Shoot the Chute
Shoot the Chute is an amusement ride consisting of a flat-bottomed boat that slides down a ramp or inside a flume into a lagoon. Unlike a log flume, a Shoot the Chute ride generally has larger boats and one single drop.
The first of this type of amusement ride was built by J.P. Newburg in 1884 down the side of a hill at Watchtower Park in Rock Island, Illinois. The ride traveled along a 500-foot (150 m) greased wooden track, skipping across the Rock River at the bottom. It was then poled back to the ramp by an on-board ride attendant. Newburg took this unique ride concept next to Chicago, where more flumes were built and the rides grew in popularity.
Paul Boyton opened Paul Boyton's Water Chute, America's first modern amusement park, at 63rd and Drexel in Chicago, Illinois, on July 4, 1894. Boyton's was the first amusement park to rely solely on mechanical attractions. Paul Boyton and Thomas Polk built another example in 1895 for Sea Lion Park at Coney Island. The ride was widely copied and "Chute" rides were found at many amusement parks throughout the United States, and even became the name of several amusement parks. While the original form of the ride is largely obsolete, modern log flume rides work on similar principles.
On the earliest chute rides, the flat-bottomed boat was pulled up the ramp by cable, sometimes with a turnaround on a small turntable. In the ride at Sea Lion Park, the passengers arrived at the top by elevator. The bottom of the ramp curved upwards, causing the boat to skip across the water until it came to a stop. The boat was guided to a landing by a boatman on board. The oldest ride of this type still in operation is the Boat Chute, constructed in 1926 and 1927 located at Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park in Rossville, Georgia near Chattanooga, Tennessee. An operating modern reproduction of the Luna Park shoot the chute ride of the early 20th century, The Pittsburg Plunge,[Note 1] is currently in operation at Kennywood amusement park in Pennsylvania.
The Shoot the Chute concept has evolved over time in the amusement park industry. All modern Shoot the Chute rides today feature a guide track after the descent down the chute into the pool of water that allows the boats to return to the loading platform—completing a closed circuit track. Most modern Shoot the Chute rides usually consist of (though not limited to) an oval shaped layout or a figure-eight layout. Many Shoot the Chute installations also have an observation platform or bridge so that spectators, in addition to riders, can get wet from the splash created by the boats.
Intamin took the Shoot the Chute concept to extremes with the opening of its first Mega Splash, Perilous Plunge at Knott's Berry Farm. At its opening, it was the tallest and steepest water flume ride in the world. Three seven-ton 24-passenger boats would climb a 121-foot (36.8 m) lift-hill, round a curve and descend a 115-foot (35 m) water chute at a 77.8-degree slope. Upon landing in the lagoon below, the boats created a 45-foot (13.7 m) high splash that drenched riders as well as spectators standing on an observation bridge overlooking the ride. The ride used an adjustable electromagnetic braking system to control the volume of the splash. A similar ride, Hydro, was later constructed at Oakwood Theme Park in Wales, UK. Perilous Plunge was removed from the park in 2012.
Holiday World & Splashin' Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana, built an even larger Shoot the Chute ride named "Pilgrim's Plunge." Designed and built by Intamin and dubbed a Hyper Splash, it was, at its opening, the world's tallest water ride, with a top speed of 50 miles per hour (80 km/h). Pilgrims Plunge featured a 135 open elevator lift leading to a 131-foot (40 m) drop at a 45' angle that would propel the boat to speeds approaching 50 miles per hour (80 km/h). Pilgrim's Plunge opened for the 2009 season and was featured on a segment of the Travel Channel's Extreme series. It was renamed Giraffica for the 2013 season and removed in April 2014 due to downtime and reliability issues.
|Adventure Falls||Michigan's Adventure||United States||Hopkins Rides||1995||Operating|
|Aquaman Splashdown||Six Flags Over Texas||United States||Hopkins Rides||1987||Removed|
|Aquaman SplashDown||Six Flags Mexico||Mexico||Hopkins Rides||1993||Operating|
|Bermuda Triangle||Sea World||Australia||Unknown||1994||Removed|
|Bermuda Triangle - Alien Encounter||Movie Park Germany||Germany||Intamin||1996||Operating|
|Boston Tea Party||Canobie Lake Park||United States||Hopkins Rides||1998||Operating|
|Buzzsaw Falls||Alabama Splash Adventure||United States||SkyTrans Manufacturing||2011||Removed|
|Cataratas Salvajes||Parque Warner Madrid||Spain||Intamin||2002||Operating|
|Centrale Di Pompaggio||Felifonte||Italy||Hafema||2003||Removed|
|Congo Falls||Kings Island||United States||Intamin||1988||Operating|
|Diamond Falls||Kings Dominion||United States||Intamin||1985||Removed|
|Oakwood Theme Park||United Kingdom||Intamin||2002||Operating|
|Dschungel X-pedition||Legoland Deutschland||Germany||Intamin||2002||Operating|
|Escape from Pompeii||Busch Gardens Williamsburg||United States||Intamin||1995||Operating|
|Flash Flood||Noah's Ark Water Park||United States||Hopkins Rides||1999||Operating|
|Fluch Des Pharao||Belantis||Germany||Hafema||2003||Operating|
|Fuga da Atlantide||Gardaland||Italy||Intamin||2003||Operating|
Formerly Pilgrim's Plunge
|Holiday World||United States||Intamin||2009||Removed|
|Grand Splatch||Parc Astérix||France||Intamin||1989||Operating|
|Jurassic Park: The Ride||Universal Studios Japan||Japan||Vekoma||2001||Operating|
|Jurassic Park River Adventure||Universal Studios Islands of Adventure||United States||Vekoma||1999||Operating|
|Jurassic Park: The Ride||Universal Studios Hollywood||United States||Vekoma||1996||Closed|
|La Furia de Tritón||Terra Mítica||Spain||Intamin||2000||Operating|
|Los Fiordos||Parque de Atracciones de Madrid||Spain||Intamin||1998||Operating|
|Lost River Ride||Flamingo Land||United Kingdom||Bear Rides||2004||Operating|
|Lumberjack Falls||Wild Waves Theme Park||United States||Zamperla||2002||Operating|
|Mega Tsunami||China Dinosaurs Park||China||Intamin||2011||Operating|
|Mile High Falls||Kentucky Kingdom||United States||Hopkins Rides||1994||Operating|
|Monsoon||Worlds of Fun||United States||Intamin||1992||Operating|
|Monsoon Falls||Six Flags Discovery Kingdom||United States||Intamin||1999||Operating|
|Old Mill Scream||Opryland USA||United States||Intamin||1987||Removed|
|Padre Plunge||Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi||United States||SkyTrans Manufacturing||2017||Operating|
|Perilous Plunge||Knott's Berry Farm||United States||Intamin||2000||Removed|
|Pirate Reef||Legoland California||United States||Hopkins Rides||2012||Operating|
|Pittsburg Plunge||Kennywood||United States||Hopkins Rides||1995||Operating|
|Playland Plunge||Playland Park||United States||Hopkins Rides||2001||Operating|
|Plummet Summit||Magic Springs and Crystal Falls||United States||Unknown||Unknown||Operating|
|Power Surge||Six Flags Fiesta Texas||United States||Intamin||1992||Removed|
|Rim Runner||Adventuredome||United States||Arrow Dynamics||1993||Removed|
|Roaring Springs||Lowry Park Zoo||United States||Unknown||Unknown||Operating|
|Roaring Falls||Celebration City||United States||Hopkins Rides||2008||Removed|
|Shipwreck Falls||Darien Lake||United States||Intamin||2002||Operating|
|Shipwreck Falls||Elitch Gardens||United States||Hopkins Rides||1997||Operating|
|Shipwreck Falls||Geauga Lake||United States||Hopkins Rides||2000||Removed|
|Shipwreck Falls||Six Flags New England||United States||Hopkins Rides||1997||Removed|
|Shipwreck Falls||Six Flags America||United States||Hopkins Rides||1993||Operating|
|Shoot the Chute||Nagashima Spa Land||Japan||Hopkins Rides||1994||Operating|
|Shoot the Chute||Chimelong Paradise||China||Unknown||Unknown||Operating|
|Shoot the Chute||Happy Valley Shanghai||China||Golden Horse||2009||Operating|
|Shoot the Chute||Happy Valley Shenzhen||China||Golden Horse||Unknown||Operating|
|Shoot the Chute||Happy Valley Wuhan||China||Golden Horse||2012||Operating|
|Shoot the Chute||Wonderland Park||United States||Hopkins Rides||Unknown||Operating|
|Sklooosh!||Knoebels Amusement Resort||United States||Hopkins Rides||1997||Operating|
|Snake River Falls||Cedar Point||United States||Arrow Dynamics||1993||Operating|
|Spillway Splashout||Six Flags New Orleans||United States||Hopkins Rides||Unknown||Removed|
|Splash Caribe||Parque Diversiones||Costa Rica||Hopkins Rides||Unknown||Operating|
|Splashute||Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise||Japan||Unknown||Unknown||Operating|
|Splashwater Falls||Six Flags Great Adventure||United States||Hopkins Rides||1987||Removed|
|Splashwater Falls||Six Flags Great America||United States||Hopkins Rides||1987||Removed|
|Splashwater Falls||Six Flags Over Georgia||United States||Hopkins Rides||1986||Operating|
|Tanganyika Tidal Wave||Busch Gardens Tampa||United States||Arrow Dynamics||1989||Removed|
|The Wave||Valleyfair||United States||Hopkins Rides||1992||Operating|
|Tidal Force||Hersheypark||United States||Hopkins Rides||1994||Operating|
|Tidal Wave||Six Flags Astroworld||United States||Arrow Dynamics||1988||Removed|
|Tidal Wave||Six Flags Magic Mountain||United States||Intamin||1989||Operating|
|Tidal Wave||Six Flags St. Louis||United States||Hopkins Rides||1991||Operating|
|Tidal Wave||Thorpe Park||United Kingdom||Hopkins Rides||2000||Operating|
|Timberwolf Falls||Canada's Wonderland||Canada||Hopkins Rides||1989||Operating|
|Tutuki Splash||PortAventura Park||Spain||Intamin||1995||Operating|
|Whitewater Falls||California's Great America||United States||Intamin||1990||Operating|
|Whitewater Falls||Carowinds||United States||Hopkins Rides||1988||Removed|
|White Water Landing||Dorney Park||United States||Arrow Dynamics||1993||Operating|
|Zeslizg Do Wody||Legendia||Poland||Unknown||1959||Removed|
- Shoot the Chute, Watch Tower Amusement Park, Rock Island, Illinois. Invented by J. P. Newberg of Rock Island in 1884.
- Barber Park, Bellows Falls, Vermont
- Chutes Park, Los Angeles, California
- Chutes Park (Milwaukee), Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Crescent Park, Riverside, Rhode Island
- Idora Park, Oakland, California
- Lagoon Amusement Park, Farmington, Utah. This was Lagoon's first thrill ride
- Lewis and Clark Exposition (1905), Portland, Oregon Chute-the-Chutes
- Naval, Shipping and Fisheries Exhibition (1905), Earl's Court, London
- Luna Park, Berlin (1909–1933)
- Luna Park, Cleveland (1906–1929)
- Luna Park, Coney Island (1903–1944)
- Luna Park, Olcott Beach (1898–1926)
- Luna Park, Paris (1909–1931)
- Luna Park, Pittsburgh (1905–1909) - current Pittsburg Plunge ride in Kennywood Park is based on Luna Park Shoot the Chute
- Luna Park, Schenectady (1901–1933)
- Luna Park, Scranton (1906–1916)
- Luna Park, Seattle (1907–1913)
- Ontario Beach Park, Charlotte, Rochester, New York
- Playland, San Francisco, California, originally known as Chutes-at-the-Beach
- Wonderland Amusement Park, Revere, Massachusetts (1906-1911)
- Rocky Glen Park, Moosic, PA (Sept 4 1906-Circa 1913)
- Riverside Amusement Park (1903–1970), White City (1906–1908), and Wonderland (1906–1911) - all three Indianapolis amusement parks had Shoot the Chute
- Wonderland Amusement Park (Minneapolis)
- Savin Rock Park, West Haven, Connecticut—ride called The Mill Chutes
- Sea Lion Park, Coney Island
- White City, Chicago, Illinois
- Wonderland Amusement Park (Milwaukee), Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Wonderland Amusement Park (Minneapolis), Minneapolis, Minnesota, Minnesota
- Pittsburgh was spelled as Pittsburg from 1890-1911 and Pittsburg Plunge is located in the Old Pittsburg section of Kennywood Park, reflecting that era of Pittsburgh
- Fleurty Girl T-Shirts Archived 2010-10-16 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 12 October 2010.
- Watchtower Park Article by Rock Island Historical Society. Retrieved 30 April 2008.
- Amusing America Exhibits of the San Francisco Public Library. Retrieved 4 August 2007.
- Stanton, Jeffrey (1998) Coney Island-Sea Lion Park. Retrieved 4 August 2007.
- Lake Winnepesaukah. "The Boat Chute". Archived from the original on April 22, 2010. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
- "Holiday World Adds World's Tallest Water Ride |". Holidayworld.com. 2009-04-29. Archived from the original on 2010-06-12. Retrieved 2010-09-14.
- "Don't throw your back out, Will! |". Holidayworld.com. 2009-06-24. Retrieved 2010-09-14.
- "The wisdom of Sir Isaac - Holiday World". holidayworld.com. 17 April 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
- History of Lagoon Archived 2007-12-17 at the Wayback Machine
- "Lewis & Clark 2". www.pdxhistory.com. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
- Luna Park article by Russell Allon Hehr from The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History Archived 2007-11-24 at the Wayback Machine
- History of Luna Park Archived 2007-08-10 at Archive.today - Case Western Reserve University
- "Shoot the Chute Ride In Chicago". Roller Coaster History: How It Started. UltimateRollerCoaster.com. Retrieved 2008-12-07.
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