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Adventure Island (amusement park) facts for kids

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Adventure Island
Adventure Island at Southend - - 903768.jpg
Location Southend-on-Sea, England
Owner Stockvale Ltd
Opened 1976 (1976)
Previous names Peter Pan's Playground, Peter Pan's Adventure Island
Operating season February – December
Year-round (Adventure Inside)
Total 33
Roller coasters 5
Water rides 1

Adventure Island is a theme park in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England. The site of the theme park flanks the north end of Southend Pier and has been a theme park since 1976 when the land now forming the west side of the park was purchased by the Miller family. The park used to be known as Peter Pan's Playground and later Peter Pan's Adventure Island before becoming Adventure Island. The site is owned and managed by Stockvale Limited. The park contains thirty three rides, retail outlets, and numerous catering outlets.


Adventure Island
Adventure Island at night

Adventure Island started out in 1918 as Sunken Gardens, a sea-side garden that in the 1920s installed a few children's rides. In 1976, the land to the west of the pier was purchased by the Miller family. They developed the amusement park on the site from the rudimentary original and the entire site was redeveloped extensively.

In 1995 the park was vastly expanded when the land to the east of the pier was purchased to form part of the park.

Complementing the park is Southend Pier, the longest pleasure pier in the world (built in 1830 as a wooden pier, rebuilt as a steel pier in 1889); it extends more than a mile (1,34 miles/2,16 km) toward the ocean. The pier train runs the entire length of the pier to the Lifeboat Museum. The park's mascot is called Snappy.

Adventure Island is not divided into specific areas but divides its rides into the following categories: Big Adventure (blue rides), Junior (green rides) and Mini (red rides). The park is separated into the East side of the pier and the West side of the pier.

In 1999, the park debuted the roller coaster Green Scream. It was once described as the park's signature ride, but this title has now been taken by Rage. The Green Scream does not have any inversions and the drops are quite tame. The second roller coaster at the park is the Barnstormer, which opened in 2000. The third roller coaster is named the Mighty Mini Mega, which opened in 2002. Kiddi Koasta, a children's roller coaster, opened to the public on 30 April 2011.

The fifth roller coaster, Rage, opened in February 2007. It is one of the biggest investments the park has ever made. The ride cost in the region of £3 million and is located on the former Raging River Log Flume site. The Sky Drop and Vortex rides were relocated to new positions in the park to make way. The ride is about 75 feet (23 m) in height and has a 97 degree drop, a vertical lift hill, a vertical loop, a zero-g roll and tight turns. It was named Rage after a competition in the newspaper Southend Echo to decide a name for the ride. The slogan is "For Superheroes only!" which is said before the first drop of the roller coaster.

In 2014 Adventure Island demolished the Pirate Boat, which was one of their oldest attractions, to make way for Adventure Inside in spring 2015.

In September 2016 the park retained a top five status in the "Friendliest Park In The World" category at the annual Amusement Today Golden Ticket Awards.

In September 2020, Adventure Island temporarily closed, following advice from Essex Police after a traveller encampment was set up in the nearby Kursaal car park. In an update on the company's Facebook page, Adventure Island told visitors that they had been "advised to close early due to traveller invasion!" and that it was "best to be safe than sorry!". The language used in the post was criticised by Traveller Rights organisations as reinforcing negative stereotypes about Traveller communities. The post was later deleted, and the company apologised for any offence caused.

Rides and attractions


Name Picture Type Year Operational Status Manufacturer Ride Band Additional information
Barnstormer steel sit down 2000 Operating Zierer Green Reaches a speed of 39 km/h (24 mph) on a 222 m (728 ft) and a height of 9 m (30 ft); height limit 1 m (3 ft 3 in). Small Tivoli model. It looks quite tame although it has what has been called one of the best helix curves on a mini coaster. The train is half the length of that of the Green Scream and has a fibreglass pilot at the front, a dog at the back, with propellers mounted at each end.
Green Scream steel sit down 1999 Operating Zierer Green A family rollercoaster; height limit 1 m (3 ft 3 in). No inversions and the drops are tame. The Green Scream's train is green with a red interior, apart from the first car which is red and has a fibreglass crocodile to represent Snappy, a park mascot. The back of the rear car has the tail of the crocodile. The train is quite long, comprising 20 cars seating two people each.
Kiddi Koasta steel sit down 2011 Operating Zamperla Red A children's rollercoaster; height limit 1 m (3 ft 3 in). A speedy coaster which opened to the public on 30 April 2011. This rollercoaster is aimed at young children and people who are not used to larger and faster rollercoasters, due to its gentle drops, twist and turns.. It now operates on top of a building located in the park.
Mighty Mini Mega steel sit down 2003 Operating Pinfari Green Located on top of the Mega City arcade for added effect but was originally built on ground level with the arcade being built after and then the ride was placed on top; height limit 1 m (3 ft 3 in). MM29 model. Has six cars each with two rows of two, seating 24 riders in total. The ride itself is short, however it is quite intense in some places with a helix towards the end and quite a sharp brake run.
Rage Adventure-Island Rage-1.jpg steel sit down 2007 Operating Gerstlauer Blue Reaches a speed of 70 km/h (43 mph) on an 361 m (1,184 ft) long track and a height of 22 m (72 ft) with 3 inversions (loop, immelmann, zero G roll) and a 97° drop; height limit 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in). Eurofighter 320+ model.

Blue Band Rides

Archelon swing ride - - 1237730
Archelon swing
Name Picture Model Manufacturer Year Operational Status Additional information
Archelon Wave Swinger Zierer 1997 Operating Height limit 1.2 m.
Axis Maxi Dance Party 360 SBF Visa 2019 Operating Height limit 1.3 m. Age limit 10. It is on the original space of Dragon's Claw.
Dragon's Claw Spin-Out Tivoli 2001 Operating Height limit 1.2 m. Now sits in the space of Scorpion, and its original space is occupied by Axis.
Ramba Zamba Disk-O Zamperla 2004 Operating Height limit 1.2 m.
Sky Drop Drop Tower Zamperla 2004 Operating A 70 ft (21m) tall drop tower that is located near the exit of Rage and faces towards the park; height limit 1.2 m.
Tidal Wave Blue Water dinghy ride Interlink 1995 Operating A dinghy slide located near Vortex, the ride shares a building, and partly a queue, with Tidal Wave Green ;height limit 1.2 m.
Tidal Wave Green Water dinghy ride Interlink 1995 Operating A dinghy slide that is located adjacent to Blue Tidal Wave. Minimum height limit 1.2 m.
Time Machine Giant Swing Adventure Island Workshop 2012 Operating A thrill ride built internally at the park, that is located underneath Green Scream and adjacent to Vortex; height limit 1.2 m.
Vortex Orbiter Tivoli 2001 Operating An orbiter ride located near the front of the Tidal Wave building and next t Over The Hill 2: Spooksville; height limit 1.2 m.

Green Band Rides

Giant Skateboard - - 1237712
Name Picture Model Manufacturer Year Operational Status Additional information
Cow Jump Mini Miami Ride Adventure Island Workshop 2003 Operating A mini miami ride themed to the "Hey Diddle Diddle" nursery rhyme; height limit 1 m.
Drop n´ Smile Mini Drop Tower Adventure Island Workshop 2001 Operating A small drop ride located near the American Whip and Helter Skelter; height limit 1 m.
Fireball Ferris wheel-type spinner ride Adventure Island Workshop 2006 Operating A ride built internally at the park and is located opposite Dragons Claw; height limit 1 m+.
Over the Hill 2: Spooksville Ghost Train Adventure Island Workshop 2017 Operating Over The Hill 2: Spooksville is a very advanced dark ride. The queue building was built in 1999, however, the main ride is situated in two show buildings, also constructed in 1999 (behind the queue building and above the fish and chip shop). This version of the ride opened on 15 July 2017. To give us an insight as to what the ride is about, Adventure Island's Creative Director Paul Clapp did an interview with Essex Live and said "Spooksville is not a ghost train, but a scenic journey with a spooky feel. There are still some characters and scenes remaining from Over The Hill, hence we're branding it as 'Over the Hill 2: Spooksville', but we have deliberately given this version a more traditional feel in comparison to its predecessor".
Pharaoh's Fury Twister Sonacase 1998 Operating An Egyptian themed twister ride located behind the Crooked House; height limit 1 m+.
Sk8borda Rocking tug Zamperla/Adventure Island Workshop 2008 Operating A rocking tug themed to a skateboarder. The ride sees all riders face the same way, unlike most Zamperla versions of the same model; height limit 1 m+. Zamperla/Adventure Island Workshop.
Smiles-Per-Galleon Pirate Ship SBF Visa 2015 Operating A pirate ship located in Adventure Inside. Minimum height limit 1 m.
The Dragon Roundabout Ride Zierer 1995 Operating A roundabout ride that goes both forwards and backwards; height limit 1 m+.
The Pirate Plunge Drop Tower SBF Visa 2015 Operating A drop tower located in Adventure Inside. Minimum height limit 1 m.

Red Band Rides

Name Picture Model Manufacturer Year Operational Status Additional information
Adventureville Dark ride Adventure Island Workshop 2016 Operating An indoor mini adventure ride, opened in 2016 and replaced Devil's Creek.
American Whip Whip Adventure Island Workshop 2009 Operating A children's version of the classic whip ride; height limit under 1 m.
Big Wheel Ferris Wheel Adventure Island Workshop 1983 Operating A classic Ferris Wheel attraction located between Barnstormer and Mighty Mini Mega; height limit under 1 m.
Carousel Carousel SBF Visa 2015 Operating A typical carousel ride located upstairs in the Adventure Inside section.
Choo Chooville Mini Train Ride Supercar 1972 Operating A mini train ride located near the Feel Goods restaurant; height limit 1 m.
Crooked House Fun house Adventure Island Workshop Before 1953 Operating A crooked house attraction. The exact year that this attraction was installed is not known but it was certainly built a number of years before the great flood that devastated the east coast in 1953. Was rethemed in 2018; height limit under 1 m. Adventure Island Workshop.
Dune Buggies Bounce n Spin SBF Visa 2015 Operating A children's ride located in Adventure Inside.
Flying Jumbos Flying Elephants Ride Modern Products 1999 Operating A flying jumbo ride, located near Archelon; height limit 1 m.
Jumpin' Jolly Rogers Roundabout Ride Adventure Island Workshop 2004 Operating A mini version of a ski jump ride but designed for small children; height limit 1 m.
Lighthouse Slip Helter Skelter Adventure Island Workshop 1986 Operating A helter skelter ride; height limit 1 m.
Magic Monsters Roundabout ride Modern Products 1999 Operating A roundabout ride themed to monsters and located near the Viking Boats and underneath Green Scream; height limit 1 m.
Viking Boats Boat Roundabout Zierer 1996 Operating A boat roundabout located next to Green Scream; height limit 1 m.

Other attractions

Adventure island 2
Formula 1A Karting
  • Adventure Golf – two different courses available; extra charge.
  • Dodgems – bumper cars; extra charge.
  • Formula 1A Karting – go karts, extra charge.
  • Sea Life Adventure – not in Adventure Island but in an adjacent area.
  • Mega City/Feelgoods Prize Arcades – amusement arcades.

Past rides

A list of the past rides include:

  • Devils Creek Gold Mine - was a Red Wristband children's track ride, which had a train of spinning barrel cars taken along by a train-like front carriage. The ride featured a rock tunnel and an outdoor section with much devil-theming scattered around the ride. The ride was originally known as the Jigsaw Train but over time received many theming updates until its eventual removal at the end of 2015 to be replaced by Adventureville in 2016. It is also referenced in Adventureville.
  • American Freeway - a spinning ride similar to a Matterhorn ride but without the swinging cars. The ride type is almost the same as the Dragon that is now at the park, however this ride had large seats featuring high railings attached to the top of each seat for safety.
  • Barracuda - an inverter ship style attraction with a white and brown colour scheme. It was located near the area of where Axis is now.
  • Beezlee Bob's Trail - Currently Over The Hill 2: Spooksville - Was a Dark Ride built in 1999 and closed down in 2007 to make way for Over The Hill. The ride featured many wacky characters and had a spooky feel to it
  • Blackbeards: All at Sea - was a cinema attraction located on the current site of the Adventure Inside section.
  • Blackbeards Pirate Adventure
  • Fantasy Dome - a large dome attraction.
  • Golden Hind
  • Mr Smee's Boat Ride
  • Pirate Galleon - a typical pirate ship ride
  • Raging River - Raging River was an Interlink IG flume ride that opened in 1996 and closed in 2006. The ride featured 2 drops and had a track length of 270 and was replaced by Rage the following year.
  • Sea Serpent
  • Sky Lab - a thrilling flat ride that is similar to an Enterprise ride but the cars where similar to that of a Matterhorn ride.
  • Space Chase - a shuttle rollercoaster identical to Roller Coaster owned by Beeches Fun Fair on the UK travelling circuit. The ride had light blue track and white supports.
  • Over The Hill - Over The Hill was the replacement ride for Beelzee Bob's Trail. Over The Hill was designed InHouse and many Audio-Visuals were produced by Sarner ( The ride shut down in 2017 and was rethemed into Over The Hill 2: Spooksville
  • Scorpion - a Tivoli Scorpion that opened in 2001; height limit 1.2 m and was a Blue Band ride. The ride closed near the end of 2018 to make way for Axis. Its site is now occupied by Dragon's Claw, which was moved from elsewhere in the park. The Scorpion ride has also featured at Gillwell 24 2019 after being removed, suggesting it is still in operation
  • Jungle Express – mini train ride; height limit 1 m. Falgas


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