Updated 5/28/2017 with more photos (some taken after this article was originally posted, showing things added since then).
Adventureland was scheduled to open the weekend of April 28-29, 2017, but heavy rainfall and cold temperatures caused them to postpone. The park opened to great weather on the weekend of May 5-6.
Here is a quick look at some of the “new for 2017” changes we noticed…
Paint and Signage
The staff has been busy, with many areas of the park showing new paint, new signs, and other general improvements. Even the parking lot has areas of new painted stripes and curbs. Professor Bellows‘ sign looks like it is brand new, but a worker there says it was just cleaned up.
Saw Mill Splash has a freshly painted sign, and SideWinder‘s “you must be this tall” sign is new as well.
The walkway sign promoting the Ben Ulin Magic Show is different from last year (and quite colorful).
Overall, many menu signs have been swapped out to feature new items (and prices) for this year. During 2016, a few items were added to Rally Round, for instance, and those items now have a permanent place on the menu board rather than just a sign in the window.
LCD monitors started appearing last year acting as menu boards at various food locations. The trend continues this season.
Outside monitors have been added to the Main Street Theater and the various picnic areas. They replace all the old paper signs that would be put up when the locations were rented for special events. They look very nice.
The Bier Garten gained two new LCD screens inside, too, with one showing the menu and the other playing sports video.
Over at the Iowa Beer and Wine Shop, the seating area is now under a new barn-shaped permanent tent, similar to the cover at the Bier Garten. A member of our Facebook group considers this to be a nice “spit shelter” since the area sits under the tall Storm Chaser ride.
The River City Abita Bar (added in 2015) is now the Corona Cantina. It offers a much larger selection of drinks, including a larger range of frozen drinks that start out non-alcoholic with shots added. This now allows kids to get the frozen virgin drinks at this location. Pina Colada and a few other flavors are now available that were previously only obtainable down at the Sand Bar in the water park. The Louisiana beers seem to be no more.
Over at ICEE Mix-It-Up, down from Sheriff Sam’s Saloon, they now offer alcohol shots for the ICEE drinks. This was offered during Oktoberfest, and will likely be even more popular during hot summer months at the park.
The park has added at least three new chefs, and it shows. Iowa Cafe continues to serve house made mashed potatoes and great fried chicken, but the baked beans got a total overhaul. Some report having them loaded with bacon, and others say it was more like brisket meat chunks. Perhaps they are still experimenting with the recipes, but all report that the beans are fantastic.
The Gyro shop received a huge update and expansion and now has an order window and a pick up window. New menu items include fancier gyros, baklava (honey pastry – try if you like honey), Greek salads and more.
Around the corner, new signage at Subland is in use, with numbered sandwich choices rather than the “fill out what you want” sheets.
Taco Villa has a new burrito bowl, and I am told the tacos are also fancier.
River City Smoke Shack has now been repainted and is a Spectators Sports Bar and Grill location, matching the logo and name of the restaurant at the Adventureland Inn. The location still serves funnel cakes from the left side, and barbecue from the right side, but the meat is now cooked at the restaurant and brought over. They have added new meats, and the BBQ sauce is the house-made sauce from Spectators – something you won’t find at any other theme park. The funnel cakes also feature a “funnel cake of the week (? month ?)”.
Dippin’ Dots now has “sundaes.”
There are likely many other food changes within the park yet to be discovered and reported, so if you see something new, let us know.
This is just a quick look at some of the changes notice last Sunday, but it is clear that the staff is focusing on improving the park in all areas — not just multi-million dollar roller coasters like the Monster last year.
More to come…
Check out some photos from 2017, incuding photos of many of these new items, here: