Joyland Amusement Park
Wichita, Kansas
July 19, 2013
Page One

The Abandoned Joyland Amusement Park, Wichita, Kansas

One park I wanted to visit for a long time has been Joyland in Wichita, Kansas.  It is a small traditional park with a nice carousel, a Wacky Shack fun house and one of the few remaining PTC built and Herbert Schmeck designed wooden coasters.

The Abandoned Joyland Amusement Park, Wichita, Kansas

Unfortunately that trip never happened and I was never able to walk through the gates of Joyland before it closed.

The Abandoned Joyland Amusement Park, Wichita, Kansas

Joyland began on this site in 1949 when Herbert, Harold and Lester Ottaway moved a miniature railroad and a few rides and hired Philladelphia Toboggan Coaster to build the parks simply named "Roller Coaster" on this site on the south side of Wichita.  

The Abandoned Joyland Amusement Park, Wichita, Kansasi

Stan & Margaret Nelson purchased Joyland in the 1970's and ran it until at the end of the 2004 season when burdened with declining attendance and aging rides that needed a lot of refurbishment they decided to close Joyland and see about selling the park.  It was closed for 2005 and reopened in 2006 when the Nelson's leased the park to an outside company.  The new company ran into financial issues and after a single season Joyland had no one to run or maintain it and Wichita's then only amusement park's gates were chained shut and the joy was no more.

The Abandoned Joyland Amusement Park, Wichita, Kansas

Instead of the sounds of rides, the laughter of kids and a park full of life, seven years after Joyland closed the only thing you might hear is the the wind whistling through all of the trees that have grown up around the park. 

Appreciating and loving amusement parks like his father Bond had a hard time seeing Joyland slowly rotting away.  We should be riding that coaster off in the distance instead of looking at the remains of a park through a rusty locked gate.


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Paul B. Drabek