Adventureland first opened in 1974. It has been an iconic spot for both kids, and adults for years. As an Iowan, I have gone to this spot at least once every year. It was a popular place for my grandparents to take me as a kid.

Many people In Iowa have great stories about Adventureland.

More About The History

While construction of Adventureland Park began in 1973 on a site formerly occupied by a small airport in Des Moines. The first full season began in 1975. A quick history of the land is as follows,

Active in the 1920s until a larger municipal airport was built in 1933 at a different location. The area was later used for farming until Adventureland's construction broke ground. Its grand opening was scheduled for July 1974, but the park suffered light damage from a tornado, delaying the opening until late August.

My personal favorite, the Tornado was added in 1978. It was a  wooden roller coaster named after the tornado that delayed the park's grand opening. It is still up today. Over the years many more popular rides have been taken down, and others have been added. On December 21st, 2021, it was announced that Palace Entertainment would be acquiring Adventureland.

Adventureland Photos

One of the biggest and most popular rides at the park was The Dragon. It was replaced by the "Dragon Slayer" on May 29, 2021.


Another ride replaced by a coster was the log ride. It was replaced by the roller coaster called "The Monster."


And who could forget the photos taken while going down the ride before the SPLASH?


The circus is still going on, but these photos are of the one that was formally located by the Outlaw before moving closer to the center of the park.


The mascots. While you can still see a few from time to time, there are not nearly as many walking around.

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They even had Garfield hanging out at one part.

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Here are some of the closed rides over the years, do you remember these?

Helicopters: Closed: 1974 Opened: 1977

Haunted House: Opened: 1980 Closed: 1988

Super Screamer: Opened: 1976 Closed: 1999

Silly Silo: Opened: 1974  Closed: 2013

Splash Over: Opened: 2006 Closed: 2019

Lady Luck: Opened: 1974 Closed: 021

Falling Star: Opened: 1989 Closed: 2021

You can see even more, and the history of almost all the rides here.

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