A question about a park called Riverview in IA

Wednesday, October 9, 2002 11:15 PM

I apologize if this is not an appropriate place to ask about something like this, but there was an old amusement park in Des Moines called Riverview. I believe it closed in 1978.

I am looking for any information that I can find about this old park--when it opened, why it closed, who owned it--absolutely anything that someone might know. I grew up about a quarter mile from the park and I'm just looking for anything at all anyone might be able to tell me.

Thanks

My email address is Blanchdc@hotmail.com

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Thursday, October 10, 2002 3:05 AM

I don't have any info really, but here are some pictures of the coasters..........http://www.rcdb.com/locationdetail780.htm

EDIT-now that I look at it, there are no pictures, but they have the stats and info on the coasters!

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Good Times!! Good Times!!
CCI Lives On!!!!
-Patrick

*** This post was edited by cdrpointcrazy4 on 10/10/2002. ***

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Thursday, October 10, 2002 7:18 AM
I have a rollercoasterbook that has a picture of it in it. I'm trying to remember which one it is. I think that it might have been I want to say that it's "The American Rollercoaster" by Scott Rutherford, but I am not for sure -- I will look when I go home this weekend.

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SWOOSH
http://www.themeparksonline.org
(In cyberspace no one can hear you scream)

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Thursday, October 10, 2002 3:17 PM

Thanks alot for the help. I'll tell you, this is one hard park to track down information on. Especially living out of state.

Thanks again.

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Thursday, October 10, 2002 7:39 PM
Hi there!

In my research on "my" Riverview (that RULED Chicago for a good part of the 20th century) I came up with this site for YOUR Riverview...

http://www.captainjack.com/dm/riverviewpark.jpg
(just a pic)
If I were you, I would email the "captain" and see if he has any info about your park.

I've also done some research on the old Forest Park Amusement Park just outside Chicago....really is interesting "visiting" these old parks in words and pictures. Amazing to me just how many parks there used to be!

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Friday, October 11, 2002 1:16 PM

I don't have much info like the other's...but if I am not mistaken, at least one of the old rides was moved from Riverview to Adventureland. I believe it was the Super Screamer...which has now moved on to Pharoahs Lost Kingdom. RCDB does not have any info on it prior to Adventureland...so I could be wrong.

Hope you find some information.

On the picture in the post above, I tried to zoom in to tell if the item in the upper right hand corner was the Screamer. The far north part looks like it, but the south part of the ride does not. The superscreamer was pretty even in heighth on both sides of the coaster (if looking at it from the front, the right side sat higher) Anyone know any more?

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Waiting for the CP announcement to be made so that about 1000+ posts will be made complaining about it.

*** This post was edited by Matt on 10/11/2002. ***

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Friday, October 11, 2002 6:26 PM
Hmm, I don't know if Super Screamer was ever at Riverview, but for some reason I'm thinking it wasn't. I could be wrong on that though. Matt, you could be looking at the very extreme Mouse Riverview had.

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Top 5 Steel: #1 Millenium Force #2 Phantom's Revenge #3 Ice Dragon #4 Incredible Hulk #5 Wild Thing
Top 5 Wood #1 Viper #2 Thunderbolt #3 Timberwolf #4 Outlaw #5 Screaming Eagle

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Saturday, October 12, 2002 11:56 AM
After some further research, the Screamer at Adventureland did not come from Riverview. Screamer was added in 76 and the Riverview rides were not added to Adventureland until 1979. I have not located, yet, what rides did make the transition from Riverview to Adventureland. The parks website states some attractions were moved, but does not list them.

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Waiting for the CP announcement to be made so that about 1000+ posts will be made complaining about it.

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Saturday, October 12, 2002 12:39 PM

Wow! I appreciate the help you all have given me. I didn't actually expect that much response.

I went to Adventure numerous times while I lived in Des Moines, but looking at the picture above, nothing really looks familiar. I remember when Adventureland had the "Riverview" section of its park, but the rides, other than the carousel still don't look familiar. Of course, they could have changed a lot out since my first memories of the place.

For anyone who cares, I did find out a small bit of info about Riverview since it closed. I visited the area where it was several years ago, looking at the ruins of it. What I found strange at the time was that there seemed to be a lot of dead fish from the surrounding lake laying around. It looks like there was a battery factory sitting close to the lake that may have cause extreeme amounts of lead to seep into the lake, which I suppose could account for the dead fish. Just a little info.

Thanks again.

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Saturday, October 12, 2002 6:18 PM

In the book "Enthusiasts Colo Series - Roller Coasters" by Micke Schafer and Scott Rutherford on page 14, there is a picture of the Miller-designed Coaster that was a Riverview park in Des Moines. It says the picture was taken in 1978, the park's final season. It looks to me that the coaster had NAD cars, but I may be mistaken.

-Swoosh

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Saturday, October 12, 2002 9:47 PM
Too bad my dad doesn't post here anymore...he probably could have told you alot about Riverview, as he pretty much grew up on the whole experience...
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Saturday, October 12, 2002 10:12 PM
I'm a Des Moines native and have been wondering about Riverview as well. I grew up hearing stories from my parents about how wild the park's Wild Mouse was. I believe two of the rides that made it from Riverview to Adventureland were the original Himalaya (sp?) and carousel that were in the Rivervew/Dragon island section of Adventureland before Outlaw Gulch was created.
It sure would be nice if the city would bring back Riverview as a small park again. They're so big on making the downtown area more attractive to people seeking entertainment and there's talk of building some kind of "family adventure park" over by the intersection of the two rivers (south side) which is on the opposite side of the downtown area from where Riverview was (north side). Why not bring back Riverview instead? They could do what they did with Belmont Park in San Diego, CA.
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-Matt in Iowa
195 coasters ridden -- Faves: Shivering Timbers, Ghostrider, Twister, Hershey Wildcat, Lightning Racer
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Saturday, October 12, 2002 10:28 PM
They should rebuild the old woodie!
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Sunday, October 13, 2002 5:30 AM

Is there anything left on the site of Riverview Park in Des Moines? What is the site used for today? I would like to take a side trip on my next visit to Adventureland.

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Sunday, October 13, 2002 8:07 AM
It sucks that it's closed! That park was still opened when Adventureland first opened until 1977 or 78! This park was still listed in "Funland USA" which was a book published in 1977!

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Sunday, October 13, 2002 7:41 PM

I've discovered that it is now the Kiwanis Riverview Nature Island. Guess its just kind of a park and a place for kids to go from schools on field trips. I think there's still some ruins of one old ride though. At first I thought it was somekind of water ride, because it was concrete walled thing kind of like the log ride at Adventure land, but looking at the picture posted above, I don't know if there was a water ride there.

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Monday, October 14, 2002 8:45 AM
The Des Moines area would not attract enough people for two parks.

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Top 5 Steel: #1 Millenium Force #2 Phantom's Revenge #3 Ice Dragon #4 Incredible Hulk #5 Wild Thing
Top 5 Wood #1 Viper #2 Thunderbolt #3 Timberwolf #4 Outlaw #5 Screaming Eagle

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Monday, October 14, 2002 11:36 AM
While that is true, feel the strike, I think because of Riverview's location it would not exactly be to attract tourists. It would be a small park with only maybe a half dozen rides or something that the residents of Des Moines could enjoy. It could even be set up more as like a permanent or seasonal carnival than an amusement park. It doesn't matter because its obviously not going to happen, but I think it could succeed just from the local residence of DM. I'd have loved something like that when I was growing up.
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