June 2018 update.

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.

In the far end Season Pass booth, where you go to load money on your Adventureland card, notice the small speaker in the corner. It plays a special informational message for season pass holders.

Puff the Broken Dragon

On this visit, Puff the Dragon was down for repair.

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.

Airbrush(less) Avenue

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.

Still no obvious activity at the former Airbrush Avenue location.

Fire(less) Station

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.

Former Fire Place. Future 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 GroupDee/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.

No more fencing around the courtyard.

Look Up!

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!

The hotel now has writing on the windows.

Let’s take a look.

Emery and Barney

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.

Welcome, Doc and Leone!

The new Doc and Leone’s Diner opened late afternoon on May 30, 2018. Two new benches are outside:

Doc and Leone’s Diner benches.

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.

Doc and Leone’s Diner

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.

Doc and Leone’s Bar

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…

Doc and Leone’s Bar 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.

Meatloaf, collard greens and corn.

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:

Doc and Leone photos are all over the walls.

Let’s take a closer look:

About Doc and Leone.

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…

A retro-looking jukebox (it plays CDs) and an autographed jacket from The Fonz himself – Henry Winkler!

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.

You Are Here!

Baby, You Can Light My Fire!

Also, new special-effect flame bulbs are in use. I noticed them around the Saloon.

New flame bulbs.

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.)

Flag Day

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.)

Red Baron flags.

It looks like we need to create an Adventureland Flag Scavenger Hunt list.

Saloon Changes

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!

Ben Ulin Hypnosis

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.

Bernie’s Barnyard

This post is already too long, so we’ll end with another photo of the construction of Bernie’s Barnyard.

Bernie’s Barnyard

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. 🙂

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


Mixed drinks for children

Adventureland certainly has plenty of things that children will love to eat and drink, but in recent years, they’ve brought in some new offerings that are more “adult” in nature.

For instance, you may know about the park’s only full bar, the Sand Bar in Adventure Bay (one of my favorite spots!), but did you know about the Pint Sized Pub in the far back corner of the water park?

Pint Sized Pub is a kid-friendly version of the Sand Bar, offering snack food and “mixed drinks” for kids. Check out the drink names on their menu: Shirley Temple, Bernie’s Sunrise, Frog Hopper (named after the ride, I expect) and Blue Wave!

Pint Sized Pub menu.


I haven’t had a Shirley Temple since I was a youngun, and now I’m tempted to get one sometime this season!

And, for those who don’t venture that far back in the park, recall the Abita Bar that was added to River City in 2015. It served a few types of alcoholic frozen drinks. As mentioned previously, this location became Corona Cantina this year. In spite of the alcohol sponsorship, the frozen drinks are now virgin — they add the alcohol to them and mix them up. This means children can now get virgin versions of Margarita, Strawberry, Mango and Pina Colada!

Corona Cantina’s frozen drinks can now be made kid-friendly (or spiked for mommy and daddy).

How cool is that? Your kids can now drink just like mommy does!

Adventureland truly has something for everyone 😉

Featured Funnel Cakes

Adventureland has two locations that serve funnel cakes: There is a window at Rathskeller, and Spectators in the River City Foods area. This year, they are presenting featured funnel cakes that will change throughout the season.

Three flavors have already been introduced:

Peanut Butter Cup Funnel Cake (photo by Adventureland)
Red Velvet Funnel Cake (photo by Adventureland)
Peanut Butter Cup Funnel Cake (photo by Adventureland)

A regular funnel cake is $5.75. Toppings are .50 or 1.00. The Signature Funnel Cakes are $8.25, and the Featured Funnel Cake is $8.50.

Funnel Cake pricing for 2017.

Be sure to take a look at the menu boards when you visit. I’ve already missed one flavor I really wanted to try!

2017 Food Roundup

NOTE: This article will be revised with additional information as I receive it, or continued in another part. Check the main page for the latest…

  • Updated 5/31/2017.
  • Updated 6/5/2017 – added photos.

Adventureland has many new food offerings this year. The park brought on three new chefs to oversee new food items, and it shows. Here are some of the more notable ones (photos to be added):

  • Bernie’s Klement’s Cart (between Storm Chaser and The Monster’s exit under the Iowa Beer and Wine Shop tent) – This is a “gourmet” hot dog stand, serving Klement’s hot dogs and sausages. You can get a 1/4 pound plain hot dog for $4.75, or a kid’s dog for $1.25 (maybe it’s $1.75). They also offer more loaded hot dogs, like a Chicago Dog (“1/4 pound all beef dog with all the traditional Chicago toppings”) for $4.50, Bernie Dog (“1/4 pound all beef dog with chili, cheese sauce and crispy onions”) for $4.50 (it’s the same squirt chili and cheese they use on nachos), Bratwust (“1/3 pound bratwurst with yellow mustard and sauerkraut”) for $4.50, and1/3 pound  Itialian Sausage or Hot Italian Sausage on a stick for $4.50. The hot dogs come on fancy buns, and the Chicago dog was loaded with all kinds of toppings.

    Chicago Dog from Bernie’s Klement’s Cart.
  • Chuckwagon Soda in Outlaw Gulch has lost the old fashioned candy, as well as the old-time sodas (no more sarsaparilla, darnit), and switched to more traditional flavors, but still has some not found elsewhere in the park (like a red cream soda). They have also swapped out the beef jerky they sell, and offer beef sticks and beef jerky. (At least, I think it’s a different brand from past years. It’s very good.) They have a plastic “mason jar” you can buy for sodas to get cheaper refills all year long, and the jar actually says “Chuckwagon Soda” on it. (I am guessing these are not park-specific jars, but rather, that Chuckwagon Soda was a franchise kiosk available to amusement parks and such.)

    Iowa Smokehouse jerky at Chuckwagon Soda.
  • Fun Foods on Main Street now has a cotton candy room where they make it near the sidewalk window. They also now carry four types of popcorn, all popped there: plain, caramel, cheese and kettle corn.

    Four flavors of popcorn at Fun Foods.
  • Gulch Food in Outlaw Gulch has added fried fish sandwiches.
  • Gyros in River City received a full remodel, and is greatly expanded inside and out. The old order/pickup window is now the pickup window, and an order window is where the facade next door used to be. They have added baklava, Greek salads (very good!), and falafel gyros to their menu. I am also told that the gyros are fancier this year.
  • Iowa Cafe on Main Street has a new style baked beans, loaded with meat (bacon? BBQ?). This may be the “Dr. Pepper Baked Beans” served elsewhere in the park.

    New “Dr Pepper BBQ Beans” at Iowa Cafe.
  • Oasis in Adventure Bay, the ice cream place has pineapple Dole Whip again. It was lemon last year. Those who have been to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom or the original Disneyland in California know how huge pineapple Dole Whip is there. People line up for the stuff.
  • Petunia Pig has been spiffed up and no longer has pickles or drinks. Now it offers bacon popcorn and huge 1/4 pound bacon on a stick.

    1/4 pound bacon-on-a-stick and bacon popcorn at Petunia Pig.
  • Spectators Sports Bar and Grill takes over River City Smoke Shack BBQ. It has been repainted blue,  and mirrors the name of the sports bar at the Adventureland Inn. The menu is mostly the same, but they added brisket sandwiches and the new Dr. Pepper Baked Beans. The house made BBQ sauce is also new, made at Spectators. They also have walking BBQ, which is like a walking taco but BBQ instead of taco mean.
  • Taco Villa in River City has lost its taco salad, but added a large hard shell taco. They also have a burrito bowl which is the taco toppings in a bowl, very much like a taco salad without the chips. A combo meal is available which adds a churro and drink.

    Taco Villa’s new burrito bowl combo, which comes with a churro and drink.
  • Vegetarian Offerings. Most locations with corn dogs or hot dogs are now offering veggie corn dogs and veggie hot dogs. I think some veggie items were on the menu last year, and others were added during the 2016. I tried a veggie chili cheese dog and it tasted just fine. I recall trying a “veggie hot dog” many years ago and disliking it. I guess they have figured out how to make better veggie dogs.

Alcohol Updates:

  • Abita Bar, opened in 2015 in River City, is now Corona Cantina and has dropped the Louisiana beers. Instead, a much wider variety of canned Mexican-style beers is available, and more frozen drinks. They have strawberry, margarita, mango and pina colada. The frozen drinks are virgin drinks, and they actually add alcohol shots and mix it for you – they have six types of alcohol!
  • Bier Garten now sells their refillable boot – much larger than the 24 ounce mugs. The refill mugs are also an updated design this year, introduced at the 2016 Oktoberfest.
  • ICEE Mix It Up around the corner from Sheriff Sam’s Saloon also adds the alcohol shots (which they first did at the 2016 Oktoberfest event). You can add two types of Jose Cuervo tequila, Gin, Iowa-made SWELL Vodka, Jack Daniels, Bacardi Rum, Captain Morgan, or Malibu Rum.

    ICEE Mix It Up now offers spiked drinks.
  • Sand Bar in the water park has some new mixed drinks, and will be offering a huge refillable 42 ounce drink!
  • Also in the water park is a new LEINENKUGEL Tiki Bar attached to the central gift shop. It has canned drinks and three types of shots (Fireball, some mint schnapps, and JÄGERMEISTER). They also have some canned drinks not found elsewhere, like Not Your Father’s Iced Tea.
  • Most drinks places with canned beers also seem to be carrying some new items.

Beer prices have inched up a bit, with a small beer going for $6.50 and a large for $10 ($8.50 last year, I think). The $12 refill mug (24 ounces) can be refilled for $6 ($5 last year) so if you plan to have more than one drink, and like their draft beer selection, buy the mug. After the mug and one refill ($12+$6 = $18), you already save two bucks over buying two large beers.

Last year, the park also offered a refill container for frozen drinks. It was the same container used for ICEEs, so it was impossible to tell if someone was walking around with an ICEE or a frozen hurricane 🙂 This year, they have a new frozen drinks containers just for alcohol. It doesn’t have a lid and they don’t have straws tall enough for it yet, but it’s nice looking. Over at Iowa Beer and Wine, the frozen Monster drink is now sold only with one of these refill drinks, so if you plan to try it, start with a Monster, then you have a refill cup to use at ICEE Mix It Up, Corona Cantina or Sand Bar.

Did I miss anything? Leave a comment!

I will try to add photos of all the new food items to this post when I have time.