July 4th 2017 Fireworks

Adventureland has announced that this year’s July 4th fireworks will begin at approximately 9:40 p.m. on July 4, 2017 (weather permitting).

I’ve seen the fireworks a number of times over the years, and it’s always a nice show – usually larger than what the various local communities can offer. In past years, when Adventureland held it’s fireworks on the same night that nearby Prairie Meadows did their’s, they seemed to coordinate. Adventureland’s show would go, then as soon as it was over, the casino would begin it’s show — allowing guests in the park a two-for-one show just by facing a different direction 🙂

Here is the nearly 25-minute show from 2016, which included speakers set up all along the River City/Boulevard area to play patriotic music:

The fireworks are launched from near the Raging River loading area. During the day, you can see it from the line:

Fireworks launch area in 2006.

The best viewing area is in River City, though you should be able to see theme from any area not obstructed by buildings or trees. The music, however, can only be heard from the Boulevard/River City area.

In 2016, the park also added new colorful LED lights to the Monster roller coaster and Space Shot. The crew at KCL Engineering that did the installs also created special July 4th light shows:

Neat, eh?

To give you an idea at how much more the park does these days, here is the show from 2009:

And here it is from 2008:

I wasn’t able to visit the park from 2010-2015, so I have no recordings of those years. I don’t know when the park added music to the show. I may have some earlier fireworks recordings on tape somewhere (I took my first digital camcorder to the park in 1999), but I have never posted them. Maybe I’ll have some even older fireworks videos to share next year…

 

 

John Krantz: Adventureland President, and Jazz musician.

Adventureland is owned and operated by the Krantz family. You can regularly find the Krantz siblings, Mike (CEO), Matt, Molly (Director of Advertising) and John (President), roaming the park.

Resort president John Krantz can also be found behind a piano at various locations around Des Moines. He performs jazz music. We recently had the pleasure to listen to him perform with Bryan Schumacker and special guest Brooke Peters at Louie’s Wine Dive.

Jack Krantz performing at Louie’s Wine Dive on June 25, 2017.

If you have an interest in live jazz, check out his website and make an effort to go hear him perform: http://www.johnkrantzmusic.com/

The ghost of Royal Hanneford Circus

In a previous article, I mentioned the conversion from Royal Hanneford Circus to the new Adventureland Circus, and noted that even the opening show guides still listed the old circus:

Adventureland2017-circus1
2017 handout circus ad.

There does seem to be one Royal Hanneford remnant still in the park…

20170620_181759
Royal Hanneford reference somewhere in the park in 2017.

Do you know where this is? Answer in the comments 🙂

 

Maple bacon funnel cake

A new featured funnel cake for the week… Maple Bacon.

Bacon Maple Funnel Cake (Photo by Adventureland.)

I’m still bummed I missed out on the red velvet funnel cake. But bacon will work. 🙂

A look at the Monster’s dinosaurs

As noted earlier this week by Dee and Anna on the Facebook group, two dinosaurs have appeared on the grounds of The Monster roller coaster. They are very difficult to see from ground level.

You can see this velociraptor (?) near the corner of Chicken Shack:

Velociraptor (?) at The Monster.

Seeing it behind the barbed wire seems very Jurassic Park-ish.

If you go down a bit further, you can catch a glimpse of this triceratops (?):

Triceratops (?) at The Monster.

To get a better look, Dee and Anna took photos from the nearby Storm Chaser:

(Photo by Dee and Anna.)

The Sky Ride is probably an easier way to see them, so that’s what we tried. Traveling from the County Fair station, you can see them as soon as you get near The Monster.

Dinosaurs at The Monster, as seen from the Sky Ride.

Here’s a closer look.

Hello, dino.

And he has a friend…

Hello, other dino.

He’s ready for his close-up.

Marvelous!

Coming from the other direction, or by doing a technique called “turning around,” you can see his better side.

Is this your good side?
Yep. It’s a dinosaur alright.

Here’s a look at both of them.

Twice the prehistoric fun.

A friend of mine, Kevin, who works with magician Ben Ulin posted that he heard these dinosaurs were in storage at the park for awhile, and they just decided to set them out.

The Monster zooms by…

Very neat.

What other surprises are lurking in the park this year?

Raging River gets more rage

Facebook group member Joey Hayes  posted an update on Monday about the Raging River. This white water rafting ride recently opened for the season after a rehab. When it first opened, it was reported that some of the waterfalls were not yet turned on.

Waterless fall, earlier this week. (Photo by Joey Hayes.)

Today, Joey confirmed that they are back…

Waterfalls falling. (Photo by Joey Hayes.)
Waterfalls sorta falling. (Photo by Joey Hayes.)

I have ridden many white water rafting rides over the years, including the very first one that ever was built at Astroworld in Houston, Texas. I have often been quite lucky at staying dry while all the others in my raft got drenched… but these waterfalls put an end to such “luck.”

Thanks, Joey, for this update.

Dinosaur spotted at Adventureland?

When I just saw a reference to dinosaurs at Adventureland, I immediately thought of the Sinclair gas station dinosaur that used to be in the park near where the Frog Hopper is today.

Sinclair gas station dinosaur mascot in 1998.

But apparently that is not what was meant by Facebook group posters Dee and Anna.

They posted a photo today that would make a cryptozoologist giddy. It showed the twisted track of the Monster roller coaster with what sure does appear to be a dinosaur of some kind deep inside of it…

What do you see? (Photo compliments of Dee and Anna L.)

Is it April 1st again?

They took a ride on the Sky Ride Storm Chaser to get a better look.

(Photo compliments of Dee and Anna L.)
(Photo compliments of Dee and Anna L.)

It looks like we need to send out an exploratory team to see what is going on.

 

Adventureland Circus 2017

As mentioned in an earlier article, the circus is back at Adventureland. This year, it is being billed as Billy Martin Presents the Adventureland Circus. It is in a different tent than the one used in recent years by the Royal Hanneford Circus.

There is even a large Adventureland banner at the back of the tent:

Adventureland banner at the Adventureland Circus in 2017.

In addition to a nice new tent, the show also has a fancier lighting and sound system.

The ringmaster is Billy Martin and he has been there every year (as far as I know) since the circus first came to Adventureland in 1997. According to his website, he first got involved with the circus when it visited his town in New York in 1972. This eventually led to him joining the circus and becoming a juggler and ringmaster.

Billy Martin, ringmaster. And owner?

Based on a  very brief conversation with Billy, my understanding is that this is now his show, and is not connected to the Royal Hanneford Circus. It still features many familiar acts from past years:

Quick change artists.
Contortionist/aerial artist.
Amazing juggler!

There were also other acts that I did not recognize from last year.

Billy said that each of the three daily shows would be a bit different, and then during the season, other acts would be brought in to keep the circus fresh.

With the recent closing of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, it is becoming rarer to see this type of variety show. Be sure to check it out when you are at the park next.

The 2017 Adventureland Circus.

 

Corn Dog Countdown

Corn Dogs have been a staple of carnivals for as long as there have been corn dogs. According to the always reliable Wikipedia, the corn dog was patented in 1927 here in America.

I bet Adventureland sells a ton of these things! In 2007, the park even sold “I (heart) Corn Dogs” shirts (and you could save 10% on one if you brought in a receipt showing you bought a corn dog).

Buy a corn dog, save money on a corn dog shirt (2007).
I (heart) Corn Dogs shirt in 2007.

Rally Round was one of the places that sold corn dogs. Here is the old location from 2009, when they had recently introduced foot long corn dogs to the park:

Rally Round in 2009.

Prices have gone up a bit since then 🙂

Today, the park has normal corn dogs as well as foot long corn dogs, but at some point in recent years they introduced veggie corn dogs and corn brats, too.

In 2016, Rally Round (in it’s new location, which was formerly the Chicken Shack) promoted the veggie corn dog as new that season:

Rally Round offering new Veggie Corn Dogs in 2016.

A week later, they had a nice permanent sign:

Veggie Corn Dogs at Rally Round in 2016.

I’d never had a corn brat before, so I tried one last year. It was quite good.

Corn Bratwust at Rally Round in 2016.

Now I’m hungry. I’ll have to go see if any place in the park sells foot long corn brats or veggie corn dogs.

I’ll see you at Rally Round