Monday, January 23, 2017

Adventureland (Amusement Park), Bloomingdale, Illinois (Addison, IL). 1961-1977.

At the main gate, visitors were greeted by three giant statues; a pirate, a cowboy and an Indian.
Adventureland was a small amusement park enjoyed by Chicagoland kids from 1961 to 1977. It was located at the northwest corner of Medinah Road and Lake Street in the Chicago suburb of unincorporated Bloomingdale, Illinois, but all advertisements and the mailing address read "Addison, Illinois."
The land that Storybook Park sat on was originally owned by Paul Werner and was known as "Paul's Grove," which sat on 24 acres with two buildings on the property. One building was the restaurant and tavern. The other was a big hall for banquets and dancing.

The Grove was purchased by John and Marie Spiezio in 1952 and they managed the park until 1958. Then sometime in 1958, the land was purchased by Richard Barrie.

Storybook Park opened in 1958 (later the name was changed to "Storybook City, USA") as an attraction for families with young children. Barrie added a "live" volcano, a lollipop train, and added some other kiddie rides. He built a fairy-tale castle and hired people to dress in costumes bringing the storybook characters to life for the children.

Barrie ran into financial difficulty, and the park was sold to Durell Everding in 1961. Everding renamed the park to "Adventureland Park" and expanded the focus of the park to include older children, teens and young adults. The Storybook Park structures remained and the kiddie rides were grouped together in a section he called the "Kiddie Korral."
At some point in the early to mid-1960s, the name Adventure Land turned into a one word name; Adventureland.
Everding died in 1970, and the park was run by his stepbrothers and a stepsister until it was purchased by Medinah Investors.

In the late 1960s and early 70s, the park held dances and featured a house band playing in the evenings. Local rock groups, such as the Cryan Shames and Aliotta, Haynes & Jeremiah (famous for the Chicago song: "Lake Shore Drive") also appeared there. In the mid 1970s, a disco opened on the site, complete with a certified disco dance instructor.
In 1967, Adventureland became the largest amusement park in Illinois, following the closure of the larger Riverview Park. It would retain this title until Marriott's Great America opened in 1976 (now Six Flags Great America since 1984).

Groups of inner-city children were bused to the park as part of a Chicago summer program. This, along with a general increase in minority attendance, caused some racial problems at the park to escalate.

Adventureland closed in 1977. It's possible that several factors were responsible for the closure, including racial tensions (security & insurance issues) and competition from other amusement parks like Great America.

Visit our Souvenir Shop on your way out.
The Original "Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe" from Storybook Park can be seen at the miniature golf course at Green Valley Golf Range in Hanover Park, Illinois.

ALL TIME ATTRACTIONS

ADOPTED FROM STORYBOOK PARK
Cinderella's Coach, Circus Express, Candy Cane Train, Prince Charming's Castle, Doll House, Firehouse, Humpty Dumpty, Lollipop Train, Old Woman in a Shoe, Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, Windy Wilbur, Hungry Tiger.

RIDES THROUGHOUT THE PARKS LIFE
Adventureland Express Miniture Railroad, Italian Bobs, Super Italian Bobs, Kiddie Roller Coaster, Hydraulic Parashoots, Scrambler, Torpedo Tubs, Western Round-Up, Italian Super Bumper Cars, Helicopters, Giant Whip, Octopus, Caterpillar, Ferris Wheel, Fighter Planes, Paratroopers, Electric Cars, Tubs of Fun, Century Flyer, Rock-O-Plane, Rollo Plane, Tilt-a-Whirl, Super Himalaja, Yo-Yo Swings, Flying Bobs, Two Seater Go-Carts, Fast Go-Carts. Jet Ride, Flying Zepher, Carousel, Covered Wagon, Fire Engine, Live Animal Rides, Electric Whale Lake, New Orleans Street Car, Cable Cars.

KIDDIE RIDES
1890 Lollipop Train, Alligator Boats, Flying Swans, Fishing Boat Ride, Whale Paddle Boats, Cars, Motorcycles.

OTHER ATTRACTIONS
Hofbrau Fun House, Petting Zoo, Giant Slide, Tree House Slide, Picnic Area, Snack Bars, Souvenir Stands, Concession Stands, Skee Ball Arcade, Game Arcades, Slot Car Racing, Miniature Golf, Shooting Gallery.

VIDEO

Adventureland "A Look Back."


CLICK ON PHOTOS FOR A FULL SIZE VIEW













































































































































































 









5 comments:

  1. Great memories of a favorite place love all the pictures. Thank you for preserving these places.

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  2. I would have loved this place. Thanks for the great photos.

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  3. I lived less than a mile from this place and remember it like it was yesterday, thanks for the photos and story!

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  4. Having grown up in the Chicagoland area, I've been to all of the amusement parks at least once, most often when I was very little. Here are my happy memories. Adventureland, got stung by a bee. Kiddieland, traumatic ride on ferris wheel, ( I had no idea it would be so high and so shaky), Riverview, I got lost and had to sit with the security policeman in the 'lost kid' shack. Maybe we never did make it to Santa's Village! Love the photos and the maps. I recall also when Adventureland was deserted but simply left to deteriorate for years. Always kind of sad to drive by.

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  5. I remember coming here when I was around 16 years old with a friend and her family, first time since I was a kid that I had been on a Ferris wheel, beause my brother used to rock the cars to terrify me, LOL! My roommate from college used to live across Lake (US 20) on Medinah Rd. Used to drive down Meacham which turned into Medinah, past the Medinah Golf Course, to Lake, where Adventureland was, then turned right and then immediately left to her house...thank you for the memories!! I remember also when it was abandoned and deserted, it was very sad to see it like that...

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