UK Theme Parks – Adventure Island

Adventure Island is a thriving little park, not strictly a theme park, but an adventure park. It is situated in Southend-on-Sea, Essex. A free admission fun park with a variety of attractions, although you do, of course, have to pay for the rides.

Adventure Island, which used to be known as Peter Pan’s Playground, has been growing and thriving since it was bought back in 1976. A major turning point in the history of the park was the construction of the east side in 1995 which now houses Rage and Beelzee Bob’s Trail. Rage is one of four roller coasters in the park.

The first roller coaster to be constructed at Adventure Island was The Green Scream in the late 90s. The Green Scream is described as a very good all round family ride. With quite a long train, 20 cars seating 2 people to a car, the front car is a fibreglass crocodile which represents the parks mascot Snappy, and the last car is the tail.

Opening in 2000 at Adventure Island, the second roller coaster, the Barnstormer has one of the best helix curves on a mini coaster. Although half the length of The Green Scream, the Barnstormer is of the same design and has a fibreglass pilot at the front car and a dog at the back with propellors mounted at each end of the train.

Mighty Mini Mega opened in 2003 at Adventure Island and has six cars seating four people, two at the front and two at the back, totalling 24 riders. A very intense ride, although somewhat short. It has a helix towards the end and a very sharp brake run with fast deceleration. Designed specifically with space in mind and quite compact, the designers have used the space to a maximum.

The fourth roller coaster at Adventure Island is Rage. The newest and most expensive at the park, (opened Februrary 2007), Rage is the first coaster of this kind in the UK. It stands 75ft high, has a 97 degree drop, a vertical hill lift, a vertical loop and a Zero G Roll, not to mention the other elements and tight turns. An exhilarating ride which pleases the thrill seekers. Also, Rage is a dominating sight on the Southend seafront with vivid colors and a magnet which attracts guests to the park.

Adventure Island also has 28 other rides, which include: (for the mini riders up to 1m tall) – Magic Monsters; American Whip; Lighthouse Slip; Big Wheel; Choo Choo Train; Goldmine; Crooked House; Jungle Express; Blackbeard’s All at Sea; Jumping Jolly Roger’s; Sea Serpent; Viking Boats; Flying Jumbos; Beelzee Bob’s Trail. For the Junior Riders between 1m and 1.2m tall – Sk8borda; The Dragon; Cow Jump; Drop ‘n’ Smile; Fireball; Pharaoh’s Fury. For the older children at 1.2m and over – Archelon; Ramba Zamba; Skydrop; Dragon’s Claw; Scorpion; Tidal Wave Green; Tidal Wave Blue; Vortex. Something for everyone.

There are plenty of “refuelling stations” at Adventure Island. Jungle Jive Cafe serving burgers and chicken meals; Adventure Island Food Bar; Pizzas of Eight; Traditional Fish and Chips; Candy Cottage and Fudge Factory; Desert Island; Candy Floss Box; Hot Dogs and Burgers; Roberto’s Coffee Continental.

Southend-on-Sea is a short drive from London and easily accessible by train and is a great day out by the seaside with a great little adventure park close at hand. For details of prices and opening times see Adventure Island.