Codona's Amusement Park is a family run amusement park based in Aberdeen, Scotland. It was established by the Codona Family in 1969 and is currently managed by the third generation of the family. It is situated adjacent to the Aberdeen Beach and Queens Links on the coast of the North Sea.
The first known records of the Codona family begin with Francesco Cardoni when he moved to the United Kingdom in the 1800s. Very little is known of him other than he was likely to have arrived from Italy and that he was of Italian gypsy descent. Cardoni's descendants inherited his circus genes working in circuses throughout Europe, but the majority remained in Scotland.
Throughout the 19th century the circus family toured Scotland entertaining towns and cities with various acts.
In the latter half of the 1800s, some of the Codona family emigrated to the US leading to the formation of the world famous trapeze act "The Flying Codonas". The act went on to become International Stars and featured in various films, including Varieté .
Once the industrial revolution hit in the 1860s, the Scotland-based Codonas were able to purchase steam powered fairground rides which they toured the country with. Gradually expanding their business and receiving criticism by religious groups for their "cheap theatre" and "Low travelling caravans". The first recorded visit by the Codona family to Aberdeen was in 1877 by John Codona to see his son marry.
Another member of the Codona family, from the emigrated side made headline news when Alfredo Codona, a trapeze artist from the family, killed himself and his ex-wife Vera Bruce after the tragic death of his second wife in 1937. This did not seem to impact upon the rest of the family whom continued with their work in Scotland, and his brother Lalo who took his place with the flyers abroad until he was forced to retire from damaged muscles in his legs.
Alfred and Gordon took over their father John Codona's Pleasure Fairs business which they ran until 1960. Alfred took over the beachfront amusement park which became the Codona's Amusement Park of today. By the 1970s the number of visitors began to decline, but has remained viable because of the combination of relatively low unemployment in the area, the beach itself, locals of Aberdeen, and contribution from UK holidaymakers
List of current rides and attractions
Name Manufacturer Opened Description
Apple Coaster Pinfari 2003 A small, sit-down coaster designed for children, it has 1 train with 6 cars which makes it a 24 riders per train. It was opened in 2003 and lasts for 2:50 minutes. This ride is a Pinfari. It has the standard Big Apple figure-eight layout which is used on over 200 roller coasters around the world.
Looping Star Pinfari 2000 A sit-down coaster that opened in 2000 and is built on top of the Congo Golf Building. It is the only ride at the park with an inversion. It replaced the Galaxy roller coaster, which was moved to Loudoun Castle amusement park (now defunct).
Vertigo Ariel Assault CourseThe Grampian Eye White Water Log Flume (Standard Reverchon model)The Galleon (Swinging Ship type ride)Disco WaltzersGiant SlideCircuit 2000Jolly Rogers mini bikesSuper TrucksAnimal Barn Pet CentreSpinning Cups and SaucersCarouselSkydeck Super Dodgems
The Galaxy Coaster was a sit-down coaster that closed in 1999 and was relocated to Loudoun Castle in 2002.
The Wild Mouse Coaster was only in the park in 1977.
The Shockwave was a spinning swing ride that was in the park until 2009 when it was replaced by the galleon swinging pirate ship ride.
The Crazy Train was a Pinfari steel sit-down coaster that is designed to look like a mine-cart. The ride opened for the 2003 season and was sponsored by restaurant chain Wimpy, the ride was removed from the park in early 2015.
Jolly Rogers Mini Bikes was a children's ride where a child would ride an electric mini bike around a track. This ride was removed in early 2015.
Pirate Island Adventure Golf
Opening in March 2007 this well-lit outdoor attraction accommodates 18-holes, each of which puts the player’s ability to the test. Throughout this exhibition the theme of pirates is extremely evident with the highly technical special effects that are in use. As well as this the 25 ft volcano and pirate ship are in keeping with the genre. The exhibition is known as one of Aberdeen’s must do attractions.
The Congo Indoor Adventure Golf
Opening in the March of 2008, this attraction which is located indoors was the first of its kind within the North East of Scotland. The special effects used within this exhibition are first class, which along with the erupting volcano, jungle trees with tree-huts, waterfall and tropical palm trees and plants throughout ensure that the jungle theme is consistent throughout. As this attraction is all located indoors it ensures that no matter what the time of day or the weather, any player of any age is guaranteed to have fun.
Rambo's Kids Adventureland
This Adventure Land, which was the first in Aberdeen, consists of two sections, one for children under the age of three and one for children over that age. The under three’s section contains a variety of things for the children to do free of charge such as playing on the slides, in the ball pit and in the castle which contains many things as well. The children can play with others in this area or their parents who can interact with them if they choose. This area will close on 7 January 2013 after 25 years of being open the area will have a multimillion pound revamp and will become Smugglers Cove play area and restaurant.
XD Theatre (Dino Safri)
The simulator, which originated from Canada, sits eight people on the ride at once and takes the riders on an exciting expedition. The theatre used run The Haunted Mine, Cosmic Coaster and Underwater Adventure. Since early 2015 the only run the theatre only runs one show Dino Safri. The outsides of it has also been decorated to this Dino theme.
Caesars Games Emporium
The games emporium is split into four different areas, three of which are for people ages eighteen and over. Within the three areas they are many different fruit machines, some of which give the user to collect winnings of anything up to and including £500. The other area consists of fruit machines that don’t offer as much money as winnings and ones for the whole family to use.
Smugglers Cove opened in 2013 and replaced Ramboland. It consists of an adventure play area similar to Ramboland but has the addition of a restaurant bringing the amount of restaurants to 4. When the Wimpy restaurant closed Smugglers Cove was expanded and a Kids disco room and fire station were added as well as a new, larger under 3s area featuring a bouncy castle.
Sunset Boulevard has 3 restaurants the first is Wimpy family fast food restaurant this serves Burgers etc. and is part of the Wimpy chain and is located near Ramboland, the area also houses the Codonas Ceramic Cafe where you can paint a cup or plate and then hand it in to be blasted and then take it home. The second restaurant is the Congo Bar & Diner which is located above Congo Adventure Golf and sells various types of food and Drink. The third restaurant is Sunset Diner & Bar which is located next to the bowling and sells similar types of Food to the Congo Bar & Diner. There will be a fourth restaurant added in 2013 as part of the Adventure Cove area.
10-Pin BowlingAmerican PoolVideo Games DeckCuba Pool SuitesPlay'N'Win
Codona's Amusement Park has different facilities that can be customised to suit each individual customer’s need. One of the amenities located on site is a small conference room, which has the ability cater for up to and including twenty people. In addition to this, all of the services the park has to offer are available for exclusive hire day or night for over two thousand people.
Within this complex there are three different venues, each of which offers a variety of facilities for all to enjoy. The park has the ability to cater for many different events, each of which is tailored to suit the client’s specific requirements. This is made possible with the high standard of knowledge the event organisers possess between them, and as a result ensures that the event goes according to plan and that all of the customer’s needs are met.
Within the Sunset Boulevard area of the park, a wide variety of events can be organised from company nights out to team building exhibits. Another package that is offered by the amusement park is the Corporate BBQ Fun Day Package, a favoured exhibit with companies to offer a fun-packed day out for clients and employees, along with their families.
Product launchesFashion showsFundraising nightsCompany amalgamation partiesVisit Scotland gala dinner
In 2006, the park introduced Dodgem the Dog as the mascot for the park. It was the winning creation of a Primary School competition to design a mascot for the park. Dodgem the Dog is seen walking around the park as well as on rides.
Later on they added a new mascot Candyfloss the dog.
The Satrosphere Science Centre is in close proximity to Codonas Amusement Park. It opened in 1988, and was the very first attraction of its kind in Scotland. The attraction has a number of different exhibitions and live shows for all to enjoy.
Also located nearby is the Aberdeen Maritime Museum. This museum is situated on the notable Shiprow, which is significant, based on the museum's genre. It contains an assortment of exhibits that include illustrations of shipbuilding as well as the history of the port it is sited near.
Aberdeen Art Gallery is a local tourist attraction where admission is free of charge. Within the gallery there is a collection of fine paintings and sculptures that can be dated right back to the 15th century. The collection also includes art that is in keep with the modern day society. From Spring 2015 the gallery is currently closed for refurbishment and will reopen in Winter 2017.