Raging River’s new load area.

Joey Hayes shared these photos of the Raging River’s new load area today in the Facebook group.

(Photo by Joey Hayes)

The load and unload area for the two rafts now have air gates. According to desertions posted in the group, the unload gates open to let folks out, then the other gates open to let folks in. I’m still not sure if this is different than how things worked in past years, before the gates.

As previously mentioned, new foot switches are also installed that workers have to stand in for the rafts to deploy. Joey provided a photo of those, as well.

(Photo by Joey Hayes)

And, here is a look at what used to be a waterfall. I know some parks adjust the water level of their wet rides based on temperature, but it seems if this was working, the park would certainly have it on when the temperatures are as hot as they have been lately (90s!).

(Photo by Joey Hayes)

I rarely ride water rides due to not wanting to be wet and soggy walking through a theme park, but I expect I’ll have to give the River another shot – especially with the waterfalls being off 馃檪

Thanks, Joey, for the report and allowing use of your photos.

American Puppet Theater

There’s a new children’s show at the park this season:聽American Puppet Theater.

http://americanpuppettheater.com

Based out of Chicago,聽Miss Green and her puppet friends present two shows at聽The Chapel each day.

American Puppet Theater at The Chapel.

On the stage, a small puppet theater is set up:

Miss Green and her puppet theater.

I grew up watching聽Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and the puppets in the聽Land of Make Believe, but I have seen very few puppet shows in person. The show I caught featured two short stories.

The first involved a pirate and made references to the monster of聽Dragon Island. It was neat seeing the show customized for聽Adventureland. (For those who haven’t visited, Dragon Island is one of the “lands” of the park, where some carnival games are, as well as the Dragon roller coaster,聽Puff the Dragon and聽Himalaya).

American Puppet Theater pirate show.

The second show featured two friends and a tree:

American Puppet Theater.

Both shows are short enough they should work well with the A.D.D. generation of kids roaming the park these days.

If you stick around after the show, you can meet聽Miss Green and some of her puppets. She had a gift for the kid’s the stayed for this show:

American Puppet Theater meet-and-greet.

If you have little ones (or just like puppets), be sure to catch the聽American Puppet Theater this season, and tell聽Miss Green that ParkHopping.com sent you.

Miss Green of American Puppet Theater.

Raging River returns!

Yesterday, Facebook group member聽Toni Smith and聽Christian Gerald Evans reported that the聽Raging River has finally opened for the season – just in time for the hot summer days ahead.

Dee and Anna Lipscomb posted a few photos showing that new air gets have been installed in the loading area. Earlier reports say new foot switches were installed that will require multiple workers to stand on them to deploy a raft, bringing this ride up to date with more modern redundant safety systems.

Some earlier comments pointed out that there used to be some additional waterfalls that hadn’t worked in awhile, so hopefully someone familiar with the ride can go on it and give us a rundown of what’s new and changed.

Update: Christian reports they are still loading just one raft at at time. Some had hoped that the updated system might allow them to load two rafts simultaneously.

Until then … line up early! It’s going to be a hot weekend!

Meet the new Bernie

The park’s mascot,聽Bernie Bernard, had some work done over the off season. Visitors to the park this year will get to see his new look:

Bernie Bernard’s new look in 2017.

According to聽Alex Tigges, via a post in the Facebook group, this Bernie was 聽created by聽 Sugar’s Mascots of Toronto, Canada:

http://www.sugarsmascotcostumes.com

And Jennifer Curiel designed his new collar.

To compare, here is the previous Bernie:

Bernie Bernard in 2016.

Today’s Bernie is modeled after the cartoon mascot the park has been using for decades. You can find cartoon Bernie on the park guide, as well as on signs throughout the park:

Bernie Bernard in the park guide.
Bernie on a parking lot sign in 2016.
Bernie Bernard on a new 2017 sign. Notice the hand, rather than a paw.

In addition to the costumed character, the park also sells stuffed Bernies. I found this one at a merchandise cart near the聽Storm Chaser:

Bernie stuffed animal in 2017.

And even a Bernie hat:

Bernie hat in 2017.

This 2017 facelift was not his first, however. Bernie’s look has changed several times since the park opened in 1974. Here’s a look at his earliest (?) look, and some of the other characters he used to hang out with.

Old school Bernie. (Not my image. Post card scan. Not sure where I got this from.)

If you see Bernie in the park,聽be sure to tell him how great he looks this year!

Mixed drinks for children

Adventureland certainly has plenty of聽things that children will love to eat and drink, but in recent years, they’ve brought in some new offerings that are more “adult” in nature.

For instance, you may know about the park’s only full bar, the聽Sand Bar in聽Adventure Bay (one of my favorite spots!), but did you know about the聽Pint Sized Pub in the far back corner of the water park?

Pint Sized Pub is a kid-friendly version of the Sand Bar, offering snack food and “mixed drinks” for kids.聽Check out the drink names on their menu:聽Shirley Temple, Bernie’s Sunrise, Frog Hopper (named after the ride, I expect) and Blue Wave!

Pint Sized Pub menu.

 

I haven’t had a Shirley Temple since I was a youngun, and now I’m tempted to get one sometime this season!

And, for those who don’t venture that far back in the park, recall the聽Abita Bar that was added to聽River City in 2015. It served a few types of alcoholic frozen drinks. As mentioned聽previously, this location became聽Corona Cantina this year. In spite of the alcohol sponsorship, the frozen drinks are now virgin — they add the alcohol to them and mix them up. This means children can now get virgin versions of Margarita, Strawberry, Mango and Pina Colada!

Corona Cantina’s frozen drinks can now be made kid-friendly (or spiked for mommy and daddy).

How cool is that? Your kids can now drink just like mommy does!

Adventureland truly has something for everyone 馃槈

Unsubstantiated Inverter Rumor of the Day

Some potential good news for聽Inverter fans!

Yesterday, Saturday June 10, 2017,聽Facebook member聽Joey H. reported that聽The Inverter was being tested, giving hope that the ride is repaired and will soon return to operating in the park. Thank you, Joey, for passing this along!

Today, however, we have different news.

The UIROTD (Unsubstantiated* Inverter Rumor of the Day)聽for Saturday, June 11, 2017 is that it is the聽The Inverter is now聽officially* leaving the park, to be replaced by … we don’t know yet.

This comes from a Facebook comment left by a ride operator in the park:

“Official word has just come-down the inverter is going to be replaced but nobody knows with what”

I’ll leave out the poster’s name in case they weren’t supposed to mention this and decide to delete the original.

Wait a sec. Can anything “official” still be considered a rumor? I really want to use my new Rumor category here. I guess since,聽as much as I trust Facebook for all my medical and political advice, the only official Adventureland statements on Facebook have to come from the park’s official page, I can happily call this a rumor.

All of you who like this ride should make sure to hop on it this season for one last ride. Assuming it starts running, that is.


*un路sub路stan路ti路at路ed聽聽–聽not supported or proven by evidence.聽Aren’t all rumors unsubstantiated by nature? I mean, if they were supported or proven by evidence, would they be a rumor?

Restroom recap

Updated 6/10/2017 – added Iowa Beer and Wine restrooms and arcade restroom notes.

Updated 6/11/2017 – additional notes about the front gate restrooms.

Here’s a weird one… The restrooms of Adventureland!

This article is inspired by my wiki page聽that breaks down all the public restrooms in the park, and lists how many stalls (and/or urinals), sinks, and baby changing tables they have. (There is only one restroom that has no baby changing station.)

http://adventureland.parkhopping.com/wiki/index.php/Restrooms

That page was, in turn, inspired by an old Disneyland fan website called “The Happiest Potties on Earth” which was put together by a聽woman who was pregnant at the time. Since someone on my Facebook group recently brought up nursing stations at the park, I thought it might be time to revisit the restrooms as well..

Ever find yourself standing in a really long line to use the restroom? If you find yourself doing this at Adventureland, you could probably take a short walk to another location and avoid the line. The park has plenty of restrooms, and some are very small (long lines!) while others are huge.

When I first visited Adventureland in 1995, one of the things I did not like about the park were the older restrooms. They reminded me of my old elementary school. (I guess I don’t really like standing shoulder to shoulder using a long group urinal as an adult, either.) Fortunately, there are plenty of modern restrooms as well.

Here’s a brief rundown…

In the entrance area you will find the first restrooms. For 2017, the park fenced them off so they could be opened up to the outside where the Season Passes are being processed. When they are closed to the inside park, a sign directs folks to the ones inside the Palace Theater. This was done by the park as a courtesy to guests so they have access to restrooms from outside without having to go through the line (great for folks who show up early, or exit then someone in the group decides they need a pitstop before getting back to the car).

Restrooms at the entrance.

Here’s one I didn’t know about until last year. There are restrooms inside the Palace Theater, and they are usually open to the public (along with water fountains). The theater was remodeled a few years ago and is REALLY NICE inside, and聽it’s worth stopping in for a drink of water just to check out the updates. The theater was used for big presentations every season until 1996. Today, it is used as a rental facility for corporate picnics, as well as craft shows in the off season (and gun shows, and arcade auctions, and…).

Restrooms in Palace Theater.

The restrooms at the corner of Main Street near the Giant Sky Wheel are the largest, but due to their location, they are often the busiest.

Restrooms near Giant Sky Wheel.

I think these restrooms inside Iowa Cafe are the smallest (no baby changing station), but when the restaurant isn’t busy, they are usually empty.

Restrooms in Iowa Cafe.

Did you know about the newest restrooms in the park, inside the Penny Arcade? They are clean and modern (but small). There is also a family restroom聽at this location.

Restrooms in Penny Arcade.

At the end of Main Street, around the corner from Professor Bellows, are these… Except during busy times, it seems folks just walk right past them.

Restrooms near Professor Bellows.

Next to Ladybug is this green restroom building.

Restrooms near Ladybug.

Between Lighthouse and the Golden Nugget Shooting Gallery is this one…

Restrooms near Lighthouse.

Over in the Iowa Farm section, there are restrooms in the farm house where Iowa Beer and Wine Shop is. Up until 2016, there was a grassy area out front with large restroom sign pointing the way. With the expansion of the new barn tent in 2017, that sign is gone (replaced by shade and live entertainment), but the restrooms are still there.

Restrooms behind Iowa Beer and Wine Shop.

Outlaw Gulch has its own restroom building.

Restrooms in Outlaw Gulch.

And, there are several huge restrooms over in聽Adventure Bay but I聽don’t have any information on them.

Which restroom is your favorite, and why? Answer in the comments… 馃槈

Tornado and Dragon receive new storage bins

When聽The Monster opened last year, it had strict rules about what can be taken with you on the ride:

NOTHING

Cameras, hats, and pretty much anything not attached to you could not be brought on the ride. With a ride that goes 65 miles per hour and does many inversions, something could easily get tossed out of the ride vehicle. And, with the聽Sky Ride passing聽through the coaster, there would be people through聽the track while the ride is in operation.

Shortly after opening on Juny 4, 2017, the park installed nice storage bins for riders to place their stuff:

The Monster storage bins.

For 2017, similar bins have now been installed at聽The Dragon and聽The Tornado. Here’s the Dragon’s:

The Dragon’s new storage bins for 2017.

It’s nice to see rides that have been in the park for decades (Tornado opened in 1978!) get some modern conveniences like this — especially with 40 years of riders being just fine with leaving things on the floor.

The Outlaw remains bin-less for now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it joins the bin club in the future.

Inverter rumors and Raging River status update

Although聽The Inverter was operating earlier in聽May, it has been down the past several weeks.

Lately folks have been repeating a聽rumor that The Inverter will be the next ride removed by the park. This was even mentioned by a few park workers this season, with one saying they heard a new log ride was going to be built “this year.”

The park has made no such announcement.聽 But rumors are fun. 馃檪

While many聽would聽welcome a聽new water ride to the park, with Adventure Bay being part of standard admission (and it’s nothing but “water rides”), maybe a new water ride isn’t聽necessary. It also seems highly unlikely a ride would be shut down聽during the season and construction started on a replacement. Even the huge聽Monster project wasn’t started until after the end of the 2015 season.

If the park were to remove a ride, which ride would you not mind going away? And what kind of ride would you like to see in its place?

Meanwhile, down near River City,聽Raging River has yet to open this season.

Raging River hasn’t raged yet this season.

Posters in the Facebook group say that the ride is gaining new foot switches that multiple operators will need to stand on the deploy a聽raft. This is similar to how rides like Storm Chaser operate, where multiple workers must press buttons at the same time for the ride to start.

A member of聽Theme Park Review wondered if they would be updating the system to allow loading and deploying two rafts at a time, instead of just one. They pointed out the load area was designed for this, and someone in our Facebook group mentioned they used to do it that way before seat belts were added which added to the load time.

I don’t know. I’m just a guy who likes amusement parks and takes a bunch of pictures 馃槈

Got any rumors about Raging River? Feel free to post them in the comments…