Wonderland Amusement Park
It would be unfair to label the city of Amarillo as boring considering all the fun and exciting attractions and activities in the area. The Wonderland Amusement Park is one of these attractions that offer amazing times with friends and family and is perfect for all ages. This park has been in operation for over 70 years and attracts more than 200,000 visitors yearly.
The amusement park was opened in 1951 by Paul and Alethea Roads. This couple from San Angelo traveled to Amarillo in search of a space to implement their idea of creating an amusement park for the local community to enjoy. A depressing stretch of land in the northern part of the city showed promise but wasn’t convincing enough for the Roads to go with initially. That was until the director of Parks and Recreation at the time promised to beautify the area in an effort to persuade the couple to build. Sure enough, Kiddie Land was founded and featured several rides, including the Kiddie Car Ride, the Hershell Kiddie Boat Ride, and the Lil’ Dipper Roller Coaster. Four years later, Thompson Park began developing with the installation of a duck pond. The duck pond led to other animal exhibitions in the park. By 1990, the exhibits had expanded into a full-blown zoo.
The park didn’t provide a steady enough income for the Roads to survive on. Because of this, Mr. Roads was unable to focus his efforts entirely on it. After building up enough confidence in his abilities and the park itself, he decided to make it his primary venture. More rides began to operate in the park to accommodate people of different ages. Bumper cars were one ride that was implemented during this time. The park still has bumper cars today. After successfully expanding the park, the name was changed to Wonderland Amusement Park.
The park boasts more than 30 different rides and various attractions for everyone to enjoy today. A car-operated haunted house is located in the center of the park and requires additional tickets to ride. This is called The Fantastic Journey and was another ride built by Mr. Roads. In 2009, Wonderland Amusement Park was voted Park of the Year by Amusement Today. The park is best known for its famous rollercoaster, The Texas Tornado. This rollercoaster has two loops and is among the top-rated rides in the United States.
The park features arcade-style games as well as food and drink concession stands in case anyone in your party gets hungry or thirsty. Grab some refreshing beverage while you’re there to cool down or stand in front of one of the misters. If you’re tired of riding rides and want to test your putting game, try out the mini golf course located on the outer west wall. The Wonderland Amusement Park has been recognized as a regional landmark and is among the largest, top-rated amusement parks in Texas. Other parks included in this ranking are Sea World and Six Flags.
Wonderland Amusement Park is only open to the public beginning in April and remains operating until the beginning of September. Hours vary, but you can obtain a copy of the calendar on their website if you plan to visit.
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