Fun Spot America Theme Parks

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Fun Spot America Theme Parks
Fun Spot America Theme Parks Logo.png
Location
Coordinates
ThemeAmericana
Opened
  • 1979 (1979) (first park - now closed)
  • December 24, 1997 (1997-12-24) (Orlando)
  • 2007 (2007) (Kissimmee)
2017 (2017) (Atlanta)
Previous names
  • Fun N Wheels
  • Fun Spot Action Park (Orlando)
  • Fun Spot USA (Kissimmee)
  • Dixieland Fun Park
  • Fun Junction USA (Atlanta)
Operating seasonYear round
Visitors per annum
  • 500,000 est 2013 (Orlando)
  • 700,000 est 2013 (Kissimmee)
[1]
Area
  • 14 acres (5.7 ha) (Orlando)
  • 9 acres (3.6 ha) (Kissimmee)
Attractions
Total
  • 27 (Orlando)
  • 22 (Kissimmee)
  • 14 (Atlanta)
Roller coasters
  • 3 (Orlando)
  • 3 (Kissimmee)
  • 1 (Atlanta)
Websitefun-spot.com
StatusOperating

Fun Spot America Theme Parks is a group of amusement parks located in Orlando, Florida, Kissimmee, Florida and Fayetteville, Georgia. Since 1979, the group has owned and operated a number of small amusement parks over the years and currently has three locations, Fun Spot America - Orlando, Fun Spot America - Kissimmee, and Fun Spot America - Atlanta.

History[edit]

Early parks[edit]

Fun Spot America Theme Parks began in 1979 under the name Fun N Wheels near the I-Drive tourist corridor in Orlando, Florida. This 3 acre park near Wet 'n Wild Orlando, with no frontage on the main roads, had an arcade, three go-kart tracks, a miniature golf course, bumper cars and boats, Raging Riptide (a 40 foot high water slide) and a 55-foot Ferris wheel. This park became the world's first themed action park, premiering new types of rides such as the riptide slide manufactured by New Wave Rides. In 1988 a second Fun N Wheels location was opened in Kissimmee next to the regional mall. Both locations were sold in 1988 to Pleasurama USA, who also owned Hard Rock Café at the time, with the expectation of expanding the concept to malls region wide. This however did not occur.[1][2][3][4][5]

In 1990 Fun Spot Amusement Park was opened in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Two years later a second park was opened in Virginia Beach, Virginia. These parks were operated until 1998.[1][3][6]

1997–present[edit]

The Original Area of what was Fun Spot Action Park, as seen in 2016

Fun Spot moved back to Orlando in 1997 and opened as Fun Spot Action Park (later named Fun Spot America – Orlando) near the original Fun N Wheels location on I-Drive. The $4 million, 4.7-acre (1.9 ha) park opened on December 24 featuring their signature, patented design of multi-level go-kart tracks, featuring three levels. The park also included a 102-foot-tall (31 m) Ferris wheel and a two-story video arcade among other attractions.[1][3][6]

In 2004, Fun Spot purchased the site of the world's tallest Skycoaster located in Kissimmee, adjacent to the Old Town entertainment and shopping complex. The site was purchased from Bill Kitchen, the inventor of the Skycoaster and owner of Skyventure. The site also included a recently opened G-Force dragster ride. Fun Spot developed the 9 acres around the skycoaster into another amusement park call Fun Spot USA in 2007 (now Fun Spot America - Kissimmee). They added 2 multi-level go-kart tracks, family/thrill rides and an arcade. Summer of 2011 saw the arrival of Fun Spot's first major roller coaster, the Power Trip Coaster at the Kissimmee park (now Rockstar Coaster). The Wild Mouse roller coaster, manufactured by Zamperla, was relocated from Cypress Gardens, where it was known as Galaxy Spin, when Cypress Gardens closed and became Legoland Florida.[1][3][7][8][9][10]

The 10 acre expansion to the renamed Fun Spot America Orlando park

In 2010 Fun Spot purchased an additional 10 acres of vacant land next to their Orlando location. 2011 was spent researching nearly 30 parks and 50 rollercoaster across the country planning a major expansion of the park. Late in 2011, they meet with three professional roller-coaster salesmen. Ground was broken in 2012 for the expansion that tripled the size of Fun Spot Action Park, turning it into Fun Spot America - Orlando. $25 million was spent on two new roller coasters, the world's second tallest Skycoaster (second only to their Kissimmee location), and numerous other attractions. The brand new two coasters are the wooden out and back roller coaster White Lightning, and the steel Suspended Family Coaster Freedom Flyer. The skycoaster came from MGM Grand Adventures in Las Vegas, where it had been disassembled in storage for 8 years. It is now the centerpiece of the park. Additional improvements include three new thrill rides, new multi-level go-kart track new food court, new ticket booth, additional parking and rest rooms. A grand re-opening was held on June 8, 2013, celebrating the tripling of size of the park, and the park's 15th anniversary.[3][11][12]

Gator Spot Entrance at Fun Spot America Orlando

Fun Spot, in collaboration with Gatorland, opened Gator Spot at the Orlando park on May 11, 2015. The $1 million attraction allows Gatorland to extend their brand to the I-Drive tourist area, with visitors able to hold, take photos with, and feed alligators. The star of the attraction is a leucistic alligator named Bouya, a white gator with blue eyes.[13]

In 2017, Fun Spot America purchased an existing Fun Junction USA park outside of Atlanta in Fayetteville, Georgia.[14]

Attractions[edit]

Orlando location[edit]

Fun Spot America - Orlando is an amusement park in Orlando, Florida, near Universal Orlando and I-Drive. It has 4 different go-kart tracks and three roller coasters. The Sea Serpent which is an E&F Miler Industries family roller coaster, a GCI wooden roller coaster named White Lightning and a Vekoma Suspended Family Coaster named Freedom Flyer.

Roller coasters
Name Manufacturer Model name Opened Notes
Freedom Flyer Vekoma 395m Suspended Family Coaster 2013
Sea Serpent E&F Miler Industries Family Coasters / Oval 2013 Purchased from Playland's Castaway Cove[15]
White Lightning Great Coasters International Custom Out and back wooden roller coaster 2013 Only wooden roller coaster in Orlando, Florida
Go-kart tracks
Name Description Color Opened Notes
Conquest Multi-level double corkscrew Florida Ski Jump figure 8 track Blue 1998
Commander Road Course Style multi-level track Green 1998 Extensively reconfigured in 2013
Quad Helix Multi-level quad corkscrew track Yellow 1998
Thrasher Single rider, flat ‘road course’ sprint track Red 1998
Thrill rides
Name Manufacturer Model name Opened Notes
Enterprise Schwarzkopf Enterprise 2013 Purchased from Six Flags Over Georgia where it was called Wheelie[16]
Rip Curl Wisdom Rides, Inc. Himalaya (ride) 2013 Brand new with a taller than normal ride base[16]
Skycoaster F3 Amusements, Inc. Skycoaster 2013 Purchased from MGM Grand Adventures[17]

Kissimmee location[edit]

Fun Spot America - Kissimmee is located in Kissimmee, Florida, adjacent to the Old Town entertainment and shopping complex. The park is designed as a circular walkway around the lagoon featuring the world's tallest skycoaster, the entrance of which is on the west side of the lagoon. The south end of loop features the signature multi-level go-kart tracks, the east side the flat slick tracks. In the north east side of the loop is the Arcade and Kiddie Area and the Rockstar Coaster is at the north end of the loop.

Roller coasters
Name Manufacturer Model name Opened Notes
Kiddie Coaster E&F Miler Industries Family Coasters / 11.5 ft Single Helix Center - CCW 2012 Purchased from Enchanted Forest Amusement Park in Illiois, where it was known as Boa Squeeze[18]
Rockstar Coaster Zamperla Wild Mouse roller coaster 2011 Purchased from Legoland Florida, where it was known as Galaxy Spin when Legoland was Cypress Gardens[19]
Mine Blower The Gravity Group Wooden roller coaster 2017 This roller coaster is 82 feet tall, reaching 48.5 mph and features a 360-degree barrel roll inversion. It is the first inverting wooden roller coaster in Southeast America. It is also only one of 3 wooden coasters in operation in the state of Florida, with the other two being Coastersaurus at Legoland Florida, and White Lightning (roller coaster) at Fun Spot Orlando.
Go-kart tracks
Name Description Color Opened Notes
Vortex 4 stories (40-ft high) Helix track with 32 degree banks Yellow 2007
Chaos Multi-level track Blue 2007
Road Course Hairpin Turn Track Green
Slick Track Fastest slickest track Red
Thrill rides
Name Manufacturer Model name Opened Notes
Skycoaster F3 Amusements, Inc. Skycoaster 2004 World's tallest

Atlanta location[edit]

Fun Spot America - Atlanta is located on Highway 85 in Fayetteville, Georgia. Originally opened as Dixieland Fun Park in 1990. Then in 2012, they changed their name to Fun Junction USA. The park was purchased in 2017 by Fun Spot America.

Roller coasters
Name Manufacturer Model name Opened Notes
Screaming Eagle Coaster E&F Miler Industries Hi-Miler/38 ft 2007
Go-kart tracks
Name Description Color Opened Notes
Samson Height Requirement: Over 40 feet tall, 3 helixes and 3 exhilarating drops. Length = over 1,800 feet long[20] 2018
Sprint Track 2018
Road Course 2018
Junior Track 2018

Awards[edit]

Fun Spot was awarded the 2012 Brass Ring for "Top Family Entertainment Center (FEC) - North America" by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).[21][22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Lamanna, Dean (July 2013). "Fun Spot Attractions is a happy medium for owner John Arie, Sr" (PDF). Amusement Today. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  2. ^ Vaughan, Vicki (October 25, 1988). "Fun 'N Wheels -- Kids' Idea Of Having A Good Old Time". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e "About Fun Spot America Theme Parks". fun-spot.com. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  4. ^ McFaul, Lauren (January 4, 1987). "Fun 'N Wheels -- Kids' Idea Of Having A Good Old Time". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  5. ^ "Go-Karts and Gators: Putting the Fun in Fun Spot America". blooloop.com. February 5, 2016. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Spitz, Jill Jorden (July 14, 1997). "Tourist Corridor Amusement Park Aims To Be A Fun Spot For Families". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  7. ^ Boyd, Christopher (June 22, 2007). "Squeals of tiny wheels". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  8. ^ Panoff, Rebecca (April 29, 2004). "Fun Spot Buys Kissimmee Ride, Plans 2nd Park". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  9. ^ Bevil, Dewayne. "Power Trip Coaster at Fun Spot USA in Kissimmee". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  10. ^ "A look at Fun Spot's first roller coaster – Power Trip Coaster debuts in Kissimmee – Video/Photos". attractionsmagazine.com. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  11. ^ Rutherford, Scott (July 2013). "Orlando's Fun Spot America opens to record numbers" (PDF). Amusement Today. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  12. ^ Smith, Steven Cole (August 14, 2011). "For your amusement: Fun Spot executive embraces the inner child". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  13. ^ Dineen, Caitlin (May 5, 2015). "Gator Spot quietly opens to the public". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  14. ^ http://attractionsmagazine.com/fun-junction-usa-become-fun-spot-atlanta/
  15. ^ "Fun Spot America Discussion Thread - Page 72 - Theme Park Review".
  16. ^ a b "Fun Spot America Discussion Thread - Page 77 - Theme Park Review".
  17. ^ "Fun Spot America Discussion Thread - Page 80 - Theme Park Review".
  18. ^ "Kiddie Coaster".
  19. ^ "Rockstar Coaster".
  20. ^ https://funspotamericaatlanta.com/samson/
  21. ^ Bevil, Dewayne (November 15, 2012). "Fun Spot grabs IAAPA's Brass Ring Award". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  22. ^ "2012 Brass Ring Awards Winners". www.iaapa.org.

External links[edit]