When you find yourself bored on a nice weekend during the spring and summer months and are looking for a thrill, visit Wonderland Amusement Park located in south Amarillo at 2601 Dumas Dr, Amarillo, TX 79107. This exciting venue is an excellent place to go when you’re in the mood to ride some rides and play some games. The park has attractions for people of all ages making it a great place to take the family or a group of friends.
The southernmost side of the park is dedicated to children’s rides for the little ones. As the park expands, you will find more and more age appropriate rides for older children and then teens and adults when you reach the north end of the park. Arcade style games are located in several buildings throughout the park when you need to escape the hot sun, but are wanting to continue the fun. If you or the kids start getting hungry, stop by one of the concession stands and grab a hot dog or maybe some cotton candy.
Wonderland Amusement Park features more than 30 rides for people of all ages to enjoy. It was voted “Park of the Year” in 2009 by Amusement Today which is a notable achievement considering the size of the park compared to other amusement parks such as Six Flags. In fact, alongside Six Flags and SeaWorld, Wonderland is listed as one of the best amusement parks in Texas.
One of Wonderland’s most remarkable attractions is the largest roller coaster in the park called the Texas Tornado. This ride is one of the United States highest rated roller coasters containing a double loop. Originally, the roller coaster was white and opened in 1985, but in 2009 it was repainted red, white, and blue. It was the first roller coaster to be designed by Hopkins Rides, a water ride company operating in North America.
Thompson Park, the park in which Wonderland is located, was developed in the 1950s after Paul and Alethea Roads journeyed from San Angelo to the panhandle to inquire about some land in which they wished to construct an amusement park on. The Roads had a dream to bring smiles and excitement to a local community and Amarillo got so lucky as to be that place.
Upon viewing the land the first time, the couple agreed it was too desolate of an area. Director of Amarillo Parks and Recreation at the time, Mark Miles, assured them he would take personal responsibility for the beautification of the area and began having trees and other shrubs and bushes planted. A duck pond was put in the park in 1955 which soon sparked the development of the Amarillo Zoo. After the pond, animal exhibits increasingly began being put on display until the area was approved to house large animal exhibits in 1989.
Wonderland Amusement Park was first opened as Kiddie Land in 1951. It entailed three different rides, one of which was built by Paul himself. These three rides were called the Hershell Kiddie Boat Ride, the Lil’ Dipper Roller Coaster and the Kiddie Car Ride according to the Wonderland website.
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