Adventureland’s Tornado Roller Coaster to be named a Landmark Coaster

By | July 9, 2024

ALTOONA, Iowa — Adventureland’s Tornado roller coaster will be named a landmark coaster by the American Coaster Enthusiasts. The organization will present the Altoona theme park with its landmark plaque on August 17, when the park hosts the American Coaster Enthusiasts’ national Preservation Conference. The plaque will be located near Tornado’s entrance.

Fewer than 50 coasters have been designated a landmark coaster by the American Coaster Enthusiasts since the program was established in 2000. It is reserved for coasters that have made a notable impact in the theme park industry and have provided lasting memories for generations of riders.

Tornado was designed by the famed coaster designer William Cobb. It opened to the public on July 1, 1978, with the official grand opening one week later, with then Iowa Governor Robert D. Ray riding in the front seat. Tornado was Adventureland’s first major coaster, helping put the small Iowa theme park on the map. The coaster quickly gained popularity among Iowans and coaster enthusiasts from around the world. After opening, it was named among of the top ten wooden coasters.

“Tornado left its impact on Adventureland when it opened nearly 50 years ago, and it remains one of our most beloved attractions today,” Adventureland General Manager Mike Lusky said. “We are incredibly honored to have Tornado recognized by the American Coaster Enthusiasts, especially during our 50th celebration. We are proud to continue our investments in preserving this classic attraction for future generations.”

Adventureland has made a significant investment in the preservation of Tornado over the last year, retracking several sections of the coaster and having its trains rebuilt by Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters. It’s a part of the Altoona theme park’s dedication to preservation. In the last year, the park has also retracked several sections of Outlaw and reopened the reimagined Underground, the world’s only indoor wooden roller coaster.