Amusement parks in Henderson

Adventure Island (amusement park)

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Adventure Island is a theme park in Southend-on-Sea, Essex. It is a free admission park, charges are levied only on individual attractions within the park. Individual tickets are £1.60 and the amount needed varies from ride to ride. The park also sells a variety of wristbands entitling the wearer to different categories of rides. The Big Adventure Band - which is good for adult riders - allows for unlimited use of all rides at the park and costs £22 peak, £18 off peak. The Junior Band allows for younger visitors to use attractions suited to guests below 1.2 metres and costs £15 peak, £12 off peak. The final band is suited for young childer and is called the Mini Band. This band costs £10 peak, £7 off peak.

Opening times

Adventure Island's opening times vary depending on the time of the year. During the Summer Adventure Island opens at 11am and will close from any time between 8pm and 11pm depending on the weather forecast etc, the park is open 7 days a week during the Summer period.

During the Winter months, Adventure Island is only open weekends and normally closes at around 5pm, although at certain times it can close as early as 4pm, like the summer many factors will effect the closing time.

For full details on exact opening times and details check out the official site.

History

The park has been growing and thriving ever since it was purchased by the Millers back in 1976. Having purchased the land west of the pier and its current ride selection the re-development of the park had begun. One of the major turning points in the park's history was the construction of the east side in 1995, this area is now home to the likes of Rage and Sky Drop.

Adventure Island used to be known as Peter Pan's Playground, after the eastern expansion it became Peter Pan's Adventure Island, but by most local residents it was and still is known as Peter Pan's or just Pan's for short. It still had this name up until the early 2000s, when the Peter Pan's part was dropped and the entire park became Adventure Island.

Some past rides include:

Blackbeard's Pirate Adventure, Mr Smee's Boat Ride, American Freeway, Barracuda, Space Chase, Fantasy Dome, Fireball, Jungle Safari, Pirate Galleon, Beelzee Bob's Trail

Roller coasters

Adventure Island currently has four roller coasters in the park.

The Green Scream is a Zierer custom design and was the first of the current selection to be constructed in the late 90s. It could once have been described as their signature ride but this title has now been taken by Rage. The Green Scream does not have any inversions and the drops are pretty tame however it is a good all round family ride. The Green Scream cars are 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, comprised of 20 cars seating two people each.

The second roller coaster at the park is the Barnstormer, which opened in 2000. It is the same design of coaster, a custom Zierer, and 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 of the train.

The third roller coaster is named the Mighty Mini Mega, a Pinfari MM29, which opened in 2003. This coaster has six cars each with two rows of two, seating 24 riders in total. The ride itself is quite short however it is quite intense in some places with a helix towards the end and a pretty sharp brake run. This ride was definitely designed with space in mind and is quite compact however it uses the space it has to a maximum.

Rage

Rage is a Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter 320+ in England. It opened in February 2007. It is one of the biggest investments the park has ever made, dominates the Southend seafront skyline with its vivid colours and intimidating first drop, and certainly attracts the guests to the park just to see it up close.

The ride cost in the region of £3million and is located on the former Raging River Log Flume site, Sky Drop and Vortex were relocated to new positions in the park to make way.

The ride stands at about 75ft in height and features a 97 degree drop, a vertical lift hill, a vertical loop and a Zero G Roll, as well as a host of other elements and tight turns that make it a short but exhilarating ride, certainly one to please the thrill seeker audience.

Light Fantastic Weekends

In 2007 Adventure Island hosted the Light Fantastic Weekends, which ran every Friday and Saturday night throughout September and October. The event consisted of various light displays as well as live entertainment and parades throughout the park as well as goodies being given out.

The Light Fantastic Weekends returned again in 2008 with a near identical format to the previous years, but with the addition of more lights and displays throughout the park.

Charity events

The park does a lot for local and national charities.

Two such events are the Green Scream Marathon and Rage Relay. The Green Scream Marathon was held on Saturday 18 June 2005. Three people took part and rode the Green Scream coaster for 12 hours solid, raising over £700 for Make Poverty History.

On Saturday the 28th April 2007, a group of five coaster enthusiasts took part in the Rage Relay event, where they each rode ride Rage in total of 4 hours each doing hourly shifts on the ride in pairs, they raised over £500 for the local charity StrokeBusters.

Most recently two Adventure Island staff members spent 24 hours on the Big Wheel in November and raised over £800 for StrokeBusters.

Other major rides

  • Archelon, a Zierer Wave Swinger
  • Dragon's Claw, a Tivoli Spin-Out
  • Pharaoh's Fury, a Sonacase Twister
  • Big Wheel
  • Devil's Creek Gold Mine
  • Ramba Zamba, a Zamperla Disk-O
  • Scorpion, a Tivoli Scorpion
  • Sky Drop, a Zamperla Skydrop
  • Tidal Wave
  • Vortex, a Tivoli Orbiter
  • Sk8borda
  • Dragon, a Zierer roundabout
  • Mighty Mini Mega

Future

The 2008 season saw the opening of Over The Hill the parks new Dark Ride as well as new events such as Fright Fantastic. So far no future plans have been announced.

External links

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Tips & Hints
Arrange By:
Heidi Fitzpatrick
19 August 2010
If you have children between 1m and 1.2m you can have a cheaper day by only buying them the green wristbands. Adults get to 'accompany' their smaller children for free!
Jack Smith
9 August 2014
Free entry to walk around and soak up the atmosphere if nothing else. Can either pay per attraction or buy a day's wristband, discounted after approx 6pm during summertime. All cheaper to get online.
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Location
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0.1km from Southend-on-Sea, Southend Pier (W-bound), Southend-on-Sea SS1, UK

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Open hours
Sun 11:00 AM–9:00 PM
Mon 11:00 AM–6:00 PM
Tue Noon–5:00 PM
Wed 1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Thu Noon–4:00 PM
Fri 1:00 PM–8:00 PM
References

Adventure Island on Foursquare

Adventure Island (amusement park) on Facebook

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