Top Menu

What a Fabulous Adelaide Memory is Dazzeland!

Do you recall the huge two-storey indoor amusement park that occupied the top levels of the REMM Myer Centre in Rundle Mall?

Dazzleland was a theme park, developed as part of the original centre itself, built between 1988 and 1991 at a cost of $1 billion. It was sold some years later for just $140 million. Many say it was the main contributing factor to the eventual collapse of the State Bank of South Australia.

Photo courtesy of Mary MacTavish on Flickr and from the book Adelaide Remember When".  Dazzleland’s signature attraction was Jazz Junction

Photo courtesy of Mary MacTavish on Flickr and from the book Adelaide Remember When”. Dazzleland’s signature attraction was Jazz Junction

Dazzleland’s signature attraction was Jazz Junction, a figure 8 roller coaster ride, with its track running overhead along the fifth level of the multi storey building. Some of the other attractions included a carousel, dodgem cars a big Lego Expo, giant playground, musical fountain, and a train.

The idea behind an amusement park in a shopping complex was not new to Adelaide. For many years Cox Foys (also in Rundle Street), had successfully operated a rooftop funfair for children and adults alike. Dazzleland took the concept to new heights though with Jazz Junction and the other modern amusement offerings.

Piekarski Ryan, commenting on a recent post on the ARW FB page felt that there were a lot of things working against Dazzeland right from the beginning, including the State Bank collapse and public liability costs; ”It was a very good concept though and should have been retained as Adelaide now has nothing exciting to do. Myer should have bought back Dazzeland as part of its 20th anniversary, as the market is now wide open for this type of entertainment”.

He concluded his remarks; “the other reason it closed down was that it did not fit in with the shopping culture, it was felt by the Centre management that it was too noisy in the atrium and they thought it drove people away.”

Dazzeland staff in the 1990s. Picture courtesy of Myer Centre Adelaide.

Dazzeland staff in the 1990s. Picture courtesy of Myer Centre Adelaide.

For whatever reason and despite being extremely popular with both children, teenagers and adults, Dazzleland was closed in 1998. The top floors of the centre have remained vacant despite several attempts to re-lease the area to various retail businesses.

Jess Bonsell  remembers Dazzleland as a child;  “I was aged between 2 and 9 when it was open. I recall a huge kids ‘playground/playpen’ area I went to once. I also remember the rollercoaster but never had the opportunity to go on it. My sister did with a friend, however, she was actually a little bit too short for it, but they let her on anyway!  I remember feeling very jealous at the time.”

Kathy Daking recalled it as “one of the scariest rides I ever went on. Sad it didn’t do well because I think it would be great to take my kids to now”! And Kirsty Lee has great memories of travelling from the Riverland; “I think mum loved that she could leave us up there while she shopped. I wonder how many other shopping centres there have been with amusement parks in them?

What are your own memories of Dazzleland?

4 Responses to What a Fabulous Adelaide Memory is Dazzeland!

  1. Sebastian Hall November 22, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

    its funny that photo of the staff, as one of the original Dazzleland employees, in fact the weekend “king-kang” (the kangaroo character) they were not the uniforms. The uniforms were a candy pink and Aqua striped pant and a banana yellow shirt! The rumour, wink, wink,why Dazzleland closed was nothing to do with the state bank but a certain general manager taking off with all the money with the receptionist behind his wife’s back. Good times, good times. Let alone the person that fell out of the roller coaster and died and 3 suicides of the top floor…. Oh and the fact the foundations shattered each time the roller coaster dos a circuit. Not sure what the billion dollars was spent on but every original employee knew that the centre was built on the under ground river, the original London tavern had a well that accessed the said river. They dug deeper and before the centre opened the foundations were leaking and so they built a wall in front. The whole Myer centre is actually unsafe and will implode. When I worked there, building advisors that spoke up up and were sacked in doing so said its life before it collapsed was a maximin of 50 years. That’s another 20 years until the ugliest building in Adelaide collapses in on itself.

  2. S September 30, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

    Does anyone recall a seaworld like park in Adelaide? I can remember going there as a child and remember it closing down and the site becoming a bus layover area but I cant seem to find any history of it,

    • A December 28, 2015 at 7:48 pm #

      Yes, it was called Marineland until it was sold in 1985 and became run down and eventually closed.

  3. Bonnie October 1, 2015 at 5:30 pm # here is the real uniform.

Leave a Reply