Located in Golden, Colorado, Heritage Amusement Park is a family-style amusement park offering midway rides, two miniature golf courses, paddle boats, a zipline, an arcade facility, and a full-service restaurant and picnic areas.
Heritage Amusement Park was originally developed in 1957 as Magic Mountain, which was the vision of businessman Walter Francis Cobb and sculptor John Calvin Sutton. Inspired by the success of Disneyland, Cobb and Sutton hired the architectural firm of original Disneyland vice president C.V. Wood, Jr. to construct a family theme park for the Denver area. 460 acres of land near South Table Mountain were purchased for the venture, which was slated to include an enchanted forest, a mountaintop Queen’s Castle, a monorail, and other fantastical elements. Following opposition from community residents who worried the park would bring tourist traffic and commercial development to the mountain region, an alternate 600-acre location was secured near Golden, Colorado at the foot of the mountains of Apex Gulch. Several Hollywood art directors were brought on board for the project after its location change, including former designers for Disneyland, and the park’s theme was refocused to include six themed areas designed around Old West history and American industry and progress. Financial difficulties plagued the park during its 1957-1959 construction, however, and the park closed after one season due to low visitorship, though its Magic Mountain ski area remained operational.
A decade later, the park’s land was acquired by the Woodmoor Corporation, which renovated its remaining structures into the Heritage Square themed artisan shopping village and entertainment center. Heritage Square, which opened to the public in 1971, featured several artisan workshops, a beer garden restaurant, and the Heritage Square Opera House, which utilized the former Magic Mountain Play House facility for performances by the Heritage Square Players theatrical organization. In 1973, a year-round Christmas tree shop was opened at the Square, one of the first of its kind in the county, and other attractions were added, including an alpine slide and a wedding chapel. Later in the 20th century, an amusement park was added to the facility, featuring family-friendly midway rides and attractions. In 2015, the town square attractions of Heritage Square were closed, including the alpine slide, but the amusement park, rebranded as Heritage Amusement Park, is slated to remain open with lease options through 2039.
Rides and Attractions
Today, Heritage Amusement Park is owned and operated by the Martin Marietta Corporation, which also owns a mining quarry adjacent to the amusement complex. Though the original Heritage Square complex has closed and is in the process of redevelopment, the park’s rides and family attractions remain open, along with the Garden Grill restaurant and Victorian Event Center. The park is open daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day, with limited weekend operation hours in April, May, and September. Individual ride tickets and daily unlimited ride passes are offered, with add-on ticket packages for additional attractions at the park.
A variety of midway amusement rides are offered at the park, including a classic Ferris Wheel and Carousel, a Himalaya ride, a Space Shuttle ride, Wave Swings, a Tilt-a-Whirl, and a Scrambler. Two small roller coasters, the Miner Mike mine coaster and the Python Pit miniature coaster, are offered for families. Other rides include a Balloon Ride, a Banana Squadron circular flying ride, a Crazy Bus, and classic-style Tea Cups.
In addition to midway rides, a number of premium attractions are offered at the park, including a Zipline, installed at the park in 2013. Two riders may ride the zipline together, which travels 220 feet across the park’s pond area at maximum speeds of 21 miles per hour. Three Go-Kart Tracks are offered, including a Junior Track for young riders, a Slick Track with fast corner features, and an Adult Track styled in a figure-eight configuration. Paddle Boats are offered on the park’s pond area, and a classic Arcade offers games such as skeeball and pinball. Two 18-hole Miniature Golf courses are also available, including a Family Course and a Challenge Course.
The park’s full-service Garden Grill restaurant, fully renovated in 2009, offers indoor seating along with an outdoor courtyard seating area. Standard American fare is served, including hamburgers, chicken strips, grilled cheese sandwiches, and pizza. Free picnic areas are also offered for visitors to bring their own food into the park and use on a first-come first-served basis, though alcohol and barbecue grills are prohibited at the facility.
Ongoing Programs and Education
In addition to standard visitor admission, group rates are offered for small groups and organizations, including rates for school and nonprofit children’s groups. Package options include unlimited ride packages and add-on packages for access to the park’s premium attractions. Birthday party packages are offered for young visitors wishing to celebrate their birthdays at the park, with a minimum of eight party guests required for reservation. The park’s picnic facilities may also be rented for private special events such as reunions and corporate picnics.
18301 W Colfax Ave, Golden, CO 80401, Phone: 303-727-8437