My First Visit to Lost Island Theme Park in 2023: What's changed?

During the winter, I wrote down my predictions on what might change at Lost Island Theme Park, as they aim to make a more competitive experience. A lot of my predictions came true, such as character interactions and improved foliage. In this article, I break down some of the biggest changes in 2023. 

The entrance to Lost Island Theme Park

Background on Lost Island Theme Park

Lost Island Theme Park is a project run by the Bertch family, who also own Lost island Waterpark in Waterloo, Iowa. The park opened in 2022, and while offering some great rides and experiences, hasn’t had great crowds yet. The Park is themed around the balance of the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water, as well as the fifth element of spirit. Each element has its own “land” with a unique story related to keeping the balance. 

New Rides At Lost Island Theme Park

Two new rides have opened up! Honestly, I think these might be my favorite.

New Launch Coaster

First we have Matugani, a short but very fast launch coaster. This thing gets some speed! (don’t wear a hat on this one!) More importantly, it rides pretty darn smooth, which is important considering how bumpy the Lost Island’s skycoaster is. Matugani is located in Yuta, the earth themed “land” of Lost Island theme park. The queue is decorated with murals telling the story of the Yuta clan, including a very important snake character which the ride is modeled after.

The Log Flume "Yuta Falls" at Lost Island Theme Park

The Log Flume is Open!

The second new ride at Lost Island Theme Park is Yuta Falls, which is a log flume. Yuta Falls is also located in Yuta, and is designed to look like a water wheel. I appreciated the two-drop format of this ride, which makes it much more interesting than your average log flume. The first drop is small, and sits underneath the second and larger drop. I recommend you do this one last if you don’t like being wet. This ride can actually splash the riders pretty well depending on where you sit and the weight distribution. Additionally, the footwells can trap a lot of water, so be careful getting in if you are wearing socks and tennis shoes. If you absolutely can’t stand being wet, there is a drying machine near the exit which you can pay to use. You might remember that Yuta Falls was supposed to open in 2022. However, a fire near the control panel occurred during construction and set the project back. 

A Merry-go-round Coming? 

There is a new circular structure in Awa (water) near the carnival games. On the digital map, you can see a “coming soon” marker with some kind of turtle decoration in this spot. On the website you can even read a little bit about the coming ride

Original, interactive Characters at Lost Island Theme Park

I was so excited to see this! This year, there are live Characters from the four realms roaming about the park. If you meet them, they often have a story to tell you, an activity to share, or a sort of quest line. I’m pretty sure that right now, there is one male and one female actor for each element. In addition to these “face” characters (to borrow a term from the Florida parks) this year we also have a suited Tamariki (or mischievous spirit guardian) and an “islandologist” who will reward you for completing activities in each “land” with temporary tattoos. (We saw one guest who had collected all four - and put them all on her face!)

Several rides in the Udara (air) section in Lost Island Theme Park

Lost Island App Integrations

Last year, Lost Island Theme Park rolled out an interactive app which was meant to make a more interactive experience in the park. Last year my boyfriend and I couldn’t get the app to function properly - something about the location tracking wasn’t as intended. However, this year we found that it was working great! The app will track which rides you go on (or which you get close too, sometimes) and will unlock different digital badges as you go. There are also minor story elements in the app. However, you definitely won’t be missing too much if you don’t download the app, or if your phone dies. 

Shade Structures and New Plants

Last season I mentioned that the park was looking a little bare in terms of vegetation and shade. I also thought that in the long term, some landscaping could help create the illusion of distance and separation between the “lands” of Lost Island. This year, Lost Island Theme Park made great steps with this. I noticed saplings, flowering plants and shrubs that didn’t exist last year. Additionally, with so few gift shops, few closed wall restaurants and young treats, the sun can be relentless. Lost island has added some shade structures, most notably outside the food stands in Udara (air) and Mura (fire). 


I highly recommend that you visit Lost Island Theme Park this season. The park is showing a lot of potential to grow into something truly special. As it grows, every ticket purchase helps keep it going. Consider coming to visit! (I even have an article to help you decide which kind of ticket to purchase.) Stay tuned, as I plan on covering dining options, favorite rides, how to use the aps, and character interactions in more depth


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