Worlds of Fun

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Worlds of Fun
Timber Wolf at Worlds of Fun.jpg
A view of Worlds of Fun from outside the park.
Location Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Coordinates 39°10′38.4″N94°29′20.5″W / 39.177333°N 94.489028°W / 39.177333; -94.489028 Coordinates: 39°10′38.4″N94°29′20.5″W / 39.177333°N 94.489028°W / 39.177333; -94.489028
OpenedMay 26, 1973 (1973-05-26)
Owner Cedar Fair
General managerRick Fiedler
ThemeJules Verne's novel "Around the World in Eighty Days"
SloganIt's Amazing in Here
Operating seasonApril through November
AreaMore than 235 acres (0.95 km2) (~0.90 km²)
Roller coasters7
Water rides3

Worlds of Fun is an entertainment complex with more than 235 acres located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is the largest amusement park and water park in the Midwest. Founded by American businessmen Lamar Hunt and Jack Steadman, the park opened in 1973 under the ownership of Hunt's company, Mid-America Enterprises. Oceans of Fun is a water park which was added in 1982 and is next to the amusement park. Included in the price of admission to Worlds of Fun is admission to Oceans of Fun. Both parks were sold to Cedar Fair in 1995 for $40 million.



Texas and Arkansas native Lamar Hunt brought the Dallas Texans NFL team which he owned to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1963 renaming the franchise the Kansas City Chiefs. [1] He founded an operating company in the region called Mid-America Enterprises, which focused on real estate, mining, and entertainment. [2] Hunt worked with his business partner Jack Steadman to conceptualize and develop Worlds of Fun, which opened on May 26, 1973. [3] It is located at the northern edge of a vast industrial complex in the bluffs above the Missouri River in Clay County, Missouri. At the time it opened, numerous projects across Kansas City were being built, including Kansas City International Airport, Kemper Arena (now called Hy-Vee Arena), and the Truman Sports Complex. Mid-America Enterprises, seeking to capitalize on the citywide expansion movement, began construction on a new amusement park in 1964. The park was originally planned to complement a 500-acre (2.0 km2) hotel and entertainment complex, but a lagging economy during the park's early years derailed the idea.

In 1974, the first addition to Worlds of Fun was the 4000-seat Forum Amphitheater, which opened in the Europa section of the park. In 1976, a new section opened in honor of the United States Bicentennial – the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence–and was named Bicentennial Square. The new section included the debut of Screamroller from Arrow Dynamics, which was a replica of the first modern-looping roller coaster, Corkscrew, that opened a year earlier at Knott's Berry Farm.

In 1982, Oceans of Fun opened next door as the largest water park in the world. Also the same year, a sub-world "River City" was opened in Americana bordering the Orient section. Screamroller was transformed into Extremeroller the following year, which featured stand-up trains instead of the original sit-down models making it the first looping, stand-up roller coaster in North America. [4] Several years later in 1989, Worlds of Fun ended the decade with the addition of Timber Wolf, a wooden roller coaster that initially ranked high in several national polls. [5] [6]

Cedar Fair LP purchased Worlds of Fun in 1995 for $40 million. [7] The new owners invested $10 million with the addition of Mamba, a D.H. Morgan Manufacturing steel hypercoaster, to the park's attraction lineup in 1998. [8]

Other notable additions

Areas and attractions

The park takes its theme from the Jules Verne book, Around the World in Eighty Days . Worlds of Fun is divided into eight major sections (Scandinavia, Africa, Europa, the Orient, Wild West, International Plaza, Planet Snoopy, and Americana). Rides, attractions, shops, shows, and restaurants are named according to the area theme. Guests enter the park in International Plaza. In 1997 the Americana "main entrance" was closed for the creation of Grand Prix, so the "back gate" became the "main gate" ever since. The next world to the left is Scandinavia, then Africa, continuing in a clockwise rotation, guests would then enter the Wild West section, then the Americana section, followed by the Orient. The Europa section is located in the approximate center of the circle.

Behind the Wild West section, lies the section of Planet Snoopy (the area of the park specifically for young children). Originally added in 1978 as an expansion of Americana, over the years the grounds have changed its identity several times. Initially it was called "Aerodrome" (1978–86) with futuristic rides for adults, it then became a children's area called "Pandamonium!" (1987–97), then "Berenstain Bear Country" (1997–2000), and "Camp Snoopy" (2001–2010), and is currently "Planet Snoopy", new to the 2011 season. Past sub-sections have also included Bicentennial Square, River City, and Beat Street, which all have been absorbed back into Americana.

Although there is no Australian/Oceanic section in the park, there is an Australian-themed Boomerang roller coaster; it is part of the section named Africa.

Roller coasters

Ride namePictureYear openedManufacturerCurrent locationDescription
Boomerang Boomerang (Worlds of Fun) 1.jpg 2000 Vekoma AfricaIt opened in the vacancy left by the Zambezi Zinger's departure in 1997 and used Zambezi's line queue. Since 2005, the line queue and signage has moved.
Cosmic Coaster CosmicCoasterWorldsofFun.jpg 1993 Preston & Barbieri Planet SnoopyA junior roller coaster that is Snoopy-themed.
Mamba MambaLiftHillWOF.jpg 1998 Morgan AfricaThe tallest coaster in the park. It is classified as a hypercoaster, which is any coaster that exceeds 200 feet (61 m) in height or drop length.
Patriot PatriotWOF23.jpg 2006 Bolliger & Mabillard AmericanaAn inverted roller coaster that features four inversions, a height of 149 feet (45 m), and a track length of 3,081 feet (939 m).
Prowler WOF-Prowler2.JPG 2009 Great Coasters International AfricaProwler was voted Best New Ride of 2009 - Amusement Park in Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Awards.
Spinning Dragons SpinningDragonsWOF.JPG 2004 Gerstlauer OrientA spinning roller coaster, it was the second ride of its kind in the world after the Fairly Odd Coaster. The ride was built in the Orient area of the park in 2004 following the retirement of the Orient Express
Timber Wolf Timber Wolf Worlds Of Fun.jpg 1989 Dinn Corporation Wild WestTimber Wolf was voted the world's top roller coaster in the 1991 Inside Track readers survey, and was rated the number one favorite wooden coaster in the 1992 NAPHA survey.
Zambezi Zinger2023Great Coasters InternationalAfricaNamed after a former coaster that operated at Worlds of Fun under the same name, set to be the first ground-up GCI Titan Track wooden coaster.


RideYear OpenedRide ManufacturerTypeHeight RequirementRating [10]
Boomerang 2000 Vekoma Boomerang roller coaster Over 48"5
Fury of the Nile1984 Intamin River rafting ride Over 46"4
Mamba 1998 Morgan Steel hypercoaster Over 48"5
Prowler 2009 Great Coasters International Wooden coaster Over 48"4
Zambezi Zinger2023* Great Coasters International and Skyline Attractions Steel and Wooden coaster HybridTBATBA
Zulu1979 HUSS Enterprise Over 54"4


RideYear OpenedRide ManufacturerTypeHeight RequirementRating [10]
Patriot 2006 Bolliger & Mabillard Inverted roller coaster Over 54"5
RipCord1996Sky Fun 1 Skycoaster Over 42"5
Skyliner1991 Eli Bridge Ferris wheel Over 48" or 36" with adult2
SteelHawk 2014 Mondial Windseeker Over 52"5


RideYear OpenedRide ManufacturerTypeHeight RequirementRating [10]
Autobahn1973 Reverchon Bumper Cars rideOver 48"4
Falcon's Flight2017 HUSS Condor Over 48" or 42" with adult4
Flying Dutchman1973 Intamin Flying DutchmanOver 46" or with adult2
Le Taxi Tour1973 Arrow Dynamics Track car rideOver 48" or with adult2

International Plaza

RideYear OpenedRide ManufacturerTypeHeight RequirementRating [10]
The Grand Carrousel20111926 M.C. IllionsSupreme CarouselOver 46" or with adult2


RideYear OpenedRide ManufacturerTypeHeight RequirementRating [10]
Bamboozler1987Hrubetz Round Up Over 46"3
Spinning Dragons 2004 Gerstlauer Spinning roller coaster Over 48" or 42" with adult5

Planet Snoopy

RideYear OpenedRide ManufacturerTypeHeight RequirementRating [10]
Beagle Brigade Airfield2016ZamperlaFlying TigersOver 36" or with adult2
Camp Bus2001 Zamperla Crazy BusOver 36" or with adult2
Charlie Brown's Windup2001 Zamperla Lolly SwingBetween 36" and 54"1
Cosmic Coaster 1993 Preston and Barbieri Wacky WormOver 42"3
Flying Ace Balloon Race2011 Zamperla Balloon Race Over 42" or with adult2
Kite Eating Tree2001 S&S Worldwide Kite FlyerOver 36"2
Linus' Launcher2016 Zamperla Kite FlyerOver 42" or 36" with adult3
Lucy's Tugboat2011 Zamperla TugboatOver 42" or with adult2
Peanuts 5002011 Zamperla SpeedwayOver 36" or with adult2
Pigpen's Petting Farm2019Koala PlayNone1
Peanuts Road Rally2011 Zamperla Over 36" or with adult1
Sally's Swing Set2011 Zamperla Happy SwingBetween 36" and 73"2
Snoopy Junction2016 Zamperla Over 36" or with adult1
Snoopy vs. Red Baron2001HerschellBetween 36" and 54"2
Snoopy's Rocket Express2011 Zamperla Over 42" or with adult2
Snoopy's Space Buggies2016 Zamperla Over 36" or with adult2
Woodstock Gliders2016LarsonFlying ScooterOver 44" or 36" with adult3
Woodstock Whirlybirds2011 Zamperla Over 36" or with adult2


RideYear OpenedRide ManufacturerTypeHeight RequirementRating [10]
Fjörd Fjärlane1981 Meisho Rides Swing Around Over 46" or with adult3
Nordic Chaser2018 Mack SeastormOver 48" or 40" with adult3
Scrambler2015 (originally 1973) Eli Bridge Scrambler Over 48" or 36" with adult3
Sea Dragon1994 Chance Morgan Pirate ship Over 48" or with adult3
Viking Voyager1973 Arrow Dynamics Log flume Over 46" or 36" with adult4

Wild West

RideYear OpenedRide ManufacturerTypeHeight RequirementRating [10]
Cyclone Sams1995 Chance Rides Wipeout Over 48"5
Detonator 1996 S&S Worldwide Space shot Over 48”5
Mustang Runner2017 HUSS Troika Over 50" or 42" with adult3
Timber Wolf 1989 Dinn Corporation Wooden roller coaster Over 48"5
Worlds of Fun Railroad1973 Crown Metal Products [11] 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge railroadOver 46" or with adult2

Former rides and attractions

Roller coasters

Flat rides/attractions

Oceans of Fun

Oceans of Fun is Worlds of Fun's water park. It opened in 1982 as the world's largest water park. It is included with admission to Worlds of Fun, beginning in the 2013 season.

Fast Lane

Fast Lane is Worlds of Fun's "two line" system introduced 2012. For a increased cost (in addition to normal admission charges), visitors receive a wrist band that enables them to bypass the standby line and enter the "Fast Lane" line to significantly reduce their wait time. Fast Lane Plus gets access to select rides not included in basic Fast Lane.

During Halloween Haunt, a similar system named "Fright Lane" is sold. Serving the same purpose as Fast Lane, it significantly reduces wait time of select haunted attractions. "Fright Lane+" includes a "Skeleton Key", a key that grants holders special access to secret, intense rooms in six of the eight haunted houses. In addition, holders receive special seating for Ed Alonzo's Psycho Circus of Magic and Mayhem. "Fright Lane Max" is a VIP system that allows holders seating at Overlord's Awakening, a meal, limited edition Haunt T-shirts, plus all perks listed above.

Worlds of Fun Village

In 2005 Worlds of Fun opened the first on-site resort. The campground is adjacent to the park, and is located "behind" Mamba. The Village has 22 cabins and 20 cottages and 82 sites for RVs, complete with electric and TV cable hook ups. Each cabin or cottage can fit 6–8 people.

Snoopy's Hot Summer Lights

"Snoopy's Hot Summer Lights", which debuted in 2010, was an immersive light and sound experience starring the Peanuts characters. Snoopy's Hot Summer Lights features over 2 million LED lights and a variety of audio soundtracks through the Africa and Europa sections of the park. Along the walkway there were replicas of Snoopy and other characters for guests to view. Snoopy's Hot Summer Lights was a one million dollar investment that used special effects and sound design, custom designed for Worlds of Fun by Emmy Award-Winning RWS and Associates. Snoopy's Hot Summer Lights opened for its original run on June 4 and ran through September 5, 2010. [18]

Halloween Haunt

Halloween Haunt logo.gif

Halloween Haunt is a Halloween event that takes place during the Halloween season. It is included in the price of admission.

Current attractions

As of 2022, it features 11 Extreme Haunts, including six mazes and five scare zones, along with four live shows. [19]

Ripper AlleyMaze2017AmericanaVictorian London
Lore of the VampireMaze2004OrientVampires
Blood on the BayouMaze2015AmericanaVoodoo Spirits
Zombie HighMaze2012AfricaZombies
Peter Peter Pumpkin EaterZone2019Heart of America AmphitheaterPumpkin Patch
Outlaw's RevengeZone2008Wild WestCowboys
Fear GroundZone2022Near Tivoli Music HallClowns
Fright ZoneZone2022AfricaZombies
Malice in WonderlandZone2022EuropaAlice in Wonderland
Overlord's AwakeningMonologue/ParadeInternational Plaza
Haunted HomecomingMusic PerformanceMoulin Rouge Hall
Ghouls and GourdsMusic PerformanceInternational Plaza
The Witches' BallDance PerformanceInternational Plaza

Former Haunt attractions

Attraction NameReplaced ByYear closed
Camp Gonnagitcha WichahatchetCornStalkers2009
Carnival of Carnivorous ClownsCarnEvil2006
Dominion of DoomLondon Terror2010
Master McCarthy's Doll FactoryMiss Lizzie's Chamber of Horrors2012
Fright ZoneThe Boneyard2014
Club BloodLore of the Vampire expansion2015
Asylum IslandUrgent Scare2017
London TerrorRipper Alley2017
CarnEvilPeter Peter Pumpkin Eater2018
Urgent ScareKhaos Unleashed2019
Khaos UnleashedN/A2021


Cole Lindbergh, former manager of the park's games department, was featured in a 2011 episode of Public Radio International's This American Life , "Amusement Park." [20] In the nine-minute prologue, [21] host Ira Glass interviews Lindbergh about his management philosophy and plays segments from several YouTube videos he made to promote the park's games. [20]



Oceans of Fun

Orient Express


Timber Wolf

Worlds of Fun was used as the setting for a skit in a 2021 episode of Saturday Night Live. The skit opens with a still photo of the park's iconic hot-air balloon sign and then cuts to the cast getting ready to ride Viking Voyager. The park's logo can be seen in the sketch and other rides such as Mamba and Zulu are referenced as well. [34]

It also appears in the HBO series The Last of Us. [35]

See also

Related Research Articles

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