Saturday morning, got up and ready to go, found a Hy Vee grocery store and picked up
regular-time breakfast (fresh fruit and krispy kremes) and Adventureland discount coupons ($3 off). Follow messed up mapquest directions and wind up at some community park in downtown Des Moines...they do have a carousel though. Stop and consult map, and then head in the right direction. Arrived at Adventureland about 10:15am, pay $4 to park.
Bought our discounted tickets ($23) and headed in...you enter under a tunnel (reminded me of Lake Compounce) and into an old fashioned town square. There’s a “CARROUSEL” in the center..yes, that’s how it’s spelled. The park is very clean and nicely landscaped. We headed right to the sky ride line (about 20 minutes already) and enjoyed the park’s touring band while we waited. The sky ride is ski-lift style and travels right through the tree tops and gives a great
view of the park. Hopped off on the far end and headed over the bridge to The Dragon and
The Outlaw. The bridge is narrow and gets really crowded with traffic and people stopping to feed the ducks and fish on either side. Went right to The Dragon...waited about 15 minutes, one train operation...headed out of the station and into a couple of little bunny hops, which hurt, a lot. Hooray, pain before the lift hill! Debate least painful head position on the way up the lift and decide to ride leaning slightly forward and looking down...through 2 consecutive vertical
loops with minimal headbanging thanks to defensive riding position, though I did have a
nano-second of “grey out” in the second loop...then into painful helix and figure eight. Exit through a room with about 9 funhouse mirrors...neat!!! The mirrors were so much fun I quickly forgot about the pain in my head and neck...bonus! I can’t stop laughing at my reflection...so my friend finally drags me out by my nearly 6’ long arm and over to The Outlaw.
Waited about 25 minutes for The Outlaw and ended up with the front seat just by luck!
Adventureland doesn’t allow people to wait for special seats and they have an attendant point
people to open rows. The station and loading process is very neat and quick...love it. The
operator doing the announcements is a energetic older man who tells us that Outlaw is a “hands-up” ride and has us put our hands up; then he tells us we won’t dispatch until he hears a cowboy yell. Melinda and I “yeehaw” while the rest of the train “woohoos”...but he sends us out anyway. The ride is quick and twisty and fairly smooth...very little airtime in the front seat...and very short. It was unfortunately my only ride (the line was just too long later in the day) and it was so quick I can’t really recount it...but definitely rerideable.
Headed back over the crowded little bridge to The Tornado, wait about 20 minutes (one train
operation) and get assigned to the front seat again. The line was fairly long but moved
quick...these ride ops (many of whom were retirement aged men) were super efficient in loading and securing the train...it helped a bit that there were only buzzbars (no seatbelts), I’m sure. The ride is absolutely WOW! Nothing fancy, just a traditional out-n-back, but very smooth and very fast with rediculous amounts of air in the front...awesome! And about 5 rides later that day, it secures a spot in my top ten wood.
Had lunch at the Iowa Cafe, fried chicken and sides served cafeteria style...spent about $7 for the meal and drink, and received a lot of food, and it was very tasty! Waited about 40 minutes for “The Underground” after lunch...a cute ride with nice theming, but definitely not thrilling, and only technically a coaster. Still, I’m glad we rode it. Did a couple of flats (long cycles) from their wide selection...then headed back to The Tornado, which had less than 5 minute waits thanks to a second train and major hustle by the crew. Took one ride in the backseat and was completely terrified getting yanked over the first hill...definitely felt like I was about to just tumble over the buzzbar.
It was way HOT in Iowa on Saturday and there were 3 nice water rides, but the lines were all at least an hour long, so Melinda and I decided to take a break and sit for a show (60s musical) then hit Tornado again and head out by 5pm and get an early start on the trip home.
This is a really impressive park...terrific rides, great value, good food, clean, no
smoking/swearing/groping teenagers in line, and friendly and efficient operations on a very hot, very crowded day...in the same class as Holiday World and Lake Compounce. Definitely worth a trip to Iowa...it is in fact, Iowa’s number one tourist destination! Possibly Iowa’s only tourist destination, besides those bridges in Madison County...make the trip sometime, you’ll be glad you did.
I put the "D" in DDR.
Questions, Comments, Complaints?
The Millenium Force ride Ops: Squishing you where it counts since 2000.
Track Record: 62 coasters at 17 parks.
A random Mooshter's Dawntionary listing: Giraffiti [n.] Vandalism spray painted very, very high.
- "I used to be in the audio/visual club, but I was kicked out because of my views on Vietnam........and I was stealing projectors" - Homer Simpson
Nice TR, dawnathadead!
First Spinal Tap, THEN puppet show
It IS as bad as you think, and they ARE out to get you.
Shy One-here you go:
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