Legoland Billund in Denmark just announced they would be building an Intamin river rapids ride. It will have a 1430 feet long course and the most interesting part: a 26 feet tall vertical lift (elevator basically) followed by a 20 feet drop, like Grizzly River Run at DCA.
Looks like great theming! Along with a great ride. Like the tower drop for a finale, and it looks like a fairly lengthy ride to beat all. But once again, another great ride for Europe which I'm bound to never see, (except through photos and videos).
Maybe I've just never rode a good Intamin river rapids ride or something but I'm just not a fan of their river rapids rides. 80% of the time I've ridden one I've maybe got a spritz of water on a 90+ degree day after an hour or more wait. That's just not worth it to me.
I'm a fan of the river rapids at Dollywood though. It was built in house with tight water troughs, small boats, and dips in the trough so you really do have a rapid! 80% of the time I get a good (not drenched) splash.
Maybe they've improved upon the design of their rapids rides or I'm just missing the good ones. Either way it's a good deal for Legoland because it'll still bring in loads of people.
I still think everyone should check out the rapids at Dollywood though. Best I've ever been on!
The elevator/splash element looks really neat. But Peabody is right. After working at Great America for six years, I can vouvh that the rapids rides are easily the most dangerous. We had rafts flip over at least once or twice a year. Scary stuff.
^^^Whoa, no kidding? That just really surprises me because I've never heard of that happening except for that one time there were fatalities. That was in....Texas? I'm not recalling, just that it was a pretty awful news story.
Anyway, I've worked a rapids ride myself but we were always pretty strict about balancing the boats correctly, making sure we didn't go over a set weight limit, and the boats got checked by mantinence twice a day by walking around the inflatable part of the boat.
Thats why I am very uncomfortable with seatbelts on those rides. When I first encountered those in the USA I could not believe it. I can not remember a single rapid ride in europe that has seatbelts. (but I am far from knowing them all).
But with more and more kids standing up during the ride, I guess its only a question of time before we see OTSR on river rapids. :)
When a raft flipped over at Efteling a few years ago, I am sure there would have been fatalities and not just injuries.
Yikes, I too didn't realize they were so prone to flipping over. Now I know why the rides are as tame as they are.
I always thought it would be cool for a park to invest on THE rapids ride, as in very long, very turbulent, featuring several dips, and extensive themeing in/around a mountain setting kinda like Splash Mountain, but without all the animatronics. There could be cave sections. I think something like this would be far more interesting than a $25-Million one-trick steel coaster.
Rapids rides aren't prone to flipping over. If the boats are properly maintained, and the ride operators and maintenance personnel keep tabs on the amount and distribution of air in the tube, there should be no reason why one would flip over.
Yeah, I was going to say that it also sounds quite a bit like DCA's but I haven't been on it so I can't really comment. *However* while DCA's seems to be pretty highly regarded for the genre, IOA seems like the most revered rapids ride ever built, just based on general perception among enthusiasts and such.
PhantomTails said: Rapids rides aren't prone to flipping over. ...
Actually, most of the the flips were caused by rafts that were not spaced properly. They wedged in the trough, spun around and one of them flipped. Another problem that I saw, at least at the PGA version was caused by the spacing gates (put there to avert the previously mentioned problem). The gates raise from the bottom and can easily flip a boat that is caught on top of one.
But you are right. It does come down to proper operation for the most part. Then again, when we took our first "test" run, a poorly placed wier (pipes on the bottom used to make the rapids) ejected half of us from our seats. Also, a boat jam at the end tipped our boat and filled it to our waists in water.
Oh, we also had problems with guests falling into the trough on the turntable. They weren't watching where they were going and the operator was busy assisting other guests.
TNcoasterman, I'm guessing you never rode Opryland's Grizzly River Rampage, since you couldn't ride and not get more than 'spritz of water', if not 100% soaked! It was well themed too, with all of the landscape looking natural, a long tunnel with resident grizzly bear, music, and 12 person boats running in a fairly wide trough that gave the feeling of a real river. The heavier boats create more of a wake, sure to soak anyone on that side of the boat. SFOG's is pretty fun as well.