The Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park features six roller coasters and 20 other rides for thrill-seekers, families and kids, plus the Island Kingdom water park. It’s located on a 75-acre site along the Platte River near Interstate 25 and the Denver Broncos stadium.
The roller coasters include Twister II, a traditional, 10-story wooden coaster modeled after the famed Mister Twister coaster at the original Elitch’s. There also are two looping coasters, a Boomerang coaster, a half-pipe coaster and a kiddie coaster.
Among the other rides are a carousel from 1928 that was relocated from the original Elitch’s, a 100-foot-plus Ferris wheel, a Tilt-A-Whirl and spinning Tea Cups.
The Island Kingdom water park covers 20 acres and features a wave pool, a 75-foot raft ride, a tube slide tower, a body slide tower and a half-pipe.
Elitch Gardens is open from early May through Halloween, and the water park is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. A ticket covers both parks.
Elitch Gardens was founded by entrepreneurs John and Mary Elitch in 1890 in a former apple orchard at 38th Avenue and Tennyson Street. It was called Elitch’s Zoological Gardens and featured exotic animals and live entertainment as well as the gardens. John Elitch died in 1891 and Mary Elitch operated the gardens until 1916.
The Elitch Theater opened in 1892 and the Trocadero Ballroom in 1917 as the complex expanded to include live theater and concerts. A carousel was added in 1928, a Ferris wheel in 1936, and the famed Mister Twister wooden roller coaster in 1964.
Elitch Gardens relocated in 1995 to the current site on the Platte River. It is operated by the Herschend Family Entertainment Corp. of Atlanta.