Eleven things you may remember about the American Adventure

The Missile being dismantled
The Missile being dismantled

With it being ten years since the American Adventure closed its doors for the last time it got us reminiscing about some of the best bits about the theme park.

Here are eleven things you may miss about the former Ilkeston theme park.

The old American adventure site. Woodside colliery monument

The old American adventure site. Woodside colliery monument

1. The family of singing bears close to the entrance ‘The American Adventure for the whole family’.

2. The Missile roller coaster. By far the biggest and best ride there. Broke down on a regular basis but was always guaranteed to make your tummy go.

3. The Log Flume: It had the biggest drop of any flume in the country. Worst bit: Sharing a log with strangers and having to sit far too close to someone you didn’t know. Best bit: The big drop at the end which is also where the camera was. Smile.

4. The shoot outs, and wild west shows at Lazy Lil’s saloon. In the good old days you would be able to enjoy a cowboys style shoot out as actors on horseback galloped around in front of a backdrop of wild west style saloons. Yee Ha. These died down in the later years but were always a highlight.

American Adventure

American Adventure

5. The Buffalo ride: This ride may have looked tame but once it picked up speed you may start to wish you’d given that corn dog a miss. It had a large fibreglass Indian chief that sat inbetween the main carriages. For some reason people always wanted to sit behind him.

6. The train around the lake: As the day went on if you were weary of walking around the perimeter of the park you could hop on the little train and relax for a bit.

7. The big wheel: The carriages looked like old fashioned style wagons and you could see the whole park from the top.

8. The pirate ship: This was next to the big wheel. If you sat at the back and put your hands in the air when your end went up then you were really brave.

9. Corn dogs: This was basically a sausage on a stick covered in corn. An American import, it was meant to give the place a more stateside feel. They didn’t taste that great but if you went to the American Adventure you had to have a corn dog.

10. The faces in the rocks: Not far from the entrance an array of huge faces could be seen in the canyon fronts.

11: Working there: If you are of a certain age either yourself or someone you knew probably worked there, either as a ride operator, entertainer or in one of the shops. The uniforms were pretty awful too. People operating the rapids would be dressed as Canadian Mounties.

If you have any memories you would like to share about the American Adventure email us at news@ilkestonadvertiser.co.uk or comment on our Facebook page.