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The future of water rides at dry theme parks?

Mark Willis

New Member
I’ve noticed over the past few years that water rides like the log flume, splashdown rides, raft rides have been kind of fading away from theme parks and are no longer around anymore. Do you think one day in the near future someone will come up of a new future design of a water ride at a theme park? They have made some cool ideas by creating pilgrims plunge now closed, perilous plunge now closed at 100ft making water rides taller seems like a cool idea also, and shoot the rapids which was not around that long at all. With this types of water rides gone do you think this is the end of water rides like newer ones just talking about in the United States. Because overseas we are seeing newer versions of a water ride/coaster from Mack rides like a powersplash or super splash which seems really neat. Is this the beginning of a comeback with water rides at a dry park I mean like in a slow way not fast we are seeing progress of new water rides getting attention again? I thought the elevator lift from pilgrims plunge was awesome going up from the ground like that was scary. Always wanted to ride that!

Edward M

Well-Known Member
Well, a large amount of parks in the US have a log flume, rapids, and usually a splashdown. They're staples of parks in the US as they are everywhere else. I guess we're not making a ton of new water rides because not a lot of new parks are opening. I also think that water parks are becoming the more popular companion to dry parks. Water slides are cheap but also popular.

Mark Willis

New Member
Oh ok I mean maybe I should say looking towards the future of bringing new water rides to theme parks on the dry side not water slides.


I mean, Infinity Falls opened at SeaWorld Orlando a couple of months ago and it has proven to be very popular despite missing the hot summer season so there definitely is a demand for new water rides in theme parks.
They're definitely dying off in the UK thanks to Merlin.

In fairness why would you build water rides in a country that has about 2 weeks of hot weather per year?

Also after the Drayton Manor incident, there's clearly risk involved with log flumes and rapids with no restraints.

Matt N

Well-Known Member
I heard a rumour somewhere saying that SW9 at Alton is going to be a water coaster, so Merlin might do something about the removal of water rides from their UK parks soon.

As for my opinion on this matter, I do still think that water rides have a place within theme parks today; me and my family love a good water ride, and water rides still seem to be crowd pullers in most theme parks I go to; the water rides in Florida always seem to be popular, and even Tidal Wave at Thorpe Park always seems to have a queue of at least an hour whenever I go! In fact, when my year group went to Thorpe Park for an end of year reward trip in July, it wasn't the roller coasters that were generating excitement; it was the water rides! So for that reason, I still feel that water rides have a place in the theme parks of today.

However, I have heard many arguments saying that water parks fulfill the purpose of water rides. While I can see why someone would think that, I reckon there's nothing quite the risk of getting wet while fully clothed on a proper water ride! I often find that they can provide a refreshing break from coasters on a hot day; even though coasters are great, water rides provide a very different sort of experience, in my opinion! While water slides are great fun, I personally feel that they provide a different sort of experience to a water ride in a dry park.


New Member
Let's not forget BPB closed down a far superior Log Flume to any M£rlin owned version and replaced it with a second hand SLC!
They also closed the Vikingar a couple of year previous so it's not just down to Merlin.


The Beach flume was well gone though, it rolled on its wheels down from the station for the last decade because the pumps were shot!
It also had patches on patches in places that needed repairs every season, during the season.
I love flumes and I would love to see a few new decent ones, but they arent cheap, have h&s issues, and cost a lot to run.
Valhalla will be the next to die a dry, cold death.


Staff member
Social Media Team
I'm struggling to wrap my head around this, to be honest. It's an interesting question, but I think there are two things at play here.

Firstly, is simply the 'uniqueness' of water rides compared to, say, coasters or flat rides. With coasters you can have the kiddie ride, the family ride, the launch ride, the inverting ride, the huge thrill machine ride, all of that stuff. Is it really possible to get the same diversity from water rides? Ultimately, most water rides are in the 'family' bracket, with the only exceptions being the bigger "Shoot the Chute" type rides (Pilgrim's Plunge, Hydro/Drenched, etc) - of which there are really only a handful out there. Once you've built a rapids ride or a log flume, you've kinda finished. It's not like you're going to build two... If that makes sense? Not to mention the number of parks that are situated in climates that don't lend themselves to big water rides, which further cuts down on the investment. I would also say there is a slight factor of complexity to water rides too, in that they aren't necessarily simple rides, so require good investment for safety and enjoyment.

Secondly, is the bias factor. We don't have many [good] water rides in the UK, understandably so, and so I think it's easy tot think that that's true for the rest of the world. I'm not sure that's quite true in reality. We've seen new rapids installed at a few parks in the last few years (Infinity Falls - SeaWorld Orlando, Ragnarok - Tusenfryd, for example), and these generally aren't on our radar as much as the big coaster installations. A minor secondary point, but maybe an important one too. I think it's similar to how I often have to think twice when I think "B&M have really not been building much recently, have they?", only then to remember their tens of projects in China.

Yunho Kim

There's a Golden Horse Shoot the Chute at my home park. It's operating well without breakdown. Highest water ride(100ft) in Korea but it has a brake directly after the drop and makes my belly bang to front.
When it comes to winter, it drains water out and closed down for 3 months.

For me Golden Horse made a good knockoff and has built good knockoff shoot the chute


If you think water rides are going out of fashion just visit Energylandia; they've built 2 rapids rides, 2 splash battles, a log flume and a water coaster in the last 4 years