Adventure Island is a free-admission amusement park in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK which has 32 different rides, as well as attractions including a gift shop and catering outlets. The current site of the amusement park flanks the north end of Southend Pier and has been an amusement park since 1976 when the land now forming the west side of the park was purchased by the Miller family. The park was previously known as Peter Pan's Playground and latterly Peter Pan's Adventure Island before becoming simply Adventure Island. The site is currently owned and managed by Stockvale Limited.
Adventure Island started out in 1918 as Sunken Gardens, a sea side garden that in the 1920s installed a few children's rides. In 1976, the land to the west of the pier was purchased by Philip Miller and his family. They developed the amusement park on the site from the rudimentary original and the entire site was redeveloped extensively.
The park was previously known as Peter Pan's Playground and latterly Peter Pan's Adventure Island before becoming simply Adventure Island. In 1995 the park was vastly expanded when the land to the east of the pier was purchased to form part of the park. The site is currently owned and managed by Stockvale Limited.
Complementing the park is the longest pleasure pier in the world (built in 1830 as a wooden pier, rebuilt as a steel pier in 1889); it extends more than a mile (1,34 miles / 2,16 km) toward the ocean. The pier train runs the entire length of the pier (extra charge) to the Lifeboat Museum. The park's mascot is called Snappy.
Adventure Island is not divided into specific areas but divides its rides into the following categories: Big Adventure (blue rides), Junior (green rides) and Mini (red rides). The park is separated by into East side of the Pier and West side of the pier.
In 1999, the park debuted the roller coaster Green Scream. It was once described as the park's signature ride but this title has now been taken by Rage. The Green Scream does not have any inversions and the drops are quite tame. The second rollercoaster at the park is the Barnstormer, which opened in 2000. The third rollercoaster is named the Mighty Mini Mega, which opened in 2003. Kiddi Koasta, a children's rollercoaster, opened to the public on 30 April 2011.
The fifth rollercoaster Rage opened in February 2007. It is one of the biggest investments the park has ever made. The ride cost in the region of £3million and is located on the former Raging River Log Flume site, Sky Drop and Vortex were relocated to new positions in the park to make way. The ride is about 75 ft in height and has a 97-degree drop, a vertical lift hill, a vertical loop and a Zero G Roll, as well as a host of other elements and tight turns that make it a short but extreme ride. It has been named Rage after a competition in Southend Echo to decide a name for the ride. The slogan is "For Superheroes only!" which is said before the first drop of the rollercoaster. In 2011 a crow built its nest at the top of the loop gathering attention from tabloid newspapers.
In 2014, Adventure Island demolished the Pirate Boat, which was one of their oldest attractions, to make way for a new soft play area which opened in spring 2015.
Adventure Island has been seen in the show The Amazing World Of Gumball showing Rage and Sky Drop, but Rage being called the Stomach Destroyer.
Some past rides include: