flume rides have gone through quite a revolution in the last 20 years. They
used to be a simple affair, following a meandering route around an area of
the park with a few basic drops along the way. Then came the compact 2 drop
design that brought the flume to funfairs and
parks, then came the backwards drop, with some great new rides like Valhalla
at Blackpool and Storm Force 10 at Drayton Manor. Next along came the roller
coaster style drops, where a car would go over a bump before splashing into
the water, used both as the basis for a splash boat ride or as is the case
here incorporated into a larger layout.
have noticed an issue though, a pattern I've noticed with log flumes that
incorporate a roller coaster style drop in the layout. That is laziness with
the theming. You might look at the photos and wonder what I'm on about, and
to be fair the theming around the station and the big drop at the end is
very good. Everything is made to look like it's old and constructed out of
beams of wood, that's no problem.
problem is that after the first hill lift, where you start a long route to
the rides first drop there is very little in the way of theming. It's just a
standard trip through a few trees, no water fountains, no models of Obelix
and Co working in their menhir quarry or anything. Then there is the
structure the coaster style drop is housed in, it's just a big metal box.
Why go to all that effort with the station area if your happy with one of
the rides hi-lights taking place in a big metal box.
to be fair it is still a good ride. Both the novelty coaster drop splash and
the big final drop at the end are fun, and the unthemed area doesn't go on
so long it ever outstays it's welcome. It's more of a case of missed
potential than anything else.
ride with a good example of one of these drops and great theming has the
potential to be one of the best flume rides ever, I know a ride like this
did open in Phantasialand not to long ago, so that will be high on my
priority list next time I visit that park. As for this one, if you've not
tried one of these new types of drops before this is a must do just to try
one for the first time. If you've done them though this ride isn't quite at
the must do level, but unless the queue is terrible it is still worth a go.