5 Things We Wish Wichita Falls Still Had


WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) – Those who have called Wichita Falls home for a long time can remember several businesses, stores, attractions and restaurants that have passed by.

Hundreds of businesses have opened and closed in Wichita Falls over the years. Some failed and lasted a short time. However, some were so popular that they managed to etch their names into the hearts of Wichita Falls residents.

Even though some of these things have been gone for decades, they are still talked about with a warm sense of nostalgia. Wichitans who have attended these establishments have no shortage of stories and memories to share about them.

This begins a series on the Texoma homepage where we take a trip down memory lane and pay homage to places that are no longer in Wichita Falls, but still loved by those who call Wichita Falls home.

Here are five things we wish Wichita Falls still had.

If you talk to anyone who grew up in Wichita Falls in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, they’ll definitely remember an afternoon spent at Funland.

Located at 2006 Southwest Parkway, near the intersection with Taft Boulevard, the carnival-style rides, arcade, and train that covered the entire park have made Funland an entertainment attraction for generations.

Funland has gone through several ownership changes during its time in Wichita Falls. During the mid to late 1990s, it was closed several times. After nearly four decades and several reopenings, the beloved amusement park closed its doors for good in 2001.

With their lease due to expire in April of that year, owner Ernie Baker made the business decision to move to San Angelo. Baker reportedly said he “sees no future in Wichita Falls.”

However, the park closed in San Angelo just two years after it opened.

What is it now? South Weeks Park and WFFD 8 Fire Station

In the 1990s, an Italian fast food franchise opened a location in Wichita Falls at the intersection of two of the city’s busiest streets. It quickly became popular with residents of Wichita Falls.

Whether it’s unlimited breadsticks or classic Italian fare without the long wait at the restaurant, something about Fazoli has made it a go-to for many citizens of Wichita Falls.

Former customers and employees commented that Fazoli’s was always busy.

After nearly a decade at the corner of Kemp Boulevard and Southwest Parkway, the restaurant closed abruptly in 2007 when the building was sold to a Dallas group. Customers and employees received very little notice of the closure.

What is it now? Taco Bell

Whether it’s books, vinyl records, movies, board games, posters, collectibles, novelties, or even coffee… If the residents of Wichita Falls needed home entertainment items, their first stop was probably in Hastings.

Hastings was representing his tenure in Wichita Falls at Hobby Lobby Plaza at the corner of Kemp Boulevard and Southwest Parkway. In the era of blockbusters and movie rentals, Hastings has remained competitive by offering a wider selection of movies available for rental.

Another feature that made Hastings popular was its selection of used items. Hastings offered customers the option to sell their used books, movies and music for cash or store credit.

Hastings Entertainment fell on hard times in 2016. Online merchants like Amazon continued to grow and expand, hurting physical store sales.

The entertainment superstore filed for bankruptcy in June 2016, and when the company found a buyer, the joint venture group decided to liquidate. More than 100 stores across the country closed in July 2016.

What is it now? Cheap dirt

The Dallas Cowboys have held training camps to prepare for the NFL season primarily in Oxnard, Calif., for over a decade now. But, those who have called Wichita Falls home long enough can remember when Team USA held training camp in the backyard of Texoma.

Between 1963 and 1989, the Dallas Cowboys held their training camp in Thousand Oaks, California, about 45 minutes from Los Angeles. In 1990, they began holding a camp in Texas, at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.

It wasn’t until 1998 that the Dallas Cowboys began hosting camp on the campus of Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas.

It was reported that those who lobbied for the Cowboys to move their training camp to MSU rented a plane to fly over Texas Stadium on Thanksgiving Day with a banner that read, “Hey Jerry, Wichita Falls wants your Cowboys.” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he was impressed.

Jones apparently claimed that the sweltering summer heat of Wichita Falls would drive players so mad that they would play angry at their opponents. But, after losing in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs in 1999 and 2000, and failing to reach the playoffs in 2001, they returned to the West Coast.

What is it now? Remains MSU practice area

Beloved family catfish restaurant Uncle Lynn’s has stood for 15 years off US Highway 287 near the Wichita-Clay county line. However, the entire building burned down in June 2001.

It took 9 area fire departments to extinguish the blaze. Investigators determined that faulty equipment was the cause of the fire.

Many held out hope that owner Doug Sandridge would rebuild and reopen the restaurant, but no plans ever materialized.

What is it now? Nothing has been rebuilt there


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