Vikings raid Iowa park by land and sea
Adventureland to debut new coaster and flume ride in 2023
Think of it as a surf and turf combo. Adventureland in Altoona, Iowa announced that it will be introducing two new Viking-themed attractions next season: Draken Falls, a flume ride, and Flying Viking, a roller coaster. The moderately thrilling, family-focused rides will be built side-by-side and interweave one another.
Known as a Super Flume, Draken Falls will feature a relatively simple course. Its six-passenger boats, which will pay homage to Viking ships, will leave the station, climb a 26-foot-tall lift, plummet into a splash pool, and then climb a 40-foot-tall lift followed by a longer plunge into a bigger splash pool. The second drop should create a huge cascade of water that will likely drench passengers as well as onlookers–which is more or less the point of water rides at amusement parks.
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A junior coaster, Flying Viking won’t go taller than 50 feet and will max out at a relatively tame 26 mph. It is designed as a gateway experience, falling between a kiddie coaster and more intense rides such as Adventureland’s marquee thrill machines, The Monster and The Tornado. With a height restriction of 36 inches, children as young as three might be able to board Flying Viking. Draken Falls will be limited to passengers 42 inches and taller.
Flying Viking will be the park’s seventh coaster. The lead car on the fanciful trains will be adorned with a dragon. The rustic station for the rides will include shields, swords, and other Viking and Nordic influences.
“This will be the most themed area of the park,” says Bill Lentz, Adventureland’s general manager. “It’s kind of exciting.”
According to Lentz, guests have been clamoring for a flume ride since the park removed its original log flume a number of years ago. He promises that Draken Falls will be bigger and better than the previous ride. With its Viking theme and accompanying coaster, the GM is sure that it will be a big hit.
The two rides are being supplied by Zamperla, an Italian ride manufacturer. A subsidiary of the company operates Luna Park at Coney Island and often uses the New York park to showcase its latest innovations. It has plans to open a similar flume and coaster combo, Leti’s Treasure and Tony’s Express, there this season, although they have been delayed.
In 2021, an accident on another Adventureland water ride, the Raging River, took the life of an 11-year-old boy. The river rapids attraction remains closed. The family that founded the park in 1974 sold it to Palace Entertainment last year. The new owner, which has a portfolio of amusement parks under its umbrella, including Kennywood in Pennsylvania and Lake Compounce in Connecticut, introduced nine attractions this season at Adventureland. They include the Rockin’ Rainbow swing ride and spinning kiddie rides such as Leap Frogs and Flying Tigers.
In addition to the amusement park, Adventureland includes the adjacent Adventure Bay, a water park, with admission. Dubbed Adventureland Resort, the campus offers a hotel, Adventureland Inn, and the Adventureland Campground. The hotel is open year round.
Have you been to Adventureland? If so, what are your favorite rides at the park? What do you think about the Viking-themed flume ride and coaster duo coming next year?