Alabama Adventures in Birmingham Alabama
Alabama Adventure is an Alabama theme park, located off Interstate 20/59 in Bessemer, west of Birmingham near UAB Medical West. It is owned by Adrenaline Family Entertainment which also operates the Clementon Amusement Park in New Jersey.
It is home to Magic City USA Theme Park and Splash Beach Water Park. It includes a children's area called Marvel City and a shopping/dining area known as Celebration Street.
Alabama Adventure is the host of the First Financial Bank Concert Series, which has included such acts like Jesse McCartney, Aly & AJ, Vanessa Hudgens, Drake Bell, and Raven Symone. In 2005, the Alabama theme park was visited by approximately 345,000 people, making the park Alabama's second-most popular tourist destination according to the Bureau of Tourism and Travel and trailing only the Birmingham Zoo. I n 2006, the number of visitors to Alabama Adventure rose to more than 388,000. It was the winner of Alabama's "2007 Attraction of the Year." Located nearby is WaterMark Place, a 200,000-square-foot (19,000 m2) outdoor manufacturers' outlet shopping mall.
Alabama Adventure was previously known as VisionLand. It was built largely as a result of efforts by Fairfield mayor Larry Langford who later became the mayor of Birmingham. Eleven cities came together to form the West Jefferson Amusement and Public Park Authority. With help from the Alabama Legislature, the group borrowed $65 million to build the park. Construction began in March 1997, and the park opened for business on May 23, 1998. The park opened with four major areas, including Celebration City Theme Park, Steel Waters Water Park, a children's area called Marvel City, and a shopping/dining area known as Main Street.
- 1999 - The park expanded, adding Wild Rover Gorge, a river rapids attraction, but was closed shortly after an accident involving park employees. Dino Domain, a walk through exhibit featuring animatronic dinosaurs is built in the woods behind Main Street but closes after the season
- 2001 - Wild River Gorge reopened with minor adjustments along with Stratosfear Screamer, an S&S Power twin tower attraction.
- 2002 - The park filed Chapter 9 bankruptcy, and only operated Steel Waters. It was purchased for $6 million, a loss of $59 million in public funds. It was purchased and operated by Southland Entertainment Group.
- 2003 - Visionland (uncapitalizing the "L") reopens with Magic Adventure Theme Park, Splash Beach Water Park, Marvel City, and Celebration Street. Magic Adventure received a scrambler attraction called Wild Scrambler and Splash Beach received a wave pool named Kahuna Waves and a nine-story-tall free fall slide called Acapulco Drop. Starting this season park guests had the option to buy tickets to either the amusement park or the water park or a combo ticket to both parks.
- 2004 - Splash Beach received a new water attraction called Splashdown!, a toilet bowl-style ride.
- 2005 - Magic Adventure opened the first new roller coaster since the park's opening named Zoomerang, a Vekoma Boomerang roller coaster relocated from Sydney, Australia. The park also re-opened one of the former attractions named Cahaba Falls, a log flume attraction. The park held naming contests for both attractions on its website.
- March 27, 20066 - Southland announced the rebranding of the park under the Alabama AdventureMagic City USAA
- 2008 - Southland Entertainment sold the park to Adrenaline Family Entertainment, a group of former executives of Six Flags. Southland will concentrate on developing the remaining acreage that it owns adjacent to the park, with plans for hotels, an RV park, and other amenities.
- 2009 - The park announced the first major expansion since 2005, and the first to Splash Beach since 2004. The expansion is to include a new attraction from Vancouver's WhiteWater West called UpSurge!, a 216 foot flume slide with a vertical half pipe ending in a 25,000-gallon splash pool. The park also combined both parks into one ticket price.