AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Wonderland Amusement Park in Amarillo has been providing fun and entertainment for families on the High Plains for more than seven decades.
“We have been here since 1951, so this year will be our 71st year and we are known for safe, fun, family fun and we have been doing that forever and we have that wonderful reputation with all of these people in this town and multi-state wide,” said Wonderland Park Comptroller Rebecca Parker.
It was on August 12, 1951, when Paul and Alethea Roads opened Kiddie Land.
“It started off as Kiddie Land, I don’t know why they choose Kiddie Land and as we grew and as we started adding new rides that attracted older people, they decided Kiddie Land didn’t work anymore and so grandmother was a big reader, and was a librarian at one time, and she thought ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass and Wonderland. Wonderland, it’s perfect!” said Parker.
The park has been family-owned and operated since. And has expanded immensely since its opening.
Wonderland has over 30 rides and something to offer everybody.
“You want the whole family to come together and have their memories that they’ll have forever. You want the grandfather to bring the great grandkid with him. You want the mom and dad to bring the teenager or whoever. Teenagers to have dates. There is something out here for everybody. I think we have a good mix of rides,” said Parker.
Parker said the oldest ride in the park is the Hershell Kiddie Boat Ride. It was one of the first rides at the park when it opened its doors.
According to Parker, Wonderland is the only amusement park between Oklahoma City and Albuquerque and the only amusement park between Denver and Dallas.
Parker added they get visitors from all across the nation and internationally.
William Court, from Las Vegas, New Mexico said it was great to return and show the park to the students he teaches.
“When I was a kid back in 1982, this is one of the things I remember the most from my high school experience and I wanted to share that with the students I’m teaching now,” said Court.
Parker said there are several things throughout the park, that makes it uniquely Wonderland.
“The Miler Mouse Cyclone that’s one of two that is still operating in the US. Another sidebar is this little Porky the Paper Eater, the guy in the mushroom. He is a trash disposal and he is one of two that still working in the world. Our [Texas] Tornado is unique and different, there is not another one like it,” said Parker.
Wonderland also has a hand-built dark ride, The Fantastic Journey, built by founder Paul Roads over a course of a year and a half to provide thrills and chills to riders.
Another unique aspect of Wonderland is the Kiddie Land part of the park in which bricks can still be seen on the walkway. Parker said those will never be covered as they were laid by airmen from the Amarillo Air Force Base and it is a special part of Wonderland history.
The miniature golf course at the park also shares history with the Amarillo Air Force Base as airmen from the base would help build and layout the course.
Wonderland is open from now through Labor Day. For hours and ticket information, you can go to Wonderland’s website here.