Travel Note

27th July 2014

Day nine of our trip was originally planned to start with Fun Plex in Nebraska, but we learned on arrival that the Big Ohhhh! roller coaster was down due to high winds. This wasn't what we needed at the end of a four hour drive, but there was nothing we could do. We stopped for lunch with a college friend of mine who lives in downtown Omaha, then got back in the car for a few more hours of driving.


Adventureland Iowa

27th July 2014

The early arrivals had already begun to filter out of Adventureland Iowa by the time we arrived in the late afternoon, allowing us to pick up a parking space directly across from the main entrance. We made our way through the gate, past the entrance area copied from Disneyland, and headed directly for our first ride.

Tornado was being operated by an enthusiastic and sprightly septuagenarian, assisted by a young woman who was checking the buzz bar restraints. Our first lap in the back seat did its best to kill me, as the train bottomed out quite badly at the base of each drop, but a subsequent ride in the middle of the train was much more comfortable. The ride wasn't particularly memorable, being an out and back layout largely devoid of airtime, but it was nice to see some preservation in a year that has already seen two classics retired.


Dragon is quite photogenic, with two consecutive loops standing proudly in front of a lake. Unfortunately, the ride itself is a mixed bag, with a set of bunny hops on the way out of the station that manage to hurt despite being negotiated at a minimal speed. A sharp turn onto the lift hill follows, which throws all on board hard into their overhead restraints. Fortunately, the experience improves somewhat after the train leaves the lift hill; the main drop is negotiated smoothly, and the two inversions feature strong positive forces. The rest of the ride is made up of helices that are fairly unmemorable, but on the plus side, they don't hurt much!

The operator working Outlaw seemed slightly confused today, at one point describing his ride as Tornoutlaw. Regardless of what you might wish to call it, my personal favourite being Dragonlaw, the ride was the second wood coaster to be built by Custom Coasters International, and as such is somewhat less forceful than their later rides. Despite that, it is an enjoyable wooden twister, and in my view the best coaster in the park. Megan was less taken with the ride than I was, but despite that we enjoyed two laps, one in the second row from back, and one in the back row.

Describing Underground as a coaster is stretching the definition to breaking point, given its top speed of around five miles per hour. I've described the interior in detail before, but it's worth adding that the train only has a simple T-bar as a restraint, which reinforces the idea that this is, in fact, a dark ride. We saw several people openly using cameras as the train left the station, though anyone trying to do this should be aware that the ride has a mist effect immediately after the first turn.

My previous trip report mentioned the possibility of good photographs from the Ferris Wheel, but this is no longer the case eight years on, as the trees within the park have gotten that little bit taller and now block most of the rides from sight. There is still a nice log flume shot from the Sky Ride, though you do need to be lucky with your timing.

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Adventureland Iowa

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