Fort Mill, South Carolina: Remnants of Heritage USAJim and Tammy Bakker's Born-Again Disneyland is a fading memory, but you can still gaze from the weedy parking lot at what's left.
- Regent Parkway, Fort Mill, SC
- I-77 exit 90. Drive southeast on Carowinds Blvd/US 21 for one mile. Turn left onto Regent Parkway and follow it for two miles, past the golf course and Pyramid on the right, back to the heart of Heritage USA. You should see the Grand Tower after a mile or so. Follow the roads that aren't barricaded.
Visitor Tips and News About Remnants of Heritage USA
Went to a TV taping at the "Barn" studio and it is alive and well. Hadn't been there in 30 years. Took some pictures behind the castle; a different perspective. There is a chain link fence around it. Most of the old park is now housing developments. As I left in the dark, I saw the domes at Heritage USA "mall" all lit up in blue. It was beautiful in the dark night. I was told a new ministry was in there now. The amphitheater is still sad and forlorn.[B Carter, 11/05/2012]
The Heritage USA castle was finally demolished on April 20, 2013.
Overgrown amphitheater from Jim and Tammy Bakker's Heritage USA. Off I-77, exit 90. Head SE on Carowinds Blvd, left on Regent Parkway. Travel about 3 miles and destination is on the right across from the Upper Room Chapel.[Ashley, 09/14/2012]
Year by year, less and less is left of the old Heritage USA Theme Park. The Castle still stands adjacent to some old parking lots. Some side roads, lined with busted-off light poles, are overgrown with with weeds and grass. The unfinished tower stands tall next to some buildings that I assume were part of Main Street. Those buildings have been renovated for other uses, but their roofs are unchanged, giving away their original purpose.[Jeffrey Sweet, 05/21/2012]
Tammy is dead, Heritage USA is in ruins, and Jim Bakker is out of jail and back on TV, hawking post-Apocalypse survival kits to a new generation of viewers.
Castle sighting. Saddest place on Earth.[Steve, 02/28/2012]
Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's ultimate vacation resort for conservative Christian families (And later became the albatross around the neck which collapsed PTL ministries and landed Bakker jail time) still stands and still graces the Northern South Carolina Skyline.
Erected back in the early 1978, Heritage USA was Christianity's answer to the secular Disneyworlds and Carowinds of the tourism landscape. Boasting an impressive 2,300 acres of land, Heritage USA was not only one of the biggest theme parks around but also one of the most visited...by the mid 80's, millions would visit the park annually.
The structures of Heritage USA were also built extraordinary well, no facade structures as many theme parks are today, but everything was built genuinely authentic with a lot of detail and with a lot of tithing. Among the attractions housed here was the King's Castle, a bright green and purple colored castle which housed an arcade with a go-kart track running around its outskirts, "The Barn" where PTL Ministries broadcast their evangelism out of to millions of viewers a week, a replica of Rev. Billy Graham's birthplace, timeshare apartments and condominiums, a miniature scale model of Jerusalem, an outdoor amphitheatre, a waterpark (where the infamous picture of fellow evangelist Jerry Falwell was photographed sliding down a 163 ft. slide slide fully clothed), bunkhouses, a railroad, tram system, and many other attractions.
As I visited it last month, much of the property has been bought by Regent Park and developed into neighborhoods as suburbs for Charlotte and its surrounding burroughs. The Grand Hotel has been bought by Morningstar Ministries and has been under renovation and renamed H.I.M. (Heritage Intl. Ministries), the Grand Tower still stands however is in need of repair, I have heard it was to be demolished but I have also heard that it will converted into a retirement home.
The Kings Castle still also stands...unused for some time, looks totally out of place, yet, somewhat appealing to me. The waterpark has been drained and bulldozed, making way for more development I would assume. Some of the cabins are still used too, I have heard that a Pro-life group uses a few as their headquarters. As for the tram system...they were sold at either auction or to whomever wanted them, two of them now are located on the grounds of Bonclarken Assembly located in Flat Rock, NC. They are usually parked out in a field in the lower bottoms. All in all, it is a historical site, somewhat infamous for what was the epitomy of corrupt televangelism in its heyday, but it still stands as a roadside attraction that many tipsters would enjoy seeing and marveling.[Todd K, 08/07/2006]