Worlds of Fun

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Worlds of Fun & Oceans of Fun
Logo wofoof.png
Slogan Thrills Connect
Location 4545 Worlds of Fun Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Coordinates 39°10′38.4″N 94°29′20.5″W / 39.177333°N 94.489028°W / 39.177333; -94.489028Coordinates: 39°10′38.4″N 94°29′20.5″W / 39.177333°N 94.489028°W / 39.177333; -94.489028
Theme Jules Verne's story "Around the World in Eighty Days."
Owner Cedar Fair Entertainment Company
General Manager Frank Wilburn
Opened May 26, 1973
Operating season April through early November
Area 235 acres (0.95 km2) (~0.90 km²)
Rides
Total 43
Roller coasters 7
Water rides 3
Website http://www.worldsoffun.com

Worlds of Fun is a 235-acre amusement park in Kansas City, Missouri, United States. Built by Mid-America Enterprises, the park opened in 1973 and was sold to Cedar Fair Entertainment Company in 1995. Admission to Worlds of Fun includes access to Oceans of Fun, a water park adjacent to the amusement park.

History[edit]

A view Worlds of Fun from outside the park.

Worlds of Fun opened on May 26, 1973, at a cost of $10 million. It was situated at the northern edge of a vast industrial complex in the bluffs above the Missouri River in Clay County, Missouri. At the time of its opening, numerous modernization projects across Kansas City were in progress including the opening of Kansas City International Airport, Kemper Arena and the Truman Sports Complex. Mid-America Enterprises, seeking to capitalize on the city-wide expansion movement, began construction on a new amusement park in 1969. The park was originally planned to complement a 500-acre (2.0 km2) hotel and entertainment complex, but a lagging economy during the park's early years derailed the idea.

In 1974, the first addition to Worlds of Fun was the 4000-seat Forum Amphitheater opened in the Europa section of the park. In 1976, a new section opened in honor of the United States Bicentennial – the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence – and was named Bicentennial Square. The new section included the debut of Screamroller from Arrow Dynamics, which was a replica of the first modern-looping roller coaster, Corkscrew, that opened a year earlier at Knott's Berry Farm.

In 1982, Oceans of Fun opened next door as the largest water park in the world. Also the same year, a sub-world "River City" was opened in Americana bordering the Orient. Screamroller was transformed into Extremeroller the following year, which featured stand-up trains instead of the original sit-down models making it the first looping, stand-up roller coaster in North America.[1] Several years later in 1989, Worlds of Fun ended the decade with the addition of Timber Wolf, a wooden roller coaster that initially ranked high in several national polls.[2][3]

Cedar Fair LP purchased Worlds of Fun in 1995. The new owners invested $10 million with the addition of Mamba, a D.H. Morgan Manufacturing steel hypercoaster, to the park's attraction lineup in 1998.[4]

Other notable additions[edit]

  • 2006: Patriot opens as the longest, tallest, and fastest full-circuit inverted roller coaster in the region. It was the park's largest capital investment on a single attraction at $14 million.
  • 2008: For their 35th anniversary, Worlds of Fun added a festival called Oktoberfest.
  • 2009: A new wooden coaster, Prowler, is added to the Africa section of the park. It receives the Golden Ticket Award for "Best New Ride of 2009" by Amusement Today magazine.
  • 2010: Snoopy's Hot Summer Lights, a $1 million immersive light and sound experience, opens in the Europa and Africa sections of the park. Subway opens at Oceans of Fun.
  • 2011: Planet Snoopy, an $8-million children's themed area, is added to Worlds of Fun featuring over 20 rides and attractions. An Illions carousel called The Grand Carousel is added to the Scandinavia section of the park.
  • 2012: A premium line queue system called "Fast Lane" is introduced.
  • 2013: Oceans of Fun receives full integration with Worlds of Fun sharing one admission for both parks.
  • 2014: WindSeeker – a 301-foot (92 m) Mondial swing ride at Knott's Berry Farm – was renamed SteelHawk and relocated to Worlds of Fun for the 2014 season.

Areas and attractions[edit]

The park is themed around the Jules Verne book, Around the World in Eighty Days. Worlds of Fun is divided into five major sections (Scandinavia, Africa, Europa, the Orient, and Americana). Rides, attractions, shops, shows, and restaurants are named according to the area theme. Guests enter the park in Scandinavia. In 1997 the Americana "main entrance" was closed for the creation of Grand Prix, so the "back gate" became the "main gate" ever since. The next world to the left is Africa, continuing in a clockwise roation, guest would then enter the Americana section, followed by the Orient. The Europa section is located in the approximate center of the circle.

Within Americana, lies the sub-section of Planet Snoopy (the area of the park specifically for young children). Originally added in 1978 as an expansion of Americana, over the years the grounds have changed its identity several times. Initially it was called "Aerodrome" (1978–86) with futuristic rides for adults, it then became a children's area called "Pandamonium!" (1987–97), then "Berenstain Bear Country" (1997–2000), and "Camp Snoopy" (2001–2010), and is currently "Planet Snoopy", new to the 2011 season. Past sub-sections have also included Bicentennial Square, River City, and Beat Street, which all have been absorbed back into Americana.

Despite the lack of an Australian/Oceanic section, the Australian-themed Boomerang roller coaster is incorporated into Africa.

Africa[edit]

Ride Year Opened Ride Manufacturer and Type Height Requirement Rating[5]
Boomerang 2000 Vekoma Boomerang roller coaster Over 48" 5
Fury of the Nile 1984 Intamin river rafting ride Over 46" 4
Mamba 1998 Morgan steel hypercoaster Over 48" 5
Monsoon 1992 Intamin Shoot-the-Chutes ride Over 46" 4
Prowler 2009 Great Coasters International wooden coaster Over 48" 4
Zulu 1979 HUSS Enterprise Over 54" 4

Americana[edit]

Ride Year Opened Ride Manufacturer and Type Height Requirement Rating[5]
Cyclone Sams 1995 Chance Rides Wipeout Over 48" 5
Detonator 1996 S&S Worldwide Space shot Over 52" 5
RipCord + 1996 Skycoaster Over 48" 5
Patriot 2006 Bolliger & Mabillard Inverted roller coaster Over 54" 5
Scrambler 1998 Eli Bridge Scrambler Over 48" or with adult 3
Skyliner 1991 Eli Bridge Ferris wheel Over 36" 2
SteelHawk 2014 Windseeker Over 52" 5
Thunderhawk 2002 HUSS Top Spin Between 54" and 77" 5
Timber Wolf 1989 Dinn Corporation wooden roller coaster Over 48" 5
World's of Fun Railroad 1973 Crown Metal Products[6] 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge railroad Over 46" or with adult 2

Europa[edit]

Ride Year Opened Ride Manufacturer and Type Height Requirement Rating[5]
Autobahn 1973 Reverchon Bumper Cars ride Over 48" 4
Flying Dutchman 1973 Intamin Flying Dutchman Over 46" or with adult 3
Le Carrousel 1979 Traditional Carousel Over 46" or with adult 1
Le Taxi Tour 1973 Arrow Dynamics track car ride Over 48" or with adult 3

Orient[edit]

Ride Year Opened Ride Manufacturer and Type Height Requirement Rating[5]
Bamboozler 1987 Hrubetz Round Up Over 46" 3
Spinning Dragons 2004 Gerstlauer Spinning roller coaster Over 48" or with adult 5

Scandinavia[edit]

Ride Year Opened Ride Manufacturer and Type Height Requirement Rating[5]
Finnish Fling 1973 Chance Rides Rotor Over 46" or with adult 4
Fjord Fjarlane 1981 HUSS Swing Around Over 48" or with adult 3
Grand Carrousel 2011 1926 M.C. Illions Supreme Carousel Over 46" or with adult 1
Octopus 1973 Eyerly Octopus / Monster_(ride) Over 48" or with adult 3
Sea Dragon 1994 Chance Morgan Sea Dragon Over 48" or with adult 4
Viking Voyager 1973 Arrow Dynamics log flume Over 46" or with adult 4

Planet Snoopy[edit]

Ride Year Opened Ride Manufacturer and Type Height Requirement Rating[5]
Camp Bus 2001 Zamperla Crazy Bus 42" or with adult 2
Charlie Brown's Windup 2001 Zamperla Between 36" and 54" 1
Cosmic Coaster 1993 Pinfari Children's roller coaster Over 42" 3
Flying Ace Balloon Race 2011 Zamperla Balloon Race 42" or with adult 2
Kite Eating Tree 2001 S&S Worldwide Over 36" 2
Krazy Kars 1973 Under 54" 2
Linus' Beetle Bugs 2001 Zamperla Under 54" 2
Lucy's Tugboat 2011 Zamperla Tugboat 42" or with adult 2
Peanuts 500 2011 Zamperla Speedway 42" or with adult 2
Peanuts Playhouse 2005 Koala Play Between 36" and 54" 1
Peanuts Road Rally 2011 Zamperla 42" or with adult 1
Peanuts Turn Tyke 1987 Zamperla Between 36" 54" 1
Sally's Swing Set 2011 Zamperla Happy Swing 42" or with adult 2
Snoopy vs. Red Baron 2001 Herschell Under 54" 2
Snoopy's Moon Bounce 2011 Bounce House Under 54" 2
Snoopy's Rocket Express 2011 Zamperla 42" or with adult 2
Snoopy's Yacht Club 2001 Under 54" 1
Woodstock Whirlybirds 2011 Zamperla 42" or with adult 2
  • + Denotes an extra cost for the ride or attraction.

Retired rides and attractions[edit]

  • Schussboomer (picture), (1973–1984), a ski-themed steel roller coaster with ten separate 4-passenger cars.
  • Screamroller/Extremeroller , (1976–1988), the first stand-up roller coaster in the Western Hemisphere. Its only season as a stand-up coaster was in 1983, after which it was reverted to the original sit-down style.
  • Zambezi Zinger, (1973–1997), a steel "Speedracer"-type roller coaster (one of only two in existence at the time of its removal) with an electric spiral lift and a fast-paced ride through the woods. Currently in operation at the Colombian National Coffee Park as Broca Colombia, South America.[7]
  • Incred-O-Dome, (1981–1997), an OMNIMAX-style theater where viewers could go on a virtual ride of, among other things, the Orient Express coaster. This appealed to visitors who did not want to wait in line or experience the real ride, as well as those with physical conditions which would prevent them from riding at all. The show was presented less than 200 yards (180 m) away from the actual ride.
  • Omegatron, (1986–2001), a six-story, upside-down thrill ride.
  • Orient Express, (1980–2003), the first roller coaster in the world to feature a batwing (then known as a "Kamikaze Curve"), now a common element in thrill rides. Also, it was the second roller coaster in the world to have two interlocking loops.
  • Python Plunge, a water-slide type ride where the riders would carry the raft up to the top themselves. There were two types of slides. One slide was open aired and went straight down, the other was a twisting tube.
  • Grand Prix Raceway - replaced by the SteelHawk.

Oceans of Fun[edit]

Main article: Oceans of Fun

Oceans of Fun is Worlds of Fun's water park. It opened in 1982 as the world's largest water park. It is included with admission to Worlds of Fun, beginning in the 2013 season.

Fast Lane[edit]

Fast Lane is Worlds of Fun's new 'two line' system for 2012. For a cost between $30 and $50 (in addition to normal admission charges), visitors receive a wrist band that enables them to bypass the 'normal-wait' line and enter the 'Fast Lane' to significantly reduce their wait time.

Worlds of Fun Village[edit]

In 2005 Worlds of Fun opened the first on-site resort. The campground is adjacent to the park, and is located "behind" Mamba. The Village has 22 cabins and 20 cottages and 82 sites for RVs, complete with electric and TV cable hook ups. Each cabin or cottage can fit 6–8 people.

Snoopy's Hot Summer Lights[edit]

Snoopy’s Hot Summer Lights” which debuted in 2010 is an immersive light and sound experience starring the Peanuts characters. Snoopy’s Hot Summer Lights features over 2 million LED lights and a variety of audio soundtracks through the Africa and Europa sections of the park. Along the walkway there are replicas of Snoopy and other characters for guests to view. Snoopy's Hot Summer Lights was a one million dollar investment that uses special effects and sound design, custom designed for Worlds of Fun by Emmy Award-Winning RWS and Associates. Snoopy’s Hot Summer Lights opened for its original run on June 4 and ran through September 5, 2010.[8]

Halloween Haunt[edit]

Halloween Haunt logo.gif

Halloween Haunt is a Halloween event that takes place during the Halloween season. It is included in the price of admission.

Current attractions[edit]

As of 2014, it features 12 attractions, including seven mazes, three scare zones, and two spectacular shows.[9]

Attraction Type Opened Location
Asylum Island Maze 2006 Oceans of Fun Pavilion
BloodShed Maze 2007 Planet Snoopy
CarnEvil Scare Zone 2007 Americana
Corn Stalkers Maze 2010 Africa
Boneyard Scare Zone 2014 Africa
London Terror Maze 2011 Americana/Africa
Lore of the Vampire featuring Club Blood Maze 2004 Orient
Miss Lizzie's Chamber of Horrors Maze 2013 Africa
Outlaw’s Revenge Scare Zone 2008 Americana
Zombie High Maze 2012 Prowler's queue area

Former Haunt attractions[edit]

Attraction Name Replaced By Year closed
Camp Gonnagitcha Wichahatchet Corn Stalkers 2009
Carnival of Carnivorous Clowns CarnEvil 2006
Dominion of Doom London Terror 2010
Master McCarthy's Doll Factory Miss Lizzie's Chamber of Horrors 2012
FrightZone Boneyard 2014

Games[edit]

Cole Lindbergh, former manager of the park's games department, was featured in a 2011 episode of Public Radio International's This American Life, "Amusement Park."[10] In the nine-minute prologue,[11] host Ira Glass interviews Lindbergh about his management philosophy and plays segments from several YouTube videos he made to promote the park's games.[12]

Park Photos[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marden, Duane. "Extremeroller  (Worlds of Fun)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Inside Track "Top Coasters" Readers Survey". Roller Coaster FAQ. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  3. ^ "8th Annual NAPHA Amusement Park and Attractions Survey". National Amusement Park Historical Association. 
  4. ^ Timeline section
  5. ^ a b c d e f Ratings assigned per Worlds of Fun's own system, where "1" is the least intense and "5" is the most. See their "Guest Assistance Guide". Worlds of Fun.  for more specific details.
  6. ^ World's of Fun Railroad official website
  7. ^ http://www.rcdb.com/id23.htm
  8. ^ http://www.worldsoffun.com/public/news/whatsnew.cfm
  9. ^ "Halloween Haunt rides and attractions". Worlds of Fun. Retrieved September 14, 2013. 
  10. ^ ""Amusement Park," This American Life, Aug. 12, 2011". 
  11. ^ "Prologue". 
  12. ^ "Worlds of Fun Games Department Videos". 

External links[edit]