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 parking ($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).

Oktoberfest 2016 Entertainment Schedule

I have taken the entertainment listing and reformatted it in to a grid. This will give you a better idea on what is going on when at a specific time (instead of having to look through five different stage listings).

Check out the 2016 entertainment schedule here:

I plan to add the contest times there too, if they are announced before the event.

Please let me know if I missed anything.

TAG: Octoberfest, Oktoberfest

Iowa’s Adventureland Oktoberfest 2016

Adventureland has updated its Oktoberfest website again with more details about this year’s event. They now list more entertainment, including a Ben Ulin hypnotist show, and the names of the stage locations:

  1. Carousel – somewhere on Main Street, I assume. It looks like it will be a small stage of solo acts, similar to the one that used to be in front of Iowa Beer & Wine Shop.
  2. Main Stage – this is probably something they are setting up in front of the Giant Sky Wheel. They recently cut down a bunch of tall trees in a planter in front of it, and we found out this was so it would not block the view of a stage, so this makes sense.
  3. Rathskellar (their spelling; the real word, and the signs on the building, say -er) – this would be the Bier Garten location. Since they do not say Bier Garten, perhaps they are moving the stage to the Rathskeller side this year.
  4. Coors Light Cafe – since more of the park is open this year, I am going to guess this will be the Coca-Cola Cafe (formerly called Soda and Sounds). I am expecting to see them covering up the “Coca-Cola” branding on the building with Coors Light banners 🙂
  5. Iowa Beer & Wine – construction just began in front of this spot to turn it in to a covered seating area, similar to what they have at the Bier Garten. This location is going to be used for the piano acts.

That covers the five stages. We’ll know in a few weeks how close my guesses are.

See my summary of all known Oktoberfest 2016 facts and rumors here:

Space Shot and Monster lights updated

Apparently, about a month ago the Space Shot spotlights were reprogrammed. They are now doing a blended color change, where lights on two sides are one c0lor, and on the other two sides a different color. It seems to go through many more colors than it originally did when it was just cycling through primary colors. Around July 4th, it was just doing red, white and blue.

According to a poster in my Facebook group, The Monster debuted a new lighting program recently. I saw it running on Saturday night and it caught my eye because some of the ground lights were flashing. It seems to stop the heartbeat read lights on the tower sooner, and does more things with the ground lights than the original program. I’m not quite sure I like it yet, but I expect it will grow on me as I see it more. That’s certainly a lot more going on. The programmers have certainly been learning more things they can do with the lights since the ride opened on June 4th.

More to come…

2016 season almost done…

Adventureland’s calendar tells me the park is now in weekends-only mode, meaning there are just five more weekends to get to the park this year (plus the special one-day Oktoberfest event on October 1).

If you haven’t made your trip yet, time is running out. After the peak summer months, the park should be far less crowded.