Thursday, January 2, 2020
Joyland Amusement Park, Decatur, Illinois. (1963-1975)
Joyland Amusement Park in Nelson Park (Lakeshore Drive and South 22nd Street) was a small, independent amusement park. It was said that the rides were carnival-type, rickety, and not really that thrilling.
For $2.50 you could get an all-day pass. There was a Swinging-Gym, a roller coaster called the 'Bullet', that was razed to make room for a giant slide, bumper cars, the Tea Cups, a Ferris wheel, tilt-a-whirl, carousel, and rock-o-plane ride along with some other rides. The Igloo shaped concession stand was popular to cool off from the summer heat.
Joyland was best described as a permanent carnival, the kind that pop-up in parking lots and churches in the summer. Little kids loved this park. In 1975 the park sold its equipment because the park district didn't have the funds to repair the rides or operate the park any longer.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.