Welcome to Adventureland

Who knew Workamping has a Wikipedia page, where they explain that it is contraction of work and camping where the workers live in an RV where they are working. This summer we have accepted workamping positions at the family owned Adventureland park in Altoona, Iowa. 

Welcome to Adventureland

Welcome to Adventureland

Construction of Adventureland began in the spring of 1973 with a planned opening in July of 1974. Just before the park was ready to open a tornado caused damage and delayed the opening until late August of that year. The park had undergone a number of upgrades and expansions and today features over 100 rides, shows and attractions.

When we signed up to work here we had the choice of three primary work areas; Retail, Games, and Rides.  Of course given our love of amusement rides – we both chose to work in the rides department. Adventureland has a very large workamping program which started years ago when Steve Anderson was the HR director here at the park. Steve left the park a number of years ago and purchased the Workamper News publication.  There are about 250 workkampers working the park this summer (which is down from last year). In addition to the workkampers the park hires a good number of as they put it ‘more seasoned workers’ from the local communities. They fill out there need for about 900 seasonal workers with high school and college students.

Serenity in the Adventureland Campground

Serenity in the Adventureland Campground

We arrived at the campground Sunday but did not get too setup since we knew we needed to pack up and take Serenity into the local Cummins service facility Monday to have them deal with a hydraulic leak.  Tuesday we had a general orientation meeting and got to fill out all the necessary paperwork along with checking out our uniforms from the uniform supply room.  Today we got a tour of the park (it was very strange walking thru an amusement park with all the rides quiet), and attended the welcome dinner.

According to Park operators the Disney Company assisted with some early park planning.  We certainly saw that influence as we entered the park and had to walk either to the left or right of the train station thru a tunnel to arrive on Main Street.  

Adventureland - Train Station

Adventureland Train StationAdventureland - Main Street

The following picture is a panorama I created – but only click on it if you want to download about 1.5 Meg.

Adventureland - Main Stree Panorama

Adventureland - Main Stree Panorama

As we continued our tour thru the park we were both amazed with the amount of greenery and water features they included when they designed the park. We hope this goes a long way to keeping the park a bit cooler this summer.

Adventureland - Greenery and Water

Adventureland - Greenery and Water

And then we got to Outlaw Gulch – and saw the tombstone, and again realized that The Mouse does indeed influence theme parks everywhere.

Adventureland - Good Ol Fred

Adventureland - Good Ol Fred

There will be more pictures of more rides in future blogs. Tomorrow we get trained on the rides – I wonder if we get to spend part of the day playing the part of guest so others can practice making sure everyone is strapped in right?