12:37 PM - Iowa's Adventureland, more updates.
I have received some information about Adventureland Park (Altoona, Iowa - http://www.adventurelandpark.com
) which explains some of the things I noticed on opening day.
The firethat destroyed halve of their Main Street took out much more than just a set of shops and games. As I wandered the park, I noticed things were missing -- like the animated buffalo head over the shooting gallery at the far end of the park in Outlaw Gulch. It was in storage in the building, and destroyed.
The remote control boats are also missing in action this season. The pond they were in had a small miniature set with a light house and such, and as you travelled the Sky Ride from the County Fair side of the park and exited through the trees, you'd look down and see the tiny village -- a real nice illusion that made it feel like you were really high in the sky. I'd always thought this must have been intentional. Anyway, the boats were destroyed in the fire, and the area they were recharged is also gone.
Remember the brand new High Striker game from last year? Out of commission, as parts of it were in storage and destroyed in the fire. (Though being new, it seems likely they can get replacement parts and return it to operation.)
It seems throughout the park, there are items like these that are out of commission due to aftermath from the fire. This was indeed much more substantial than just losing a row of buildings. Income from the video arcade, bingo parlor, Skee Ball and carnival games, is all gone for 2010.
The loss of a HUGE plush toy store means that their only selection this year must fit in to a building a small fraction of the size of the old location.
And, probably worst of all to me, across the street from the Iowa Cafe WAS a fudge shop that had Dr. Pepper. While the fudge, pop corn and cotton candy has been temporarily relocated to a formerly-unused section of the Iowa Cafe (which used to be a bakery), the Dr. Pepper is missing in action. At least on Main Street.
However, the park is seeing continual updates and improvements while the new water park, Adventureland Bay, continues consturction. Repainting is going on, signs are being replaced or updated, sidewalks and fences repaired, and many other tweaks. This has certainly got to be an expensive year for park operations at Adventureland.
That said... the lines to process season passes on opening day. I believe I have gotten my season pass on opening day every year since they started offering them, and I have never seen lines like this. I hope this is a strong indicator that people are investing in the park with plans to take advantage of the water park when it opens sometime in June. $95 for all season access to both the amusement park and new water park is a bargain, especially when you consider a single day ticket to the park is over $30 (and folks may be much more likely to go swimming many times over the summer than go ride roller coasters).
Good luck, Adventureland. I'll be back out to check on you later this season...