Adventureland Resort (often referred to as Adventureland for short) is a theme park in Altoona, Iowa (just northeast of Des Moines). It is marketed as the Home of Iowa's Best Thrills.

Adventureland
Current Adventureland Park logo.
LocationAdventureland Resort, Altoona, Iowa, United States
Coordinates41°39′16″N 93°30′00″W / 41.654447°N 93.499886°W / 41.654447; -93.499886
StatusOperating
OpenedAugust 1974; 49 years ago (1974-08)
OwnerPalace Entertainment (Parques Reunidos)
General managerMike Lusky
ThemeIowa past
SloganHome of Iowa's Best Thrills
Operating seasonMay through October, Daily mid-May through mid-August then weekends until the last Sunday of October.
Area180 acres (73 ha)
Attractions
Total50
(including water park attractions)
Roller coasters7
Water rides24
Websitewww.adventurelandresort.com

History

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Construction of Adventureland Park began in 1973 on a site formerly occupied by a small airport in Des Moines,[1] active in the 1920s until a larger municipal airport was built in 1933 at a different location.[2] The area was later used for farming until Adventureland's construction broke ground.[1] Its grand opening was scheduled for July 1974, but the park suffered light damage from a tornado, delaying the opening until late August.[1]

The first full season began in 1975, and several rides were added that year. A wooden roller coaster called Tornado was added in 1978, named after the tornado that delayed the park's grand opening.[1]

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. Later that year in October, founder Jack Krantz died, and his sons and daughters took over the operations.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8] The Monster lighting system originator and designer, Mike Lambert, was recognized with (2) Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) Illumination Awards for Innovation in Design.[9]

On September 20, 2017, Adventureland announced a new children's area called Bernie's Barnyard. It opened on July 20, 2018, it includes two family rides, a playground and kiddie arcade games. It replaced 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 taken down and put up for sale. It is currently sitting in pieces in the maintenance shed at the front of the park. For the 2018 Oktoberfest, the Inverter's old space was used for inflatables for adults. On December 11, 2018, Adventureland announced on its Facebook page that it will be adding Phoenix, a $6 million spinning coaster from Maurer Rides. It opened on July 4, 2019, replacing the Inverter. It is the park's sixth roller coaster and the second-largest investment on a ride in Adventureland history behind the Monster.

On May 17, 2020, Adventureland teased a picture of a knight slaying a dragon (reference to the park's 1990 O.D. Hopkins double looping rollercoaster, the Dragon). The same day, crews were spotted dismantling the Dragon and a new teaser was posted with the title "The Dragon Slayer." The coaster opened on May 29, 2021. The Splash Over was also removed in 2020 and replaced by the stage. It is unclear if a new ride will take its place in the future.

On September 8, 2021, Adventureland announced their plans to remove the Lighthouse, Lady Luck and Falling Star due to the parts are no longer available. The Raging River will remain closed after the July 3rd, 2021 incident. In addition, Adventureland also announced 10 new attractions that will be coming next year including a Renaissance Fair.

On December 21, 2021, it was announced that Palace Entertainment would be acquiring Adventureland.[10]

In August 2022, it was announced that two new Viking themed rides that will be coming for the 2023 season, the Flying Viking and Draken Falls.

In February 2023, Adventureland announced that Raging River will close permanently after consulting with the ride manufacturer and reviewing the safety guidelines to meet the operating standards.

Themed areas and attractions

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The park contains many design nods inspired by Disneyland.[citation needed] 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:

  • Adventure Bay (opened June 22, 2008) is a location behind Outlaw Gulch that is home to the Kokomo Kove water play area.
  • Alpine Village is a German-themed area. The Rathskeller concession stand and Alpine Arcade are located in this area. In 2015, the new Bier Garten opened featuring TV sets and German beers. In the early years, an accordion player was found in this area of the park to add to the German feel.
  • Bernie's Barnyard is a children's area which replaced the Country Picnic Ground Area which had been there since 1988 and was removed in 2017, the area opened on July 20, 2018, The Area has a playground structure, a toddler play area, Kiddie Arcade Games, gift shop, seating and shaded areas, statue of the park's mascot Bernie Bernard, food stand and two kid's rides: a Crazy Couch from Skyline Attractions called Shakin' Bacon and a Pony Trek from Metallbau EmmeIn called Junior Jockeys.
  • The Boulevard has several major rides; the biggest is Giant Sky Wheel, the largest open-gondola Ferris wheel built in the United States since G.W. Ferris built his wheel in 1893 for the Chicago Exposition.[citation needed]
  • County Fair is a rural-themed area where the principal attraction is Tornado, a large wooden roller coaster, as well as many fair-themed games of skill.
  • Dragon Island, near the rear of the park, was originally known as Riverview. Constructed in 1979, the area contained a number of attractions from the Riverview Park amusement center that had recently closed in nearby Des Moines. In 1990, the area was renamed Dragon Island when the Dragon roller coaster opened. While the Dragon was removed during the 2020 season, the area is still called Dragon Island.
  • Iowa Farm is home to the Storm Chaser, Iowa Beer and Wine, and Petunia Pig (a small concession stand shaped like a pig).
  • Last Frontier is a western themed section. This section of the park is home to the Monster roller coaster, the Golden Nugget shooting gallery and Sam Adam's Saloon.
  • Main Street, which resembles a stereotypical turn-of-the-20th-century town square, is the first area that visitors encounter upon entering the park. The principal attractions of this area are the A-Train (a small-scale locomotive that winds around one side of the park) and an antique-style carousel in the middle of the Town Square. Main Street contains the bulk of the park's shops and a restaurant. Also on Main Street is the Palace Theater. It was formerly home to large live shows but today is only used for group events.
  • Outlaw Gulch, constructed in 1993, has an Old West theme, complete with a "ghost town". The attractions in this part of the park are The Outlaw (a small CCI wooden roller coaster), Chuck Wagon (a small western-themed Ferris wheel), Sidewinder (a swinging pendulum ride whose gondola swings riders over 180 degrees while spinning) and Saw Mill Splash, a water ride. The Royal Hanneford Circus is also presented. During the 1993 season, there was a western-themed band that played a banjo and bottles on the mock stage that still remains behind to the kettle corn stand. Also in the first few years of operation, a cowboy-themed comedy show was held in front of the ghost town facade, but it was later removed and the shooting gallery was installed there. The food location also changed from a walk-in drink and snack bar to a front counter serving hamburgers and other fast food. Other food vendors in the section include a kettle corn stand, old-fashioned sodas, and Dippin' Dots.
  • River City is built around the Raging River ride and was inspired by Mississippi River towns. There is usually jazz or zydeco music in the background. The founder of Adventureland was a fan of New Orleans-style jazz. River City may have been influenced by the fictional River City in the Meredith Willson musical The Music Man. Several food stands are located in this section of the park as well.

Rides

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Roller coasters

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Ride Name Picture Year Opened Manufacturer Model Location Other Notes
Dragon Slayer   2021 S&S - Sansei Technologies 4D Free Spin Replaced the Dragon
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) Wooden Roller Coaster Outlaw Gulch Opened April 24, 1993, along with the new Outlaw Gulch section.
Phoenix 2019 Maurer AG Spinning Coaster/SC2000 Boulevard Opened July 4, 2019. Originally scheduled for June, but it was delayed due to inclement weather stalling progress during that month. An individual car seats 4, 2 front-facing and 2 rear-facing. As it travels along the track, the car unpredictably spins 360°.
Tornado   1978 Designed by William Cobb; Built by Frontier Construction Company Wooden Roller Coaster County Fair Opened July 4, 1978 – Up until 1996 both red and blue trains would run at the same time. In 2010, on-ride pictures and seat belts were added.
The Underground 1996 Custom Coasters International Enclosed Dark Ride Coaster Last Frontier An indoor dark ride using a roller coaster ride system. Ride and cars by CCI. Animated figures by Themed Environments and Effects. underwent a major refurbishment along with a addition of seatbelts in 2024.
Flying Viking   2023 Zamperla Junior Coaster Boulevard Entwined with super flume ride, Draken Falls.

Other rides

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South side view of the A-Train station
 
The top of the Space Shot
 
Giant Sky Wheel
 
A-train engine and car
 
Parachutes when it was known as Der Flinger
 
Tea Cups
Ride Name Year Opened Manufacturer Model Notes
A-Train 1985 Chance Train ride Small train that travels around one side of the park, then loops and returns on the same track. In mid 2022 A Fuel Injected train engine replaced the original front train engine/ Its only stop is the station on Main Street. Replaced the Toonerville Trolleys.
Bernie's Swing 2022 Zamperla Happy Swing A swing that rocks riders back-and-forth.
Chuck Wagon 1993 Zamperla Mini Ferris Wheel A miniature western-themed Ferris wheel (opened in 1993).[11]
Circus Balloons 2022 Zamperla Samba Balloon Eight hot-air balloons rotate around a central axis with spinning tubs.
Clipper 2022 Sartori Junior Pirate Ship Miniature swinging boat ride.
Convoy 1989 Zamperla Convoy A semi-truck-themed ride for younger children. Replaced the Haunted House in 1989. It was relocated west of Frantic Freeway in 1990 and relocated again next to the Raging River bridge in 2021.
Dragon's Nest 1991 Zamperla Aero Top Jet Dragon-themed cars spin around a central axis. Originally located on Dragon Island. Relocated closer to Dragon Slayer for the 2021 season.
Frantic Freeway 1974 Barbieri Rides Bumper Cars Traditional bumper cars ride. Opened August 16, 1974. New bumper cars with lap bars added to ride in 1991.
Frog Hopper 2006 S&S Frog Hopper A mini version of the Space Shot, seats are raised and then bounced up and down.
G-Force 1997 HUSS Breakdance Spinning ride on the order of a Scrambler. Located on the right side of the falling star before the scrambler reopened in its spot in 2011, relocated in the newly built Main Street arcade in 2011.
Giant Sky Wheel 1991 Chance Ferris Wheel Large Ferris wheel. Replaced Der Flitzer.
Hampton Cars 1980 Hampton Umbrella Ride Various themed cars spin slowly around a central axis. Originally opened in 1972 at Riverview. This ride replaced Adventureland's first carousel which was called the happy horses/ Relocated in 2021 where the Infant Ocean was.
Junior Jockeys 2018 Metallbau Emmeln Pony Trek A farm-themed Pony Trek that takes riders around a small track while riding a pony on a metal rail. Located in Bernie's Barnyard. Opened on July 20, 2018.
Lady Bugs 1976 Royal Cascade Roundabout Bug-shaped cars travel on a circular track. Relocated in 2022 near River City Foods.
Leap Frogs 2022 Zamperla Jump Around Frogs bounce as they spin around a central axis.
Lighthouse 2022 Zamperla Pump & Jumpz Interactive bouncing tower. Replaced the original Lighthouse ride.
Parachutes 1976 Hrubetz Paratrooper Paratrooper ride. Originally named Der Flinger, but was renamed during the 2020 season.
Red Barons 1978 Allan Herschell Helicopter Small World War I-themed planes spin around a central axis and riders can control how high off the ground they want to "fly". The ride was originally "Helicopters" in 1974, but the helicopters were replaced with airplanes in 1978 and the ride was renamed Red Barons.
Revolution 2022 Zamperla Rockin' Tug Ship rotates as it rocks back and forth along a half-pipe.
Rockin’ Rainbow 2022 Zamperla Flying Carousel Flying carousel swing ride.
Tilt-A-Whirl 1974 Sellner Manufacturing Tilt-A-Whirl Tilt-a-Whirl ride.
Runabouts 2021 Sartori Boat ride Miniature boats spin slowly around a central axis.
Scrambler 1975 Eli Bridge Scrambler Classic Scrambler ride. Originally located where the Falling Star is, originally known as the Bavarian Scrambler, reopened as the Wrangler in 1993 in Outlaw Gulch, reopened in 2011 as the Scrambler in the former location of G-Force. Relocated in 2022 where the Lady Luck was.
Shakin' Bacon 2018 Skyline Attractions Crazy Couch A farm-themed Crazy Couch that raises riders up and down while tilting side to side, Originally located in Bernie's Barnyard. Opened on July 20, 2018. Originally announced as Pig Out. Relocated in 2024 where the Clipper stood.
Sidewinder 2004 Moser's Rides Frisbee Spinning pendulum ride that swings riders slightly more than 180-degrees. Seatbelts added in 2007.
Space Shot 1999 S&S Drop Tower Opened April 7, 1999. Visitors blast off into "space" up a 200-foot (61 m)[12] tower and free fall safely back to the ground.
Speedway Racers 2022 Zamperla Junior Whip Speedway 8 A whip-style ride featuring two-seater race cars.
Saw Mill Splash 2002 WhiteWater West Spinning Raft Family waterslide with splash-down at the bottom.
Storm Chaser 2014 Mondial Windseeker Swing ride that takes passengers up a 260-foot tower and spins them around at 35 mph[12] replaced the Silly Silo.
Tea Cups 1976 Philadelphia Toboggan Company Crazy Daisy Traditional "crazy daisy" tea cups ride.
Town Square Carousel 2000 Chance Carousel Replica of an antique carousel; replaced the old carousel where the Himalaya now stands.
Flying Tigers 2022 Zamperla Junior Suspended Whip Eight planes whip around the far turns of an oval-shaped course producing an exciting swinging motion.

Originally announced as Warhawks.

Former attractions

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Name Opened Closed Manufacturer/Ride Type Location/Other Notes
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.
Balloon Race 1987 2022 Zamperla Family ride that spins riders in hot air balloon-shaped cars. Replaced the Flying Scooters.
Carousel 1979 1999 A carousel ride that replaced Adventureland's first carousel near Iowa Farm. It was relocated in 1980 to the new Riverview Island which is now Dragon Island. It was replaced by the Himalaya.
Der Flitzer 1974 1990 Zierer A small German snow-capped mountain-themed coaster. Built in 1972 for the German Fair Circuit/ Sold to Adventureland after 1973/ 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.
Dragon 1990 2019 Hopkins Double looping roller coaster. Replaced by The Dragon Slayer in 2021.
Falling Star 1989 2021 Chance Rotating platform ride; replaced The Rainbow.
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.
The Galleon 1985 2023 Zamperla Pirate ship swinging ride. Replaced by Iowa Craft Beer Takeover.
Happy Horses 1974 1978 Adventureland's first carousel, replaced by the Hampton cars.
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.
Helicopters 1974 1977 Allan Herschell A small kids' helicopter ride that spun in the air. The helicopters were replaced with airplanes and the ride was renamed Red Barons in 1978.
Himalaya 2000 2022 Wisdom Rides Spinning, tilted ride. Replaced the Riverview Carousel.
Infant Ocean 1974 2020 Miniature boats spin slowly around a central axis.
Inverter 2000 2017 Chance Ride took guests up 50 feet (15 m) in the air and hangs them inverted. Replaced the Super Screamer roller coaster, and was later replaced by Phoenix in 2019.
Jaunty Jeeps 1974 1978 The layout of the ride itself was there from 1974 to 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.
Lady Luck 1974 2021 Chance Opened August 16, 1974. Trabant ride with a roulette wheel theme.
Lighthouse 1974 2021 Hrubetz Rides Traditional hurricane carnival ride.
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.
Mixer 1997 2005 Zamperla Spun and inverted visitors on several axes, replaced by Splash Over.
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.
Raging River 1983 2021 Intamin Whitewater river raft ride with rapids, waterfalls, and geysers.
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.
River Rapids (Log Ride) 1974 2015 Divitron A log flume ride with two drops, replaced by The Monster. In 2006, on-ride pictures were added.
Sky Ride (originally Sky Seats) 1975 2021 SLI Traditional chairlift ride originally from the World's Fair in Spokane, Washington. The Clock building that covers the sky ride was added in 1976. The Sky Ride ran in Washington in 1974 then in 1975 it was given to Adventureland as a gift for the park's first full operating season.
Splash Over 2006 2019 Moser's Rides Thrill ride where riders are propelled and inverted; replaced the Mixer, which opened in 1997.
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.
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.
Wee Critters (Petting Zoo) 1974 1975? Located in the Iowa Farm section of the park, where the Storm Chaser now stands.

Double Twister 1975 a bamboozler carnival ride located where the Scrambler now stands.

Adventure Bay

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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.

Ride Name Year Opened Manufacturer Notes
Bermuda Quadrangle 2010 ProSlide Technology A quartet of tube slides, which can be ridden on single or tandem tubes. Tubes can be picked up and returned at the base of the slide tower, free of charge. There are height minimums of 48 inches (120 cm) for a single rider to 42 inches (110 cm) for a child accompanied by an adult on two of the four slides. There is a weight maximum of 250 lbs for these slides. The slides each have unique features, including sections of complete darkness, four small funnels and a large funnel.
Breaker Beach 2012 Opened on May 26, 2012. It is Iowa's largest wave pool.
Caribbean Cruiser 2010 ProSlide Technology A lazy river looping one-third of a mile around, with a depth of 3 feet (0.91 m). Visitors can rent tubes for $5 or just cruise along with no tube.
Gang Plank and Pirates Plunge 2010 ProSlide Technology Two speed slides that zip riders along at high speeds. Visitors must be at least 48 inches (120 cm) to ride the two speed slides.
Heron Harbor 2009 Splashpad located next to Kokomo Kove.
Kokomo Kove 2008 WhiteWater West A water play structure opened on June 22, 2008, and is included in the standard admission price. The Kokomo Kove structure is approximately 65 feet (20 m) tall at its highest point and covers approximately 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2). The feature includes 7 water slides of varying lengths and heights; 123 different water jet features, including water guns, tipping cones, hose jets and umbrella jets; and 91 different play features, including net bridges and climbs, crawl tunnels, and pull ropes.
Reef Racer 2010 ProSlide Technology six slides hooked together to create a racing slide, where riders lie face-first on mats and slide down, "racing" other guests. Visitors must be at least 42 inches (110 cm) to ride.
Shipwreck Shores 2012 Opened with Breaker Beach. It is a kiddie pool with a pirate ship-themed water slide for kids and swim-up beverage center just for kids.
Typhoon 2010 ProSlide Technology A two- to four-person raft ride. There is one large funnel and many twists and turns. Minimum height is 48 inches (120 cm).

Games areas

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The games department consists of three games areas:[13]

  • Alpine Games – Alpine is located near the front of the park close to the Giant Sky Wheel.
  • County Fair – opened 1980, According to park operators, this is Adventureland's most popular games area. County Fair is a rather large games area and features many popular games, including Speedball, Derby Downs, Center Ring and Skee Ball. County Fair is unique in that the area is very long, whereas the other two areas are more circular. The north part of the area, sometimes called "The Iowa Farm Section," is where the entrance to Tornado is located. The Iowa Farm Section features Speedball, County Fair's most popular game.
  • Dragon Island – renamed as Dragon island in 1990 the area was originally called Riverview Island which was built in 1980, Despite not being as big as County Fair or Alpine, Dragon Island ranks 2nd in popularity. Dragon Island has a much different atmosphere than County Fair or Alpine. While County Fair and Alpine have a more fun atmosphere, playing upbeat, popular music that most guests will be able to recognize, Dragon Island has a more mellow atmosphere, playing slow music without vocals.

Food

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The park features snack stands and sit-down counter service locations. The sit-down locations include Coca-Cola Cafe, Doc & Leone's Diner, and Rathskeller.

Special events

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Every year on July 4, 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.[14]

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). As of 2022, the event had been moved to the end of September, and full-price admission was $69.99.

Shows

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Current shows

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  • Ben Ulin magic show, added in 1988, in Sam Adam's Saloon.
  • Iowa Beer and Wine Shop stage and Rathskeller Biergarten feature live local music acts.

Former shows

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  • Adventureland Circus (2017-2020) Replaced the Royal Hanneford Circus with Billy Martin remaining as Ring Master.
  • American Puppet Theater (2017-2022) Performed and created by Libby Weston, at the Chapel stage.
  • Circo de Luz (2021-2022) Circus relocated to the area west of Frantic Freeway, with Billy Martin remaining as Ring Master.
  • Comedy Juggler Brad Weston (2014-2022) Originally performed at the Chapel stage (2014-2015) and at the Coca-Cola Cafe (2016-2022).
  • Dolphin Sea Lion Show (1977–1979 & 1988–1989) Located where The Underground is now. The swimming pool remains.
  • Daniel and the Dixieland Diggers (1983-1999). Animatronic music show in the center of Main Street, replaced by the Carousel.
  • Family Fun Zone (1992-1994)[15] Contestants were selected from the audience to participate in stunts and games like Beat The Clock. The Underground is now in this space.
  • High Diving Act, (1980-1982, 1986–1987, 1990–1991) Located where The Underground is now. The swimming pool remains.
  • Palace Theater shows (1974-1996), live shows were formerly held in the Palace Theater.
  • Royal Hanneford Circus (1997–2016) replaced by the Adventureland Circus, the Circus tent was originally located behind the Outlaw. In 2008 construction of the water park caused the circus to be relocated just behind the Saw Mill Splash with a new access walkway between that ride and exit of the Outlaw.

Incidents

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Six incidents have occurred at Adventureland, three of which resulted in deaths.

Dragon

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On June 8, 1991, four riders were injured on Dragon when its lift chain broke. All four were treated for minor injuries at a nearby hospital, and the ride was repaired and returned to operation.[16]

Tornado

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On July 28, 2006, an 11-year-old girl sustained head trauma after being struck by a piece of wood left behind by maintenance staff on Tornado. The injured girl was transported to a local hospital where she underwent surgery for a severe blood clot and swelling.[17]

Raging River

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On June 7, 2016, a 68-year-old employee attendant on the platform of the Raging River ride fell onto the conveyor belt system that moves rafts back up to the boarding station.[18] According to a witness account, the employee lost his balance as the operator set the rafts in motion.[18] He suffered a fractured skull resulting in a severe brain injury and died three days later at a nearby hospital.[18] Iowa's Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted an investigation that found no evidence the park willfully violated safety protocols, and that the ride was operating as designed.[19] The park was fined a maximum $4,500 for the accident, and OSHA recommended installing additional controls to prevent the movement of the ride until all ride operators were in a safe location.[19]

On July 3, 2021, a raft on Raging River carrying six passengers overturned, sending four guests to a local hospital with severe injuries.[20] One of the passengers, an 11-year-old boy, later died.[20][21] The ride was inspected the day before the incident and was found to be in normal working order.[20] Although park officials said their employees' actions were "prompt", eyewitness accounts stated that first responders were off-duty emergency personnel from the Altoona police and fire departments that were not notified by park staff.[21] A review of the communication during the incident show that 911 dispatchers were first notified by a bystander.[21] When firefighters arrived, they faced multiple obstacles including a chained gate entrance to the park designated for emergency responders.[21] Ambulances originally went to the wrong gate in the confusion, and when they arrived at the proper gate more than 15 minutes into the response, direct access was blocked by the setup for the nightly fireworks display, causing an additional delay.[21] Ride operators also did not perform CPR, which may have resulted from a lack of training.[21]

Underground

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On July 30, 2019, a child was injured while riding The Underground when his foot became lodged between the train car and the loading platform as the ride was leaving the station. The ride was stopped, and the child was treated for an ankle injury at a local hospital.[22]

Sky High Coasters contractor

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On January 23, 2023, Zachary Alesky, a 20-year old contractor for Sky High Coasters, slipped on ice while carrying a steel beam and was crushed by it. He was revived but died in surgery.[23]

References

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  1. ^ a b c d "Adventureland – About". Adventurelandpark.com. Archived from the original on February 15, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  2. ^ "DSM History". Des Moines International Airport. Archived from the original on July 7, 2021. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  3. ^ "Adventureland Park founder dies at 76". July 8, 2020.
  4. ^ Finney, Daniel (February 20, 2010). "Adventureland fire destroys shops near Altoona park's entrance". Des Moines Register. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  5. ^ "Fire Crews Called to Adventureland". KCCI News 8. December 15, 2011. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  6. ^ Pratt, Christopher (September 16, 2013). "Adventureland's Silly Silo has taken last spin". Des Moines Register. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  7. ^ "Adventureland to Build New Roller Coaster in 2016". July 8, 2015.
  8. ^ "KCL Engineering | Mechanical and Electrical Engineering".
  9. ^ Support, I. E. S. "2017 Illumination Awards". IES Illumination Awards. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  10. ^ "Adventureland to be purchased by Palace Entertainment".
  11. ^ "Adventureland – Kiddie rides". Adventurelandpark.com. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Adventureland – Thrill rides". Adventurelandpark.com. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  13. ^ "Adventureland – Games". Adventurelandpark.com. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  14. ^ "Adventureland Company Outings". Adventurelandpark.com. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  15. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Family Fun Zone at Adventureland - 1992". YouTube.
  16. ^ "Adventureland ride injures 4 people". Quad-City Times. June 10, 1991. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  17. ^ "Girl Injured On Roller Coaster Speaks To Media". KCCI Des Moines. July 29, 2006. Archived from the original on July 5, 2021. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  18. ^ a b c Hardy, Kevin (June 13, 2016). "Adventureland worker who died just 6 days on the job". The Des Moines Register. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  19. ^ a b "Adventureland fined $4,500 in worker's death". The Des Moines Register. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  20. ^ a b c Haworth, Jon (July 5, 2021). "1 dead, 3 injured after raft overturns on water ride at amusement park". ABC News. Archived from the original on July 5, 2021. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  21. ^ a b c d e f Lathrop, Daniel (July 9, 2021). "Officials faced confusion, a chained gate during Adventureland fatal accident response, records and recordings show". The Des Moines Register. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
  22. ^ "Child injured on Adventureland Park ride". KCCI Des Moines. August 1, 2019. Archived from the original on August 16, 2019. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  23. ^ "Contractor dies in accident at Adventureland". KCCI Des Moines. January 25, 2023. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
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