Old Tucson reopens Thursday with new ‘Western Experience’

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – We are just days away from the reopening of Old Tucson. On Thursday, the old western movie studio will open their doors for the comeback of the ‘Western Experience.’ It’s an Old Tucson staple, but it may not look the same as you remember.

After months of rehearsing and working through new ideas, Old Tucson is ready to open up and go back to its roots with the ‘Western Experience. ‘

“There has been a lot of preparation and love going into these shows and the entire entertainment aspect of the whole park,” said stunt coordinator, Austin Buchanan.

Old Tucson opened for the first time in years with ‘Nightfall’ back in October, followed by ‘Yuletide,’ but it’s all been leading up to this.

″All of the venues we’ve been using haven’t been used during Nightfall and Yuletide, so it takes a lot of preparation to get the sand and get the fall pits in there,” Buchanan explained. “Even the Hotel del Torres is completely new, so it looks like a fully functioning western town.”

Since the closing of ‘Nightfall’ and ‘Yuletide,’ Buchanan said they’ve gone through every review left by guests to figure out what works and what needs to be improved.

“There were a lot of reviews within that time, and I think that we have gathered enough information that we have a fully fledged entertainment product by western experience and by the time we open,” he said.

Caden Gamblin may be a familiar face for some. He started working at Old Tucson in 2019 and was there all the way up until they shut down. He was one of the first to dive back in. He says the ‘Western Experience’ will be different from what people remember.

“The shows are now a bit more immersive, so you can really engage in the stories, talk to actors, see what their stories are and really immerse yourself in the shows that all blend together,” explained Gamblin.

From gun fights to stunt shows, to searching for lost gold, there’s a little something for everyone.

″Being able to go back to the traditional ways of Old Tucson, which is westerns and live entertainment, it’s great. I’m so excited for it,” he said.

There are even bigger things on the horizon for Old Tucson. The plan is to turn it into a filming location once again and they already have companies scouting the location ahead of the ‘Western Experience.’

The Western Experience will be open Thursdays through Sundays starting this week. Tickets are on sale now. You can find more details here.

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