Alabama's VisionLand invests $5M in updated attractions

BESSEMER, Ala. -- VisionLand theme park has poured $5 million into several new attractions that were unveiled this year during its second full season of operation. The park, which opened in May 1998 at a cost of $40 million, is 16 miles southwest of Birmingham.

Topping the list of new offerings are a $4 million river raft ride; a space shuttle simulator ride and a 22-foot rock climbing wall, both of which opened in mid-June, and a $750,000 dinosaur park, which made its debut in mid-May.

The river raft ride is designed to reflect a white-water rafting adventure on the rivers of Alabama. It features six- to eight-passenger boats that are propelled along a 1,500-foot-long river, bouncing and spinning on white water along the way.

VisionLand's Dino Domain by Dinamation attraction, located in a 3.5-acre Dino Park, showcases 36 species of dinosaurs, most of which are animated, life-size replicas that make sounds and move their eyes, heads, legs and tails, all in a realistic environment. Among the dinosaurs spotlighted are the pteranodon, stegosaurus, triceratops and Tyrannosaurus rex.

VisionLand offers a variety of attractions divided into four themed areas: Celebration City, Steel Waters, Marvel City and Main Street.

Celebration City features games and thrill rides, including a $4.2 million wooden roller coaster. Steel Waters is a seven-acre water park themed after Bessemer's industrial heritage. Marvel City is a children's entertainment area with several rides. Main Street, a replica of a historic street, features restaurants, shops and a family entertainment center.

Phone: (205) 481-4750

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