Location: Altoona, IA
In 1973, an idea broke ground in Iowa for an amusement park that would touch all of the senses as bulldozers donned the cornstalk grounds just east of Des Moines. That park turned into what we know as Adventureland today. The park was supposed to open in 1974, however the park caught the tail end of a tornado which delayed the opening of the park for a full season until 1975. The park opened its doors with shops, a midway, and a bridge that led to the “rides” section of the park. 1975 was also historic for the park as the first roller coaster to be added to the park was set in place. The coaster was a mountain scene coaster known as Flitzer. In 1977, the park paid homage to the tornado that hit in the beginning and they began construction on their wooden thrill coaster that would be named “Tornado”. The wooden coaster was named in the top 10 coasters in the country for much of the late 1970s.
In 1979, the park purchased Riverview Amusement Park in Des Moines and transferred most of the attractions to the new County Fair expansion of the park. In 1990, the "Riverview" theme area was transformed into the "Dragon Island," home of Adventureland's double-looping upside-down steel coaster called “the Dragon”. In 1991, the skyline was complete with the 100 foot Giant Sky Wheel. 1993 brought the largest park expansion since Adventureland opened called "Outlaw Gulch", a western themed area, was built on 12 acres at a cost of approximately 5 million dollars. "Outlaw Gulch" consisted of the Outlaw roller coaster that still stands as an excellent ride today.
In 1999 the park added a 235 foot tower ride called Space Shot that slings riders up at 4Gs and then back down again with 1G. The park began the modern era with adding rides like a disc and top spin along with a host of family rides for all ages. In 2008, the park added their first water themed area known as Adventure Bay and in 2010, the area became its own separate park. There are over 100 rides, shows, and attractions at the park which makes this Midwest park a dream for an enthusiast or a family get together.
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