Walley World is a fantasy amusement park that the Griswolds decide to visit in the 1983 movie “National Lampoon’s Vacation”. The movie revolves around the remarkable journey of this family from Illinois to California in the hunt for the amusement park.
Fans loved the “horrible” vacation, and the movie was a blockbuster. Soon after its release, fans began to wonder if Walley World was a real park and if it was in America. Later, a reboot of the movie was made in 2015 and was simply named “Vacation”.
So, does Walley World really exist, and were both movies filmed at the same location?
The answer to the first question is “yes,” and the second answer is “no.” To know more, keep reading.
About Walley World
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Walley World is a fictional theme park that is featured in the 1983 movie National Lampoon’s Vacation.
The film revolves around the Griswold family and their trip to an amusement park—Walley World. In the movie, Clark Griswold decides to go on a family vacation as he wants to bond with his wife and children.
The film offers a hilarious take on the mishaps and misfortunes the family has to endure on their way to the park, starting with Clark’s refusal to travel by air and his car getting crushed and hauled away.
But don’t worry, it was not a big deal, they just used an ugly Wagon Queen Family Truckster, which broke down later. Also, a young woman is seen driving a Ferrari on several occasions, which seems to annoy Clark immensely.
P.S. They did travel by air on their way home.
The family goes through several not-so-happening events on their way only to find out that “America’s Favorite Family Fun Park” is closed. And not just that, it would remain closed for the next two weeks. So, they cannot visit the next day either.
Don’t be saddened—Clark wasn’t going back without enjoying the park. He used a real-like BB gun to intimidate his way into the park, and the family enjoyed the amazing rides “Whipper Snapper” and “Screaming Mimi”.
The movie was an instant hit with the audience, earning over $60 million when the budget was just a quarter of the amount. The film is based on a short story by John Hughes titled “Vacation ’58”.
In the book, the family takes a trip to Disney, but the film adaptation could not use the trademark “Disney” name. So Disney World became Walley World, our dear old Mickey became Marty Moose, and so on.
Naturally, sequels were made, and the last one, Vacation (2015), is a reboot in which the original cast reunites. In the reboot, Clark’s son Rusty plans a family vacation to relive his childhood memories one last time, as the park is closing its gates forever. The movie is a homage to the original movie, connecting with the audience’s dream of visiting an amusement park.
Does Walley World Really Exist?
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So, the question arises; is there really a Walley World? Can people experience the same feeling as the Griswolds?
As we mentioned earlier, Walley World does exist but not by the same name.
Just like in the movie, the Walley World featured in the 1983 movie was in Valencia, California. However, the real name of the theme park is not Walley World but “Six Flags Magic Mountain”.
The park is still operational, but can you enjoy the Whipper Snapper and Screaming Mimi?
The real name of the Whipper Snapper ride in the park is “Revolution”. The coaster, which first launched in 1976, was a pioneering steel roller coaster featuring a 360-degree loop-the-loop.
The ride is still functional, so you can experience what the Griswold family did. In 2016, the park gave the ride a makeover with new trains and restraints and a newly painted, spiffed-up track. The transformed ride now has a new name—the New Revolution.
So, the thrilling Whipper Snapper of Walley World is actually the New Revolution of Six Flags.
The other ride, the Screaming Mimi, was the park’s twin-racing wooden coaster by the name “Colossus”. It first opened in 1978 and instantly became a hit, as it was the world’s biggest and fastest wooden coaster at that time.
The ride lost its initial smooth ride quality due to wear and tear over time. The park decided to give the oldie a renewal and transformed the wooden ride into a wood-steel hybrid in 2015. They gave the reincarnated ride the name “Twisted Colossus”, and just like its ancestor, it is one of the most sought-after rides in the park.
So, you too can enjoy the two rides that the Griswolds rode.
So, Walley World from the 1983 movie does exist, but what about Walley World in the 2015 film? Is that a real place too? If so, is it the same park as in the first movie?
In the 2015 reboot, the family returns to the same park because it will soon be shut down permanently, so the location must have remained the same. However, for unknown reasons, the movie is not filmed at Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Valencia, California, location but at the park’s Georgia location near Atlanta.
This time, the family does not ride the same rides as it did in the original movie but a new one, the Velociraptor, a steel roller coaster. The real name of the ride is “Blue Hawk”, and it is a thrilling ride with five loops.
The Real Walley World
There is a real-life Walley World. However, it has a slightly different name, “Wally World,” and is a part of a large complex and not a standalone park.
The water park at East Park in London, Ontario, Canada, is named Wally World. The park may not have the same rides as the fictional Walley World, but it is a great place to spend a day.
Plan A Trip To Walley World
Like all other fans of the movie, if you too would love to experience the thrilling coaster rides of Walley World, plan a trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain and reincarnate your favorite scenes from the movie.
The park is spread over 209 acres of land, and with 20 roller coaster rides, it holds the world record for the amusement park with the most roller coaster rides.