El Rio

8

 

If you base you rankings on which rides look the best this is easily one of the best rapids rides going. Not only is it phenomenally well themed, it also incorporates two amazing looking ride elements. The first sees the boat mounting a Ferris wheel style structure, that takes you to the top of a large strait drop. The second sees the boat descending down a concrete channel around the edge of a whirlpool following an incredibly steep twisty path. Just looking at these elements defies belief, it's hard to believe the boat will take them safely. Don't worry, they do.

The great news is these ride elements deliver on their promise. They deliver some of the most thrilling, hair-raising moments on any water ride anywhere. You may consequently wonder why the ride only then gets an eight. The trouble is this ride is a two trick pony. When not in these sections the boats route feels very predictable, due to the fact it's heading down a very narrow water channel. If anything it goes a bit too fast in these sections. If it slowed down between the major elements you could take in the rides great theming more, and I think it would improve the rides pacing, and add to the anticipation of the major ride elements.

In the end though with two ride elements this good I can't complain too much. It's not the ride I've been hoping to find since River Quest at Phantasialand of a wide out of control feeling rapids that incorporates these types of elements in their course, but this ride has some very thrilling moments which make it a must do.