American Adventure Theme Park, July-2009

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On August - 11 - 2009

I spent many happy days of my childhood at the American Adventure theme park and when I read recently (on an urbex forum) that it had shut down I decided that I must visit.  The park opened in 1987 and was open for almost 20 years, closing in January 2007.  My personal favourites were the Rocky Mountain Rapids and The Missile which, in its day, had been the voted the #1 rollercoaster in the UK.  You can read about the sad decline in the Wikipedia article as well as getting some nostalgic kicks from the American Adventure fan site and browsing the original American Adventure website on the Internet Archive.

This was one of my quick visits in between places so I stowed the car in the first possible place I could find by Googling “american adventure theme park postcode” and slinging the result (DE7 5SX) into my sat-nav, and went for a walk into the site. Despite the fact that it was a miserable day there were plenty of people walking dogs and riding bikes around the perimeter of the place which is a little disconcerting when you’re trying to work out how to subvert a fence! In the end I spotted a clear and easy hole in a metal gate and slipped through unnoticed, there were several spots though so access isn’t an issue.

I didn’t make it around the entire site but what I could see was fairly barren, there are some admin buildings left and there was clear evidence of fire in certain places…

American Adventure: Fire Damage 1 American Adventure: Fire Damage 2

… and some other commercial detritus…

American Adventure: BT Meridan

Occasionally you’d spot some clear and definitive evidence that the site had been a theme park, such as bits of rides…

American Adventure: Old Ride

Points where rides had been anchored…

American Adventure: Anchor Point

You could also see where the old railway line had been, carting people around on a little model steam train…

American Adventure: Railway Sign

I know that there’s a lot more see but the rain and time constraints really stopped me from going much further, it didn’t help that I’d neglected to put on my wellies (see this post) so my feet were beginning to get a bit squelchy and I couldn’t venture into the muddier bits, next time I’m buzzing up the M1 I’ll try and make sure I’ve got some more spare time on my hands and go back for a more thorough explore.

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9 Responses to “American Adventure Theme Park, July-2009”

  1. becky says:

    hey, I was looking through some old photos from my chilhood earlier and memories of american adventure came flooding back to me, so I thought i’d do some research and see if it’s still going.. obviously I discovered that it went into a sad decline and closed down, and was really upset.
    I was writing to thank you on your interesting photos and text on your visit to the abandoned park, and was wondering if you know if it’s still worth a visit/ if it’s been built over or what? I was thinking of going there to do some photography,do you know if the indian heads are still up?

  2. I didn’t see the Indian heads but I didn’t really have time to explore the whole park so it’s hard to say – sorry. It’s a pretty empty piece of land these days so I’d only visit if you’re passing, don’t make a special trip out just for the American Adventure.

  3. callum says:

    I was looking through some photos of the american adventue now and sorry to say one of the photos i saw was one of the astec faces in some rubble.I dont know if all of the faces have been taken off but i know atleast one has.

  4. Tony R says:

    Looking at the comments – I have to agree – the place is a shambles. I worked there as a maintenance engineer from 1987 until being made redundant when the park was closing. I looked after the Missile along with other rides) since it was built. I loved working there winter and summer. Just as an update – the only buildings now standing is the maintenance and workshops area and the building known as Pioneer Playland or later as Aztec KIngdom.

    Anyone passing who loved the park like me – should see it now in all it’s forlorn state!!!

  5. shirley gray says:

    i am really gutted american adventure has closed down as i went there often growing up and now i have children i wanted to take them as they would of loved it as much as i did. what a shame

  6. Dave says:

    Today I walked around the perimeter of the site and all of the buildings are now gone; only the foundations are visible. The lake is still there though. There aren’t any signs of progress or activity on the site at all.

  7. Scotty says:

    Being a huge cowboy geek, this was the only place within reach where I could indulge in my fantasy of being one! does anyone know if any of the decor like signs or set pieces were salvaged and if so where they may have ended up, I want to turn my house into a mini american adventure (without the rides obviously)

  8. tom says:

    ^^^ WEIRDO

  9. adrian says:

    went to the site today seems to be nothing left to see now apart from one set of steps did not walk the full site spent 3 hours looking round what a great shame it is to see it in the state it is now just waste land like most people on here went alot when it was open wish i had been back before now.
    one set of steps and a lake nothing to tell you of the history of the place.

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If youre into Urbex or youre trying to find out what its all about you may find yourself needing some help finding out about the art of Urban Exploration.  Here at Sick Britain Im planning to put up original content like my What is Urbex? and Urbex Safety articles as well as posting links to other community sites such as 28 Days Later or Derelicte.



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