Galveston Pleasure Pier Opens Just in Time for Memorial Day (UPDATED)

Categories: Texas

ppier1.jpg
Photo by Brittanie Shey
Be sure to check out our pictures of the Pleasure Pier and our Summer Guide story on its construction and history.

You can barely tell that the Flagship was ever there. The past-its-prime hotel, which was destroyed in 2008 by Hurricane Ike, has been replaced by Landry's new Galveston Island Pleasure Pier, a glimmering beacon to consumerism and consumption that celebrated its soft opening this morning, just in time for Memorial Day crowds to descend upon the island. And you know what? Despite the fact that parts of the theme park are still under construction, it's pretty freakin' cool. This single addition to the seawall has practically given the entire island a face-lift, and it's something residents are very proud of.

After months of construction on the pier, which first had to be reinforced, the theme park opened a bit ahead of schedule, though a handful of the 16 rides still aren't finished. That didn't stop an early morning crowd of islanders and vacationers from mixing with media to riding attractions like the Sea Dragon and the Gulf Glider.

ppier3.jpg
Photo by Brittanie Shey
The city has already installed highway signs just over the causeway directing visitors to the island's latest addition. And from Broadway, as you turn right onto 25th street, there it is -- the round Cyclone Coaster is the first thing you see beyond the rotating sign above Fish Tales. The entrance to the pier harkens back to Galveston's glory days -- it looks somewhat like a Victorian beach house, but with modern accents like neon lights.

The pier is also home to the first Bubba Gump Shrimp Company in Texas, a genuine Midway with the friendliest hecklers I've ever encountered, and all manner of carnival-style snacks.

Mark Kane, Landry's regional director for amusement parks, said they're still working out some kinks, such as those rides that aren't quite finished, which include a Ferris wheel and a roller coaster. Rides will open on a rolling basis, he said, with the Iron Shark roller coaster as the first goal.

He also said Landry's hasn't settled on an occupancy number yet. "We're pretty comfortable with a 4,000- to 5,000-person capacity."

But that might present a problem, as the new parking lot across the street, next to Fish Tales, only holds 400 or so cars. Even this morning, Seawall parking was at a premium.

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10 comments
Alo
Alo

Does anyone know what are the hours of operation at d pier?

Hanabi-chan
Hanabi-chan

I would love to go there with my daughter, but  when I calculate how much it will be for admission and parking, that alone is either 36 bucks, ($10 entry for each of us, $16 to park nearby), plus ride tickets, or $44 for two all days passes plus 16 for parking? That is a lot of money.  And that does not include meals and snacks, since you cannot bring in your own food and drink. If memory serves, you are allowed to bring your own cooler to the Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, I wonder if you can do the same in Galveston?

Moptop
Moptop

What if a person doesn't want to go on any rides, or can't because of health conditions, or just wants to walk out on the pier and see the sights and maybe have something to eat and drink.  Do they still have to pay the $22.00?   I couldn't find any cost information on the pier's website.

Allison B.
Allison B.

I think you mean turn right onto 25th Street from Broadway.  It's illegal to turn left at 25th Street and Broadway in Galveston.

I, a Galveston resident, do not feel the same as the Galveston resident that was quoted.

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

That's the swing ride, not the carousel. Though the carousel is cool — it's a double decker!

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

It's $10 to enter the pier and then $4 per ride ticket if, say, you only want to go on the Ferris wheel, or you want to look off the very end of the pier into the water.

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

Uhg, you're right. Or, correct. I'm fixing.

So, out of curiosity, how do you feel about the pier? I'm sure some people won't be too crazy about the traffic on Seawall.

P3l0n79
P3l0n79

Its that $22.00 plus the $10.00

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

No. $22 is the full-day pass with unlimited rides and re-entry. The alternative is to pay $10 to get in and $4 per ride.

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