2017 Season Pass / Adventure Card notes

A few updates sent in by Katie…

  1. The current season pass price is $125 through May 31, 2017. You can go to the park this week (April 24-28, 2017 from 3:30pm-7pm) to buy one and get your pass made. After May 31, the price will increase. But now, and save money, plus get an extra visit in May to make the cost-per-visit even less.
  2. Adventureland Season Passes can be loaded with money to use in the park “almost” anywhere they accept credit cards. (The brochure says it works anywhere, but we found a number of locations last year that couldn’t handle the season pass via their credit card machine.) If you don’t have a Season Pass, you can get the Adventure Card and do the same thing. If you load the pass at the ticket booth, for each $50 you put on they add a free $5 bonus. It’s a great way to get 10% back. Also, last year, we found that the Pass/Adventure Card also earned 2% cash back. Every time you spend money using it, you get a 2% cash credit. Thus, if you just loaded $50, you’d be getting basically a “12% discount” ($50 + $5 bonus + $1 cash back).
    NOTE: You only get the $5 bonus if you load at the ticket booths, and the bonus is only available through June 11. After that, you just get the cash back (if it’s like 2016) and you can load it online any time you want. 

The Season Pass is a great value if you can make a few visits to the park during the year. There are food discounts, merchandise discounts and, apparently, even a discount at Spectators at the Adventureland Inn. When we visited, we were told is was a 10% discount there.

I know some folks that go to Spectators regularly and run up quite the tab on a meal and some drinks. I bet they could save money with a season pass just for that discount over the course of the season 😉

If you have any tips to share, please post them in my Facebook group or e-mail me. I’ll have a contact form added soon.

Happy Anniversary, 2017 edition.

Using my Adventureland Timeline, I decided to compile a list of notable anniversaries happening in the park this year.

As always, information here may be inaccurate. Any corrections or additions would be appreciated.

5th Anniversary (opened in 2012)

  • Adventureland Museum display added in the School House on Main Street.
  • New Chicken Shack building.

10th Anniversary (opened in 2007)

  • Season Pass processing moved to outside building.

15th Anniversary (opened in 2002)

  • Saw Mill Splash
  • Adventureland Inn expansion.

20th Anniversary (opened in 1997)

  • G-Force opened (though it has been relocated since then).
  • Royal Hanneford Circus at Adventureland.

25th Anniversary (opened in 1992)

  • Nothing known.

30th Anniversary (opened in 1987)

  • Balloon Race

35th Anniversary (opened in 1982)

  • I have no information on 1982. Can you help?

40th Anniversary (opened in 1977)

  • Nothing known.

I will update this article with any corrections I receive.




2017 season approaches!

Adventureland Park opens this year on April 29, 2017. Members of my Adventureland Iowa Fans (Unofficial) Facebook group have been sharing photos of things being tested at the park lately, such as the Storm Chaser and work being done on the Tornado. If you have anything to share, and you do the whole Facebook thing, please drop by.

After the 2016 season ended, I moved on to other Fall/Winter projects so I have not done (m)any updates to this site. There is often something new posted to the Facebook group, however.

I expect to start sharing new information as I hear it, so subscribe to updates here and check back as opening day approaches.

I have not seen anything details on how well the park did last year with the opening of the new Monster roller coaster, but it is usually a trend that a major addition creates a nice attendance bump over subsequent years as more and more folks hear about it and return to the park to try it out. The Monster opened in June last year, so the “gotta go see it” crowd was moved to the last 2/3rds of the season. This year, the new attraction will be there opening day so it could provide a stronger opening May.

The park continues to impress me with how well it has scaled to handle the crowds during peak events such as The Monster opening, July 4th, and Oktoberfest. (Especially Oktoberfest, when they’d lost many of their seasonal RV campsite workers when the park closes and they moved on to their next stop.)

I don’t have a pass for this year (yet) but I expect to make it out to see what all is new.

Stay tuned…

Beware of fake Adventureland social media sites.


  • 2017-04-16 – Added YouTube

Today I found out that a YouTube channel I have been subscribed to for years was a fake account that had nothing to do with Adventureland. They use the address, phone number, website and logo, as well as photos from the resort which sure made them look legit.

But, a recent video contained clips of rides that were not at Adventureland, and some scenes of a hotel that was clearly not the Adventureland Inn. I thought maybe some intern had been assigned to make a new video and had simply searched for “Adventureland” to find images. Maybe those that were found belonged to the Adventureland in New York.

Turns out, it’s just some fake account. No clue why. Maybe they do this to tons of businesses, hoping to hijack visitors so they can get enough views to earn revenue for showing ads?

With that said, I am going to confirm and post the official social media accounts that the resort actually owns. These will end up on the Wiki, but for now, here is what I know:




  • Adventureland Inn – @adventurlandinn (note it does not have the ‘e’)
  • Spectators – @spectatorSBG (note it is different than the Instagram, and is singular “Spectator” instead of “Spectators”)


I will update any real park accounts I find here, too, when I get them.

Adventureland season passes

Adventureland started offering season passes in 2002. Back then, they were $55. In the first year (maybe more?), they did not include parking. Parking was only $3 or so back then, though, so it still made for cheap visits to the park.

Over the years, the price has steadily increased. When the 2017 season passes were made available at the end of 2016, they were at the special “before Christmas” price of $110. On January 1st, they increased by $15 to $125. After May 31, the price will go up again. Last year, the regular price was $135, and we don’t know yet what the 2017 price will be.

You can buy a pass right now at:


With full price adult admission being $42 this year, if you visit three times during 2017 ($126), getting a season pass at the current discount is cheaper.

Thus, three visits to the park is the current break-even for a season pass. After May 31, when the price increases, it will take four visits.

However, since the season pass also includes park ($10 in 2016), if you are driving and parking, that means the break even would still be three visits ($156 to buy a ticket and pay parking three times).

It’s really a great value.

Add in the 15% food and drink discount at Iowa Cafe, plus various other merchandise and game discounts, and it’s a great way to save some money if you think you might go more than three times in a season.

More to come…

Adventureland ticket prices

I have created a new page covering historical ticket prices for Adventureland:


I am currently missing prices from the 70s and 80s, and there are some other gaps, but hopefully this information will be easy to collect.

It will be interesting to see a historical graph of how ticket prices have adjusted with inflation over the years. Here’s a sneak peek…

Sneak peek of ticket price graph.

Oktoberfest 2016 Summary

The 2016 2nd annual Adventureland Oktoberfest “Music and Food Festival” has concluded. It may take me awhile to compose my thoughts and post a proper write up about this day, but I wanted to get a quick summary out first.

The first event last year was an amazing first event. The park had nice matching banner signs on all the food booths and added a number of speciality drink tents to the park. They had done light decorations (pumpkins) around the Main Street, Bavari and Boulevard sections of the park they used for the event. There were free games to play in the lawns and lanes, and a number of speciality pay-to-play games added (keg bowling, Hamm’s speed ball toss, etc.). All the music last year was inside the Bier Garten tent. And while the day started out very sparse, by the evening it was wall-to-wall packed in that tent, and long lines at drink and food stands. I did not stay until closing, but it seemed the event had reached capacity limits for various locations that were open.

For 2016, the park took what they learned and expanded to pretty much the entire park (except Dragon Island and Outlaw Gulch). They even made use of the River Rapids “island” as a smoker’s section with it’s own beer stand (in the gift shop building). The Dragon Island bridge contained a cheap beer stand at the very end, with a $4 “whatever they had” drink and a chance to feed the fishes one last time this year.

There were tons of extra drink stands — most double sided so they could serve twice as many — and additional taps added to the Iowa Beer & Wine Shop. They turned many things in to bars — the Storm Chaser gift shop, for example. They even made Sheriff Sam’s Saloon a whiskey bar! The ICEE Mix-It-Up now sold you alcohol to spike your ICEE. The Main Street ice cream shop was doing spiked malts. Iowa Cafe’s chicken got moved to a food tend, and the two food lines in the building were turned in to a Mimosa Bar and a Bloody Mary Bar. There was free samples (a shot!) of SWELL Vodka (made in Cumming, Iowa) there too.

And the list goes on, and on, and on… Many games in County Fair were open, including “Inappropriate Age and Weight Guessing.” He guessed me at 51. Hmph.

And music… plenty of music…

There is far too much to describe in this short (already too long) summary, so check back late this week when I have time to do a full writeup with photos.

3-D photos from Adventureland!

I started shooting 3-D video about 12 years ago, but beyond taking the camera to Disneyland and some Iowa Renaissance festivals, I never did much with it. About six years ago, I picked up a new 3-D pocket camera, but have never really used it beyond some family photos when my son was born.

I came across this camera last week and took it to Adventureland to try it out. I brought it again today, and now have over 600 3-D photos from various spots in the park. I plan to convert them to red/blue anaglyph images and post them online. You will need a pair of red/blue 3-D glasses to view them, and I will have them available if you are interested.

Just for fun, here is one sample image, raw from the camera. The photo contains the left eye and right eye image, squished together. A software program will expand them to the normal width, and process them with red/blue for working with the glasses.

It should be a fun project over the off season…

Adventureland's Tornado in 3-D (unprocessed).
Adventureland’s Tornado in 3-D (unprocessed).