Facebook group member Joey Hayes posted an update on Monday about the Raging River. This white water rafting ride recently opened for the season after a rehab. When it first opened, it was reported that some of the waterfalls were not yet turned on.
Today, Joey confirmed that they are back…
I have ridden many white water rafting rides over the years, including the very first one that ever was built at Astroworld in Houston, Texas. I have often been quite lucky at staying dry while all the others in my raft got drenched… but these waterfalls put an end to such “luck.”
As mentioned in an earlier article, the circus is back at Adventureland. This year, it is being billed as Billy Martin Presents the Adventureland Circus. It is in a different tent than the one used in recent years by the Royal Hanneford Circus.
There is even a large Adventureland banner at the back of the tent:
In addition to a nice new tent, the show also has a fancier lighting and sound system.
The ringmaster is Billy Martin and he has been there every year (as far as I know) since the circus first came to Adventureland in 1997. According to his website, he first got involved with the circus when it visited his town in New York in 1972. This eventually led to him joining the circus and becoming a juggler and ringmaster.
Based on a very brief conversation with Billy, my understanding is that this is now his show, and is not connected to the Royal Hanneford Circus. It still features many familiar acts from past years:
There were also other acts that I did not recognize from last year.
Billy said that each of the three daily shows would be a bit different, and then during the season, other acts would be brought in to keep the circus fresh.
Joey Hayes shared these photos of the Raging River’s new load area today in the Facebook group.
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.
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!).
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 🙂
Thanks, Joey, for the report and allowing use of your photos.
Based out of Chicago, Miss Green and her puppet friends present two shows at The Chapel each day.
On the stage, a small puppet theater is set up:
I grew up watching Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and the puppets in the 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 Dragon Island. It was neat seeing the show customized for 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, Puff the Dragon and Himalaya).
The second show featured two friends and a tree:
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 Miss Green and some of her puppets. She had a gift for the kid’s the stayed for this show:
If you have little ones (or just like puppets), be sure to catch the American Puppet Theater this season, and tell Miss Green that ParkHopping.com sent you.
Yesterday, Facebook group member Toni Smith and Christian Gerald Evans reported that the 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!
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:
In addition to the costumed character, the park also sells stuffed Bernies. I found this one at a merchandise cart near the Storm Chaser:
And even a Bernie hat:
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.
If you see Bernie in the park, be sure to tell him how great he looks this year!