the middle, like the Cyclone and Pirate’s Plunge.

Towards the back are the most intense rides, such as the Iron Shark. “It’s a small coaster, but it’s definitely a mighty coaster,” he says. The track is 1,246ft with a beyond-vertical drop, diving loop, and four full inversions. When the park opened, the Texas Star Flyer was recognized as the tallest swing ride in Texas at 200 ft, giving a great panoramic view. “You can see all of Galveston when you’re at the top. It’s quite beautiful.”





Rides don't thrill you? Step right up to the Midway Games. All the classics are there,  including Whac-a-Mole, Ring Toss, Lucky Duck, Balloon Pop, and even Guess Your Weight or Age. No matter the game or your skill level, Hairgrove says you can always win a prize. “Our theory on games is that we want you to win. The more winners we have, the more players are having fun.”

Galveston Island Pleasure Pier is the perfect place to have some fun, no matter your age. “It is a family location. We have everything from Pokémon players to families to even older couples walking in,” Hairgrove says. “We’re a small park but it’s beautiful, it’s clean, and it’s a lot of fun.”

-By Ettractions Digital Content Editor, ALLISON BENNETT

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