Kansas City’s Worlds of Fun theme park opened in 1973. The idea was to create a park that could compete with the venerable Six Flags park across the state in St. Louis. The park has seen many changes in the last 45 years including the addition of a twin water park Oceans of Fun which opened in 1982. At the time of it’s opening, Oceans of Fun was the largest water park in the world.  When I was a child and young adult I visited this park many times, but I hadn’t been back for the last fifteen years. It will be interesting to see how the park is holding up after almost a half century.

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The park sits on 235 acres. Aside from adding Oceans of Fun, the dimensions of the original park have pretty much stayed the same.

The park is based on the book “Around the world in 80 days” by Jules Verne (one of my favorite writers as a child). The Park originally contained five distinct sections, Scandinavia, The Orient, Americana, Europa,and Africa. A sixth section Planet Snoopy was opened in 2011 (although several prior sub-sections have come and gone over the years)

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I know some of the writing on this map is a bit small. What we’re going to do is I am going to give you a visual tour in pictures starting at the “You are here point and going counter-clockwise.starting in “Scandinavia’ going to the Orient, etc. I tried to get pictures of all the major rides.

Scandinavia

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The ‘Grand Carousel” is the first ride you see upon entering the Park . Nothing particularly Scandinavian about it, but they do a pretty good job of trying to authenticate the theme in each section normally.
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The ” Viking Voyager” a log flume type ride has a pretty good “wetness ratio’ on it. The drop is about 50ft.  One of the few rides that was here from the beginning.
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The Sea Dragon. Actually a bit more fun than it may look. I always liked this one.

The Orient

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It was overcast and my camera in my phone tends to get a little cranky. This is a roller coaster called “Spinning Dragons” . The cars spin in a circular motion while the car moves on the track, The ride is actually fun as long as you haven’t just eaten.
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The Patriot coaster has the track above your head so your feet dangle. They used to have a coaster here called “Orient Express’. It was beloved.  Probably the most fun coaster I ever rode on.
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The Bamboozler is a scrambler type ride. It’s been here since it opened but was called the “Octopus” back then, I like this name better but then again, I like silly puns.

Americana

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The Steel Hawk lifts you over three hundred feet in the air and spins you around like a dizzy bird

 

The World’s of Fun Railroad takes you around the park on a mile loop. It’s a good way to get your bearings. The car is the taxi ride in the ‘Europa’ section.

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The depot at the train always has live music.
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One of two wooden roller coasters in the park, the other is “The Prowler” in the Africa section. The Timber Wolf is considered one of the best wooden coasters in the world. According to the people who rate coasters. I like the rickety quality of wooden coasters, it’s more thrilling than steel IMO.
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A 1950’s diner with the Mambo roller coaster in the background.

Planet Snoopy

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Planet Snoopy is a children’s section based on the Peanuts comic strip. The massive Mambo Coaster is in the background.

 

The section has over 20 rides just for children including a mini coaster, log ride and several sky rides.

Europa

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The Falcon’s flight is 150ft tall and spins

 

The Europa section is probably the most unchanged of all the sections. Clockwise The Le Taxi, Autobahn bumper cars and the flying Dutchman have all been running since 1973.

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The Moulin Rouge theater has live music with a french theme.

Africa

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The Boomerang Coaster. An Australian name but in the Africa section all the same. The Africa section has three Coasters. The Boomerang, the prowler (a wooden Coaster) and The mamba a massive steel coaster.

 

The mamba has a 208ft drop on the first hill and a 180ft drop on the second and has speeds of over 60mph

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The fury of the Nile is a water ride that has a circular raft that goes over rapids.

 

The Africa section adjoins Oceans of Fun which has several water-slides, a couple ‘Water coasters”, a very large beach and wave pool, and several raft rides. I didn’t photograph there because I didn’t feel comfortable photographic people in their swimwear without their permission. ( color me old fashioned) Also, there are quite a few rides that are missing in the photos.  Worlds of Fun and Oceans of fun are open May through September, Although Worlds of Fun stays open through the end of October and has a big Halloween festival and this year for the first time they are going to be open during the Christmas season too. 

Admission is a bit steep in my opinion $60.00 for an adult, but it’s only $40.00 after 5pm. But admission does include entry to both parks. 

2 Replies to “Worlds (and Oceans) of Fun”

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