|Information on this site is unofficial. It is compiled by fans of Adventureland amusement park in Altoona, Iowa (near Des Moines). There may be inaccuracies and omissions. For official Adventureland information, visit the official website.|
This page was last updated on 09/5/2017. Total Pages: 298. Total Files: 317.
A timeline of the park's history.
NOTE: Some information on this page comes from an old website called "Mike's Adventureland Page." The text was archived in the Wayback Machine from 1998 version of the site. I will note the content that was lifted from Mike's site.
See also: Ticket Prices over the years.
|THIS IS A WORK-IN-PROGRESS!|
|If you can help fill in any gaps, please contact me. Thanks! -Allen|
- 1 Mike A Wilson Notes
- 2 1973
- 3 1974
- 4 1975
- 5 1976
- 6 1977
- 7 1978
- 8 1979
- 9 1980
- 10 1981
- 11 1983
- 12 1985
- 13 1986
- 14 1987
- 15 1988
- 16 1989
- 17 1990
- 18 1991
- 19 1992
- 20 1993
- 21 1994
- 22 1995
- 23 1996
- 24 1997
- 25 1998
- 26 1999
- 27 2000
- 28 2001
- 29 2002
- 30 2003
- 31 2004
- 32 2005
- 33 2006
- 34 2007
- 35 2008
- 36 2009
- 37 2010
- 38 2011
- 39 2012
- 40 2013
- 41 2014
- 42 2015
- 43 2016
- 44 2017
- 45 External Links
Mike A Wilson Notes
Mike A Wilson:
- I really don't know much about the park prior to 1990; that was the first year I went there. But since that time I have collected gate maps each year and they give a pretty good picture of what has changed each season. This information comes from studying those handouts.
Mike A Wilson:
- The park opened its doors in 1973. I've been told it started out as a private corporation, issued public stock for awhile, and has now been taken private again. Some of the attractions, like the carousel and a now-defunct haunted house are reputed to have come from a shut-down amusement park in Des Moines called Riverview Park. This information comes from a source that I consider reliable, but I haven't been able to confirm it yet.
- Adventureland established and construction begins. This is where the "Established 1973" date comes from on the worker name badges and merchandise. There was nothing to "open" until 1974.
- July 28, 1974 - Main Street area opens.
- A Salute to Iowa Music show in Palace Theater opens.
- August 16, 1974 - Adventureland rides open.
- Bavarian Scrambler (???) - "Bavaria" didn't open until 1976.
- Caterpillar - ? Alex reports this as listed in a 1975 ad, but we don't know what it was.
- Der Flitzer opens.
- Flying Scooters opens.
- Frantic Freeway opens.
- Helicopters opens. (?)
- Infant Ocean opens.
- Jaunty Jeeps opens. (?)
- Lady Luck opens.
- Lighthouse opens.
- River Rapids opens.
- Queen Riverboat opens. (What was the real name?)
- Round Up opens.
- Toonerville Trolleys opens. (? Official name ?)
- Silly Silo opens.
- May 31, 1975 - Official grand opening. Congressman Neal Smith, Altoona Mayor Lloyd Sievers and Adventureland President John Krantz spoke at the opening ceremony.
- Sky Ride opens
- Wheel of Fortune (Chance Morgan Rotator Company)
- https://youtu.be/yQWPqxQW8cE - 1975-1976 home movies.
- Tickets: Adults $7, Children (4-12) $6, Under 3 free.
- 10am-8pm Sat & Sun in May. 10am-10pm daily starting May 29.
- Nearly twice as many rides in 1976 compared to 1975 according to newspaper ads.
- Alpine Village (aka Bavaria) added, including the Sky Ride "clock" building.
- Der Flinger opens.
- Lady Bugs opens.
- Super Screamer opens.
- Tea Cups opens.
- Dolphin Show added. (As shown on the "Adventureland Fun Club" 1977 brochure.) Need more info and official name. There was a later Dolphin Sea Lion Show added in 1988.
- July 5, 1978 - Tornado opens.
- Nearby Riverview Park closes.
- Red Baron opens, replacing the Helicopters.
- Adventureland buys Riverview Park with plans to keep it open and use it for corporate events.
- County Fair area of the park opens.
- Hi-Striker (original)
- Antique Cars opens, replacing the Jaunty Jeeps (same track, different vehicles.).
- Galaxy (Riverview Himalaya) opens.
- Kiddie Kars (aka, Hampton Cars) opens, replacing the Happy Horses.
- Mirror Maze opens.
- Riverview section of the park opens, incorporating items acquired from the purchase of Riverview Park.
- Haunted House dark ride opens.
- Riverview Carousel opens.
- Weight Guessing booth opens, with Jean from Riverview Park still working it.
- Adventure Theater... When did it open?
- https://youtu.be/HLmVI2x-2MA - Clown Diving 1980 video.
Items listed in the 1981 brochure:
- American High Diving Team
- 50's musical review at Sheriff Sam's Saloon.
- Old bumper cars were still being used.
- Raging River opens.
- Jack Krantz buys out other owners and becomes sole owner of the park. (http://www.parkworld-online.com/adventureland/)
- https://youtu.be/Dpqrr0B1DHU - 1985 TV commercial.
- Adventureland looked in to a western Iowa location for a new amusement park. (https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1926&dat=19860926&id=0lgrAAAAIBAJ&sjid=s9gEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4385,8734348&hl=en)
- Balloon Race opens.
- Dolphin Sea Lion Show opens. (1988 map says "new", but there was also a Dolphin Show added in 1977).
- Festival Picnic Area opens. (1988 map says "New Festival Picnic Area")
- Rainbow opens.
- Convoy opens?, replacing Haunted House? Not sure of the year, but Convoy first opened on Riverview where the Dragon queue is now.
- Falling Star opens, replacing the Rainbow.
Mike A Wilson:
- The Dragon first began operating in 1990. This custom-designed $2.5 million ride is a double-looping steel coaster that climbs to a height of 100 feet and drops through two 70-foot loops at 5.5 G's before slowing through a double reverse spiral. The Dragon occupies a spot formerly held by a children's ride, the Convoy (moved to a new location), and reportedly, the haunted house walk-through.
- Also in 1990, the "Chinese Acrobats of Tapei" became the featured show at the Palace Theater.
- The brochure also lists the U.S. High Dive Team performing in the Aquatheatre, but I don't know if this was a new show that year or a continuation.
- Tickets: Adults $14.95, Children $13.95, Seniors $10.95, Second day $7.50. Parking?
- Chinese Acrobats of Tapei show begins in the Palace Theater.
- Dragon Island opens, replacing Riverview.
- May 12, 1990 - Dragon steel roller coaster opens, replacing the Haunted House or original Convoy location.
Mike A Wilson:
- The Giant Skywheel opens on the former site of Der Spritzer. This had been a small roller coaster with an Alpine boblsed theme. Like some of the other original rides, this one seemed to be only semi-permanent. It looked like it could be folded up and trucked away. It was a nice little ride. Its loss, along with some other changes have weakened the "European" theming in this part of the park.
- The Skywheel itself cost about $1 million and rises to a height of nearly 100 feet. It is the largest open gondola wheel manufactured in America since George Ferris built his wheel for the Chicago Exposition (1898?). At night, the wheel glows with a computerized show light show using over 6000 bulbs.
- "Celebrate Freedom", a Broadway-style musical, replaces the Chinese Acrobats as the act at the Palace Theater.
- Celebrate Freedom show begins in the Palace Theater, replacing the Chinese Acrobats of Tapei.
- Giant Sky Wheel opens.
- Puff the Dragon opens.
Mike A Wilson: No major new rides opened in 1992. The only real change in the park was that "Adventures On Ice" began running in the Palace Theater in place of "Celebrate Freedom". "Adventures On Ice" would run for three years, ending after the 1994 season.
- Tickets: Adult $15.95, Children $14.95, Seniors $14.95, Second Day $8.
- Adventures on Ice show begins in the Palace Theater.
Mike A Wilson:
- The 1993 season marked Adventureland's 20th Anniversary. And there were lots of changes and updates. For starters, the entire 12-acre Outlaw Gulch area of the park was opened. This major expansion featured the Outlaw, a brand-new wooden coaster, the Wrangler, which is a traditional "Scrambler"-type ride, and the Chuck Wagon, a ferris wheel for small children where they ride in covered gondolas shaped like Conestoga wagons. A new street show also begins running in Outlaw gulch and features a comedy-western skit five times a day starting at "High Noon".
- Every Thursday during June, July, and August, the "Family Fun Zone", a locally-produced TV game show, tapes episodes in the park in the Aquatheatre. The program was hosted by Adventureland magician Ben Ulin, who was also the show's co-creator. Guests could either watch the show being produced or be a part of the studio audience.
- Tickets: Adult $17.50, Children $16.00, Seniors $13.50, Second Day $8.75.
- 1993 brochure read "20 YEASR OF FUN / COME CELEBRATE WITH US!"
- Chuck Wagon opens.
- Family Fun Zone TV game show hosted by Ben Ulin records on Thursdays in June, July and August at the Aquatheatre.
- April 24, 1993 - Outlaw opens.
- Outlaw Gulch area opens.
- Puff Dragons relocates.
- Wrangler opens.
- Western Comedy Show opens. (What was the real name? I saw it somewhere.)
- Ice show in Palace Theater was back.
Mike A Wilson:
- After the major changes in 1993, not much happened in the park in 1994. All of the same rides and shows are listed on the gate map, including the "Family Fun Zone" taping and "Adventures On Ice".
Mike A Wilson:
- This was also a quiet year, the only major change was the closing of "Adventures On Ice" at the Palace Theater and its replacement by the "Chinese National Acrobats". It's unclear if this is the same troupe that performed at the park in 1990 as the "Chinese Acrobats of Tapei", but the picture on the brochure is the same and the wording of the descriptions is almost identical.
- The "Family Fun Zone" continued as a live show for another season.
Mike A Wilson:
- This season saw the opening of the Underground, the first major new ride since 1993. It is a relatively mild indoor dark coaster that takes riders past several animatronic scenes of what was supposedly a maze of coal shafts turned into an outlaw hideout. To my knowledge, this is the only ride in the park that has had any kind of a "back story" written for it. The tale is related by an old miner figure as you wait in the interior line to board the ride.
- The Underground is built on the site of the former "Aquatheatre". I'm told that original diving pool is still in place under the ride.
- Also in 1996, "Unbelievable Magic and Mysteries" began running in the Palace Theatre. Since this show was performed by Ben Ulin, who normally works in Sheriff Sam's Saloon, the Saloon got a new show called the "Rootin' Tootin' Wild West Review".
- Unbelievable Magic and Mysteries show opens in the Palace Theater.
- Rootin' Tootin' Wild West Review opens in Sheriff Sam's Saloon.
- Underground opens, replacing the Aquatheatre.
Mike A Wilson:
- This year saw the introduction of two major new rides and a completely new show. The two rides were the Mixer and the G-Force. The Mixer is only the 4th ride of its kind in the country. Riders are secured in open cars and twirled around every rotation axis simultaneously. It occupies a spot between the Galleon and the Tea Cups. The G-Force is unque in the U.S. It is similar to a "Scrambler"-type ride, but much faster. It sits in a formerly empty area near the Dodge 'Em Cars.
- The new show was the "Royal Hanneford Circus". It claims to be one of the oldest and most renowned circuses in the world and to have toured the U.S. and Europe for decades. It stayed the entire summer in a big top erected near the Southwest edge of the park beyond Outlaw Gulch doing three shows a day.
- The Palace Theater did not have a show running in 1997, but Ben Ulin returned to Sheriff Sam's Saloon with his "Magic and Comedy Review".
- Tickets: Regular $19.50/$29.50, Children (4-9) $18/$28, Senior Citizens $15.50/$25.50.
- G-Force opens.
- Magic and Comedy Review returns to Sheriff Sam's Saloon, replacing the Rootin' Tootin' Wild West Review.
- Mixer opens.
- Royal Hanneford Circus opens in Outlaw Gulch (behind the Tornado).
Mike A Wilson:
- Despite the fact that 1998 marks Adventureland's 25th year, there were few changes to the park. The Corner Arcade was replaced by "State Fair Mini-Donuts", The Shooting Gallery was removed to make way for a remote controlled car arcade, and a new Shooting Gallery was installed in Outlaw Gulch.
- The Royal Hanneford Circus returned for a second year of shows.
- Once again, the Palace Theater had no show this season and the Outlaw Gulch comedy show is no longer running.
- Sinclair now sponsors the "Convoy" ride and a 10-foot brontosaurus is added nearby for the kids to climb on.
- Parking $2, General Admission $19.50, Kids 4-9 $18.00, Kids under 3 Free, Senior Citizens $15.50.
- 25th anniversary of the park (but not the anniversary of the park opening to guests).
- Mini Donuts opens in River City, replacing the Corner Arcade.
- Speedway RC cars opens, replacing the original Shooting Gallery.
- Outlaw Gulch Shooting Gallery opens.
- Outlaw Gulch Saloon becomes a food counter and begins offering food.
- Sinclair becomes the new sponsor of Convoy. A 10-feet brontosaurus statue is installed nearby.
- www.adventurelandpark.com registered, but it wasn't owned by the park. Somewhere I have e-mail from whoever had it; if I recall, they were going to be making the site for the park, but it didn't get worked out.
- www.adventureland-usa.com website opens (?).
- Space Shot opens.
- A new Himalaya opens, replacing the Riverview Carousel.
- Inverter opens, replacing Super Screamer.
- A new Carousel opens, replacing Daniel and the Dixieland Diggers.
- Adventureland Band
- Country Music U.S.A show.
- Count Down to the Millennium show. (sounds like it would have made sense in 1999. correct?)
- Garfield the Cat appears in the park.
- Tickets: Regular $26/$39, Children (4-9) $22/$35, Senior Citizens $22/$35, Season Pass $55.
- Adventureland Inn expands.
- Saw Mill Splash opens, replacing the Wrangler.
- Season Passes introduced.
- Public School used to process Season Passes.
- Re-Wired show.
- Rock the House show.
- www.adventurelandpark.com now becomes the official website (www.adventureland-usa.com still works). New website design.
- Tickets: Adult $26, Children (4-9) $22, Senior Citizens $22, Season Pass $65.
- Adventureland Celebrates 30 Years of Family Fun
- Bandstand Blast show.
- American Band show.
- Singing Sweet Country Music show.
- Tickets: Regular $27/$40.50, Children (4-9) $23/$36.50, Senior Citizens $23/$36.50, Season Pass $80.
- Sidewinder opens.
- May 1 - TV commercial footage of Sidewinder recorded.
- Same three shows on website archive as 2003...???
- Hole In One opens, replacing Speedway.
- River Rapids on-ride photos added.
- Let Liberty Ring show at the Chapel.
- Radioactive show at Soda and Sounds.
- Shaking Up the Country show at Soda and Sounds.
- New fencing around County Fair and Sky Ride.
- New fence and railing around Round Up.
- New railing along Last Frontier walkway.
- New fence near Public School on Main Street.
- Park founder Jack Krantz passes away on January 7, 2006.
- Tickets: Regular $29/$43.50, Children (4-9) $25/$39.50, Senior Citizens $25/$39.50, Season Pass $75.
- Park opened on April 29.
- Splash Over opens.
- Frog Hopper opens.
- Shakin' at the High School Hop show at Soda and Sounds.
- Country Classics show at Soda and Sounds.
- Or: Soda n Sounds will present three different sets "Bandstand Blast", "American Band" and "Singing Sweet Country Music". ???
- Crunch Cream added to Sno-Cones Shakes.
- Let's Play Fetch game.
- Derby Downs uses pigs instead of horses, with pigs as the prize.
- Bushels of Fun ball/basket toss game.
- Jack the Giraffe tree carving appears near River Rapids.
- Subland opens, replacing a hot dog location.
- Tickets: Regular $29, Children (4-9) $25, Senior Citizens $25, Season Pass $85.
- Hats Off to Iowa show at the Chapel.
- Season Pass processing center moved to outside building.
- Bernie's Great Adventure show.
- Animaland stuffed animals added.
- ATM installed outside front gate.
- Cookies BBQ sauce.
- Drink machines appear near some restrooms.
- Espresso-Etc! coffees added to Mini Donuts and Iowa Cafe.
- Iowa Farm windmill uncovered from behind all the vines.
- Ticket Booth courtyard remodeled to include "A" in concrete.
- Jack the Giraffe tree carving gets spots (sometime between 4/28 and 6/02).
- T-Shirts: I (heart) Corn Dogs and I (heart) Funnel Cakes, 10% off if you bring your food receipt.
- Fence around Infant Ocean rebuilt.
- Tickets: Parking $5, Regular $31, Children (4-9) $27, Senior Citizens $27, Season Pass $85.
- Kokomo Kove opens.
- Royal Hanneford Circus is relocated behind Saw Mill Splash.
- Mini Melts added.
- Park goes No Smoking.
- Bernie's Birthday Bash show.
- Friends Forever show at the Chapel.
- Fredrichs Coffee added to park.
- Giant Sky Wheel hub logo changed from Fuji to Adventureland.
- Scanners for Season Passes being used at the Front Gate.
- https://youtu.be/CgbLXGZWAZI - My 2008 video of every ride operating in the park that year.
- Tickets: Regular $31, Children (4-9) $27, Senior Citizens $27, Season Pass $85.
- Boys Rock musical show performed on the streets in Bavaria.
- Hy-Striker installed. 1 play for $3, 3 plays for $5.
- ICEE Mix It Up opens.
- Post Office becomes day glow shop. (? Was it still the Post Office in 2008 ?)
- Summer Breeze show at the Chapel.
- Website redone.
- A-Train entrance and exit reverses.
- Miller Lite beer signs appear throughout the park.
- Kokomo Kove expansion - Tropical frozen drinks (Pina Colada, Strawberry Daiquiris, Rum and Coke). Snowies. Water Wars (like the one that used to be across from Yacht Club). Big Squirt refill station.
- New Fool the Guesser signs.
- Outlaw Gulch Stage construction (to become Chuck Wagon Soda).
- Season Pass discounts begin at Iowa Cafe, a game, and Water Wars.
- Sports Shop on Main Street. (where?)
- Turkey Legs added to River City Foods.
- Tickets: Parking $5, Regular $35, Children (4-9) $30, Senior Citizens $30, Season Pass $95.
- February 20, 2010 - Fire destroys the left half of Main Street / Bavaria.
- Adventure Bay opens.
- Chuck Wagon Soda opens.
- Fun Foods opens, after original location next to Bingo was lost due to the 2010 fire.
- Kevin Adair Master Juggler at the Chapel.
- Professor Particle's Science Show at the Chapel.
- Tornado on-ride photos added.
- Toy Box opens in the Public School.
- Rockin' in the Country at Soda and Sounds.
- Captain Bernie and the Pirates of Adventureland at Soda and Sounds.
- Wonder A Tribute to Stevie Wonder at Soda and Sounds.
- Animated buffalo head above Shooting Gallery gone (destroyed in the fire). Replaced by skull.
- Park opens on April 24, 2010.
- New Main Street side opens.
- G-Force relocates to inside the new Main Street Arcade.
- Wrangler returns as the Scrambler, in the spot formerly occupied by G-Force.
- Bixby's Rainforest Rescue show at Sodas and Sounds.
- Kevin Adair - Juggling Sensation! show at the Chapel.
- Fire destroys the Rally Round corn dog stand on December 15, 2011.
Are these correct? Did they both re-open the season after the fire?
- Chicken Shack moves to a new building where Rally Round used to be.
- Rally Round relocates to the old Chicken Shack building.
- 25,000 square foot wave pool added to Adventure Bay.
- Kids activity pool added.
- Pint Sized Pub opens.
- Adventureland Store adds museum displays of past park history.
- Jan Krantz passes away on August 13, 2013.
- Abita Bar opens.
- Bier Garten opens.
- Dragon Island Bridge rebuilt, widened and lit.
- Palace Theater completely remodeled.
- River City Smoke Shack rebuilt.
- October 3, 2015 - Oktoberfest was held for the first time.
- April 30, 2016 - Opening day was scheduled, but due to weather, the park was closed and the first day of operation was May 1.
- July 11-16, 2016 - Monster was closed for preventative maintenance. Some replacement parts had to be machined and installed for the lift hill to prevent premature wear.
- July 19, 2016 - Park closed early due to weather.
- Cookies and Cream opens, replacing some Football toss game.
- Golden Nugget Shooting Gallery opens, replacing the Golden Nugget Arcade. It was the old Outlaw Gulch Shooting Gallery, refurbished and upgraded.
- Live Local Solo Artists performance area opens at the Iowa Beer and Wine Shop.
- Monster opens on June 4, replacing the River Rapids log ride.
- Outlaw Gulch Saloon relocates next door, replacing the Outlaw Gulch Shooting Gallery.
- August 4, 2106 - Oktoberfest 2016 officially announced on the Adventureland Facebook page.
- August 21, 2016 - Adventureland's Facebook page hits 100,000 Likes.
- Abita Bar menu TV screens added.
- Bier Garten gets two new sign posts.
- Change machines added at Yacht Club and on the Dragon Island Bridge.
- Dippin' Dots opens near the Monster queue.
- Giant Sky Wheel gets new LED light show.
- Last Frontier sidewalk updated.
- Rally Round adds veggie corn dogs to the menu.
- Space Shot lighting gets upgraded to color-changing LED spotlights.
- Ticket Booths gets a new metal queue area, allowing all guests to wait in one line and be served by the next available window (speeding up weight times since you never pick the "slow" line).
- Brad Seidenfeld, Brian Congdon and Tony Bohnenkamp perform at the Iowa Beer and Wine Shop stage.
- Park scheduled to open April 29-30, 2017, but severe rain and low temperatures caused the opening to be postponed until May 6, 2017.
- Bernie appears with a new look.
- Bernie's Klement's Cart hot dog stand opens.
- Corona Cantina opens, replacing Abita Bar, with expanded offering of frozen drinks, including non-alcoholic variations.
- Fun Foods gets a new cotton candy room with a window facing the street so guests can watch cotton candy being made.
- Gyros expands inside and out with an order window and serving window. Baklava, Greek Salads and other items added. Extra seating added in front.
- ICEE Mix It Up offers spiked ICEEs, like they did during Oktoberfest.
- Iowa Beer and Wine Shop gets a new barn-shaped tent for outside seating. Stage to be added.
- Leinenkugel Tiki Bar opens in Adventure Bay.
- New website launched. (I believe this is the third incarnation of the Adventureland website.)
- http://www.adventurelandresort.com becomes the new website for the inn.
- New bridge at the end of Main Street (built between closing weekend of 2016 and Oktoberfest 2016).
- Lots of paint, including parking lot stripes.
- Saw Mill Splash gets a new sign.
- Professor Bellows sign cleaned up.
- LCD monitors are placed outside the Main Street theater and outside the picnic areas.
- LCD monitors added at Bier Garten.
- Sidewinder "ride height" sign replaced.
- New colorful sign for Ben Ulin's Magic and Comedy Review in the walkway.
- Colorful cover over the tunnel between the Monster and County Fair.
- Chuck Wagon Soda drops the classic sodas, and changes the type of jerky being served (made in Iowa).
- Petunia Pig gets a new menu of bacon popcorn and 1/4 pound bacon on a stick.
- New iced beverage refill cups for the alcohol drinks (completely different than the ones used for ICEEs).
- Tornado and Dragon get storage bins for rides to stash their stuff before riding.
- Scatterball game on Dragon Island replaces a balloon pop location.
- Gulch Foods receives a menu board sign outside, giving the new location an official name.
- Convoy gets a new sign.
- Flag Pole display appeared in front of the Giant Sky Wheel.
- https://www.adventurelandpark.com/about/ - Official Adventureland website history page.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventureland_(Iowa) - Wikipedia entry (many inaccuracies).