If you’re a long-time Iowa resident, we learned of a big loss from our childhood today. Adventureland announced that after nearly 40 years, the Silly Silo ride at the park was being removed in favor of a new high-rise ride to be completed in June of next year.
The Silly Silo was one of those rides about which everyone had an opinion. You either liked it or you didn’t. Some people liked to be spun around and “stuck” to the walls and others knew it meant the loss of their lunch.
I remember walking by the Silly Silo earlier this summer and thinking that it looked old. It certainly showed its age. Fading paint, warping boards, and even the sound of the ride spoke to how old this ride really was.
The photo above is a picture I took on what would be the final time I would ride the Silly Silo. In the photo is our STAR web guy, Apiram, showing his approval of our good time. I rode the Silo probably dozens of times since I was a boy. There were times when I rode with so many people that you were actually standing shoulder to shoulder, then there were a couple times when I rode it alone and the operator just kept going until I couldn’t take it anymore. I always tried to spin myself upside down on the wall, but could never quite do it.
Several years ago, some of the STAR staff were given an all-access, behind the scenes tour of Adventureland. We got to hear a lot of great stories about the history of the park and the rides. We learned that if you heard about a “code 4A” at any of the rides, like perhaps the Silly Silo, it meant to bring a mop and bucket.
The Silly Silo is going to be replaced by a ride called the Storm Chaser that can be best described as swings spinning 300 feet in the air. I’m sure it’ll be just as exciting and bring a lot of joy like the Silly Silo did before it. You can see a mock-up photo of the ride on Adventureland’s Facebook page. At the bottom of this blog, you can see a couple of photos courtesy of my friend Bryan Hall of the Silly Silo as it’s being dismantled.
As for the Silo, we say so long and thanks for the millions of laughs that came from inside that nauseating, spinning center. You definitely made your mark on the childhoods of thousands of Iowa children (and a few adults).