Prior to traveling from WoF to Des Moines, our family stopped at the Harry S. Truman Home (grade:A)in Independence, Missouri and at the National Frontier Trails Center (A)in the same city. The Truman home is just as Mrs.(Bess) Truman had left it in 1982. National Park Service (as always) did a great tour of the home. Independence was the start of the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails. Great showcase for anyone interested in the westward expansion of our nation.
We arrived at the Holiday Inn on Merle Hay (Rating D+) at about 5:00 CST. First non-smoking room had been smoked in. Staff was very helpful in giving us a choice of four different rooms. Older 60's style Holiday Inn with two very long and spread out floors. This was the first hotel we've ever stayed in that accepted pets. It seemed that we were the only persons there without a dog. Don't get me wrong, I like dogs as well as the next person, but didn't like the idea of sleeping in a bed that may have been slept in by a Great Dane the night before. Call me a prude or whatever, but I'll definetly check this out in the future before making room reservations. The restuarant was good with real freshly squeezed OJ for breakfast.
Arrived at Adventureland on Tuesday morning 15 minutes prior to opening. The sky's opened up as we parked to a tremendous thunderstorm. It rained so hard while sitting in our car, you could barely see the wiper blades on the windshield. The rain was over in 20 minutes but I'm sure it helped the crowds to be thinner on this day than they would have been otherwise.
We walked under a tunnel, ala Kennywood but shorter, to one of the nicest looking entry areas we've ever saw in a park. We vered left out of the entry area to a midway area with games and flats on the left border of the park. Chris and Cray rode a few flats, while Lisa and I were admiring the beautiful landscaping of the park.
THE UNDERGROUND: Rating: B+
I've seen many reviews blasting this mild CCI endeaver. I feel that parks need to play to everyone, not just enthusiasts. Underground is a ride for anyone. It's a darkride, which I love, and it also is a coaster. It's kind of hokey, ala Blazing Fury at Dollywood. But it is FUN!
OUTLAW: Rating: A+
This was the coaster of the trip. This has got to be the most underrated coaster I've ever been on except for maybe Cornball Express. It kind of reminded me of a little bit smaller version of Legend. Great mixture of G forces during the course of the ride. Very enthusiastic ride ops.
TORNADO: Rating B+
A very fun out and back that felt just like a coaster should feel. Reminded me a little of a John Miller without the extreme negative G's.
DRAGON: Rating C-
Don't like the inverted's but rode just because it was there and the kiddies like 'em.
SAWMILL SPLASH: Rating B+
I usually avoid the water rides, but this one doesn't get you wet. I was a unique family sized tube ride that was very fun. Some people have complained that it is too short, but it seems a fine addition for this park.
Adventureland is a true hidden GEM of a park. I feel that it is probably a park under appreciated by the local general public as is Kennywood. Beautiful park, landscaping wise. Saw one show (musical) that didn't quite measure up to the Cedar Fair musicals at WoF and Valleyfair. Food and drinks much more reasonable and better quality than Corporate Parks. We ate at the all you could eat chicken buffet. Also tried a local delicacy, MAID RITE sandwiches. These are like sloppy joes without the sauce. Was told by the server that the locals felt that these were best dressed with mustard and onion only. DELICIOUS!
Adventureland has an older staff. Most appeared to be retired persons whom looked as if they were working at this park because they enjoy it, not because they need the money or because mommy and daddy said to get a summer job to help pay for school. Most looked like retired executives from fortune 500 companies. They were very personable and alway's friendly, smiling and helpful. It makes a big difference when a park is staffed by enthusiastic persons with personalities. Are you listening Corporate Parks?
OVERALL PARK RATING: A
This park felt like a Kennywood, Knoebel's, Holiday World, Americana or Indiana Beach. I deem Adventureland the NUMBER ONE PARK in the Midwest-west of the Mississippi River plus Illinois. Not that we've been to that many parks in this geographic specification, SFStl, WoF, SFGAM, Big Chiefs, Camp Snoopy and Valleyfair. But it has the great traditional feel that we love in a park.
TAke it easy,
One possitive to 1 train operation: no stacking! ( we hope)
Hey, Great TR!
I will be looking forward to this when I hopefully visit in later July!
Off to CP in August, Hopefully off to two other parks in July though!! YEA!!!! :-D It will be a good summer!
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