Worlds of Fun Tour of the Park 2018 Edition
Historical Tour of the Park Versions
Worlds of Fun Railroad 1973-current
As one of the most popular family rides in the park, Worlds of Fun Railroad (WOFRR) is also an original attraction to the park, opening with it in 1973. Guests board one of four coaches and take an over one-mile tour around the park. The train has been and still is powered by a 25-ton steam locomotive named ELI. ELI was manufactured by Crown Metal Products of Pennsylvania in 1972 for Worlds of Fun specifically. Though "technically new" (in that it never operated in the age of steam) ELI is still powered 100% by steam; however, instead of burning coal or wood, ELI burns propane. As is the case with steam engines, propane is not the fuel that powers the locomotive. Instead, it is used on a catalyst to heat the water within the boiler, which creates steam, and moves the engine. Like many steam engines, WOFRR was named, in this case, ELI, when the park was being designed and built. ELI is named after a speedy Burlington Northern train route from Kansas City to Chicago that was likened to a similarly speedy Chillicothe Racehorse named ELI. Burlington Northern was an original sponsor of the WOFRR. Of interest, WOFRR riders are also spectators of The Great American Train Robbery skit at approximately the halfway point, and turn around of the train ride. The robbery show is only performed May through August and only until dusk. Guests less than 46" must be accompanied by an adult to ride.
Battle Creek BBQ 1985 (re-named 2009)-current
Located across from the depot is one of the park's three indoor counter service restaurants, Battle Creek BBQ. Battle Creek offers a selection of smoked meats including pork and brisket sandwiches, baked beans, and mac & cheese. The restaurant itself is also currently themed to American Royal and Kansas City BBQ decor. Interestingly enough, Battle Creek was originally built in 1981 as an Ice Cream Parlor named Udder Delights. In 1995, it transitioned to a full service restaurant and was renamed Blue Bronco, serving tex-mex cuisine. In 2005 it transitioned to ZardaQ and began offering Zarda BBQ and in 2009 became known as Battle Creek BBQ. Interestingly enough the bar at Battle Creek BBQ is still known as the Blue Bronco.
Country Junction 1982-current
Built in 1982, this 1,000 open-air amphitheater is located just adjacent to the WOFRR Depot. Currently, the theater is home to "Muttallica", a dog agility show that runs from May through August. Over the years, Country Junction has been host to several country western shows, stunt shows (which is why the water tower was built), and a tropical bird agility show (Fowl Play).
Mustang Rider 2017-current
Added in 2017 is Mustang Rider, a Troika ride manufactured by Huss Rides of Germany. Troika's name derives from the Russian word for "three" referring to the ride's three arms. Troika is a fairly mild mannered thrill ride; each of the three arms has 7 individual cars attached which spin, while the center hub also spins, while doing so each arm is gently lifted into the air. Like Scrambler, Troika is a great mild thrill ride to work up to the more intense rides. Mustang Rider is replacing, in location, Krazy Kars, the park's original children's bumper cars ride, which was removed after the 2015 season. Guests must be 42" or taller to ride Voyager and those under 54" must be accompanied by an adult.
Two twin towers rise 200 feet into the air over Americana. When Detonator was added, very few had ever heard of shot tower rides. In the decade that followed, they were added to almost every amusement park in the country. Detonator is an S&S Power Space Shot ride, manufactured in Provo, Utah. Detonator launches its 12-riders per tower skyward, propelled only by air. Riders experience massive negative g-forces ("airtime") at the climax of the rise, and are then propelled back down, faster than a free-fall. The ride itself is over in a matter of seconds, but it's a big thrill in a small package. Detonator is classified as a Mach I Spaceshot, a distinction shared only by the Spaceshot at Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas, being its single tower twin. What makes it different from the newer versions (Mach II) is that the air cylinders/tanks don't rise the entire length of the tower, allowing a more sling shot experience, and more thrilling experience as well. Detonator was the first permanent installation, and also first twin tower installation, of the S&S space shot. Guests must be 48" or taller to ride Detonator.
Detonator Refreshments 2016-current
Located adjacent to Detonator, this small drink stand offers souvenir bottle refills.
Detonator Games late 90's-current
Confined both to and around the red barn near Detonator, this is a small collection of midway games, including: DeadRinger (ring around a bottle), Balloon Blast (pop a balloon), Rebound, Hang Time (basketball free throw), and Bull Pen (pitching speed game). Of interest is that the red barn that houses Detonator Games once served as the Americana terminus for the Ski Hi Gondola ride, removed in 1987. It then served to process season passes for a few years following the removal of the Sky Hi before it was finally converted to a games building in the late 90's.
Cyclone Sam's (Cloudpoofer 2000) 1995-current
One of the more ingenious attractions added to Worlds of Fun, Cyclone Sam's is basically a high-thrill, spinning ride located inside of a building allowing for a more thematic adventure. Guests board a seat along a circular ride; as the ride begins, the interior is darkened and the ride begins to spin and and raise up and down in a wave-like pattern. The intention is to simulate being inside a cyclone. Halfway through the cycle the ride stops and begins spinning backwards, then lowers flat to the ground and spins even quicker. Both the spinning and darkness make this ride quite a thrill. Cyclone Sam's was added in 1995 and was Hunt Midwest's last addition to the park prior to selling it to Cedar Fair. Prior to 1994, another ride, Wobble Wheel, sat in this same spot. Interestingly enough, Wobble Wheel and the current Cyclone Sam's are almost identical rides, manufactured by the same company (Chance Rides), with the only major difference being that Cyclone Sam's offers both forwards and rear facing seats. Guests must be 48" or taller to ride Cyclone Sam's.
Game Street USA 1978-current
Across from Cyclone Sam's is a small strip of midway games added in 1978. Games include Break-A-Plate, Slam Dunk (basketball free-throw), Dart Vader (Darts), and Cat Whack. Game Street USA was built in 1978 and remains almost identical in both structure and function as it did when it was built.
Timber Wolf 1989-current
One of Worlds of Fun's two wooden coasters, Timber Wolf was first added in 1989 and was designed by Curtis Summers and built by Charles Dinn (referred to as a Dinn & Summers coaster). Timber Wolf is typified as a modified out and back; traditional out and back coasters are as the name implies, coasters that go out and come back. Prowler is a more modern version of this style. Timber Wolf offers a variation of the out and back style, but is considered "modified" due to its numerous track crossovers and turns. A ride on Timber Wolf begins on the lift hill, which stands 100 feet tall, today dwarfed by its nearby neighbor Mamba. Timber Wolf's first drop at 95 feet tall is also one of the steepest coaster drops in the park, it's over quick, and is followed by a rise and first turn which offers the ride's first pop of negative g-forces (airtime).
One of Timber Wolf's signature features is it's "bob's turn", which generates massive negative g-forces while hurtling fast and furious through the lift hill structure. The "bob's turn" feature is named after the historical (and long defunct) Riverview Park Bobs coaster that influenced it. The other significant feature to Timberwolf is its unusual 580-degree helix. Like many other aspects of Timberwolf, its helix was influenced by another famous coaster, The Beast at Kings Island and its famous, 540-degree, downward-running, helix (unlike The Bobs, The Beast is very much still operating). Unfortunately, on Timber Wolf the helix rotates up and ends up slowing the train to a virtual crawl. At the time of its opening in 1989, many considered the first half of Timber Wolf superior to many other coasters, and likened it to many thrilling Harry Traver coasters of the early 20th century. On the other hand, many lambasted the second half with many critical comments referring to it as weak. These problems still plague Timber Wolf, but don't detract from the fact that it offers quite a thrilling ride.
Like many wooden coasters, Timber Wolf has been re-tracked multiple times in its lifetime. The first re-tracking was in 1995, which also beefed up the coasters overall structure, with the end result creating a speed and thrill-generating machine. Over the following two decades, Timber Wolf received very little attention beyond normal maintenance. A four-year re-tracking/re-structuring program was completed in 2018, and included replacing the rides entire 580-degree helix with a 70-degree banked turn. The re-tracking of Timber Wolf has created tension among many Timber Wolf fans; many believe that it has made the ride much less thrilling, while others see the re-track job as a positive to the ride experience, offering a much smoother, and more enjoyable ride experience. Guests must be 48" or taller to ride Timberwolf.
Snoopy's Arcade 1976 (re-named 2003)-current
The only arcade located in the park offers a variety of arcade games, along with traditional Skeeball machines. Snoopy's Arcade was built in 1976 as Uncle Sam's Skeeball Hall; the name was changed in 2003 to Snoopy's Arcade.
Airbrush Artist 2002-current
This small booth offers artistic airbrush souvenirs such as t-shirts and caps.
Cyclone Sadies Antique Photos 1973 (re-named/re-purposed 2002)-current
Dress up in 19th century style and have your antique photo taken; great for families, friends, or even couples. Interestingly enough, the location of Cyclone Sadie's Antique Photos started out as the park's fun house, originally named "9th Street Incline", in 1976 became known as "Great American Disaster" before changing to it's final name, Cyclone Sadie's, in 1980. In 1994, when Cyclone Sadie's (the fun house) was replaced by an arcade, the name and signage stuck around, so in 2002 when the antique photo shop moved to replace the arcade it took on the name as well, and became Cyclone Sadie's Antique Photos.
ICEE Mix It Up 1973 (re-named 2008)-current
An ICEE stand that features over a dozen different flavors that guests can mix and match and mix together to create their own unique flavor. Prior to 2008, this small stand was known as Custer's Last Stand.
Viddle Griddle 1973-current
Worlds of Fun's primary counter service restaurant serves hamburgers, bacon hamburgers, chicken fingers, and fries; they also offer souvenir bottle refills. With its prime location, Viddle Griddle is almost always open during the park's operating hours. Viddle Griddle is also the last full service counter service to retain its original name and location from opening year 1973.
As part of the Subway franchise guests can find many of their Subway stores favorites here including BLT, Veggie Delite, Sweet Onion Teriyaki, and Meatball Marinara. The only major difference between the Subway at the park and the one outside the park (except for a limited menu) is the prices: Foot-long Subs run $10 and over, with 6" subs running just over $5. Structurally speaking, Subway is a completely new structure built in 2011, but replaces both the park's original stroller and wheelchair rental location, Clark's Wheelbarrow (named after Lamar Hunt's son), and Triple Dip Ice Cream.
Guest Services 1973 (re-named/re-purposed)-current
An auxiliary guest services, located as part of Front Street Shops, guests can stop for any questions or concerns that guest services at the front of the park can answer or assist with, including height requirement bands, maps, or questions. Guest Services also offers charging stations for guest cell phones.
Front Street Shops 1973-current
As the largest strip of shops in the park, Front Street is a great place to stop on your way out of the park. Front Street Shops include the Emporium Gift Shop, Peppermint Patties Candy Shop, Cinnabon, Caribou Coffee Shop, and Caricature Artist. Front Street Shops is as large and as organized as it is because it once served as part of the Front Gate of the park when the main gate was located across from it where Steelhawk is today. Though the main gate has been removed, the overall layout of the main plaza has remained relatively unchanged; the candy shop, which started out in 1973 as (Sharon's) Yum Yum Tree, is still a candy shop (today known as Peppermint Patties), Front Street Emporium started out as Front Street Dry Goods and Electric Company, in 1973, and then Brims and Bonnets, the park's hat store, was only recently converted from Charlie's Caps to Guest Services in 2015. One of the more fascinating aspects of Front Street is in the small ways that it has changed. For instance, where Cinnabon and Caribou Coffee are today used to not be shops at all, but instead were breezeways that connected the front of the park directly to the train station; this was prior to Blue Bronco/Battle Creek BBQ's construction in 1985.
Coca-Cola Marketplace 2014-current
A small Coca-Cola indoor shop that includes two Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, bottled sodas, and non-alcoholic drinks (Vitamin Water, Powerade), as well as a small selection of fresh fruit and bagged chips. The Coca Cola Marketplace, built in 2014 with Steelhawk, sits on top of the remaining structure of the SS Henrietta which once served as part of the original main gate.
Towering 301 feet into the air, Steelhawk, added in 2014, is Worlds of Fun's tallest attraction. Riders board one of the 64 side-by-side seats, and then are raised almost 300 feet in the air as the entire ride spins slowly around its central tower. Steelhawk offers breathtaking views of the area and downtown, and the ride experience is enhanced by a musical track featuring music from "Harry Potter", "How to Train Your Dragon", "E.T.", "Superman" (John Williams), "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", "Flight of the Valkyries", and more. Steelhawk also features a brilliant LED light package that varies in color and pattern that can be changed with the day and holiday. Of course, Steelhawk's biggest story is that it was originally installed at Knott's Berry Farm in 2011 known then as Windseeker. In 2012, Windseeker stopped abruptly mid-ride and left riders stranded for four hours in the air. After investigation, Cal-OSHA was requiring modifications to the ride that would have required a complete redesign of the ride that were both not financially feasible, and not required in any other state that Windseekers operated. It was at that point Cedar Fair made the decision to move Windseeker to Worlds of Fun. Guests must be 52" or taller to ride Steelhawk.
Americana Food Complex 1973- current
Situated on the corner between Steelhawk and Patriot Landing is a large food complex that includes Grandma's Funnel Cakes, Double Dip Ice Cream, Pico Amigos (replacing Santa Fe Tacos), and Pizza Pier. Seating is all outdoors, but much of it is shaded and right in the thick of the prime park attractions. Amazingly enough, much of the Food complex's structure is original to the park, but has changed names and food variety so many times it's virtually impossible to keep up with the changes over the years. from the Show Me Shop (1973-1974) and the Donut Whole (1973-1977), to the Sub Shop and Country Kitchen which lasted a multitude of seasons right into the early 90's.
Patriot Landing 2006-current
A small gift shop located near the entrance and exit of Patriot, Patriot Landing offers Patriot apparel, souvenirs, and on ride photo purchase, as well as a small assortment of candy and bottled soda. The location that houses Patriot Landing was actually originally built for River City in 1982, converted to Beat Street in 1991, and in 2006 was heavily modified (and half a building removed), to create Patriot Landing shop.
Added in 2006, Patriot is a steel, inverted, looping coaster designed by the Swiss firm of Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M). Riders board one of the seven rows and sit four across. Patriot is an inverted coaster, which refers to the fact that rider's legs are left to dangle below the train and are restrained in the car by over the shoulder restraints. Patriot, while being one of two inverted B&M coasters in Missouri, is the taller one at 149 feet tall, with a first drop of 123 feet. Immediately following the first drop is the ride's 89-foot tall loop, followed by a slow, restraint hugging, zero-g roll and then succeeded by an Immelmann loop (a half corkscrew/half loop named after a fighter jet maneuver that the inversion mimics). The ride then offers riders just a touch of airtime as it soars over the ride's station, turns, and then completes its last inversion, a corkscrew. Following the corkscrew is one brief and final air-time moment, and then the train hits the brake run for a total of just over a 2-minute long thrilling ride. Patriot is the only coaster at the park with a height requirement over 48", requiring riders be 54" to ride. Probably more so than any other coaster at Worlds of Fun, Patriot is a replacement, in this case of Orient Express removed after the 2003 season. Though Orient Express was incredibly advanced technology for its time in 1980, it was also rather rough (how much depends on who you ask), while Patriot, and its designer, B&M are known for offering exceptionally smooth rides. Guests must be 54" or taller to ride Patriot.
Skyliner is a small 16-car ferris wheel located just up hill from Patriot. Skyliner was added in 1991 with the renovation of River City into Beat Street, along with Rockin' Reeler, and, of the two, Skyliner is the only one still operating. Skyliner was built by ELI Bridge out of Jacksonville, IL, a company known for their small, portable ferris wheels as well as its most popular ride, the Scrambler. Guests must be 36" or taller to ride Skyliner and those less than 54" must be accompanied by an adult.
Added in 1996 with Detonator, Ripcord is a pay-extra attraction that offers an amazing and thrilling combination of hang gliding and free fall; guests can experience it by themselves or as a group of up to three at a time. Ripcord was manufactured by SkyCoaster and is 160 feet tall, one of the tallest attractions in Americana (though dwarfed by Steelhawk nearby). Riders are strapped into their restraints by SkyCoaster certified operators before being hoisted, back/legs first, up the ride's 160 feet tower. Once on top, one rider must pull the ripcord but are then left to free-fall down, and then once the bungee cord they are attached to pulls taunt, are left to swing out over the center of the park. Guests must be 48" or taller to ride Ripcord.
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