Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Six Flags AutoWorld: Totaled Michigan Motor City
In 1984, Six Flags AutoWorld debuted in Flint, Michigan. Unlike the famous Six Flags parks that feature roller coasters and thrills, AutoWorld was an indoor experience. It appears to have been sort of a mix of EPCOT's old World of Motion pavilion, plus the original version of its replacement, Test Track. And it even had a dash of Disneyland's old America Sings animated animal show.
AutoWorld was nothing like the traditional Six Flags parks. It looked more like a museum or a science center.
Michigan had high hopes for AutoWorld. Sadly, the new car smell was gone by 1985.
At the time, Six Flags was experimenting and diversifying with new types of attractions that were not traditional amusement parks.
In 1985, another experimental attraction, Six Flags PowerPlant, opened in Baltimore, Maryland. It also was short-lived (I got to visit the corpse of PowerPlant in 2000, as it had transformed into a shopping center).
Like a mall or a museum, AutoWorld's fun could be had on different levels.
AutoWorld brings to mind the Children's Museum of Indianapolis.
You can actually see Test Track at AutoWorld! A remote control Test Track, that is.
Was AutoWorld ahead of its time? Maybe.
The Great Race seems to share DNA with the original version of Walt Disney World's Test Track.
The Humorous History of Auto-Mobility seems very similar to EPCOT's World of Motion.
This attraction screams old school Disney.
Speaking of Disney, AutoWorld had its own mascot. Not a cartoon car. That would be too logical. AutoWorld had a Horse. A crazy looking horse. And he hosted the Humorous History of Auto-Mobility.
Fred the Carriageless Horse! Of course!
Fred existed in some sort of animated, three dimensional form at AutoWorld. I'm guessing it was a robot.
Fred seems to be a relative of the Old Grey Mare driving a Model T from the 1974 Disneyland Audio Animatronics show, America Sings.
Poor Fred was probably sold to the glue factory.
Six Flags AutoWorld seemed like a clever idea.
I feel like AutoWorld was built in the wrong location, and at the wrong time.
You know that if this was Hot Wheels AutoWorld, or Matchbox AutoWorld, or Disney-PIXAR Cars AutoWorld it would have been a big hit.