Happy Anniversary, 2020 edition.


  • 05-25-2020: Addition of the anniversary of the Main Street fire. 🙁

Happy 45th anniversary, Adventureland! Here is this year’s update to a list I originally did in 2017 and 2018… (Seems like I missed 2019.)

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 2015)

10th Anniversary (opened in 2010)

  • Adventure Bay
  • Chuck Wagon Soda
  • Anniversary of the fire that destroyed have of Main Street (hat tip to Elizabeth Dunn Huether for mentioning this). The rebuilt Main Street re-opened for the 2011 season.

15th Anniversary (opened in 2005)

  • None known.

20th Anniversary (opened in 2000)

25th Anniversary (opened in 1995)

  • None known.

30th Anniversary (opened in 1990)

35th Anniversary (opened in 1985)

40th Anniversary (opened in 1980)

  • Kiddie Kars (Hampton Cars) – moved from Riverview Park.

45th Anniversary (opened in 1975)

  • Adventureland official grand opening – May 31, 1975!
  • Sky Ride

Adventureland review from 1998.

I used to write articles for a technology and amusement publication based in California. I just ran across this one that I submitted in 1998. I do not recall if it was published (I’ll have to find my print copies and see), but I thought it would be fun to share now that my publishing agreement is long expired.

This was before they had a website! Wild.


While corporate America continues to turn more and more things into mass produced, pre-packaged commodities, independent theme parks still draw an audience.  Just outside of Des Moines, Iowa in Altoona sits Adventureland Park, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and still owned by the man who started it all back in 1973.  This park sports three roller costers, including The Outlaw, ranked as a Top-40 woodie.  Each year the park tries to add something new, such as high-tech carnival rides or, for the past two years, the rather nice travelling Royal Hanneford Circus.

You won’t find any multi-million dollar attractions here, but the prices are great (only $2 to park, and less than $20 to enter) and even the choice of food is unique.  How many theme parks have a sit down cafeteria with fried chicken, salads, burgers and Jell-O(tm)?  The theming is loosly an old West setting with a Main Streat (including train station) tribute to Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdoms.  The employees are overall quite young but do a decent job at keeping things going.  You won’t escape reality here, but you can spend an affordable day on rides and watching shows.  For a special treat, find the rather mature lady who is the queen of guessing ages and weight and try to stump her.  A fantastic assortment of merchandise is available with virtually every ride in the park on some sort of shirt, hat, or beach towl.  There is even a nearby Adventureland Inn and Campground for those wanting to take advantage of the reduced 2-day passport.

Adventureland has no official web site and, although the domain name is registered and being held, no plans are known to add one any time soon.  A few unofficial fan sites can be found on the net giving other insight on this park.

1998 Operating Season:

Mostly weekends in May and September, with full time operation in June, July, and August.  Open daily at 10 a.m.

1998 Prices:

Parking:  $3 / General Admission: $19.50 / Children 4-9: $18.00 / Children Under 3: Free / Seniors: $15.50

Park Information:  (800) 532-1286 or (515) 266-2126/2121. 

Original ride area entrance and Der Flitzer location.

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:

The Moat (entrance to the ride section of the park). Behind it: Der Flitzer.
Back of post card for “The Moat.”

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.

On the Roller Coaster Database entry for Der Flitzer, it says it was replaced by the Giant Sky Wheel.

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.)


If Rallye Racers were there (down from the Tea Cups) and the post card shows Der Flitzer in the same location, then the notes about it being relocated may be incorrect.

Does anyone know if Rallye Racers was just rethemed and renamed in the same location to become Der Flitzer?

Fun stuff. I love these old post cards.

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.




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.