kids encyclopedia robot

Adventureland (Iowa) facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Slogan Iowa's Largest and Most Complete Family Resort Complex
Location Adventureland Resort, Altoona, Iowa, United States
Theme Iowa past
Owner Adventure Lands of America Inc.
Opened July 28, 1974 (1974-07-28)
Operating season Late April through September, Daily Memorial Day through the third week in August.
Area 180 acres (0.73 km2)
Total 50
(including water park attractions)
Roller coasters 6
Water rides 24
Status Operating

Adventureland is a family-owned amusement park in Altoona, Iowa (just northeast of Des Moines). It is marketed as featuring over 100 rides, shows and attractions.


Construction of Adventureland Park began in the spring of 1973. According to park operators, the Disney company assisted with some early park planning. Years later, Adventureland gave advice to the operator of the Wild West World Park in Wichita, Kansas and allowed them to use photos taken at Adventureland in early promotional materials while that park was under construction. These photos could still be seen on the park flyers just before opening.

Damage from the tail end of a tornado delayed the opening until July 28, 1974, with the first rides opening on August 16. The first full season for Adventureland began in 1975. The official grand opening was on May 31. Congressman Neal Smith, Altoona Mayor Lloyd Sievers and Adventureland president Jack Krantz spoke at the opening ceremony. The Skyride from the World's Fair in Spokane, Washington was added that year.

In 1978 construction began on Adventureland's largest wooden roller coaster, the Tornado, which opened on July 4, 1978. The Tornado was soon listed among the top ten wooden roller coasters in the world.

The following year, the County Fair area with its games of skill was added. Also in 1979, Adventureland purchased the aging Riverview Amusement Park in Des Moines and moved some of the attractions to their own themed area just south of the park in 1980. Some of these attractions included the infamous weight guessing booth, Hi-striker game (now in storage at Adventureland), Haunted House ride (used as the station for the defunct Dragon roller coaster), Mirror/Funny Maze (found upon exiting the Dragon roller coaster ride at Adventureland), Skee-Ball games, the Riverview carousel, as well as other well-known and loved attractions. In 1990, the Riverview theme area was transformed into the Dragon Island, home of Adventureland's double-looping upside-down steel roller coaster, which opened on May 12, 1990.

1993 brought the largest park expansion since Adventureland was built. Outlaw Gulch, a western themed area, was built on 12 acres (49,000 m2) at a cost of approximately $5 million. Outlaw Gulch consisted of three rides: Wrangler (a Scrambler), Chuck Wagon and The Outlaw roller coaster.

In 1999 Adventureland announced the addition of the Space Shot. The Space Shot is a 200-foot (61 m) structure that towers over Adventureland launching riders up at 4.5 G's and ending with a free fall of negative 1 G.

In 2002, Adventureland undertook an 8 million dollar project that nearly doubled the size of the hotel, adding a second courtyard, new pools with interactive water features and new poolside rooms and suites. It also added a new water ride in the park, a spinning white water adventure, called Saw Mill Splash. The ride is themed around an old saw mill and fits into the western motif of Adventureland's Outlaw Gulch area.

In 2006, Adventureland added two more rides, The Splash Over and Frog Hopper. In 2008, Adventureland embarked on its most extensive addition yet – a new water area named Adventure Bay. The first water attraction in this area is Kokomo Kove.

On February 20, 2010 (about 4:00 p.m.), a fire broke out in the toy store of main street after its roof collapsed due to the weight of ice and snow. The collapse caused an electrical fire. The fire went out of control and engulfed the corner portion of Main Street and destroyed the section that encompassed the bingo parlor, restaurant, toy store and arcade. The fire was brought under control about an hour later and was completely extinguished an hour thereafter. None of the adjacent structures or rides were harmed and no one was injured. The buildings were destroyed so quickly because, due to their age, sprinklers were not required to be installed. The park opened as planned on April 24, 2010, with the east side of Main Street completely cleared to dirt surrounded by a chain link fence. Banners on the fence stated that "Plans are well underway to build Main Street back better than ever."

All of Main Street was rebuilt when the park opened in April 2011 and featured an even larger arcade with an indoor ride. The park's Scrambler ride, previously known as the Wrangler, was brought out of storage and moved to the G-Force's location after the G-Force was moved into the Main Street arcade. On December 15, 2011 (about 3:45 a.m.), another fire broke out, this time destroying the Rally Round corn dog stand. Crews said the fire had engulfed the structure when they arrived but they were able to put it out quickly. According to fire officials, an electrical transformer behind the corn dog stand was the cause. A larger food location would be built in its place.

On September 6, 2013, Adventureland posted on their official Facebook page that a new attraction called Storm Chaser would be added. A 3D rendering of the ride was posted on the page, as well as an interview with park officials, showed that the new ride is a Mondial WindSeeker model. Park officials also stated that it would be replacing the aging Silly Silo due to that ride's frequent down time and the company no longer making parts to fix it.

On July 8, 2015, Adventureland announced that they were adding a new roller coaster called The Monster, a Gerstlauer Infinity coaster and the first of its kind in the United States. It opened to the public on June 4, 2016 after park employee previews a few days earlier. It replaced the River Rapids log ride, which ran since the park first opened. The Monster features a unique nighttime LED light display made up of 137 track mounted fixtures that synchronize to the ride vehicles, and 46 ground lights.

On September 20, 2017, Adventureland announced a new children's area called Bernie's Barnyard. It opened on July 20, 2018 it includes two family rides, a playground and kiddie arcade games. It replaced the Country Picnic area just behind the Storm Chaser.

Sometime in mid-April 2018, crews dismantled the Inverter, which had been sitting on the spot where Super Screamer used to be since 2000. It broke down early in the 2017 season and was closed the rest of the year, and was later determined that the ride would be taken down and put up for sale. It is currently sitting in pieces in the maintenance shed at the front of the park. For the 2018 Oktoberfest, the Inverter's old space was used for inflatables for the adults. On December 11, 2018, Adventureland announced on its Facebook page that it will be adding Phoenix, a $6 million spinning coaster from Maurer Rides. It opened on July 4, 2019, replacing the Inverter. It is the park's sixth roller coaster and the second-largest investment on a ride in Adventureland history behind the Monster.

On May 17, 2020 Adventureland teased a picture of a knight slaying a dragon (reference to the park's 1990 O.D. Hopkins double looping rollercoaster, the Dragon). The same day, crews were spotted dismantling the Dragon and a new teaser was posted with the title "The Dragon Slayer." This coaster is set to open in June 2021.


Adventureland is located off exit 142A of I-80, along U.S. Highway 65, in Altoona, just east of Des Moines, Iowa.

Themed areas and attractions

The park contains many design nods inspired by Disneyland: The entrance has a train station with two tunnels (on the left- and right-hand side) leading into the Main Street area, just like at Disneyland or Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom (and also similar to many other parks built since Disneyland opened in 1955); over in Outlaw Gulch, there are several tombstones that have virtually the same wording as tombstones outside of Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion attraction; the rocking pirate ship (Galleon) has played a soundtrack that included splashing water and an excerpt from the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song, "Yo Ho". Adventureland is a theme area of its own at Disneyland. The different themed areas in Adventureland are:

  • Adventure Bay (opened June 22, 2008) is a location behind Outlaw Gulch that is home to the Kokomo Kove water play area.
  • Alpine Village/Bavaria is a German-themed area. Sky Ride is the major attraction in this area of the park, along with the Rathskeller concession stand and Alpine Arcade. In 2015, the new Bier Garten opened featuring TV sets and German beers. In early years, an accordion player was found in this area of the park to add to the German feel.
  • Bernie's Barnyard is a children's area which replaced the Country Picnic Ground Area which had been there since 1988 and was removed in 2017, the area opened on July 20, 2018, The Area has a playground structure, a toddler play area, Kiddie Arcade Games, gift shop, seating and shaded areas, statue of the parks mascot Bernie Bernard, food stand and two kid rides: a Crazy Couch from Skyline Attractions called Shakin Bacon and a PonyTrekking from Metallbau EmmeIn called Junior Jockeys.
  • The Boulevard has several major rides; the biggest is Giant Sky Wheel, the largest open-gondola Ferris wheel built in the United States since G.W. Ferris built his wheel in 1893 for the Chicago Exposition.
  • County Fair is a rural-themed area whose principal attraction is Tornado, a large wooden roller coaster, as well as many fair-themed games of skill.
  • Dragon Island, near the rear of the park, was originally known as Riverview. Constructed in 1979, the area contained a number of attractions from the Riverview Park amusement center that had recently closed in nearby Des Moines. In 1990, the area was renamed Dragon Island when the Dragon roller coaster opened.
  • Iowa Farm follows a similar theme. The big pig in the Iowa Farm section of the park is actually a small concession stand.
  • Last Frontier is a western themed section. This section of the park is home to the Golden Nugget shooting gallery and Sheriff Sam's Saloon (named after former Altoona Mayor and Polk County Sheriff, Sam Wise).
  • Main Street, which resembles a stereotypical turn-of-the-20th-century town square, is the first area that visitors encounter upon entering the park. The principal attractions of this area are the A-Train (a small-scale locomotive which winds around one side of the park) and an antique-style carousel in the middle of the Town Square. Main Street also contains several gift shops, restaurants, an arcade and service-type establishments such as novelty photography. Also on Main Street, there is the Palace Theater, formerly home to large live shows, but today used for corporate events.
  • Outlaw Gulch, constructed in 1993, has an Old West theme, complete with a "ghost town". The attractions in this part of the park are The Outlaw (a small CCI wooden roller coaster), Chuck Wagon (a small western-themed Ferris wheel), Sidewinder (a swinging pendulum ride whose gondola swings riders over 180 degrees while spinning) and Saw Mill Splash, a water ride. The Royal Hanneford Circus is also presented. During the 1993 season, there was a western-themed band that played a banjo and bottles on the mock stage that still remains behind to the kettle corn stand. Also in the first few years of operation, a cowboy-themed comedy show was held in front of the ghost town facade, but it was later removed and the shooting gallery was installed there. The food location also changed from a walk-in drink and snack bar to a front counter serving hamburgers and other fast food. Other food vendors in the section include a kettle corn stand, old fashioned sodas and Dippin' Dots.
  • River City is built around the Raging River ride and was inspired by Mississippi River towns. There is usually jazz or zydeco music in the background. The founder of Adventureland was a fan of New Orleans-style jazz. River City may have been influenced by the fictional River City in the Meredith Willson musical The Music Man. Several food stands are located in this section of the park as well.
  • Space Shot Midway is built around the Space Shot ride. Another attraction is The Underground, a ride that incorporates elements of both a dark ride and a roller coaster. The Frantic Freeway bumper cars and numerous kids' rides are also nearby.


Roller coasters

Ride Name Picture Year Opened Manufacturer Location Other Notes
Dragon Slayer 2021 S&S - Sansei Technologies Dragon Island Replaced the Dragon
The Monster Monster at Adventureland from the line.jpg 2016 Gerstlauer Infinity coaster Last Frontier Opened June 4, 2016, replacing the River Rapids log ride. On July 10, 2016, on-ride pictures were added.
The Outlaw Outlaw, Adventureland.jpg 1993 Custom Coasters International (CCI) Outlaw Gulch Opened April 24, 1993, along with the new Outlaw Gulch section.
Phoenix 2019 Maurer AG Boulevard Opened July 4, 2019. Originally scheduled for June, but it was delayed due to inclement weather stalling progress during that month. An individual car seats 4, 2 front-facing and 2 rear-facing. As it travels along the track, the car unpredictably spins 360°.
Tornado First drop 1978 Designed by William Cobb. County Fair Opened July 4, 1978 – Up until the addition of the seat belts in 1997 both red and blue trains would run at the same time. In 2010, on-ride pictures were added.
The Underground 1996 Custom Coasters International (CCI) Dark Ride Space Shot Midway An indoor dark ride using a roller coaster ride system. Ride and cars by CCI. Animated figures by Themed Environments and Effects.

Other rides

Adventureland, Iowa train station
South side view of the A-Train station
Space Shot at Adventureland, Iowa
The top of the Space Shot
Giant Skywheel at Adventureland, Iowa
Giant Sky Wheel
A-train at Adventureland, Iowa
A-train engine and car
Der Flinger at Adventureland, Iowa
Der Flinger
Tea Cups at Adventureland, Iowa
Tea Cups
Ride Name Year Opened Manufacturer Notes
A-Train 1985 Chance Small train that travels around one side of the park, then loops and returns on the same track. Its only stop is the station on Main Street. Replaced the Toonerville Trolleys.
Balloon Race 1987 Zamperla Family ride that spins riders in hot air balloon-shaped cars. Replaced the Flying Scooters.
Chuck Wagon 1993 Zamperla A miniature western-themed Ferris wheel (opened in 1993).
Convoy 1989 Zamperla A semi-truck-themed ride for younger children. Originally located in the queue where the Dragon is.
Der Flinger 1976 Paratrooper ride.
Falling Star 1989 Chance Rotating platform ride; replaced The Rainbow.
Frantic Freeway 1974 Barbieri Rides Traditional bumper cars ride. Opened August 16, 1974. New bumper cars with lap bars added to ride in 1991.
Frog Hopper 2006 S&S A mini version of the Space Shot, seats are raised and then bounced up and down.
G-Force 1997 HUSS Spinning ride on the order of a Scrambler. Located on the right side of the falling star before the scrambler reopened in its spot in 2011, relocated in the newly built Main Street arcade in 2011.
Galleon 1985 Zamperla Swinging ship ride.
Giant Sky Wheel 1991 Chance Large Ferris wheel. Replaced Der Flitzer.
Himalaya 2000 Wisdom Rides Spinning, tilted ride. Replaced the Riverview Carousel.
Infant Ocean 1974 Miniature boats spin slowly around a central axis.
Kiddie Kars 1980 Hampton Various themed cars spin slowly around a central axis. Originally opened in 1972 at Riverview. This ride replaced Adventureland's first carousel which was called the happy horses
Lady Bugs 1976 Bug-shaped cars travel on a circular track.
Lady Luck 1974 Chance Opened August 16, 1974. Trabant ride with a roulette wheel theme.
Lighthouse 1974 Opened August 16, 1974. Traditional hurricane carnival ride.
Puff Dragons 1991 Zamperla Dragon-themed cars spin around a central axis. Originally located on Dragon Island.
Red Baron 1978 Zamperla Small World War I-themed planes spin around a central axis and riders can control how high off the ground they want to "fly". Replaced the helicopters.
Round Up 1974 Sellner Manufacturing Tilt-a-Whirl ride.
Scrambler 1974 Eli Bridge Classic Scrambler. Originally located where the Falling Star is, originally known as the Bavarian Scrambler, reopened as the Wrangler in 1993 in Outlaw Gulch, reopened in 2011 as the Scrambler in the former location of G-Force. This ride first opened in 1968 at Riverview
Shakin' Bacon 2018 Skyline Attractions A farm-themed Crazy Couch that raises riders up and down while tilting side to side, located in Bernie's Barnyard. Opened on July 20, 2018. Originally announced as Pig Out.
Sidewinder 2004 Moser's Rides Spinning pendulumn ride that swings riders slightly more than 180-degrees. Seatbelts added in 2007.
Sky Ride 1975 Traditional chairlift ride originally from the World's Fair in Spokane, Washington. The Clock building that covers the sky ride was added in 1976. The Sky Ride ran in Washington in 1974 then in 1975 it was given to Adventureland as a gift for the parks first full operating season.
Space Shot 1999 S&S Opened April 7, 1999. Visitors blast off into "space" up a 200-foot (61 m) tower and free fall safely back to the ground.
Junior Jockeys 2018 Metallbau Emmeln A farm themed Pony Trek that takes riders around a small track while riding a pony on a metal rail. Located in Bernie's Barnyard. Opened on July 20, 2018.
Raging River 1983 Intamin Whitewater river raft ride with rapids, waterfalls, and geysers.
Saw Mill Splash 2002 WhiteWater West Family waterslide with splash-down at the bottom.
Storm Chaser 2014 Mondial Swing ride that takes passengers up a 260-foot tower and spins them around at 35 mph replaced the Silly Silo.
Tea Cups 1976 Philadelphia Toboggan Company Traditional "crazy daisy" tea cups ride.
Town Square Carousel 2000 Chance Replica of an antique carousel; replaced the old carousel where the Himalaya now stands.

Former attractions

Name Opened Closed Manufacturer/Ride Type Location/Other Notes
Antique Roadsters 1979 1987 The layout of the ride itself was there from 1974 till 1987. The ride was renamed the Antique Roadsters when the cars were changed from jeeps to antique cars in 1979.
Carousel 1979 1999 A carousel ride that replaced Adventureland's first carousel. It would move to the new Riverview Island section of the park in 1980. It was replaced by the Himalaya.
Der Flitzer 1974 1990 Zierer A small German snow-capped mountain-themed coaster. Formerly called "Raylle Racers" (1974–1975), located in the area where the tea cups is. It was relocated and renamed in 1976. The Giant Sky Wheel now occupies its space.
Flying Scooters 1974 1986 Replaced by the Balloon Race.
Dragon 1990 2019 Hopkins Double looping roller coaster. Replaced by The Dragon Slayer in 2021.
Galaxy 1980 1990 Soli Himalaya A Himalaya ride that came from Riverview Park, operating there 1973–1978. Replaced by Puff Dragons, then became the Dragon Island games pavilion.
Happy Horses 1974 1979 Adventurelands first carousel, replaced by the Hampton cars.
Haunted House 1980 1988 Funni-Frite Part of the Riverview area (now Dragon Island) and one of the attractions moved from Riverview Park in Des Moines. This attraction opened at Riverview 1975–1978. Replaced by the Convoy for one year, before becoming the station for the Dragon.
Helicopters 1974 1977 A small little kiddy helicopter ride that spun in the air replaced by the Red Baron.
The Inverter 2000 2017 Chance Ride took guests up 50 feet (15 m) in the air and hangs them inverted. Replaced the Super Screamer roller coaster, and was later replaced by Phoenix in 2019.
Jaunty Jeeps 1974 1978 The layout of the ride itself was there from 1974 till 1987, old fashioned cars people got to drive with a center track on the path to keep people from driving off the ride. This attraction was located where the picnic area is. The cars were changed from jeeps to antique cars in 1979 which caused this attraction to be renamed as the Antique Roadsters.
Mirror Maze 1980 1989 Part of the Riverview area (now Dragon Island), and one of the attractions moved from Riverview Park in Des Moines. A small selection of fun mirrors remain at the exit of The Dragon.
The Mixer 1997 2005 Zamperla Spun and inverted visitors on several axes, replaced by Splash Over.
The Queen 1974 1984 The boat itself was a passenger steamer that was used to carry passengers across Lake Okoboji in Okoboji, Iowa. She served from 1884 until 1973 when she was sent to Adventureland. It docked by where today sits the river city funnel cake stand. The boat ran on an underwater track, but due to mechanical problems, the queen was replaced by the "River Boats." After a renovation, the Queen returned to her dock in River City in 1980. She remained there until 1984 as a walk through attraction with a dixieland band. According to one of the workers that worked at the park years ago, one of the workers torched it so the boat would sink. The Queen still remains under the water on the left side of the Raging River bridge.
River Boats 1977 1979 Paddlewheel boats that replaced the Queen. Due to mechanical problems, the Queen was moved to a corner of the lake. After a renovation, the Queen returned to her dock in River City in 1980 as a walk through attraction.
River Rapids (Log Ride) 1974 2015 A log flume ride with two drops, replaced by The Monster. In 2006, on-ride pictures were added.
Splash Over 2006 2019 Moser's Rides Thrill ride where riders are propelled and inverted; replaced the Mixer, which opened in 1997.
Silly Silo 1974 2013 Chance A traditional rotor ride, replaced by the Storm Chaser.
Super Screamer 1976 1999 S.D.C. A smaller Galaxi model roller coaster built by S.D.C., replaced by The Inverter.
Toonerville Trolleys 1974 1979? A set of three 1890s replica trolleys built by Gordon Wiligrocki. The trolleys ran on natural gas, touring the perimeter of the park with various stops. The name comes from the popular newspaper comic strip Toonerville Folks and the Des Moines Interurban route that ran through Altoona that was nicknamed the "Toonerville Trolley." Was replaced by the A-Train.
Trapper John's Adventure 1974 1976? A "low-profile river excursion" boat ride, tells the story of the historical growth of Northeast Iowa. The boat docked where the Dragon Island bridge is now located.
Wee Critters (Petting Zoo) 1974 1975? Located in the Iowa Farm section of the park, where the Storm Chaser now stands.

Double Twister 1975 a bamboozler carnival ride located where the Scrambler now stands.

Adventure Bay

Adventure Bay is the water park section of Adventureland. Except for Kokomo Kove, it was new for 2010. In addition to the water features, it offers changing areas, lockers for rent, lounge chairs and food service which includes a full-service bar named the Sand Bar.

Ride Name Year Opened Manufacturer Notes
Bermuda Quadrangle 2010 ProSlide Technology A quartet of tube slides, which can be ridden on single or tandem tubes. Tubes can be picked up and returned at the base of the slide tower, free of charge. There are height minimums of 48 inches (120 cm) for a single rider to 42 inches (110 cm) for a child accompanied by an adult on two of the four slides. There is a weight maximum of 250 lbs for these slides. The slides each have unique features, including sections of complete darkness, four small funnels and a large funnel.
Breaker Beach 2012 Opened on May 26, 2012. It is Iowa's largest wave pool.
Caribbean Cruiser 2010 ProSlide Technology A lazy river looping one-third of a mile around, with a depth of 3 feet (0.91 m). Visitors can rent tubes for $5 or just cruise along with no tube.
Gang Plank and Pirates Plunge 2010 ProSlide Technology Two speed slides that zip riders along at high speeds. Visitors must be at least 48 inches (120 cm) to ride the two speed slides.
Heron Harbor 2009 Splashpad located next to Kokomo Kove.
Kokomo Kove 2008 WhiteWater West A water play structure opened on June 22, 2008 and is included in the standard admission price. The Kokomo Kove structure is approximately 65 feet (20 m) tall at its highest point and covers approximately 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2). The feature includes 7 water slides of varying lengths and heights; 123 different water jet features, including water guns, tipping cones, hose jets and umbrella jets; and 91 different play features, including net bridges and climbs, crawl tunnels, and pull ropes.
Reef Racer 2010 ProSlide Technology six slides hooked together to create a racing slide, where riders lie face-first on mats and slide down, "racing" other guests. Visitors must be at least 42 inches (110 cm) to ride.
Shipwreck Shores 2012 Opened with Breaker Beach. It is a kiddie pool with a pirate ship-themed water slide for kids and swim-up beverage center just for kids.
Typhoon 2010 ProSlide Technology A two- to four-person raft ride. There is one large funnel and many twists and turns. Minimum height is 48 inches (120 cm).

Games areas

The games department consists of three games areas:

  • Alpine Games – Alpine is located near the front of the park close to the Giant Sky Wheel.
  • County Fair – opened 1980, According to park operators, this is Adventureland's most popular games area. County Fair is a rather large games area and features many popular games, including Speedball, Derby Downs, Center Ring and Skee Ball. County Fair is unique in that the area is very long, whereas the other two areas are more circular. The north part of the area, sometimes called "The Iowa Farm Section," is where the entrance to Tornado is located. The Iowa Farm Section features Speedball, County Fair's most popular game.
  • Dragon Island – renamed as Dragon island in 1990 the area was originally called Riverview Island which was built in 1980, Despite not being as big as County Fair or Alpine, Dragon Island ranks 2nd in popularity. Dragon Island has a much different atmosphere than County Fair or Alpine. While County Fair and Alpine have a more fun atmosphere, playing upbeat, popular music that most guests will be able to recognize, Dragon Island has a more mellow atmosphere, playing slow music without vocals.


The park features counter service eating locations, including the (new for 2018) Doc and Leone's Diner and Bar on Main Street, Chicken Shack, Rally Round, Petunia Pig, Taco Villa, Sub sandwich Land, River City Pizza, Rathskeller, Spectator's and Outlaw Gulch Foods.


While the park has sold beer (and sometimes wine coolers) in the past, in recent years they have added more adult beverage locations.

  • Bier Garten (opened 2015) – Located in the Bavaria section of the park and directly attached to Rathskeller. It serves German beers.
  • Corona Cafe (opened 2015 as Abita Bar) – Located in River City, it serves bottle beers and frozen drinks.
  • ICEE Mix It Up – formerly ICEEs only, in 2017 alcohol shots were added, similar to the offerings at their Oktoberfest.
  • Iowa Beer & Wine Shop (opened 2015) – Located in the Iowa Farm area next to the Storm Chaser. It features a variety of Iowa craft beers and wines, a full bar and a frozen drink. In 2016, a new performance area was added with local musical acts playing during the summer. In 2017, a barn-shaped tent was added in front and in 2018 the drink menu was expanded.
  • Sand Bar (opened 2010) – A full bar located in Adventure Bay. It features cocktails named after park attractions, as well as frozen drinks.

Other food locations serve canned beers and similar beverages.

Special events

Every year on July 4, Adventureland presents fireworks 15 minutes before the park closes.

Adventureland also hosts various events during the off-season when the park is closed. Visitors enter through an open gate at the front entrance and are allowed only in the Main Street Palace Theater which is connected to the Doc and Leone's Diner on Main Street for food and snacks.

During the first few weekends of operation, various school bands are invited to play in the park.

Each year, substance-free days are held in conjunction with D.A.R.E.

Over Memorial Day weekend there is a military promotion.

There are four park areas available for company picnics, reunions or other large gatherings.

On October 3, 2015, Adventureland hosted its first Oktoberfest event. A $10 admission (with free parking) included one beer and access to a limited selection of rides and attractions during this one day event. Dozens of food and drink stands were brought in to the park (many from outside vendors). The 2nd annual Oktoberfest was held on October 1, 2016 and the third was held on September 30, 2017. Pricing and dates for future Oktoberfest events are posted on their website.

Mascots and characters

The park's official mascot is Bernie Bernard, a St. Bernard dog. A cartoon drawing of Bernie appears on park guides and maps, and a walk-around character poses for photos in the park. In 2017, a new version of Bernie appeared in the park, with a much rounder look. In 2018, Bernie received his own area of the park: Bernie's Barnyard.

Another character, "Toby" the tiger, also walks around the park. According to Adventureland's public relations department, "Toby the tiger has been around about as long as Bernie, but is not in our ads, so he might not be as recognizable."

There are two additional dog characters: Heather, also seen in the park; and Henry, who used to appear and was even sold as a stuffed animal.

For a special promotion in 2001, Garfield the cat appeared in the park with a special photo opportunity on Main Street.

An actor who plays an old west miner appeared for many years in TV commercials and his voice is heard in The Underground narration (and as the voice of the old miner animatronic in the pre-show). A cartoon caricature of him appears as the "must be this tall to ride" sign outside of The Outlaw.

At the ticket window of the Palace Theater, an animatronic character named P.T. Barnaby spiels about park happenings each year. He is currently voiced by Billy Martin, the ringmaster of the Royal Hanneford Circus.

There are many other costumed characters that have appeared in the park over the years.


Current shows

  • Ben Ulin magic show, added in 1988, in Sheriff Sam's Saloon. 2017 was his 30th year.
  • Comedy Juggler Brad Weston at the Coca-Cola Cafe (formerly Soda and Sounds). This stage includes a hamburger restaurant with tables to sit and eat a meal around the stage that rises out of the ground.
  • Iowa Beer and Wine Shop stage, added in 2016, features live local music acts. In 2017, a barn-shaped tent was added.
  • The Adventureland Circus. added in 2017 replaced the Royal Hanneford Circus, a Circus with a newly colored tent, new acts, shows and more.
  • American Puppet Theater, added in 2017, performed and created by Libby Weston appears at the Chapel stage.

Former shows

  • Dolphin Sea Lion Show 1 (1977–1979) This Dolphin Sea Lion Show was located in the area where G-Force's used to be, a new Dolphin Sea Lion Show opened in 1988 where The Underground is now. This Dolphin Sea Lion Show was replaced by the High Diving Act.
  • Aquatheatre Dolphin Sea Lion Show 2 (1988–1995) Replaced by The Underground. The swimming pool remains but the water was removed.
  • Daniel and the Dixieland Diggers (closed 1999). Animatronic music show in the center of Main Street, replaced by the Carousel.
  • Game Show: Double Dare (to mimic Nickelodeon's Double Dare). Contestants were selected from the audience to participate in stunts and games like Beat The Clock. The Underground is now in this space
  • Goat Island (1974–1979) A small lake themed area that was located where the raging river and where Dragon Island now stands.
  • High Diving Act, (1980–1987) This show was located where the G forces old location was.
  • Palace Theater shows (1996), live shows were formerly held in the Palace Theater.
  • Royal Hanneford circus (1997–2016) replaced by the Adventureland Circus, the Circus tent was originally located behind the Outlaw. in 2008 construction of the water park caused the circus to be relocated just behind the Saw Mill Splash with a new access walkway between that ride and exit of the Outlaw.
kids search engine
Adventureland (Iowa) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.