Day Three of my epic trip brought me through Nebraska and Iowa and what better way to take a break from driving than at a great amusement park.
Adventureland in Iowa is a great smaller park with some great rides, great food, outstanding staff and a main street that may look a bit familiar to most of you.
There's a lot of pictures to get to, hope you enjoy the update!!
If you missed the first two updates from my trip to Adventuredome at Circus Circus, Las Vegas or Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Colorado click the links to get caught up!!
Upon arriving to the park around 3pm after a 9 hour drive I headed to the booths to get my ticket. If you are going to the park be sure to stop by a local "Taco John's" to get a coupon, it will save you a few bucks.
I was kind of worried that 3 hours wouldn't be enough to experience everything the park had to offer but thankfully a Wednesday in May wasn't very busy. It also helps that the operations at the park were phenomenal.
Upon entering the park, I caught a glimpse of the train station. As a train fan I made a point to come back later and enjoy.
Headed through the tunnel under the tracks
As soon as I did, I was met with a town square that looked awfully familiar, cute, quaint and welcoming.
The parks carousel
Let's take a look at the parks town square and Main Street
Some of the buildings are functional, some look to be just themeing. Not sure if they open these up when the park is busier, it certainly wasn't needed during my visit.
The other side of Town Square
The Fire Station is where you rent all of your strollers and/or wagons
Shave and a Haircut ...
I love this clock
The parks carousel is beautiful
The left side of Main Street was completely destroyed in a fire in 2010, the park has done a GREAT job rebuilding and matching the two sides.
If you squint you can almost see the castle, just like at Disneyland. ;)
The newest side of Main Street
They even have a Penny Arcade
Photography store at the end of Main Street
A look back at Main Street
Let's take a little ride on the railroad
The train isn't necessarily a "transportation" ride, but just circles back to the front of the park.
The train ride gives a great view of the park and many of the rides
The Paratrooper. One of my favorite flat rides
The park is absolutely beautiful and very well maintained. Just a nice place to spend a spring/summer day.
Geese seem to follow me everywhere
One last look at Town Square from the train station
Beyond Main Street you get to have a great time on many of the parks rides
The first coaster I came to was Tornado, which is a fun wooden coaster. It proves that it doesn't have to be the tallest or the fastest to be fun.
Lots of shade in the queue for those hot summer days
The ride stretches out to cover most of the backside of the park and gives a great view of the waterpark which sadly wasn't open during my visit. It looked awesome!
Fans of Windseeker at Knott's rejoice, the park is building their own model named Storm Chaser. As you can see the ride is a bit smaller than the standard model but it should give some great views of the park once it opens in June.
Once the ride opens we'll be sharing all of the info the park provides us. It's scheduled to open sometime in June.
Some of that good park food I was talking about earlier. Giant Pickle on a Stick ... because anything on a stick is awesome.
Walking along the lake towards the back-side of the park
Hmmm ... =)
The park has an AMAZING collection of flat rides
Next up was The Dragon. I'd heard a lot of mixed reviews of this ride, I thought the layout was great, a bit bumpy but overall not the worst ride I've ever been on.
The exit from the station to the lift is pretty unique
Double Loop Awesomeness!!
These would be like 10 foot Ninja Turtles in real life
Heading to the very back of the park, the Outlaw Gulch area is the parks Wild West area
Saw Mill Splash is a great raft ride. I didn't ride this one but I've ridden similar rides. Lots of fun.
This is definitely one of the better themed ones I've seen
The other major ride in this area of the park is the Outlaw, which at a height requirement of only 42" is a great "starter" coaster.
Outlaw is a very fast and fun woodie that I rode multiple times
The surrounding area is themed nicely
Sidewinder, another of my favorites
Very retro 80's
The ride that I was looking forward to most was definitely The Underground which is a fun roller coaster with some dark ride elements.
It definitely has some themeing that reminded me of the Calico Mine Ride at Knott's, just on a lesser scale, but still a heck of a lot of fun.
Not sure what these things are for (other than shade) but I've seen them at a few other park sand they are cool looking.
Lastly, one of my favorite rides at any amusement park has always been the Sky Ride, sadly they are becoming harder to find. Adventureland actually has a pretty great one!!
Time for an overhead view of the park
Through the trees!!
River Rapids Log Flume, another of my favorite type of ride
A birds eye view of Main Street
That's going to wrap it up for this update, we hope you enjoyed this look at a great amusement park. If you ever find yourself in Iowa, Adventureland is definitely a park you should find the time to visit. You will have a great time.
For more information on the park you can check out their website at www.adventurelandpark.com
Tomorrow we are going to be playing catch-up a bit with some press info from Knott's and Legoland California and then early next week we'll have some updates from Six Flags Magic Mountain/Hurricane Harbor, Six Flags Great America and Six Flags St. Louis.
Day Two of my epic Cross-Country trip brought me through Utah and into Colorado heading up from Grand Junction to Denver, which would take me right by Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.
I'd wanted to visit the caves on my visits to the area over the past 15 years but I could never quite manage to find the time. I made sure I did this time, and I'm so happy I did. It's truly amazing!!
If you missed the first park of my trip, Adventuredome Las Vegas just click on the link.
Upon arriving to the park, you see that the best way to get to the park is via Gondola, which will take you the 7,000 feet up to the main park. There is also a shuttle that goes up to the park for those who don't wish to do the Gondolas.
I'm not afraid of heights AT ALL but even I was a little freaked out by the Gondola's given that I was riding solo, it was windy and they would periodically slow down to let passengers on or off.
Some views of the ride up
Once you reach the top you'll reach the actual park entrance.
Let's see what they have at the park shall we ...
The park uses the natural terrain very well and while the caves are the main draw, all of the rides they've installed over the past decade use the land to their full extent.
An overview of the parks entry area
There are few parks that use their natural setting as well as Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
The Mine Wheel
Unfortunately the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster was closed during my visit but that just means I'll need to visit again, which is just fine. =)
The two new attractions for 2014. The Soaring Eagle Zip Ride, which is already open and the Canyon Flyer which opened over the weekend. The Canyon Flyer will however be closed the next few days as they finish the paths around the ride. It should be open this weekend!!
Another reason to head back to the park!!!
I was most excited to ride the Alpine Coaster since I'd never been on one before. I'm sure they aren't all this awesome, I've heard this is one of the best.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to take any pictures or video while on the ride.
As a parent I love this sign explaining to kids that maybe they can ride next year if they aren't tall enough.
One of the new additions for this year is the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride, which was awesome!!! Great views and great thrills.
The parks other coaster is the Wild West Express Coaster which is a fun little Zierer.
It's got a nice theme that fits the park well
Down in the Caver's Corner of the park you'll find the cave tours and more rides.
There were a few nature signs around the park
Spectacular Views everywhere you look
The Giant Swing is a standard S&S Screaming Swing but you'll see below that it features an amazing view.
I was unfortunately unable to do any of the cave tours since there were some thunder storms heading into Denver (my destination for the night) and I had to get on the road. Third reason to visit again, and we will definitely be doing that soon!!!
Some info on the Cave Tours:
As I headed back down the hill I was able to get some more pictures of the Alpine Coaster and views of the surrounding area.
More views of the Alpine Coaster
Another set of Gondola's heading up the hill
A look back up towards the park from the parking area. Truly awesome!!
If you'd like more info on the park, please visit their website at glenwoodcaverns.com
In addition to the park you can also stay at the Hotel Glenwood Springs which looked really awesome.
During my epic cross-country (and back) trip I decided to stop by a few amusement parks to cut the drive up even though my trip wasn't necessarily about going to amusement parks. Luckily there were some great parks on my way from CA to PA and I was able to visit some parks I've wanted to visit for awhile, and re-visit some favorites. The first of the latter was Adventuredome at Circus Circus, Las Vegas.
Before we begin, a HUGE thank you to Krista and Kylee at Adventuredome for setting up our on-ride video and for just being awesome people.
If you haven't seen the video yet, it's just below.
It had been a few years since my last visit and of course the big draw was the new for 2014 El Loco. Without question it's the best coaster in Vegas and really is worth the trip for any enthusiast. It's a great addition to this park, the unique setting makes it even more amazing and the on-ride audio makes it even better.
Below are a few shots of the ride in action.
The ride is very photogenic and we had a great time walking around the park getting pictures in different spots.
A full layout of the ride
Overall I'd say the ride is about a 9.5 out of 10. It is a bit short, but what it lacks in length it makes up for in uniqueness. It's a winner!!!
Elsewhere, the parks other coaster Canyon Blaster is holding up great considering it's 21 years old.
You know you are in Vegas when you see this in a park!!
A look at the other rides around the park.
Sling Shot, which is one of the better ones I've ridden.
Who lives in a pineapple under the dome? Sounds like some Nickelodeon/Stephen King mashup.
That's going to wrap it up for this update. Run, do not walk to Vegas and get on El Loco. You certainly will not be disappointed!!!
Tomorrow will be our next update from Glenwood Cavern's Adventure Park in Colorado.