British Rapid Rivers: Part 9 of our look at River Rapids attractions.

Interlink LG was founded in 1982 by John Hudd with the goal of designing and manufacturing water rides.  As the years went on, they merged with other companies from the United Kingdom and can now design and build roller coasters and observation towers as well.  Their manufacturing facilities are located in both France and the United Kingdom and they have quite a presence in Europe and in Southeast Asia.  It was in 2012 that they installed their first American attraction: the Pirate’s Plunge log flume at Galveston Island Historic Pier in Texas.  In addition to new installations, Interlink runs one of the most successful ride broker division in the world and many high profile sales were facilitated by them.

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Colorado River, a three drop Interlink Flume that was installed in 1991 at Djurs Sommerland.  Picture appears courtesy of Flex.

 

John Hudd started by building flume rides and then in 1989, designed their first Rapid River attraction, the Rocky Mountain Rapids at American Adventures theme park.  American Adventures was located in the Derbyshire region of the United Kingdom and sadly closed after the 2006 season.  The ride featured large round 12 seat boats and they were divided in 4 sections of 3.  There were no center wheel and each seat was divided by metal grab bars that were also used by guests to hold on.

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We discovered on this old website this historical picture of Rocky Mountain Rapids. http://www.angelfire.com/extreme4/ladz_3/AA-RMR.html

In 1995, Sunway Lagoon (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia) opened the Fort Lagoon Wild Wild West area.  Located to the left of the main entrance, this new section featured two attractions from Interlink LG: the Colorado Splash, a pair of Aquafury wet/dry slides and Grand Canyon Rapids, a 6 seat Rapid River ride.  Grand Canyon Rapids has superb theming and very aggressive and fun rapid action.  A spectacular set of waterfalls was also installed and it was integrated in the lush tropical forest that surrounds the ride.

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Colorado Splash.  Notice how well it is integrated in the western area around it.

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The entrance of the Grand Canyon River Rapid.

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The lush forest where the course is located.

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The ride goes through a tunnel.

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One of the boat going through the river.  Notice that Interlink went with metal grab bars mounted to the side of each seat instead of a center handrail.

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A theming element installed around the ride and that also get riders wet.

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The loading station.  The park opted here for a straight station where boats are stopped for unload and then moved forward to another position for loading.

 

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The boat storage area, right next to the station.

In 1997, Mitsui Greenland (Arao, Japan) introduced Dragon River, a 1312 feet long Rapid River on the west side of the amusement park.  The park already had a Flume in the middle of the park and the very hot summers in Kyushu meant that adding other water rides was a necessity.  A Shoot the Chute from another manufacturer was added and in 1997, Interlink LG installed a brand Rapid River attraction on the western side of the park, down in the valley.

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The loading station was built inside this artificial mountain.  You can see the ride logo on the right.

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After exiting the station, it immediately roll down the rollers and things get underway immediately.

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As you can see, the boats are slightly different compared to the ones at Sunway Lagoon.  A circular hand rail was included here.

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Four water pumps were installed and three runs normally.  The fourth is kept as a back-up.

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An overview of the back half of the course.

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Additional rock formations were installed over and around the ride.

Djurs Sommerland (Randersvej, Danemark) opened in 1998 Rio Grande Rafting, a 6 seat Rapid River ride.  Unlike the one at Sunway Lagoon, passengers have a center circular handrail to hold on to.

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Flex provided us with this picture of Rio Grande Rafting.

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http://www.djurssommerland.dk/en/ provided us with this great picture of Rio Grande Rafting.  As you can see, the boat shape is similar to Dragon River, but with a great rustic wood appearance and the ride name and park seemingly carved in.

A special Interlink Rapid River currently operates at Europark, a large permanent fairground in the south of France.  Located in Vias, this Lunapark is quite unique as it features permament ride installation, such as a large Vekoma looping roller coaster, a log flume and Rio Bravo, a Rapid River installation with small 4 seat boats.  Even though the boats are quite small, the park still allow 6 riders and it has a unique option: the Gyroboat. The circular handrail in the middle allows guests to rotate the top part of the raft as it goes around the compact course.

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On Wikipedia, we discovered this picture of the unique Rio Bravo boat.  Par Eliedion — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20203613

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