Adventureland Park logo.
|Slogan||Iowa's Largest and Most Complete Family Resort Complex|
|Location||Adventureland Resort, Altoona, Iowa, United States|
|Owner||Adventure Lands of America Inc.|
|Opened||July 28, 1974|
|Operating season||Daily Memorial Day through the third week in August, weekends late April, May, The last full week of August, and September plus on Labor Day|
|Area||180 acres (0.73 km2)|
(including water park attractions)
This section contains close paraphrasing of a non-free copyrighted source, https://www.adventurelandpark.com/about/. (November 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Construction of Adventureland Park began in the spring of 1973. According to park operators, the Disney company assisted with some early park planning. Years later, Adventureland gave advice to the operator of the Wild West World Park in Wichita, Kansas, and allowed them to use photos taken at Adventureland in early promotional materials while that park was under construction. These photos could still be seen on the park flyers and website just before opening.
Damage from the tail end of a tornado delayed the opening until July 28, 1974, with the first rides opening on August 16. The first full season for Adventureland began in 1975. The official grand opening was on May 31. Congressman Neal Smith, Altoona Mayor Lloyd Sievers and Adventureland president Jack Krantz spoke at the opening ceremony. The Skyride from the World's Fair in Spokane, Washington was added that year.
In 1978 construction began on Adventureland's largest wooden roller coaster, the Tornado, which opened on July 4, 1978. The Tornado was soon listed among the top ten wooden roller coasters in the world.
The following year, the County Fair area with its games of skill was added. Also in 1979, Adventureland purchased the aging Riverview Amusement Park in Des Moines and moved some of the attractions to their own themed area just south of the park in 1980. Some of these attractions included the infamous weight guessing booth, Hi-striker game (now in storage at Adventureland), Haunted House ride (now the station for the Dragon roller coaster), Mirror/Funny Maze (found upon exiting the Dragon roller coaster ride at Adventureland), Skee-Ball games, the classic Riverview carousel (now in storage at Adventureland), as well as other well-known and loved attractions. In 1990, the Riverview theme area was transformed into the Dragon Island, home of Adventureland's double-looping upside-down steel roller coaster, which opened on May 12, 1990.
1993 brought the largest park expansion since Adventureland was built. Outlaw Gulch, a western themed area, was built on 12 acres (49,000 m2) at a cost of approximately $5 million. Outlaw Gulch consisted of three rides: Wrangler (a Scrambler), Chuck Wagon, and The Outlaw roller coaster.
In 1999 Adventureland announced the addition of the Space Shot. The Space Shot is a 235-foot (72 m) structure that towers over Adventureland launching riders up at 4.5 G's and ending with a free fall of negative 1 G.
In 2002, Adventureland undertook an 8 million dollar project that nearly doubled the size of the hotel, adding a second courtyard, new pools with interactive water features and new poolside rooms and suites. It also added a new water ride in the park, a spinning white water adventure, called Saw Mill Splash. The ride is themed around an old saw mill, and fits into the western motif of Adventureland's Outlaw Gulch area.
In 2006, Adventureland added two more rides, The Splash Over and Frog Hopper. In 2008, Adventureland embarked on its most extensive addition yet - a new water area named Adventure Bay. The first water attraction in this area is Kokomo Kove.
On February 20, 2010 (about 4:00 p.m.), a fire broke out in the toy store of main street after its roof collapsed due to the weight of ice and snow. The collapse caused an electrical fire. The fire went out of control and engulfed the corner portion of Main Street and destroyed the section that encompassed the bingo parlor, restaurant, toy store and arcade. The fire was brought under control about an hour later and was completely extinguished an hour thereafter. None of the adjacent structures or rides were harmed and no one was injured. The buildings were destroyed so quickly because, due to their age, sprinklers were not required to be installed. The park opened as planned on April 24, 2010, with the east side of Main Street completely cleared to dirt surrounded by a chain link fence. Banners on the fence stated that "Plans are well underway to build Main Street back better than ever."
All of Main Street was rebuilt when the park opened in April 2011 and featured an even larger arcade with an indoor ride. The park's Scrambler ride, previously known as the Wrangler, was brought out of storage and moved to the G-Force's location after the G-Force was moved into the Main Street arcade. On December 15, 2011 (about 3:45 a.m.), another fire broke out, this time destroying the Rally Round corn dog stand. Crews said the fire had engulfed the structure when they arrived but they were able to put it out quickly. According to fire officials, an electrical transformer behind the corn dog stand was the cause. A larger food location would be built in its place.
On September 6, 2013, Adventureland posted on their official Facebook page that a new attraction called Storm Chaser would be added. A 3D rendering of the ride was posted on the page, as well as an interview with park officials, showed that the new ride is a Mondial WindSeeker model. Park officials also stated that it would be replacing the aging Silly Silo due to that ride's frequent down time, and the company no longer making parts to fix it.
On July 8, 2015, Adventureland announced that they were adding a new roller coaster called The Monster, a Gerstlauer Infinity coaster and the first of its kind in the United States. It opened to the public on June 4, 2016 after park employee previews a few days earlier. It replaced the River Rapids log ride, which ran since the park first opened. The Monster features a unique nighttime LED light display made up of 137 track mounted fixtures that synchronize to the ride vehicles, and 46 ground lights.
On September 20, 2017, Adventureland announced a new children's area called Bernie's Barnyard. It is planned to open in June 2018 and will include two new family rides, a playground, and kiddie arcade games. It will replace the Country Picnic area just behind the Storm Chaser.
Sometime in mid-April 2018, crews dismantled the Inverter, which had been sitting on the spot where Super Screamer used to be since 2000. It broke down early in the 2017 season and was closed the rest of the year, and was later determined that the ride would be demolished and scrapped. It is currently unknown whether it will be replaced by another ride.
Adventureland is located off exit 142A of I-80, along U.S. Highway 65, near Altoona, just east of Des Moines, Iowa.
The park contains many design nods inspired by Disneyland: The entrance has a train station with two tunnels (on the left- and right-hand side) leading into the Main Street area, just like at Disneyland or Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom (and also similar to many other parks built since Disneyland opened in 1955); over in Outlaw Gulch, there are several tombstones that have virtually the same wording as tombstones outside of Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion attraction; the rocking pirate ship (Galleon) has played a soundtrack that included splashing water and an excerpt from the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song, "Yo Ho". Adventureland is a theme area of its own at Disneyland. The different themed areas in Adventureland are:
|Ride Name||Picture||Year Opened||Manufacturer||Location||Other Notes|
|Dragon||1990||Hopkins||Dragon Island||Opened May 12, 1990 -- Double-looping steel roller coaster built by Hopkins for $2.1 million. It was built where the Convoy's old location was. In 2005 seat belts were added to lock down the shoulder harnesses. The front part of the train use to have its name labeled on it. The ride train originally ran with seven cars; however, the number of cars per train was reduced to six in 2000.|
|The Monster||2016||Gerstlauer Infinity coaster||Last Frontier||Opened June 4, 2016, replacing the River Rapids log ride. On July 10, 2016, on-ride pictures were added.|
|The Outlaw||1993||Custom Coasters International (CCI)||Outlaw Gulch||Opened April 24, 1993|
|Tornado||1978||Designed by William Cobb.||County Fair||Opened July 4, 1978 -- Up until 1997 both red and blue trains would run at the same time. In 2010 seat belts were added. In 2010 on-ride pictures were added.|
|The Underground||1996||Custom Coasters International (CCI) Dark Ride||Space Shot Midway||An indoor dark ride using a roller coaster ride system. Ride and cars by CCI. Animated figures by Themed Environments and Effects.|
|Name||Picture||Opened||Closed||Manufacturer/Ride Type||Location/Other Notes|
|Trapper John's Adventure||1974||1976?||A "low-profile river excursion" boat ride, tells the story of the historical growth of Northeast Iowa. The boat docked where the Dragon Island bridge is now located.|
|Carousel||1980||1999||Herschell-Spillman||A classic carousel ride that came from Riverview Park, replaced by the Himalaya. This ride opened In 1928 at Riverview.|
|Happy Horses||1974||1979||Adventurelands first carousel, replaced by the Hampton cars.|
|Der Flitzer||1974||1990||Zierer||A small German snow-capped mountain-themed coaster. Formerly called "Raylle Racers" (1974-1975), located in the area where the tea cups is. It was relocated and renamed in 1976. The Giant Sky Wheel now occupies its space.|
|Flying Scooters||1974||1986||Replaced by the Balloon Race.|
|Galaxy||1980||1990||Soli Himalaya||A Himalaya ride that came from Riverview Park, operating there 1973-1978. Replaced by Puff Dragons, then became the Dragon Island games pavilion.|
|Haunted House||1980||1988||Funni-Frite||Part of the Riverview area (now Dragon Island), and one of the attractions moved from Riverview Park in Des Moines. This attraction opened at Riverview 1975-1978. Replaced by the Convoy for one year, before becoming the station for the Dragon.|
|Jaunty Jeeps||1974||1978||The layout of the ride itself was there from 1974 till 1987, old fashioned cars people got to drive with a center track on the path to keep people from driving off the ride. This attraction was located where the picnic area is. The cars were changed from jeeps to antique cars in 1979 which caused this attraction to be renamed as the Antique Roadsters.|
|Antique Roadsters||1979||1987||The layout of the ride itself was there from 1974 till 1987. The ride was renamed the Antique Roadsters when the cars were changed from jeeps to antique cars in 1979.|
|Mirror Maze||1980||1989||Part of the Riverview area (now Dragon Island), and one of the attractions moved from Riverview Park in Des Moines. A small selection of fun mirrors remain at the exit of The Dragon.|
|The Mixer||1997||2005||Zamperla||Spun and inverted visitors on several axes, replaced by Splash Over.|
|River Boats||1977||1979||Paddlewheel boats that replaced the Queen. Due to mechanical problems, the Queen was moved to a corner of the lake. After a renovation, the Queen returned to her dock in River City in 1980 as a walk through attraction.|
|Wee Critters (Petting Zoo)||1974||1975?||Located in the Iowa Farm section of the park, where the Storm Chaser now stands.|
|The Queen||1974||1984||The boat itself was a passenger steamer that was used to carry passengers across Lake Okoboji in Okoboji, Iowa. She served from 1884 until 1973 when she was sent to Adventureland. It docked by where today sits the river city funnel cake stand. The boat ran on an underwater track, but due to mechanical problems, the queen was replaced by the "River Boats." After a renovation, the Queen returned to her dock in River City in 1980. She remained there until 1984 as a walk through attraction with a dixieland band. According to one of the workers that worked at the park years ago, one of the workers torched it so the boat would sink. The Queen still remains under the water on the left side of the Raging River bridge.|
|River Rapids (Log Ride)||1974||2015||A log flume ride with two drops, replaced by The Monster. In 2006, on-ride pictures were added.|
|Silly Silo||1974||2013||Chance||A traditional rotor ride, replaced by the Storm Chaser.|
|Super Screamer||1976||1999||S.D.C.||A smaller Galaxi model roller coaster built by S.D.C., replaced by The Inverter.|
|Toonerville Trolleys||1974||1979?||A set of three 1890s replica trolleys built by Gordon Wiligrocki. The trolleys ran on natural gas, touring the perimeter of the park with various stops. The name comes from the popular newspaper comic strip Toonerville Folks, and the Des Moines Interurban route that ran through Altoona that was nicknamed the "Toonerville Trolley." Was replaced by the A-Train.|
|Helicopters||1974||1977||A small little kiddy helicopter ride that spun in the air replaced by the Red Baron.|
Adventure Bay is the water park section of Adventureland. Except for Kokomo Kove, it was new for 2010. In addition to the water features, it offers changing areas, lockers for rent, lounge chairs, and food service which includes a full-service bar named the Sand Bar.
The games department consists of three games areas:
The park features counter service eating locations, including the (new for 2018) Doc and Leone's Diner and Bar on Main Street, Chicken Shack, Rally Round, Petunia Pig, Taco Villa, Sub Land, River City Pizza, Rathskeller, Spectator's, and Outlaw Gulch Foods.
While the park has sold beer (and sometimes wine coolers) in the past, in recent years they have added more adult beverage locations.
Other food locations serve canned beers and similar beverages.
Every year on July 4th, Adventureland presents fireworks 15 minutes before the park closes.
Adventureland also hosts various events during the off-season when the park is closed. Visitors enter through an open gate at the front entrance and are allowed only in the Main Street Palace Theater which is connected to the Doc and Leone's Diner on Main Street for food and snacks.
During the first few weekends of operation, various school bands are invited to play in the park.
Each year, substance-free days are held in conjunction with D.A.R.E.
Over Memorial Day weekend there is a military promotion.
There are four park areas available for company picnics, reunions, or other large gatherings.
On October 3, 2015, Adventureland hosted its first Oktoberfest event. A $10 admission (with free parking) included one beer and access to a limited selection of rides and attractions during this one day event. Dozens of food and drink stands were brought in to the park (many from outside vendors). The 2nd annual Oktoberfest was held on October 1, 2016, and the third was held on September 30, 2017. Pricing and dates for future Oktoberfest events are posted on their website.
The park's official mascot is Bernie Bernard, a St. Bernard dog. A cartoon drawing of Bernie appears on park guides and maps, and a walk-around character poses for photos in the park. In 2017, a new version of Bernie appeared in the park, with a much rounder look. In 2018, Bernie will receive his own area of the park: Bernie's Barnyard.
Another character, "Toby" the tiger, also walks around the park. According to Adventureland's public relations department, "Toby the tiger has been around about as long as Bernie, but is not in our ads, so he might not be as recognizable."
There are two additional dog characters: Heather, also seen in the park; and Henry, who used to appear and was even sold as a stuffed animal.
For a special promotion in 2001, Garfield the cat appeared in the park with a special photo opportunity on Main Street.
An actor who plays an old west miner type character appeared for many years in TV commercials, and his voice is heard in The Underground narration (and as the voice of the old miner animatronic in the pre-show). A cartoon caricature of him appears as the "must be this tall to ride" sign outside of The Outlaw.
Gilda the Gorilla, a gorilla carrying around a person in a cage, has also been seen to roam the park.
At the ticket window of the Palace Theater, an animatronic character named P.T. Barnaby spiels about park happenings each year. He is currently voiced by Billy Martin, the ringmaster of the Royal Hanneford Circus.
There are many other costumed characters that have appeared in the park over the years.
An 11-year-old girl sustained head trauma when a piece of wood was left behind by maintenance staff on the Tornado. Mackenzie Hooper and two others were struck by the board when it became dislodged during the ride operation. One of the other two guests was treated at the park and the other sought treatment off-site. The injured girl sustained head injury and was transported to a local hospital. Witnesses on scene reported that neither local law enforcement, fire rescue services nor an ambulance were called to the scene. Hooper was reportedly transported to Mercy Medical Center by park staff where she underwent surgery to remove a blood clot, reduce swelling and suture lacerations on both sides of her head.
On June 7, 2016, 68 year old seasonal employee, Steve Booher was assisting on the Raging River ride when he fell onto the conveyor belt that moves the ride rafts through the loading/unloading station. Booher was injured, fell into a coma and died three days later at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines. The operator prematurely set the rafts in motion while both assistants were standing partly on the raft and partly on the ride platform assisting guests as prescribed by the operator manual. OSHA conducted an investigation and found no evidence that the park had violated safety protocols, and that the ride was operating as designed. Therefore, the park was fined $4500.00 and suggestions were made to install safety cutout devices for the assistants to ensure the ride vehicles could not be operated without intervention from all three ride operations staff. The ride was allowed to continue to operate as built for the rest of the park's operating season.