Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The End Of The Classic Water Ride

So today I was sitting in my desk as my brain floated away from work and into the happy world of Amusement Parks and for some reason I got to thinking about water rides. Now let me start off by saying I have never been a big water rides guy, I enjoy a good log flume, but don't tend to enjoy a shoot the chutes that provides little entertainment besides drenching you in dirty stinky park water. I hate the idea of walking around in wet clothes/shoes all day and especially when I am carrying the AWITP camera/video gear. While thinking of the water rides, I began to realize just how many have been removed in the last 3 seasons or so. I broke out my notebook and came up with this list.

Riptide, Six Flags Great Adventure
Log Flume, Six Flags New England
White Water Landing, Cedar Point
Log Flume, Valleyfair
Wild Thornberrys Flume, Carowinds (***RUMORED***)

Movietown Water Effect, Six Flags Great Adventure
Splashwater Falls, Six Flags Great America
Mile High Falls, Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom
Tidal Wave, Six Flags St.Louis (***Rumored***)

Congo River Rapids, Hersheypark

Now out of all those rides, I have been on quite a few and the only one I really really liked was the Hershey Rapids (great ride). I would have to assume parks are removing these rides because they are all older attractions & probably have a large amount of maitenance cost involved in keeping them running. I think this is an interesting trend, as ten years ago you could expect almost all major parks to have a rapids-flume-shootthechutes trio, and now that is becoming a rarity.

While there haven't been rumors other water rides I would put on the 'endangered species' list would be:

SFGAm Log Flumes (There old and not a lot of expansion room at SFGAm)
SFStl Log Flume (Its small and really old looking)
Perillous Plunge (Not a lot of expansion room at Knotts & operational issues)
All remaining Old Six Flags Shoot The Chutes (SFMM, SFoG, SFoT)(just because this has been the trend with the other parks)

Its not all gloom and doom for the water park ride lovers as there is a next generation of water rides on the horizon. A lot of parks seem to be adding the Splash Battle attractions, which can probably be decent rides with the appropriate level of theming. There is also the new series of 'Super Flume' which would be like Pilgrims Plunge opening at Holiday World next year.

So what do you people think? Am I on to something with the 'end of an era' or am I just waaaaaay too bored?


TheRapidsNerd said...

Pat, I think you are exactly right, in that cost and upkeep are big factors. Add to that, that water parks, while a hot trend, also accomplish th same goal as some of these rides, and they do it with less parts/cost. Hate to admit it, but a lazy river will have better capacity and less upkeep than Hershey's former rapids. Personal bias aside, it is a smart move. Never did like shoot the chutes anyway, especially after Old Mill Scream kicked me in the nuts.Back to point, your on target with your thinking.

Paula Werne, Holiday World PR said...

I hope we're able to overcome a few of the barriers to enjoying a shoot the chute ride by treating our water at Pilgrims Plunge and also allowing folks to ride in their swimsuits.

Anonymous said...

It is a shame that parks are getting rid of their log flumes. I really enjoy these rides. It is incredibly relaxing to just float after a long day of riding coasters. When done right, like Splash Mountain @ Disneyland, they can even be thrilling. Excellent post.

Pat McCabe said...

Holiday World,

Thats very cool how your operating the new Plunge ride. The fact that you can wear a bathing suit and get to the ride from the waterpark is a huge plus for me.

Tim Kretschmann said...

Six Flags Great America almost never even runs the "Yankee Clipper" anymore. It would be first to go, I would guess.