Adventure Island (amusement park)
|Previous names||Peter Pan's Playground, Peter Pan's Adventure Island|
|Operating season||February – November|
Adventure Island is a free-admission amusement park in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK which has 32 different rides, as well as attractions including a gift shop and catering outlets. The current site of the amusement park flanks the north end of Southend Pier and has been an amusement park since 1976 when the land now forming the west side of the park was purchased by the Miller family. The park was previously known as Peter Pan's Playground and latterly Peter Pan's Adventure Island before becoming simply Adventure Island. The site is currently owned and managed by Stockvale Limited.
Adventure Island started out in 1918 as Sunken Gardens, a sea side garden that in the 1920s installed a few children's rides. In 1976, the land to the west of the pier was purchased by Philip Miller and his family. They developed the amusement park on the site from the rudimentary original and the entire site was redeveloped extensively.
The park was previously known as Peter Pan's Playground and latterly Peter Pan's Adventure Island before becoming simply Adventure Island. In 1995 the park was vastly expanded when the land to the east of the pier was purchased to form part of the park. The site is currently owned and managed by Stockvale Limited.
Complementing the park is the longest pleasure pier in the world (built in 1830 as a wooden pier, rebuilt as a steel pier in 1889); it extends more than a mile (1,34 miles / 2,16 km) toward the ocean. The pier train runs the entire length of the pier (extra charge) to the Lifeboat Museum. The park's mascot is called Snappy.
Adventure Island is not divided into specific areas but divides its rides into the following categories: Big Adventure (blue rides), Junior (green rides) and Mini (red rides). The park is separated by into East side of the Pier and West side of the pier.
In 1999, the park debuted the roller coaster Green Scream. It was once described as the park's signature ride but this title has now been taken by Rage. The Green Scream does not have any inversions and the drops are quite tame. The second rollercoaster at the park is the Barnstormer, which opened in 2000. The third rollercoaster is named the Mighty Mini Mega, which opened in 2003. Kiddi Koasta, a children's rollercoaster, opened to the public on 30 April 2011.
The fifth rollercoaster Rage opened in February 2007. It is one of the biggest investments the park has ever made. The ride cost in the region of £3million and is located on the former Raging River Log Flume site, Sky Drop and Vortex were relocated to new positions in the park to make way. The ride is about 75 ft in height and has a 97-degree drop, a vertical lift hill, a vertical loop and a Zero G Roll, as well as a host of other elements and tight turns that make it a short but extreme ride. It has been named Rage after a competition in Southend Echo to decide a name for the ride. The slogan is "For Superheroes only!" which is said before the first drop of the rollercoaster. In 2011 a crow built its nest at the top of the loop gathering attention from tabloid newspapers.
In 2014, Adventure Island demolished the Pirate Boat, which was one of their oldest attractions, to make way for a new soft play area which will open in late 2015.
Rides and attractions
|Barnstormer||steel sit down||2000||Zierer||Reaches a speed of 24 mph (39 km) on a 728 ft long track (222m) and a height of 29 ft (9m); height limit 1m. Small Tivoli model. It looks quite tame although it has what has been called one of the best helix curves on a mini coaster. The train is half the length of that of the Green Scream and has a fiberglass pilot at the front, a dog at the back, with propellers mounted at each end.|
|Green Scream||steel sit down||1999||Zierer||A family rollercoaster; height limit 1m. No inversions and the drops are tame. The Green Scream's train is green with a red interior, apart from the first car which is red and has a fibreglass crocodile to represent Snappy, a park mascot. The back of the rear car has the tail of the crocodile. The train is quite long, comprising 20 cars seating two people each.|
|Kiddi Koasta||steel sit down||2011||Zamperla||A children's rollercoaster; height limit 1m. A speedy Coaster which opened to the public on 30 April 2011. This rollercoaster is basically a starter coaster for young children and people who are not used to more larger and faster rollercoasters, due to its gentle drops, twist and turns.|
|Mighty Mini Mega||steel sit down||2003||Pinfari||Built on top of the Mega City arcade for added effect; height limit 1m. MM29 model. Has six cars each with two rows of two, seating 24 riders in total. The ride itself is quite short however it is quite intense in some places with a helix towards the end and quite a sharp brake run.|
|Rage||steel sit down||2007||Gerstlauer||Reaches a speed of 43 mph (70 km) on an 1184 ft (361m) long track and a height of 72 ft (22m) with 3 inversions (loop, immelmann, zero G roll) and a 97° drop; height limit 1,2m. Eurofighter 320+ model.|
Other major rides
- American Whip – spinning cups that opened in 2009; height limit 1m. Adventure Island Workshop.
- Archelon – a Zierer Wave Swinger; height limit 1,2m.
- Big Wheel – a Ferris Wheel; height limit 1m.
- Crooked House – funny house that was originally built in 1953; height limit 1m. Adventure Island Workshop.
- Devil´s Creek Gold Mine – spinning barrels on a track train, opened in 2008; height limit 1m. Adventure Island Workshop.
- Dragon – a Zierer roundabout ride that opened in 1995; height limit 1m.
- Dragon's Claw – a Tivoli Spin-Out ride; height limit 1,2m.
- Fireball – a Ferris wheel-type spinner ride that opened in 2006; height limit 1m. Adventure Island Workshop.
- Over the Hill – a ´Undertaker'-themed dark ride that opened in 2008; height limit 1m. Adventure Island Workshop, designed by Sarner. In its place previously was a similar ride, Beelzebobs.
- Pharaoh's Fury – a Sonacase Twister that opened in 1998; height limit 1m.
- Ramba Zamba – a Zamperla Disk-O that opened in 2004; height limit 1,2m.
- Scorpion – a Troika that opened in 2001; height limit 1,2m.
- Sk8borda – a rocking tug that opened in 2008; height limit 1m. Zamperla / Adventure Island Workshop.
- Sky Drop – a 70 ft (21m) tall Zamperla drop tower that opened in 2004; height limit 1,2m
- Tidal Wave Blue – water dinghy ride that opened in 1995; height limit 1,2m. Interlink.
- Tidal Wave Green – water dinghy ride that is located adjacent to the Blue Tidal Wave.
- The Time Machine – giant swing that opened in 2012; height limit 1,2m. Adventure Island Workshop.
- Vortex – a Tivoli Orbiter spin ride that opened in 2001; height limit 1,2m.
- Choo Choo Train – mini train ride; height limit 1m.
- Cow Jump – magic carpet ride that opened in 2003; height limit 1m. Adventure Island Workshop.
- Drop n´ Smile – mini drop tower that opened in 2001; height limit 1m. Adventure Island Workshop.
- Flying Jumbos – flying elephants ride; height limit 1m. Modern Products.
- Jumpin Jolly Rogers – roundabout ride that opened in 2004; height limit 1m. Adventure Island Workshop.
- Jungle Express – mini train ride; height limit 1m. Falgas.
- Lighthouse Slip – mat slider; height limit 1m. Adventure Island Workshop.
- Magic Monsters – roundabout ride; height limit 1m. Modern Products.
- Sea Serpent – burlap slide; height limit 1m. Adventure Island Workshop.
- Viking Boats – boat roundabout; height limit 1m. Zierer.
- Adventure Golf – 2 different courses available; extra charge.
- Dodgems – bumper cars; extra charge.
- Formula 1A Karting – go karts, extra charge.
- Sea Life Adventure – nearby is Sea Life Adventure, extra charge.
Some past rides include:
- American Freeway
- Beelzee Bob's Trail
- Blackbeards: All at Sea
- Blackbeards Pirate Adventure
- Fantasy Dome
- Golden Hind
- Mr Smee's Boat Ride
- Pirate Galleon
- Raging River
- Sky Lab
- Space Chase
- Main gallery: Adventure Island at WikiCommons
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Adventure Island (amusement park).|
- Adventure Island official website
- Interview with the park's owner, Philip Miller
- Adventure Island at ThemeParks-UK
- Adventure Island Review and Photos at T-Park