White Water Rampage - Roaring Rapids - Blood River

All about the rides at Marriott's GREAT AMERICA and post-Marriott rides, too
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White Water Rampage - Roaring Rapids - Blood River

Post by redfishpaw » Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:08 am

Marriott's final addition to the park in 1984. Below are a couple Gurnee picks from 1987. This ride was added just before I started working for the park. I was disappointed to see Traffique Jam go, but I thought this ride was impressive when it was finished.

:arrow: http://www.pbase.com/redfishpaw/image/55052780

:arrow: http://www.pbase.com/redfishpaw/image/55052804

fright fest 91

:arrow: http://www.pbase.com/redfishpaw/image/47509706

:arrow: http://www.pbase.com/redfishpaw/image/47509707


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Post by NotBill » Sat Jan 21, 2006 12:40 am

Was definitely a great addition and a fun ride from an operator standpoint given all the different position available to work at. When I was there the typical crew had at least one person in controls -- that is the main room you see when going down the final stair that has all the cameras. Occasionally, if you had enough staff, you would have two people in controls, one "driving" and the other watching monitors and the table.

Controls at Rapids was by far the hardest control position I ever worked in the park and the one with the greatest disaster potential. You had to watch many different areas at once -- you need to be ready to stop the table if a raft isn't ready, keep an eye on the lift activating if the auto-lift wasn't working correctly (read "almost all of the time") and then keep an eye out for some of the most blatant dangerous behavior on any ride I have ever seen -- BAR NONE. Oh, and the lewd stuff too (wouldn't want to miss that on the camera). Running a full complement of rafts (rafts would be added or removed during the day depending on how busy the park was) at Rapids was a major challenge and only the best "drivers" would be allowed to do it because the spacing was completely controlled by the driver, little automation was taking place.

Aside from controls you had a few people working the table which was usually a good place to cool off and have fun not to mention get your exercise in. But the real fun was going out to the water jet positions called Tunnel and Island. At each of these positions you took a little trail that went up over the tunnel, you would wave goodbye to your buddy and then take the fork to your position. At each one there's a simple panel with four buttons to fire the jets and the obligatory Aiphone to report miscreants to controls. Timing the jets for maximum saturation and mixing up the orders or pressing more than one jet at once was a good way to unwind from the hectic pace back at the wheelhouse.

Of course, one of my best stories (involving a tornado) was at Rapids and when I haven't gone on so long I'll share it.

Guy Finley
aka "Bill" Finley
SFGAm Employee 1988 - 1992

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Post by jonrev » Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:34 pm

I was at the rehire party and saw about a dozen orange RR boats sitting in the employee parking lot. Alot of people were asking why there were orange. I found out that those boats came from Astroworld's Thunder River ride.
Gurnee Ride Op - 2007

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Post by m_force_4_ever » Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:50 pm

cool pics, I loved the Z force one :D

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