Monday, January 23, 2017

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

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 Medinah, (an unincorporated community), in Bloomingdale Township, but all advertisements and the mailing address read "Addison, Illinois." You can see from the map above, Addison was on the southeast corner of Medinah Road and Lake Street catty-corner from Adventureland.

Today the property is in Bloomingdale, Illinois. The address would be approximately 383 East Lake Street.
At the main gate, visitors were greeted by three giant statues; a pirate, a cowboy, and an Indian.

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. (Richard Barrie was the founder and owner of the private, corporate event amusement and picnic park called, "Hillcrest Park" in Woodridge [formerly Lemont], from 1952 to 2003.)

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.

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.


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.

Adventureland Express Miniature 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.

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

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.
Adventureland "A Look-Back."



Visit our Souvenir Shop on your way out.


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

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

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

  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.

  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...

  6. AdventureLand ... oh, the memories - great photos - we used to go every summer during the 60's - the good ole days !!!

  7. Have so much love for this place, I followed the coasters to the end. The bobs was at fun spot in Indiana and was rebuilt at santas azoosment park only for them to figure out it was down with problems and not running more than running big surprise, so it lasted only months not yrs, The super Bobs was Galvinized to withstand the sea salt air on Daytona beach but was poorly operated and an aftermarket magnet brake positioned on the side of the cars as they passed thru the brake track and not the original brake position under the cars caused a derailed front car up stop roller to send the car off the track dropping 2 riders in the front cars rear seat 17ft to the ground.Both coasters I assume will never be operated again. Neither one never killed anyone, The 2 Recovered from the fall. Sad end to the Super Italian Bobs.

  8. So many great memories from here. Our Dad took our family here every year.I look back and wish it was still there as my grandkids would of loved it and more memories. My 2 brothers just recently passed and memories of all of us there are like it was yesterday. I remember my older sister and myself and my dad were on the farris wheel at the bottom and someone on top got sick and right down on all of our heads. Off to the bathroom to wash up. Thanks for a trip down memory lane.

  9. This whole site was such a wonderful find. My parents would take us there when I was a kid and it was just a magical place for kids to be kids and have fun.
    Thank you.

  10. Replies
    1. I don’t think it was. I could be wrong! I wanted to work there but the lady said I was too young!

    2. Pudgy's was at the east end of the property

  11. Tina I lived just down the road, and worked as the cotton candy girl in the front by the entrance, I loved that place.

  12. Really enjoyed this. Never got to go there. Lived in Chicago & didn't have a car. When I finally got 1 Adventureland was closed.

  13. I am pretty sure the Indian and cowboy are on IL rt. 31 in Crystal Lake.

  14. Frequent visitor through the Years!!!

  15. My father was a meat salesman for one of the big packing companies in Chicago and used to sell meat to Adventureland, Portillo’s and all the other little food places in that area. My father knew the original owner of Adventureland and we went often while he was alive. The only ride I really remember was the one where we squirted water on a building on fire.

  16. I worked there all of the summer of '64 and part of the summer of '65. $1 per hour and all I could eat was my pay but that was the only job to be had at the time. Durell Everding, the owner at the time, was character and drove a Cadillac Eldorado convertible with bull horns on the hood. He got into some sort of argument with Les Bierk Cadillac in Elmhurst who sold the car to him. So he parked the car at the gate to park with a nasty sign in the windshield for all the park visitors to read.

  17. I worked there for 4 years. I worked in the big tent with the slot car races. I loved working there it was so much fun. Lots of great memories.


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