Where are the beloved American Adventure theme park rides now

The American Adventure theme park was once a popular day out for families in Derbyshire. The site near Heanor was home to thrilling rides and attractions that entertained visitors throughout the 80s and 90s. The site’s history dates back to Shipley Hall, a country estate recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086.

In 1976 large swaths of Shipley Country Park were set aside for theme park type development. The first attempt to create an attraction for the people of Derbyshire, Britannia Park, proved unsuccessful after it opened in June 1985. It closed after just two and a half months and was replaced in June 1987 by American Adventure.

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Sadly, the park went into decline years later and was sold to various businesses before closing for good in 2006. Its rides, however, are fondly remembered by those who spent amazing days at the park. As new housing continues to be built on the land that was once the resort’s sight, let’s take a look at where some of the rides are today.

Custer’s Carousel

As long as the theme park ran, Custer’s Carousel provided a thrilling galloping experience for young and old. After the park closed, the ride moved to the coast. It is now in Cornwall as part of the popular Flambards Experience park.

Rocker tug

A ride that didn’t last as long as the carousel, the Rockin’ Tug may not be very well known today. But he found a new home in the same location as Custer’s Carousel at Flambards Experience Park in the South West.

The runaway train



The Runaway Train from American Adventure

This roller coaster, which looked like a train from the Wild West, was fun, fast and suitable for the whole family.

In 2009 it was taken over by the Mellors Group, a Nottingham-based family business specializing in theme parks and attractions. It has since been rebuilt and is now a mobile ride that can be hired for events. It is the largest mobile ride ever built in the UK.

Santa Fe Railroad



The Santa Fe Railroad train around the lake at American Adventure
The Santa Fe Railroad train went around the lake

Another locomotive-themed ride in the park, the Santa Fe Miniature Railroad was very popular with families. It has come all the way from the park’s opening in 1987 to its last stop in 2006. The ride is now in Northamptonshire at Billing Aquadrome. He probably arrived in a truck, not on rails.

High Sierra

High Sierra can also be found at Billing Aquadrome. It has turned American Adventure for nearly 20 years as a fun wagon-themed Ferris wheel. It was a more relaxing thrill for those who wanted to sit and take in the view.

The Missile



This photo shows The Missile, which operated at the American Adventure site between 1989 and 2004
The Missile, which operated at the American Adventure site between 1989 and 2004

The Missile was not for the faint-hearted and was one of American Adventure’s most famous rides. The boomerang roller coaster left many who were brave enough to feel out of sorts.

The missile has left the East Midlands entirely and is now in the Home Counties. Now called Wipeout, it terrifies adrenaline junkies at Pleasurewood Hills theme park in Lowestoft, Suffolk.

bison rush



Stampede of bison
The stampede of the bison

This popular family roller coaster was a mainstay at the park. It opened in 1987 before its last run in 2006. The ride has been at Twinlakes Theme Park near Melton Mowbray since 2007. It continues to delight visitors, just in a different location – across the border in Leicestershire.

Yankee mower

Also found in Twinlakes today is the legendary pirate ship, the Yankee Clipper. It was a favorite of many at American Adventure for 20 years. It is now known in its new home as the Gladiator’s Galleon.

Mini Mine Rush

A roller coaster for youngsters, Mini Mine Rush was very short-lived, only lasting at the resort for less than a year. Despite his dismal stint at American Adventure, he was then transferred for the first time to Gulliver’s Land in Warrington…but that didn’t last very long either.

The ride now runs at Flamingo Land Resort near Hull in North Yorkshire under its new name Runaway Mine Train.

Tennessee Tentacles

One ride that moved furthest after its Derbyshire stay was the water-themed Tennessee Tentacles. After American Adventure closed, he moved abroad – to the Eastern European country of Armenia, no less. This is where you’ll find Tennessee Tentacles, in Haghtanak Park in Yerevan, if you ever fancy a trip.

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