Goodbye, Bedrock City: Arizona's Flintstones Theme Park Has Closed After Nearly 50 Years

Thomas Hawk, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0
Thomas Hawk, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

Fred, Wilma, and Pebbles have been evicted from Bedrock. Arizona’s Bedrock City has been welcoming fans of The Flintstones for nearly 50 years, but all that has come to an end, according to the Arizona Republic. The quirky roadside attraction along Route 64 in Valle has shut down.

The property is located about 30 minutes from the Grand Canyon, so it’s a prime spot for attracting tourists who are passing through the area, but this isn't the end of its run as a roadside attraction. The paper reports that the pterodactyl statue at Bedrock—and almost everything else in the park—will be replaced by other winged creatures.

The current owner, Troy Morris, is a raptor breeder, and he plans to open an attraction called Raptor Ranch on the site. The park will become a showcase for birds of prey like falcons, hawks, and eagles, with daily performances highlighting the birds' hunting skills.

A drive-through volcano structure at Bedrock City
mlhradio, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

These plans mark the end of an era for Bedrock City, which opened in the 1972. The site’s owners erected replicas of the Flintstone and Rubble residences, as well as a schoolhouse, jail, and theater. Guests could go down a brontosaurus-shaped slide, drive through a “volcano,” and snap photos with lots of recognizable characters from the classic cartoon.

A view of Bedrock City
Matthew Dillon, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

The park originally hired actors to entertain the guests, but the site’s remote location made it difficult to retain employees. Over the years, the park fell into disrepair, and the property was eventually put up for sale in 2015.

The mid-20th century was a great time for pop culture-themed roadside attractions, and Bedrock City was one of many. Another Flintstones-themed park opened in Custer, South Dakota in 1966, while 1970 brought a Wizard of Oz theme park to North Carolina. Unfortunately, many of these parks didn't last. South Dakota's Bedrock City shut down in 2015, the same year the Arizona park was put up for sale. The Land of Oz in North Carolina lay abandoned for decades, though it occasionally reopens for special events.

A dinosaur slide
mlhradio, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

There’s one small consolation for Bedrock fans, though: The Valle park's signature dinosaur slide will be kept intact, as will the saber-toothed cat and woolly mammoth statues, which will become part of a children's playground that the new owner, Troy Morris, plans to build.

"I understand people's emotional attachment, but it's time in a business sense for something new," Morris told the Arizona Republic. "But we're definitely going to keep a little piece of Bedrock."

[h/t Arizona Republic]

Mifflin Madness: Who Is the Greatest Character on The Office? It's Time to Vote

Steve Carell, as Michael Scott, hands out a well-deserved Dundie Award on The Office.
Steve Carell, as Michael Scott, hands out a well-deserved Dundie Award on The Office.
NBC

Your years of watching (and re-watching) The Office, which just celebrated its 15th anniversary, have all led up to this moment. Welcome to Mifflin Madness—Mental Floss's cutthroat competition to determine The Office's greatest character. Is Michael Scott the boss you most love to hate? Or did Kevin Malone suck you in with his giant pot of chili?

You have 24 hours to cast your vote for each round on Twitter before the bracket is updated and half of the chosen characters are eliminated.

The full bracket is below, followed by the round one and round two winners. You can cast your round three vote(s) here. Be sure to check back on Monday at 4 p.m. ET to see if your favorite Dunder Mifflin employee has advanced to the next round. 

Round One


Round Two


Round Three


The Office Planned to Break Up Jim and Pam in the Final Season—Then (Smartly) Thought Better of It

Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski star in The Office.
Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski star in The Office.
NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly's relationship in The Office was truly a romance for the ages. Fans were delighted when, in Season 3—after years of flirting—John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer’s characters finally got together. But an alternative plan for the show’s ninth and final season saw the couple going their separate ways.

Season 9 saw one of the most stressful storylines the show had to offer when Jim took a job in Philadelphia and Pam struggled to take care of their children on her own back in Scranton, putting intense strain on their otherwise seemingly perfect relationship. In one unforgettable scene, a particularly tense phone call between the couple ends with Pam in tears. Fischer’s character then turns to someone off camera named Brian for advice.

As Collider reports, Pam and Jim's relationship could have taken a turn for worse in the final season—and the writers had planned it that way. As recounted in Andy Greene's new book, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, series creator Greg Daniels sat down with each of the show's stars before starting the final season to discuss where their characters would go. John Krasinski, who played Jim, pitched the idea of putting Jim and Pam’s relationship on thin ice. According to Krasinski:

"My whole pitch to Greg was that we’ve done so much with Jim and Pam, and now, after marriage and kids, there was a bit of a lull there, I think, for them about what they wanted to do … And I said to Greg, ‘It would be really interesting to see how that split will affect two people that you know so well.'"

Several writers weighed in with ideas about how they might handle a split between Jim and Pam from a narrative standpoint—though not everyone was on the same page.

Warren Lieberstein, a writer on the series, remembered when the idea of bringing Brian—the documentary crew's boom operator—into the mix. “[This] was something that came up in Season 5, I think," Lieberstein said. "What if that character had been secretly there the entire time and predated the relationship with Jim and had been a shoulder that she cried on for years?’ It just seemed very intriguing." Apparently, the writers thought breaking the fourth wall would jeopardize the show, so they saved it for the last season.

Writer Owen Ellickson said there was even some talk of Pam and Brian “maybe hooking up a little bit," but the negative response to the storyline led the writers to "pull the ripcord on [Pam and Jim's separation] because it was so painful to fans of the show." Ellickson said that they backtracked so quickly, they even had to re-edit certain episodes that had already been shot to nix the idea of Jim and Pam splitting up. Which is something the show's millions of fans will be forever grateful for.

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