This might explain why there was a sharp spike in activity to this blog yesterday. The top search results that people are looking for when they end up here are “maps” and “season pass” information. Frankly, I’m surprised they can even find this site buried in all the hundreds of travel sites that have Adventureland entries.
Welcome, new visitors! Be sure to check out my Adventureland Wiki for some neat park history.
Recently several very old Adventureland post cards popped up on eBay that I had not seen before. One in particular showed “The Moat’ which was the original entrance to the ride area of the park. I knew that the location was the bridge at the end of Main Street, but I’d never seen a picture of what was there. I guess in my mind it was someone just taking tickets or something, but it was actually a ticket building of some sorts:
I believe that is the original bridge that was still in the park in 2017, but was rebuilt between the end-of-season and that year’s Oktoberfest. If you notice, there is fencing along the left of the photo, which would have kept visitors from going past the end of the Main Street buildings.
Also, middle right of the photo are the old one-way exit turnstiles like the park used to have at the entrance. That would have been where ride visitors would have exited back to Main Street.
Behind it appears to be Der Flitzer. That roller coaster (originally called Rallye Racers) sits about where the Splash Over is today. This clears up something I’ve wondered about.
The roller coaster was located in the “Alpine Village” section of the park and the Giant Skywheel (100′ tall Ferris Wheel) operates in its spot today.
– Roller Coaster Database entry for Der Flitzer
Apparently this is incorrect, since this post card shows it’s location further down, towards The Boulevard. Also, we found a photo of the Sky Ride that had the coater in the background, and the coaster in that picture matched the description of Rallye Racers. My wiki entry notes:
It was located somewhere around where Tea Cups is. This is based from seeing it in an old photo of the Sky Ride that was taken in 1975. It shows a coaster matching this description in the background. (Thanks to Johnathan C. for pointing this out.)
Adventureland has announced a new spinning coaster called Phoenix. It is from Maurer Rides in Germany, and will reside in the location formerly home to The Inverter. They are targeting a June 2019 opening.
At some point, I will want to contact the park’s media department and try to get some press photos to use for this new area in my wiki. Until then, parents, be sure to share your thoughts and opinions on the new area with me (and others) in the Facebook group, or drop my a note in e-mail. I’d love to share your reviews.
Someone much smarter than myself looked at the rules and said “oh, so if you have a tall child that is 12 or younger, neither child or parent can go in.” I took another look, and indeed, that is what it says:
Adult must have a child 60″ or less.
Children 12 and under cannot be unattended.
If “unattended” means a parent/guardian must be in the area with the child, then, yes, if you had a 12 year old that was over 5′ tall, you couldn’t go in with that child, and the child couldn’t go in with you.
But really, it just means the child must be under 60″ tall and age 12 and under. If you are too old, or too tall, it’s not an area for you 🙂
The American Puppet Theater has asked for your vote in a poll conducted by Des Moines Parent website. (I have contributed content for them in the past, relating to local Halloween haunted house activities.) They would love it if you’d vote for them in the category of “Best Children’s Theater” or “Best Outdoor Entertainment”:
in the last week, two new shops have opened on Main Street. Airbrush Worx replaces the former Airbrush Avenue, and next door, The Gift Galleryreplaces Pine Valley Signs. I haven’t been to the park to check them out, and no details have been shared by Adventureland yet, so I don’t have much more to add.
The AdventureWiki has been updated with placeholder pages for these new retail locations:
Here are a few updates from a recent June 2, 2018 visit to the park…
Adventureland Cash Cards
If you are using Adventure Cards or are loading money on your Season Pass, you have to do that at the front ticket counter. There is one booth at the far right where they do this. If the ticket line is huge (as it was when I visited), you can go over to the Season Pass Processing area and use the booth at the far right there. If there is a long line there, and you see no one at that end booth, they let you walk right up to it, bypassing the line.
NOTE: There is a $5 bonus for each $50 you load on your pass up until you reach $300, but this offer ends on June 10th. Also, the “cash back” that the card earned last year is no longer being offered. My advice is to load up $300 to get the extra cash back, spend that, then go back to using whatever normal payment method you would use.
Since the Annual Pass article is the most-read article on this site, I’ll be doing a 2018 update for it in the near future.
Puff the Broken Dragon
On this visit, Puff the Dragon was down for repair.
Later in the week, a few other things went into maintenance mode, including the Scrambler. The Scrambler must not break often, as they were using a hand-written sign for it on the day it was down.
The former Airbrush Avenue location is still closed, but someone from the park posted that it was going to be taken over by the Hollywood Caricature folks.
Across the way, the former Fire Station location has had it’s garage door removed and replaced with a wall. It will becoming the Mainstream Marketplace.
A few days after this photo was taken, the new Marketplace sign appeared, replacing the Fire Station sign. This was one of the original locations when the park opened in 1974.
Side note: At The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, they turned their fire station into a gift shop sometime in the late 90’s or early 2000’s. They also turned their Main Street Cinema into a shop, and did the same with a few other themed locations (including getting ride of a whole side street area). I guess this is what parks need to do when they don’t have enough retail space. (Meanwhile, Disneyland in California has continued to keep it’s cinema and fire station. So far.)
Keep On The Grass?
In the Facebook Group, Dee/Anna pointed out that the short fence around the Carousel was removed this year. I hadn’t noticed that, and sure enough, it’s all open to the grass now, right up the carousel’s own fence.
The left side of Main Street is full of building facades that represent stables, hotels, etc. On the hotel, all the “windows” have just been black … until last week. Many now have writings on them. Disneyland in California (and the other Magic Kingdom parks around the world) have used their windows as tributes to Disney legends or Imagineers who worked on the parks. So the question is… do these names have connections with the park?
Let the research begin!
Let’s take a look.
Jack’s Place could be a reference to park founder Jack Krantz.
It’s a nice touch, though since this building is a hotel, those windows would seemingly be hotel rooms and not businesses upstairs. We’ll just says it’s a one-story hotel, with two stories of offices and businesses above it.
Inside, the place looks very nice. It’s a modern “50’s themed” restaurant, rather than a recreation of a 1950s eatery. The ceiling, for instances, has a color changing strips. Very cool.
The left side is the restaurant. It has all-new 50’s style tables and chairs, and a few booths, as well as a long bar you can eat at.
The right side is the all-new Doc and Leone’s Bar, with some additional seating and bar seating.
The bar side is operated by a different department, so you can’t order food there, nor can you order an adult beverage with your meal on the other side. Speaking of adult beverages, let’s take a look at the new menu…
There is a small selection of draft beer, and a large selection of bottles/cans. They also have liquor and can make a number of special cocktails. The centerpiece are the ice cream drinks, which gives you six different delicious alcohol desserts to try. They also have machines that squeeze fresh lemon or orange juice. You can buy a glass of the freshest juice around for $5, and then for $3 more, you can make it a cocktail and have a shot of liquor added. Ever have a freshly squeezed vodka lemonade? Now you can.
The food side maintains the famous fried chicken, but adds several new dishes, such as meatloaf and collard greens.
I won’t review the food here, because meatloaf can be made so many different ways. This meatloaf is more of the “ketchup tasting” type as opposed to the “very salty ground beef” type I’ve had at other places. The collard greens are also not the type of southern style greens you get at places like Famous Daves, Cracker Barrel or Fat Tuesday. The park’s publicity says the menu is based on recipes from the grandparents, so I assume these are some classic Iowa-style items as opposed to the Southern style I grew up with in Texas.
As you explore the restaurant, you will notice many family photos on the wall. Look for this one, that explains a bit about who Doc and Leone were:
Let’s take a closer look:
You will also find some other surprises, like a framed Coca-Cola uniform from the era. (Coke is a sponsor of the park, so I assume it was something they provided the park. Else, the park spend some bucks to get this.)
There’s also this…
The jukebox is modern (it plays songs from CDs), but the jacket above is unique. It’s a leather jacket autographed by Henry Winkler. He was The Fonz on a 70s/80s TV show called Happy Days. Kids, ask your parents.
There are lots of surprises in here, including a “payphone” and a set of clocks…all set to 5 o’clock! (“It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!”)
And, a day or two after my visit, two more items appeared on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant: an old time gas pump and a parking meter. (Thanks to Dee/Ann for posting these photos.)
Photo by Dee/Anna.
There are so many nice details here. And, with this being the only air conditioned bar at the park, it’s sure to be huge hit with mom and dad on the hot summer days!
We’ll look at Doc and Leone’s more in a future article… And yes, there is a tribute to the former Iowa Cafe in the new location (and the tribute to the former-former Poppy’s Place remains next door at Fun Foods).
You Are Here
If you feel lost, the in-park maps now have stickers marking where you are.
Baby, You Can Light My Fire!
Also, new special-effect flame bulbs are in use. I noticed them around the Saloon.
It’s hard to tell from this photo, but these look like actual flames. I discovered these bulbs last year and ordered a few to play with. From a distance (at night), they can be quite convincing. The first time I saw them “in the wild” was at Knott’s Berry Farms a month ago. It looks like the theme park industry is embracing this new tech. (And, if you want one, you can find them for as low as $7 a bulb, or pay over $30 each. I’ve been testing different brands for some future Halloween projects I am working on.)
Each visit to the park (I’ve only been there two short times this year) I notice even more flags… There is a NASA flag at the Space Shot, navy flags at Infant Ocean, and an air force flag at the Red Baron. (The “tower” at the Baron has also been repainted red this year.)
It looks like we need to create an Adventureland Flag Scavenger Hunt list.
Although not part of this visit, some changes have come to Sheriff Sam’s Saloon. Long-time park performer Ben Ulin has been doing a hypnosis show the past two years as part of Oktoberfest. He will begin doing a version of this show during the normal season, on weekends… And, 18 and older only!
When Ben first posted this to Facebook, some of us wondered if the saloon was going to become more saloon-like (with alcohol) for an 18+ show. During the second Oktoberfest, it was “Sherif Sam’s Whiskey Bar.” And, it seems something is happening. Just today, Jeremy B posted a photo in the Facebook group with the saloon sign replaced with a new one that reads Sam Adams Saloon. I guess I have to make another trip out to see what that’s all about.
This post is already too long, so we’ll end with another photo of the construction of Bernie’s Barnyard.
In our Facebook group, Dee/Anna broke the news that the new Doc and Leone’s Diner restaurant on Main Street opened yesterday, 5/30/2018, late afternoon. The location offers food, as well as a large selection of adult beverages (many beers, alcoholic ice cream drinks, and more).
Also, the park’s handout guide already lists what the Fire Station is becoming: The Main Street Marketplace. In the guide it is listed as offering “food allergy friendly offerings, grab and go drinks and salads.”
Dee/Anna has also shared a photo of the ride vehicle for the new children’s ride Shakin’ Bacon, coming soon to Bernie’s Barnyard.
I have been making updates to the Adventureland Wiki with these and other notes, so be sure to check it out.