Here’s What’s New for 2023 at This Missouri Theme Park
Worlds of Fun turns 50 years old this season, and when you go for a visit you'll notice the park has a different look and feel.
According to Worlds of Fun's blog "Every section, building, and land has been touched by cosmetic upgrades." So what's new and different for 2023? Let's take a look.
Brand New Roller Coaster Inspired by a Classic
The park's brand-new attraction for 2023 is the Zambezi Zinger. If you're going, hey, didn't they have a roller coaster named that? You're right. The new Zambezi Zinger is a hybrid wood and steel coaster that takes you on a two-minute ride up to 45 miles per hour. The original was one of Worlds of Fun's original coasters when the park opened, and this new one is inspired by the original. Riders will embark on their journey from the same queue building as the original.
The track circuit is complete and the coaster's trains have arrived on site. As of this writing, the park hasn't announced an opening date.
New Food Joints & 50th Anniversary Foods
In the park's Africa section, near Mamba is the old Coasters Drive-in. It's now a Casablanca-style diner in the heart of Africa called the Sand Dune Diner. Guests can get cold drinks, milkshakes, and delicious dinner fare at the diner.
Also, new this year is the G'Rilla Grill with new menu items and a convenient updated storefront and ordering queue.
The park is also offering some new food items throughout the season. Items include a special 50th Anniversary ICEE flavor, Pigs Wings, and Elephant Ears.
Europa Gets A Makeover & Americana's Front Street Emporium Gets A Bell Tower
In the Europa section of the park, visitors will experience a newly constructed cobblestone plaza and fountain. This area will provide a European-inspired atmosphere and provide guests with a comfortable area to relax and enjoy the scenery. Over in Americana, the Front Street Emporium has added a bell tower that will chime every hour on the hour.
There's something iconic about Coca-Cola and a vintage gas station. It just feels right, right? So Worlds of Fun has refreshed the Coca-Cola Marketplace to resemble a vintage filling station. The upgrade will enhance the overall theming of the area and provide a great backdrop for park guests to kick back and enjoy, what else, a great icy cold Coca-Cola!
Rides & Attractions
Aside from the debut of the new Zambezi Zinger which will open later this spring, some of the park's most iconic rides like Timberwolf and Boomerang have new paint and queue theming. Additionally, Timberworlf, Worlds of Fun's, wooden roller coaster got a brand new first drop. Next to Timberworlf is the brand new Wild West Arcade promising classic and modern arcade fun for guests of all ages.
International Plaza / Gateway Gardens
The park's international plaza is being transformed into Gateway Gardens, a welcoming area overflowing with flowers and landscaping. Worlds of Fun says it will provide a beautiful entrance to the park and set the stage for a memorable day of fun!
Worlds of Fun 50th Anniversary Exhibit
From May 26 through September 10 visitors to Worlds of Fun can stop by the Tivoli Theater lobby and experience "Worlds of Fun 50: The Exhibition". It's here that the park will be showcasing its vibrant history. Visitors will be able to see priceless treasures and never before seen artifacts in a world-class museum setting. The original lead car from the park's Orient Express roller coaster will be on display as well, thanks to the National Roller Coaster Museum.
In short, Worlds of Fun has been spiffed up for its 50th Anniversary which I think is very cool. I'm also encouraged by the efforts that are going into the park's theming. So often, as these types of parks have aged and been passed from one owner to another, the theming and the idea behind the original park's theme just seem to get lost in new technology, and the bigger, better, faster, newer rides designed to entertain us.
Frankly, I'm fine with them trying to sell me a Coke in a Coca-Cola-inspired filling station, or enjoying a cold shake in a Casablanca-inspired diner. After all, you should be able to forget about life for a while when you visit these types of places. I'm glad they're still trying to do that at Worlds of Fun.