Adventure Island (amusement park)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Adventure Island
Adventure Island at Southend - - 903768.jpg
LocationSouthend-on-Sea, England
Coordinates51°31′57″N 0°42′57″E / 51.53250°N 0.71583°E / 51.53250; 0.71583Coordinates: 51°31′57″N 0°42′57″E / 51.53250°N 0.71583°E / 51.53250; 0.71583
OwnerStockvale Ltd
Opened1976 (1976)
Previous namesPeter Pan's Playground, Peter Pan's Adventure Island
Operating seasonFebruary – December
Year-round (Adventure Inside)
Roller coasters5
Water rides1

Adventure Island is a free-admission amusement park in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England. The 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 used to be known as Peter Pan's Playground and later Peter Pan's Adventure Island before becoming Adventure Island. The site is owned and managed by Stockvale Limited.[1] The park contains thirty two rides, a gift shop, and catering outlets.


Adventure Island at night

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 the Miller family. They developed the amusement park on the site from the rudimentary original and the entire site was redeveloped extensively.[1]

In 1995 the park was vastly expanded when the land to the east of the pier was purchased to form part of the park.[1]

Complementing the park is Southend Pier, 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 to the Lifeboat Museum. The park's mascot is called Snappy.[1]

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 into the East side of the pier and the West side of the pier.[1]

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 roller coaster at the park is the Barnstormer, which opened in 2000. The third roller coaster is named the Mighty Mini Mega, which opened in 2003. Kiddi Koasta, a children's roller coaster, opened to the public on 30 April 2011.[1]

The fifth roller coaster, Rage, opened in February 2007.[2] It is one of the biggest investments the park has ever made.[3] The ride cost in the region of £3 million and is located on the former Raging River Log Flume site. The Sky Drop and Vortex rides were relocated to new positions in the park to make way. The ride is about 75 feet (23 m) in height and has a 97 degree drop, a vertical lift hill, a vertical loop, a zero-g roll and tight turns.[2] It was named Rage after a competition in the newspaper Southend Echo to decide a name for the ride. The slogan is "For Superheroes only!" which is said before the first drop of the roller coaster. In 2011 a crow built its nest at the top of the loop, gathering attention from tabloid newspapers.[4][1]

In 2014 Adventure Island demolished the Pirate Boat, which was one of their oldest attractions, to make way for Adventure Inside in spring 2015.[1]

In September 2016 the park retained a top five status in the "Friendliest Park In The World" category at the annual Amusement Today Golden Ticket Awards.[5] [check quotation syntax]

Rides and attractions[edit]


Name Picture Type Year Operational Status Manufacturer Ride Band Additional information
Barnstormer steel sit down 2000 Operating Zierer[6] Green Reaches a speed of 39 km/h (24 mph) on a 222 m (728 ft) and a height of 9 m (30 ft); height limit 1 m (3 ft 3 in). Small Tivoli model.[6] 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 fibreglass pilot at the front, a dog at the back, with propellers mounted at each end.[citation needed]
Green Scream steel sit down 1999 Operating Zierer[7] Green A family rollercoaster; height limit 1 m (3 ft 3 in). No inversions[7] 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.[citation needed]
Kiddi Koasta steel sit down 2011 Operating Zamperla[8] Red A children's rollercoaster; height limit 1 m (3 ft 3 in). A speedy coaster which opened to the public on 30 April 2011. This rollercoaster is aimed at young children and people who are not used to larger and faster rollercoasters, due to its gentle drops, twist and turns.[citation needed]. It now operates on top of a building located in the park.
Mighty Mini Mega steel sit down 2003 Operating Pinfari[9] Green Built on top of the Mega City arcade for added effect; height limit 1 m (3 ft 3 in). MM29 model.[9] Has six cars each with two rows of two, seating 24 riders in total. The ride itself is short, however it is quite intense in some places with a helix towards the end and quite a sharp brake run.[citation needed]
Rage Adventure-Island Rage-1.jpg steel sit down 2007 Operating Gerstlauer[10] Blue Reaches a speed of 70 km/h (43 mph) on an 361 m (1,184 ft) long track and a height of 22 m (72 ft) with 3 inversions (loop, immelmann, zero G roll) and a 97° drop; height limit 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in). Eurofighter 320+ model.[10]

Blue Band Rides[edit]

Archelon swing
  • Archelon – a Zierer Wave Swinger; height limit 1.2 m.
  • Axis - a SBF Visa Maxi Dance Party 360 ride that opened in 2019; height limit 1.3 m. Age limit 10.
  • Dragon's Claw – a Tivoli Spin-Out ride; height limit 1.2 m. Now sits in the space of Scorpion, and it's original space is occupied by Axis.
  • Ramba Zamba – a Zamperla Disk-O that opened in 2004; height limit 1.2 m.
  • Sky Drop – a 70 ft (21m) tall Zamperla drop tower that opened in 2004; height limit 1.2 m.
  • Tidal Wave Blue – water dinghy ride that opened in 1995; height limit 1.2 m. Interlink.
  • Tidal Wave Green – water dinghy ride that is located adjacent to the Blue Tidal Wave. Minimum height limit 1.2 m.
  • The Time Machine – giant swing that opened in 2012; height limit 1.2 m. Adventure Island Workshop.
  • Vortex – a Tivoli Orbiter spin ride that opened in 2001; height limit 1.2 m.

Green Band Rides[edit]

  • Cow Jump – magic carpet ride that opened in 2003; height limit 1 m. Adventure Island Workshop.
  • Drop n´ Smile – mini drop tower that opened in 2001; height limit 1 m. Adventure Island Workshop.
  • Fireball – a Ferris wheel-type spinner ride that opened in 2006; height limit 1 m+. Adventure Island Workshop.
  • Over the Hill 2: Spooksville – Over The Hill 2: Spooksville is a very advanced dark ride. The station building was built in 1999 but the main ride is situated in two show buildings (behind the station and above the fish and chip shop). This ride opened on 15 July 2017. To give us an insight as to what the ride is about Adventure Island's Creative Director Paul Clapp did an interview with Essex Live and said "Spooksville is not a ghost train, but a scenic journey with a spooky feel. There are still some characters and scenes remaining from Over The Hill, hence we're branding it as 'Over the Hill 2: Spooksville', but we have deliberately given this version a more traditional feel in comparison to its predecessor". Spooksville's interior is located outside the back of the station (Under tidal wave) and above the Fish and Chip shop next to Dragon's Claw.
  • Pharaoh's Fury – a Sonacase Twister that opened in 1998; height limit 1 m+.
  • Sk8borda – a rocking tug that opened in 2008; height limit 1 m+. Zamperla/Adventure Island Workshop
  • Smiles-Per-Galleon –a SBF Visa Medium Pirate Ship ride located in Adventure Inside. Minimum height limit 1 m.
  • The Dragon – a Zierer roundabout ride that opened in 1995; height limit 1 m+.
  • The Pirate Plunge – a SBF Visa drop tower located in Adventure Inside. Minimum height limit 1 m.

Red Band Rides[edit]

  • Adventureville – an indoor mini adventure ride, opened in 2016 and replaced Devil's Creek.
  • American Whip – spinning cups that opened in 2009; height limit under 1 m. Adventure Island Workshop.
  • Big Wheel – a Ferris Wheel; height limit under 1 m. Adventure Island Workshop?
  • Carousel - a SBF Visa 7 Metre Merry Go Round located upstairs in the Adventure Inside section.
  • Choo Choo Train – mini train ride; height limit 1 m.
  • Crooked House – funny house: The exact year that this attraction was installed is not known but it was certainly built a number of years before the great flood that devastated the east coast in 1953. ; height limit under 1 m. Adventure Island Workshop.
  • Dune Buggies – a SBF Visa Bounce n spin located in Adventure Inside.
  • Flying Jumbos – flying elephants ride; height limit 1 m. Modern Products.
  • Jumpin' Jolly Rogers – roundabout ride that opened in 2004; height limit 1 m. Adventure Island.
  • Lighthouse Slip – mat slider; height limit 1 m. Adventure Island Workshop.
  • Magic Monsters – roundabout ride; height limit 1 m. Modern Products.
  • Viking Boats – boat roundabout; height limit 1 m. Zierer.

Other attractions[edit]

Formula 1A Karting
  • Adventure Golf – 2 different courses available; extra charge.
  • Dodgems – bumper cars; extra charge.
  • Formula 1A Karting – go karts, extra charge.
  • Sea Life Adventure – not in Adventure Island but in an adjacent area.
  • Mega City/Feelgoods Prize Arcades – amusement arcades.

Past rides[edit]

A list of the past rides include:

  • Devils Creek Gold Mine - was a Red Wristband children's track ride, which had a train of spinning barrel cars taken along by a train-like front carriage. The ride featured a rock tunnel and an outdoor section with lots of devil theming scattered around the ride. The ride was originally known as the Jigsaw Train but over time received many theming updates until its eventual removal at the end of 2015 to be replaced by Adventureville in 2016.
  • American Freeway
  • Barracuda
  • Beezlee Bob's Trail - Currently Over The Hill 2: Spooksville - Was a Dark Ride built in 1999 and closed down in 2007 to make way for Over The Hill. The ride featured many wacky characters and had a spooky feel to it
  • Blackbeards: All at Sea - was a cinema attraction located on the current site of the Adventure Inside section.
  • Blackbeards Pirate Adventure
  • Fantasy Dome
  • Golden Hind
  • Mr Smee's Boat Ride
  • Pirate Galleon
  • Raging River - Raging River was an Interlink IG flume ride that opened in 1996 and closed in 2006. The ride featured 2 drops and had a track length of 270 and was replaced by Rage the following year.
  • Sky Lab
  • Space Chase
  • Over The Hill – Over The Hill was the replacement ride for Beelzee Bob's Trail. Over The Hill was designed InHouse and many Audio-Visuals were produced by Sarner ( The ride shut down in 2017 to make way for Over The Hill 2: Spooksville
  • Scorpion - a Tivoli Scorpion that opened in 2001; height limit 1.2 m and was a Blue Band ride. The ride closed near the end of 2018 to make way for Axis. Its site is now occupied by Dragon's Claw, which was moved from elsewhere in the park. The Scorpion ride has also featured at Gillwell 24 2019 after being removed, suggesting it is still in operation
  • Jungle Express – mini train ride; height limit 1 m. Falgas


Main gallery: Adventure Island at WikiCommons


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "About us | Adventure Island". Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Rage  (Adventure Island)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  3. ^ Sehlinger, Bob (2011). The Unofficial Guide to Britain's Best Days Out, Theme Parks and Attractions. West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Son. pp. 222–223. ISBN 1119971136. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  4. ^ "The Twig Dipper: Crows make their nest at the top of a 75ft rollercoaster". Mail Online. Associated Newspapers Ltd. 16 April 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Adventure Island one of friendliest of world's parks". Echo. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Barnstormer - Adventure Island (Southend On Sea, Essex, England, UK)". Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Green Scream - Adventure Island (Southend On Sea, Essex, England, UK)". Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Kiddi Koasta - Adventure Island (Southend On Sea, Essex, England, UK)". Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Mighty Mini Mega - Adventure Island (Southend On Sea, Essex, England, UK)". Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Rage - Adventure Island (Southend On Sea, Essex, England, UK)". Retrieved 1 June 2017.

External links[edit]