Adventureland (New York)
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (April 2009)|
|Slogan||Long Island's Amusement park since 1962|
|Location||East Farmingdale, New York, U.S.|
|Operating season||weekends in March, weekends in April and May; Open all summer; weekends in September and October|
|Area||12 acres (4.9 ha)|
As Long Island became more populated and more housing developments were starting, a source of entertainment was needed. Many kiddielands were popping up throughout Long Island. Two people who were big in the industry were Alvin Cohen and Herb Budin. After visiting a trade show in Chicago, they acquired a 6-acre (24,000 m2) site on Route 110 in Farmingdale, New York. First the team of two constructed a building which housed a restaurant and arcade so the park could be open year round. Along with the building, four rides opened outside: a Carousel, train, Little Dipper coaster, Card, and boats. There was also a mini golf course. In 1962, the 1 million dollar park opened under the name of Adventureland 110 Playland. As the park success went up, the name of the park was changed to 110 Adventureland. Then in 1965 the first major ride opened, a 500-foot (150 m) long Skyliner.
In the early 1970s the park was extremely successful (perhaps partially due to the closure of parks such as Steeplechase Park and Freedomland USA in 1964 and Palisades Park a few years later). Alvin Cohen was now the primary owner of the facility and he bought an additional 6 acres (24,000 m2) behind the park for 1 million dollars. Over the next few seasons Cohen turned the ride count from 16 to 30. In 1973 3 new thrill rides were built. These rides were the Tobogan (a compact roller coaster), the Amor Express (a high speed circular ride), the Galaxy (a steel coaster). The next season brought on the Wave Swinger - a European ride (a spinning swings ride), and was one of the first of its kind in America. With the success of the Wave Swinger, Cohen decide to import more European rides. In 1976 he imported two more European rides, Enterprise and Troika (both spinning rides). Cohen got these rides from Willy Miller (owner of a business which imports European rides). Cohen saw Miller's interest in the park, and asked him if he wanted to buy 110 Adventureland. Over the next two years the talk, and finally on September 15, 1977 the sale was final.
In 1978 Miller bought several new rides, including an antique auto ride, which originally operated at the New York's World's Fair and was designed by Arrow Development. In the first season under new management, profits increased 50%. Also, during this time Miller changed the name to just Adventureland. In 1979 Miller got a new Merry Go Round, a ride called Black Hole, and another ride called the Lost Continent. Then at the end of the 1982 season Miller brought in the Looping Star, another European ride. Then, in 1983 Miller brought the UFO. Along with the UFO, Miller brought in 6 new rides replacing Enterprise and Troika. A new bumper car system and bumper boats were also added. Then the next year a ride called Gravitron replaced Black Hole, also Miller added a Bavarian Village with food outlets and stores. Over the next few years, brick walkways replaced blacktop, and the landscaping was done over. Then in 1986 the Lost Continent was changed into 1313 Cemetery Way, a haunted house ride. In 2010, 1313 Cemetery Way was replaced with a new ride, The Ghost House.
In 1987 Miller sold the park to Tony Gentile and Peter Amoruso (a partner since 1978). The Gentile family and Amoruso kept park operation as normal while taking a major expansion. In this new era, Gentile added a huge new Pirate Ship and a ride called Scorpion. Also added to was a mini golf course called "Treasure Island."
As 1990s dawned, customers of Adventureland wanted more water rides. Gentile and Amoruso opened Splish Splash (sold in the late 90's to a corporate amusement company), a 6 million dollar water park. Then, in 1991, the Galaxi was replaced by Hurricane- a roller coaster. New rides were regular through the 1990s. In 1992, Super Raider, a climbing/fun house was opened. Then, the next year, the antique car ride was updated, the Scorpion ride was switched with Surf Dance, Tubs of Fun and Flying Clown replaced older kiddie rides. Then, in 1995, the balloon Wheel replaced the Big Wheel. In 1996, the Dragon Wagon replaced the Sooper Jet, a kiddie roller coaster. Then, in 1999, a double decker merry go round replaced the old merry go round. In 2000, a child roller coaster called the Lady Bug was built. In 2001, the mini golf course was replaced with Adventure Falls, a log flume water ride. Top Scan was introduced to the park in 2003, and the next year, Viking Voyage replaced the last original ride, the Kiddie Boats. Then, in 2004 a Spinning alligator water ride called Crocodile Run replaced the bumper boats. In 2006, a kiddie log flume called Little Dipper was added where the Top Scan used to be and the Frisbee was added where Surf Dance was. In 2007, they also added a "Glass House" (a.k.a. "Mirror House") to where some of their games were and also bought all of the outside games and updated them. Two years later, the ride Flying Puppies replaced Tubs of Fun. In 2010, a new Haunted House, imported from Europe, was added to the park in place of the former Haunted House.
50th anniversary and 2012-present
For the 50th anniversary, 2012, the train station was moved to the former area of the Glass House. The old train station became a WiFi lounge/patio for people to eat and relax. The Super Raider was also retired and Pirate Island, a similar type of ride was added. In addition, the back ticket booth was remodeled. In 2013, the Free Whale and John Silver's tower did not return. They were replaced with Alfie's Express, a small "farm train" type kiddie ride and "Surf's Up", a moderate thrill kiddie ride, both manufactured by SBF rides. The Kiddie Swings were also replaced with a newer model, named "Alfie's Swings". Also in 2013, a stage was built across from the Bavarian Village Gift Shop, and a charging station next to City Hall. Many locations throughout the park were updated with energy efficient LED lighting, most notably the train station. At the end of the 2013 season, the Flying Puppies and Tour De Paris were closed. On select night's throughout October, Adventureland was host to an exclusive fundraising event, called Nightmare on the Midway. The haunted Halloween event featured four haunted attractions, live actors and multiple scare zones. At the beginning of the 2014 season, two new attractions were opened; NYC race and the Teacups, both made by SBF. A VIP parking car port with solar panels was built in the back parking lot. The lights on Wave Swing were updated with LED technology. A second Charging station was opened near the pirate ship and rear entrance of the park.
- Hurricane Coaster (closing 2014)
- Bumper Cars
- Musik Express
- The Ghost House
- Wave Swing
- Pirate Ship
Kids and family rides
- Antique Cars
- Ferris Wheel
- Balloon Tower
- Lady Bug Coaster
- Wave Swing
- NYC Race
- Kiddie Carousel
- Viking Voyage
- Kiddie Swings
- Drop N Twist Tower
- Spinning Cars
- Pirate Island
- Alfie Swings
- Alfie Express
- Surfs Up!
- Adventure Falls
- Crocodile Run
- Little Dipper
- Euro Bungy
- Tattoos/Face Paint/Henna Tattoos
- 16 Outdoor Games
Admission is free. Guests can also purchase tickets or a P.O.P. (pay one price) bracelet to go on rides.
During exactly the same week in 2005 two people died. The first person was a ride operator for the "Paul Bunyon" (Ladybug Coaster). The worker was struck by the coaster car; he died the next morning due to internal injuries. The second incident involved a 45-year-old woman on a ride called the "Top Scan" (which replaced the "Looping Star"). She was flung from the spinning ride and crashed into a parked car in the parking lot. The ride was never used again at Adventureland. In 2007, a 6-year-old boy hurt himself by putting his hand in one of the moving platforms on the attraction called "Super Raider" (Fun House), though there were no serious injuries. In 2008, a prop of a skeleton bicycling on a tight rope fell on a 5-year-old girl. She was in the hospital for a few days and then was released. The prop was never put back up after the incident.
Adventureland in pop culture
- Adventureland was in the music video Love of a Lifetime by Chaka Khan
- Adventureland was also featured in the movie Music and Lyrics in 2007
- Adventureland was also shown in the movie Sweet Liberty in 1986
- Videos from Adventureland were shown in a recent Girl Tech commercial
- The 2009 film Adventureland was based on director Greg Mottola's experiences working there during his youth.
- Scenes from the season 2 premiere of "The Americans" were filmed at Adventureland.
- The New York Times, September 3, 2005, Lisa W. Foderaro and Jaron Fisher, "Investigators Are Still Puzzled by Ride That Killed Woman".
- Long Island Newsday, April 1, 2009, John Anderson, "'Adventureland'", Melville, NY