WORLDS OF FUN HISTORY - 1980's

Ah the 80's what a decade that was. This was the decade which Worlds of Fun both shined with the additions of world famous rides, and struggled with the many less notable failed additions. The decade that started off with disco fever and Return of the Jedi, also heralded in one of Worlds of Fun's greatest additions, the Orient Express.the Orient Express! Sadly, today the Orient Express has been gone for several years, but at its prime the Express was the BEST in steel coasters. The Orient Express carried Worlds of Fun into what many now consider its most glorious decade, the 1980's. The following year, 1981 Worlds of Fun added the then hi-tech Incred-O-Dome. Following in the footsteps of its earlier addition this addition MENTALLY took you on a joy ride on not only roller coasters, but as many things as those tired Worlds of Fun executives could think up...

The Following year ushered in another milestone in Worlds of Fun history, our theme park turned 10 years old. One lucky person drove off in a 1973 Chevy, while others celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary received admission free! Hunt Midwest thought up a better way to celebrate 10 years however, by adding a sister park to Worlds of Fun, the midwest’s best water park, Oceans of Fun. Nowhere else in the Midwest could you ride the surf! However, the highlight of the 80's was right around the corner.....

Tried and true Worlds of Fun enthusiasts will not let you forget the landmark event that happened in 1983.... Worlds of Fun with its red, white and blue Screamroller took a change for the better. Now, instead of enjoying the ride sitting down, you could fly through the air with ONLY your two feet planted on the ground! The EXT! The newely re-named Extremeroller became the Nation's FIRST Stand-Up roller coaster! It made the papers, it made the news and it made it onto everyone's mouth for the whole next year! Labeled the EXT for short, this short lived joy ride only survived for a little over one year. In the following year it was renovated back into a sit-down coaster, but we will never forget Worlds of Fun's fleeting moment when we where home to the very best. Sadly though, 1983 almost meant the removal of a popular ride, The Barnstormer ended its flight at Worlds of Fun that same year, and handed over its spot to the ever-famous Octopus, or as it was known then, Tailspinner.

In the following years this cycle would continue. Worlds of Fun would add many World class rides and many failed attempts, while continuously removing old favorites. While the Fury of the Nile was enjoying its first world class year at Worlds of Fun in 1984, the Schussboomer was being yanked. While the Royals came home with their first (and only) pennant, Worlds of Fun hid from the lime light with only the addition of River City (now Patriot Landing) and the River City Rampage (now the Fjord Fjarlene). Then came the disastrous 1986, Challenger never made it to the sky and as all American's mourned this passing of six humans lives, Worlds of Fun added its own memorial to space flight, the space themed Omegatron. The addition of the Omegatron was just another step in Worlds of Fun’s ride scuffle. For the very same space that the Omegatron took up was once home to the Whirlgig, which was originally added as the Singapore Sling in 1977, and in 1986 was moved to its current “permanent” location as the Bamboozler, in the Orient Section. Again, Worlds of Fun went back to its now yearly ritual of ride removal this time the whole Aerodrome was sacked to make room for the child playland Pandemonium!

As children of the 80's remember the three mascots of Worlds of Fun; Sam Panda, Grrtrude the Gorilla and Daniel Coon,Sam Panda, Grrtrude the Gorilla and Daniel Coon Pandemonium replaced Half Pint's Peak with Sam Panda's little brother, PJ Panda as the mascot of this fairly long lived Worlds of Fun area (probably there most successful area addition). This would become the place to be as a child of the 80’s. Kids could meet their favorite characters from TV, such as Rainbow Bright and the Smurfs. During the following years Worlds of Fun would heighten its traditional yanking of rides with the popular Sky Hi and the Screamroller following the steps of other rides in the past to history. Unfortunately, Hunt Midwest did little to replace the holes left by the removal of its most famous ride the Sky Hi, with only the addition of one of Worlds of Fun ride eyesores, the Python Plunge added in 1988. The tide was about to turn however in 1989....

Worlds of Fun was slowly falling from its lofty position as a world-class theme park and still might have, had not Worlds of Fun pulled out all the stops and added one of its most memorable additions of all time, the Timberwolf. The Timberwolf as Worlds of Fun's first wooden coaster did not grab fame immediately, but in the following years would earn Worlds of Fun its place back on the Roller Coaster map as being the BEST wooden coaster in the WORLD in 1991! With this great addition everybody forgot about the rides that had been sacrificed by Worlds of Fun in the past years and looked hopefully onto the last decade of the 20th century....

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