Update 6/30/2016 – Lake City Amusement Park has closed their doors. Read more here.
Rocket City Moms and Dads, we have an enjoyable new option for family fun down 431 a piece.
Lake City is an amusement park that opened in southern Guntersville this spring. It follows the classic model, with rides, a midway of games, and fun things to eat.
There are 36 rides, including many good options for younger children. There are several flat rides for little ones, a kiddie roller coaster, and a great splash pad that I suspect will be very popular in the heat of the summer.
Longtime family favorites like a carousel and Ferris wheel are here, too. Enthusiasts will find many amusement park standards, including a Tilt-a-Whirl, a Fire Ball circular coaster, a Cliff Hanger, a scrambler, and a swinging pirate ship.
Particular highlights for us included the Cyclone, a small roller coaster that still packs a good gasp or two; and the Himalaya, which is a lot like a Matterhorn except using a continuous train on a track instead of swinging cars.
We also loved the Gravitron, called Area 51 here. When my younger one saw that he was just supposed to lean on the wall, he said “that’s it?” I said “that’s it.” I could tell then that he didn’t know what was going to happen, so that was fun. Ah, good old centrifugal force.
Lake City Grub & Ambiance
There are several tasty options for lunch and dinner, as well as festive sweets. The expected burgers and dogs are here, but so are fish and chips, Italian sausages, and chicken tenders. For dessert, have a funnel cake, some Dippin’ Dots, or a deep-fried Snickers or Twinkie. An old-fashioned ice cream shop is under construction. No alcohol is sold in the park.
All of the Lake City employees with whom we interacted were friendly and enthusiastic, bringing authentic spirit to the atmosphere. The callers on the midway had enough carnival barker about them to be fun. The Himalaya operator brought just the right amount of comical DJ to his activity.
There is an amphitheater in the park for live entertainment. In most cases these concerts are included in park admission, with no additional charge. Future plans for the Lake City space include an immediately adjacent water park called Bama Bayou, coming in 2017, and an extensive RV parking area.
Daily park admission is $24.95. Children 2 and under are admitted free, as are all active and retired military personnel (with military ID). Senior admission (60+) is $11.95. A Season Fun Pass, for unlimited admission all season, is $136.20.
Lake City was a soybean field a year ago, so landscaping is nascent and deserving of a pass. It will steadily improve. The restrooms are clean, and both include changing tables. Single and double strollers are available to rent.
Considerable care has been taken with Lake City to make it a true family destination. There are appropriate attractions for children of all ages. And, though there is plenty to do, the space is compact enough to enable parents to feel good about letting adolescents go on their own for a bit while they tend to younger ones, or just enjoy a break.
We’ll definitely be going back. See you there!
Lake City Amusement Park
Address: 302 Reed Rd., Guntersville, AL (map)
View Website | View Lake City Facebook Page
Hours of Operation: Like most amusement parks, Lake City has seasonal hours. For 2016, Lake City is open from 12 pm to 10 pm Friday, May 20 through Sunday, May 22. Then, beginning Friday, May 27, Lake City is open from 12 pm to 10 pm daily.