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Worlds of Fun Turns 50!

Worlds of Fun Turns 50!

May 26, 2023

“It’s Amazing in Here!” Celebrate this slogan in honor of the 50th anniversary of Worlds of Fun!

What do the Kansas City Chiefs, Jules Verne, rollercoasters, water rides, and Snoopy have in common? The answer is Worlds of Fun! Originally founded by businessmen Lamar Hunt and Jack Steadman, Worlds of Fun began construction in 1964 as a $20 million investment gift to the city. Hunt had originally moved to Kansas City from Texas with a football team that would later become the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 1970s saw a surge of development in Kansas City. Most notably, the Kansas City International Airport, which just received a major upgrade, was under construction at this time. The theme park was originally conceived as a way to encompass an international experience of rollercoaster fun in one day. The idea was based off Jules Verne’s classic story, Around the World in Eighty Days. The park would feature multiple attractions in multiple regions, including Scandinavia, Africa, Europa, the Orient, and Americana. The attractions tied in with the theme as well by being a showcase of travel.

Worlds of Fun originally had 20 rides. Now it boasts a whopping 43, making it the largest amusement park in the Midwest. Planet Snoopy wasn’t part of the original concept, but the Peanuts© gang have been a part of Worlds of Fun since as early as 2010. Originally, that area was to be for futuristic rides for adults, but it has since developed into the home of these beloved characters.

Additionally, the water park—Oceans of Fun—opened in 1982 but wouldn’t become an integrated part of Worlds of Fun until 2013. Slide on into one of the largest water parks in the world, with 10 water slides and five more attractions. May 26, 1973, marks the opening of Worlds of Fun. Check out the opening day press release in the Kansas City Times (Library card number required to access).  

Look at these great lists for more theme park reads for all ages. From rides to abandoned attractions, vacation planning to romance, you’re sure to find plenty of thrills at all of these fictitious amusement parks. Which book reminds you the most of Worlds of Fun?

Have a great summer!

Andrew E.
Red Bridge Branch

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