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Adventureland announces its reopening


The sign leading into Adventureland Park in Altoona, Iowa, April 2019. — Emma McClatchey/Little Village

A few hours after Gov. Kim Reynolds announced at her Tuesday press conference that amusement parks, arcades, bowling alleys and pool halls will be permitted to reopen starting on June 1, Adventureland announced its reopening plans.

“We want to phase in our opening to ensure our protocols are solidly in place and our team members and guests have a safe and fun experience,” the Altoona amusement park said in a statement posted on its website. “On Monday, June 1st and Tuesday, June 2nd the front gate will be available for season pass holder early processing only, from 1pm to 7pm. The park will NOT be open on these days. On Wednesday, June 3rd and Thursday, June 4th the park will be open for Season Pass Holders only. Pass holders will be able to purchase a maximum of 2 admission tickets per pass holder on these 2 days for guests.”

Starting on Friday, June 5, the park will be open to the general public. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. In accordance with the governor’s proclamation, attendance will be limited to 50 percent of the park’s maximum occupancy capacity.

“We ask our guests to please be patient, as some venues and attractions may not be open right away as we ramp up these first few weeks of operations and some attractions may close periodically for deeper sanitation,” the park’s statement said.

One attraction that will not be available is Adventure Bay Water Park, which “has not yet been cleared to open by the State of Iowa, and will remain closed at this time.”

Adventureland is Iowa’s largest amusement park. Its Main Street first opened to the public on June 29, 1974 and was patterned after Disney World, Meggie Gates explained in a history of the park published by Little Village in May 2019.

“It began as a pipe dream,” Gates wrote. “Hoping to make Iowa summers more than just sweat and corn, Adventureland founder Jack Krantz began cultivating a larger-than-life idea.”

“In the early 1970s, Jack decided he needed something for his kids to do during their summer breaks,” Molly Vincent, Krantz’s daughter and the park’s current director of advertising, told Gates. “He felt the state of Iowa was lacking in fun family activities, so he opened Adventureland.”

Adventureland’s Raging River ride in 1990. — courtesy of Eric Chicas

“For thousands of Iowans drawn to the park over the decades, enticed by high-flyin’ rides or the prospect of a corn dog and a show, Adventureland feels like summertime,” Gates wrote.

In its statement on Tuesday, Adventureland indicated there will be obvious changes at the park due to COVID-19, but still invoked the spirit Gates wrote about.

“More guidance for our guests, including information on capacity limits, social distancing guidelines and best practices to follow during your visit will be up on our website in the next few days to help everyone get ready for our reopening while paying close attention to the health and wellness of our communities. When we open, guests will notice extensive new signage, hand sanitizer stations, frequent disinfection of high touch surfaces and spacing of employees and guests. We look forward to welcoming you for a safe summer full of FUN!”


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