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12/6/2018 - Roy J. Criss
It was my opportunity to have been employed as AutoWorld Construction Manager, heading up the theme park construction. This role took me 21 times to the Los Angeles area as I coordinated the project professionals. I take my hat off to the entire project team of public and private individuals and organizations, who attempted to create an exciting attraction, especially at a time when local unemployment was around 21%. Lots of great memories.
1/4/2018 - Indy
My AutoWorld story is from the summer before I started 8th grade, so it must have been 1986. The reason we went over to Flint was to take back a musical instrument that I was renting for middle school band. Anyway, My mom took myself and a friend to AutoWorld after we dropped off the trombone. I really do not remember all that much about the place. What I remember the most is the ferris wheel. I remember the sensation of looking up at the roof as we rode it (probably 5 times). There was some sort of moving walkway through the inter-workings of an engine and assembly line that we did. I also remember the Pontiac Fiero that was sort of blown apart so you could see inside of it. I can't say I was impressed, but I'm glad we went before it closed down. My mom, my friend and I are the only 3 people that I know that actually went. Too bad I didn't have a camera back then.
4/25/2012 - Steve Locke
I wish Flint would really step up, and restore downtown too the way it would have been when Billy Durant first put General Motors togather Then Flint would really have a 'tourist attraction' i. e. The Sloan Museum.
8/29/2011 - Judy
My sister worked here in the office before it even opened. I worked down the street from here and visited her often so I got to see everything from the ground up. I actually still have some coffee mugs from here! Before it opened a film crew came in. I think from CA and we spent all day filming commercials for Auto World. they brought us in box lunches etc. and for a little while we felt like celebrities lol. My nephew also worked here after it opened and I believe that is where he met his wife. Somehow I knew it would'nt last long. after you visited it once there was not enough interesting things to keep you coming back. From the windows of where I worked on Harrison and Water Sts I watched while they demolished it and turned it into a parking lot. But I do give Auto World a thumbs up for trying to help bring back the city of Flint.
3/12/2008 - Don Hargraves
I actually worked at Autoworld during the summer of 1985. At first I worked at the outdoor portion of the park (where they had put in some rides and a theater with Warner Brother Cartoon Characters), then spent some time inside what was the IMA Auditorium. That portion had a couple of theme rides, the IMAX theater and a two-story ramp that had little displays of the effect of the Automobile on people''s thoughts, culture and entertainment.
For me, the best parts were the Imax and a ride on the third floor (sorry, I don''t remember its name) that depicted the automobile from the viewpoint of a horse i the early 1900''s. The cars were in various states of disrepair, immobilization or confusion, as were their drivers, and the horse''s haughty commentary made for droll descriptions. Sadly, the last month or so they replaced the tape with a stereotypical rural hick voice, thereby ruining the ride.
Sadly, Autoworld was badly designed as a destination. Stuck in the middle of a bad area of Flint nowhere near expressway access, limited into a space too small for a real park and with too much depending on it, the place was closed up after two years. They tried to make the IMAX theater work, but even that failed and old IMA Auditorium was eventually imploded so that UofM Flint could expand.
I had even gone to the IMA Auditorium a few times in the seventies. Was a nice place to host a show (or a revival).
12/27/2007 - Mellissa Montano
I do have very vivid memories of walking in the indoor downtown. We lived in Detroit and visited Auto world twice. I just remembered when I was watching Rodger and me on HBO.
7/26/2007 - taz
i remember going to autoworld back in the 80''s as a kid, for a racing kid, it was pretty cool....it was kind of sad watching it fall. would love to see some old pics of the displays.
11/29/2006 - Amber
Believe it or not, I remember going to Autoworld, even though I was about 5 years old. And I went more than once. I rode the ferris wheel every single time, even though I hated it. And I actually liked the History of Automotivity, or whatever it was called. But the IMAX was the coolest. What I find real intersting is that I also remember when it was torn down, and I am a student at the University of Michigan Flint, and I take many classes in the White Building, which stands where Autoworld used to be. It floors me that I remember something that my brothers and sisters do not. Looking back on it, it was somewhat lame, but when you are five, you don't care. I had fun.
10/30/2006 - WaterWinterWonderland
I visited Auto World not long after it opened, I was excited to see it but was also pretty disappointed when I did. Most of the exhibits seemed to be cheap, many of them just pictures or plaques with a few videos. Not too many actual cars were in the place from what I remember. The area where they re-created downtown Flint was kind of cool as well as the indoor Ferris Wheel. I think they could have executed the idea better and given more time, it could have succeeded. Unfortunately it was closed after a few months of operation.
10/13/2006 - Les Marinko
This was the only place I had visited up to that time that I did NOT purchase a souvenir. Everything at Auto World was so expensive. Even with two for one tickets it still cost a lot. It seemed like they were trying to make all of the money spent on the place back the first year. The best part of the experience was the old car commercials.
9/8/2006 - Jan
I remember when it was still the IMA. My best friend and I spent many great times there! At the Circus, the home shows and many other events. I moved away from the area and never got a chance to see Auto world. But I sure was disappointed when it was demolished!
9/8/2006 - Steven
I remember visiting Autoworld at the age of five. It was not a horrible idea but suffered from the declining area, competition (Cedar Point), and high prices. If all of the park plans had come to fruition including the addition of several roller coasters then it may have recuperated costs. I still remember the giant indoor Ferris Wheel. I would love to see submitted aerial picture of Autoworld while in operation.
9/8/2006 - Theater Lover
I have to disagree with you Walt. I have quite a few fond memories of going to Autoworld with my friends and family. Sure, we went to Bob-lo and Cedar Point as well, but there was something uniquely different about Autoworld that just set it apart from most theme parks...that plus it housed one of the FIRST IMAX theaters in this COUNTRY. Looking back now, the enclosed amusement park wasnt a bad idea. Most of your major parks now have at least one enclosed ride. I feel that Autoworld was ahead of it time and had people been patient, maybe they would have realized this as well.
8/19/2006 - Walt
That this failed so spectacularly should come as no surprise. This had to be the stupidest idea for a "theme park" Ive ever heard of. I can remember all the hype about Auto World, but I didnt know a single person that wanted to go see what it was all about. And to this day I dont know anyone who went there. It just sounded so lame. You could tell from all the media coverage and stories that it was a flop from day one. No amount of hype could make this place sound like fun or make you want to go visit, hard as they tried. Makes you wonder who thought of this asinine concept in the first place. A real theme park ala Cedar Point would likely have been a huge success.
1/6/2003 - Web
In 1984, the $70 million Auto World theme park opened in Flint, Michigan, amid much fanfare and hoopla. Situated on nearly seven acres of land downtown, the park was supposed to draw 900,000 visitors every year and help revive a dying inner city. It had the enthusiastic support of city and state officials and many big-name Flint citizens. Half the $70 million it took to build the facility came from federal, state, and city governments. Sixteen years later, nothing remains of the park. Closed after less than two years of sparse crowds, and then later demolished, the site is now part of the University of Michigans Flint campus.
OLD ARTIFACTS (newer photo)
OLD BROCHURE FRONT
OLD BROCHURE INSIDE
AS OLD FLINT IMA BEFORE CONVERSION TO AUTO WORLD
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