|Worlds of Fun|
Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Worlds of Fun is an amusement park located in Kansas City, Missouri. After agreeing to terms with Lamar Hunt of the Hunt Corporation, his park opened as the second amusement park in Kansas City. Fairyland Amusement Park near downtown Kansas City was a small park in a dangerous part of the city. So Worlds Of Fun was the safe park to go to since the neighborhood it was in was very undeveloped. A strange fact few people know about Worlds Of Fun is that it was built on top of a mine! The park opened without a scratch and with two world-class roller coasters, the Schussboomer and the Zambezi Zinger. But one of the most famous things about Worlds Of Fun is that it had the world-famous boat “The Cotton Blossom” from the movie “Showboat”.
Then in 1976, Worlds Of Fun added their first new coaster after opening. The Screamroller was an Arrow Dynamics designed Corkscrew roller coaster. It was put in the Americana section. Worlds Of Fun was a theme park set to the theme of Jules Verne’s classic novel, “Around The World In Eighty Days”. The different sections in Worlds Of Fun are Americana, Orient, Europa, Africa, and Scandinavia. 1976 also added the addition of The Forum. The Forum is an amphitheater that would feature many famous rock stars and laser light shows throughout the years. With the 1970’s also came the additions of the Singapore Sling and the late Wobble Wheel. Then in 1978, the first removal of a ride at Worlds Of Fun was The Safari, a simple ride through the forest that featured many fake animals. Thankfully, the 1980’s were just around the bend.
1980 Might just be the greatest year in Worlds Of Fun history. The biggest addition so far for the park came with the Orient Express. The Arrow Dynamics custom-designed roller coaster was a one of a kind ride. The ride began with a quick drop into a tunnel. The ride really got going when the trains went through the interlocking loops, the second ever time it was done. But what this ride was made famous for was the Kamikaze Kurve (or Boomerang). You begin the Kurve by going through a half-corkscrew into a half-loop, then back through another half-loop into a half-corkscrew. It was a major factor to making Worlds Of Fun popular.
The next year ushered the new water park aptly named Oceans Of Fun. The funny thing about it was that it was the only place in the Midwest that you could surf! But the next year for Worlds Of Fun made the park the most talked about park in the world! Screamroller was modified into a stand-up roller coaster name Extremeroller or EXT for short. It beat out both Paramount Kings Island’s King Cobra and Six Flags Mid-America’s (now Six Flags St. Louis) Rail Blazer. The ride however started to destroy the ride track itself! The track was made for a corkscrew train, not a stand-up train. Extremeroller only lasted a little more than a year before being changed back to Screamroller in 1984. The Extremeroller was the only true stand-up-only roller coaster to date as all of the newer stand-ups have small bicycle-style seats, while Extremeroller did not have anything like that.
In 1984, the addition of the river ride, The Fury Of The Nile was put in the Africa section. It was a major hit. Sadly, 1984 also spelled out the first roller coaster removal, of Schussboomer. People were sad since its replacement was a picnic tent. The rest of the 1980’s were a sad time for Worlds Of Fun as only a new kids section was the only major addition until 1989. In 1988, Screamroller was removed and many people were saddened with its removal. Then in the next year, Worlds Of Fun got what it always wanted. Timber Wolf, a Dinn Corporation-manufactured wooden roller coaster did not catch major attention until 1991 when it was voted The Best Wooden Roller Coaster in the World.
The 1990’s were beginning and the fall of Worlds Of Fun was beginning. The 1990’s began with a bang. The Timber Wolf was the best woody in the world. The Orient Express was a world renowned ride with it’s interlocking loops and Kamikaze Kurve. And the Zambezi Zinger was the favorite ride in the park. In 1992, Worlds Of Fun’s 20th Anniversary, the park added its first dual-park ride, the Monsoon. The ride is a river adventure-type ride similar to Perilous Plunge at Knott’s Berry Farm. In 1993, the park held the annual ACE Coaster Con. In 1993 Worlds Of Fun also added the kiddy roller coaster, the Wacky Worm. 1993 also had the first of the three ships removed. The Victrix was removed. 1994 only brought in the little thrill ride, the Sea Dragon.
Then in 1995, the park announced that it was for sale. The victor in the match to buy the park was Cedar Fair. Finally it looked as though Worlds Of Fun was going to be saved by Cedar Fair by bringing it back to the old Worlds Of Fun of the 1970’s and 1980’s. In 1996, the first year Cedar Fair owned the park, the two additions were the Detonator, the first ever twin Space Shot from S&S Power, and Rip Cord, a new sky diving-type ride. 1996 also brought in the removals of the second ship, the famous Cotton Blossom from the movie Show Boat, and the fan favorite show, Fins and Flippers. And 1996 also brought the end to the USS Henrietta and the American Entrance. The final removal was of the tram service which meant that disabled and older park guests had a harder time getting to the front gate.
In 1997 Cedar Fair really made a lot of fans mad by the removal of the fan favorite coaster, Zambezi Zinger. Nothing was put in the spot left by the ride until 2000. Then in 1998, Cedar Fair put in the ride which they thought would make visitors happy. Mamba, a Morgan hyper-coaster topping out at 205 feet was the tallest attraction in the park. It was the fourth hyper coaster in the Cedar Fair family. Unfortunately, it did not save the park and Worlds Of Fun was on a downward spiral. In 2000, Cedar Fair added the Boomerang roller coaster made by Vekoma, which was not a big success for the park. In 2002 the park added the Huss Top Spin ride, ThunderHawk. The ride included fountains to make riders wet.
At the end of the 2003 season, Cedar Fair removed the fan favorite, Orient Express. The space left by the Fins and Flippers show is now going to be used as the location of the new ride for 2004, a spinning wild mouse coaster called Spinning Dragons.
In 2018, the park remodeled the park entrance.
Present Roller Coasters (7)
|Cosmic Coaster||Preston & Barberi||Family||4/3/1993||Operating|
|Patriot||Bolliger & Mabillard||Inverted||4/8/2006||Operating|
|Prowler||Great Coasters International||Wooden||5/2/2009||Operating|
|Timber Wolf||Dinn Corporation||Wooden||4/??/1989||Operating|
Past Roller Coasters (5)
|Extremeroller||Arrow Dynamics||Sit-Down (Stand-Up in 1984)||1976||1988||Formosa WonderWorld|
|Orient Express||Arrow Dynamics||Sit-Down||4/4/1980||10/26/2003||N/A|
|Silly Serpent||Allan Herschell||Kiddie||5/26/1973||1987||N/A|
|Zambezi Zinger||Schwarzkopf||Sit-Down||5/26/1973||1997||Parque Nacional del Café|