Dollywood announces $5 million River Battle ride

Posted Thursday, July 19, 2007 2:39 PM | Contributed by Jeff

[Ed. note: The following is an unedited press release. -J]

A battle is brewing in Dollywood’s Timber Canyon area as work begins on River Battle, the theme park’s new water adventure ride set to open in 2008.

The $5 million River Battle is a themed water raft ride equipped with powerful soaker guns. Nine rafts, each with room for eight passengers, follow a 500-foot channel. As the rafts navigate the waters, the battle begins as passengers, each armed with a soaker gun, take aim at each other and more than 100 targets along the way, including large-scale “talking animals”—beavers, skunks, otters, bears and more. Some of the targets shoot back while others display a variety of special effects, creating surprises at every turn and ensuring that no two rides are ever exactly the same. River Battle also engages park guests along the ride’s banks. While rafters are soaking each other in raft-to-raft sparring, they also can “shoot” observers along the way in “raft-to-shore” fun. In the park’s ongoing effort to provide opportunities to bring families closer, River Battle is yet another ride addition that allows parents and children to ride together.

“When I was a kid, me and my brothers and sisters used to sneak away and start up a river battle of our own, but I never dreamed that kind of childhood fun would end up creating a great ride like my new River Battle,” Dolly Parton said.

With an hourly ride capacity of 800 passengers, River Battle will be located just beyond Dollywood’s Mystery Mine steel coaster, which was just named 2007 Best New Attraction by themeparkinsider.com. The project also includes a new 750-foot walkway that provides a direct route to the park’s Craftsman’s Valley area from Timber Canyon. The new connector represents the largest earthworks project since the Dollywood Express train’s track bed was completed in 1960. The connector project entails moving 170,000 cubic yards of soil and rocks—the equivalent of 8,500 truck loads.

“The addition of River Battle continues to expand on the award-winning attractions we offer in the Timber Canyon area,” said Ken Bell, Senior Vice-President. “In addition to creating a fun new ride for our guests, we will improve the flow of traffic as guests will be able to access two vital areas of our park via the new connector.”

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Thursday, July 19, 2007 3:00 PM
This sounds like a typical, round raft. But surely the seats will be facing out. The ride and the path sound great.
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Thursday, July 19, 2007 3:14 PM
No word on a manufacturer, however. I wonder what company is behind this one?
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Thursday, July 19, 2007 3:33 PM
These are the kinds of rides the big boys should be putting in. Something that engages the entire family...and even non-riders. Dollywood keeps impressing me.

I guess Dolly certainly can put money where her........mouth......is.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007 3:38 PM
Sounds cool, though at 500 feet it sounds short.. Thunder Canyon at CP is 1600 ft. I this is probably something other than a standard river raft ride with guns attached. Especially since they already have a standard raft ride. Perhaps this is something new.
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Thursday, July 19, 2007 3:52 PM
beast7369's avatar To me it almost sounds like Splash Battle at Indiana Beach but with a twist. Regardless a very interesting and inovative addtion to the park.
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Thursday, July 19, 2007 3:59 PM
Sounds like it could be the new Blaster version of Mack's round boat ride. Regardless, sounds like a really fun ride and should be very popular. Can't wait to see the theming on this one!

- Aaron K

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Thursday, July 19, 2007 4:03 PM
Dolly you just keep makin' me proud! Sounds FUNtastic.
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Thursday, July 19, 2007 4:28 PM
There's some nice art available for River Battle in the typical Dollywood fashion.

It looks like a Splash Battle to me, layout and everything.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007 5:13 PM
Nice!
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Thursday, July 19, 2007 5:18 PM
It looks short, but definitely a worthy new attraction for DW.

Nothing beats smacking a really annoying kid in the face with a water cannon from the sidelines.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007 6:57 PM
I think this looks awsome for everyone of all ages. Definatly the kind of family ride I would enjoy riding. The only problem I see with it, is just how short it is but if it is a success and Dollywood Im sure we will see much larger scale versions later on. Very cool ride though.
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Thursday, July 19, 2007 7:51 PM
Mamoosh's avatar In other exciting news:

The project also includes a new 750-foot walkway that provides a direct route to the park’s Craftsman’s Valley area from Timber Canyon.

Not exactly a well-kept secret but glad that's finally happening :)

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Thursday, July 19, 2007 8:01 PM
Maybe Setpoint is back in the game.
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Thursday, July 19, 2007 9:45 PM
Would have to agree with you on that one Mamoosh. BW Villain and I were done there last month and they need a way to connect both ends of the park. We took the train ride around Timber Canyon and saw the earth movers doing a lot of work and we were like "What's going on back here?" Now we know.
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Thursday, July 19, 2007 10:00 PM
matt.'s avatar Yeah, the big news is the new path. Much more important in the long run than this single ride.
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Friday, July 20, 2007 8:45 AM
Even if it looks short, it will probably be slow moving and plenty enough time to get very wet.

I don't see how they will keep the special effects working with water being sprayed on everything constantly. The targets actually make things look sort of ugly. But like everything at the park, the theming is good and it fits in the park.

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Friday, July 20, 2007 11:09 AM
Ah yes, of course, the 3dBA Splash Battle! I think we have a winner! Though in dollywood's concept there's a trough instead of the metail rail that Flamingoland's has... either they've figured out how to do it without the dry rail, the concept is wrong, or it's the same idea from a different manufacturer. Either way, the concept looks GREAT and families will love this.
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Friday, July 20, 2007 11:30 AM
I think this is the Mack version, and not Splash Battle.
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Friday, July 20, 2007 11:54 AM
Ha ha ha...funny matt.
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