American Adventure Park

Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by BigT, 26th Jan 2015.

  1. Adam H

    Adam H TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    17
    Is it just me but was the 2nd drop supposed to be one of the steepest on any log flume around? The one in the mountain that used to be the last drop before they extended it?
     
  2. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    387
    I can't remember it feeling any steeper than the final drop (which was pretty steep!). It could have been though.
     
  3. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    584
    Likes Received:
    576
    It’s quite sad seeing a video of the site with the lake been filled in to the island and ground levelled getting ready for the foundations of the houses. Only 2 things left was the car parks and the concrete foundations for the diner next to the hole in 1 game on the lake.
     
  4. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    Likes Received:
    7,454
    Favourite Ride:
    Crux
    As promised, with the Gigolo Aunts in their rightful place. I seem to recall the song was playing as left the park the day it was shot, so I put it on the video.



    There are a few dead spots in it and the quality is dreadful by modern standards (it's been ripped from analogue tape to PC, burnt to VCD and then ripped to MP4). I dare say I have the original video on a tape somewhere, so a re-edit is not impossible, one day.
     
    Sazzle, rob666, Matt N and 4 others like this.
  5. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    387
    You absolute legend, thank you. I've watched this twice on my big telly tonight and really enjoyed it.

    It takes some balls to take a video camcorder on to Nightmare Niagara, but my gosh I'm so glad you did. (These things were not famed for their water resistance!)

    I have an on-ride of the rapids in 2006 but the quality is absolute potato - 240p with some Google Video compression over the top. I might see if I can run it through an AI upscaler to see if I can squeeze a barely watchable video from it.
     
  6. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    Likes Received:
    7,454
    Favourite Ride:
    Crux
    It was shot with one of these bad lads

    [​IMG]

    Not proud of doing such things, but it was a different era. The world changes.

    There are two galleries on the site with photos shot that day (and other days) - I seem to recall the rapids were closed the day of the video, hence them not being featured.

    https://www.themepark.org.uk/the-carousel/american-adventure-gallery-1/

    https://www.themepark.org.uk/the-carousel/american-adventure-gallery-2/
     
    Sazzle, kris3012 and Plastic Person like this.
  7. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    Likes Received:
    7,454
    Favourite Ride:
    Crux
    This is a good overview shot of Nightmare Niagara and that area of the park:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    387
    You can see just how poor the state of repair on the Cherokee Falls sections of Nightmare Niagara was at this point in some of those pictures, particularly this one:
    [​IMG]
    In the channel nearest (between the station and the first lift) you can see the channel is completely battered - what you can't see is the patchwork of temporary repairs undertaken and the amount of water which was ****ing away beneath. A little further away in the run-off for the second drop you can see there is an awful lot of corrosion. The flume should have been relined and the structure treated and repainted some years before this, by this point the writing was on the wall, sadly.

    This is a great video from 1988 I've been made aware of -


    Stuff I noticed:
    • The railway running as a horseshoe shape with a turntable at either end - the runaround time and single train must have left the train very busy most of the time, especially looking at the crowd levels on this day.
    • The rapids in their as new configuration - these look different to the boats I remember and the ones in most publicity photos (and in the galleries Rick posted above) so they must have been changed pretty early on. The 1988 brochure has a photo of what must be a totally different ride somewhere else.
    • The fort brand new didn't seem to be painted, I've only ever known it painted dark brown but there's a lot of bare wood to see here.
    • The 'trading post' prior to Space Port and The Missile - it appears to have floor to ceiling windows at this point. I can't be sure, but I'm sure later on it had smaller windows and a log cabin look. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like a weird change to make. I also can't remember this building ever being open for anything after about 1996.
    • The mall before it had an awful perspex roof put over it.
     
    Sazzle and Matt N like this.
  9. Ian

    Ian TS Site Team Team Member

    Messages:
    1,868
    Likes Received:
    1,033
    Location:
    Between a rock and a hard place
    Favourite Ride:
    Monster
    If I remember rightly there were 4 notable points in the rapids life (at least that would be noticeable).
    • The original opening day setup with green hulls with yellow tubes around them. The tops of the seats have a square frame on them, presumably to act as a handle to aid loading and disembarking
    [​IMG]

    • At some point the boats then had black tubes on the green hulls. However, the handles atop the seats remained, so you can assume that this was just the tubes being changed when new ones were ordered, or perhaps they never all had yellow tubes to begin with. There’s a photo of this in this brochure on Flickr that’s apparently from 1989
    [​IMG]

    • Later the seatbacks were modified/replaced (I assume 1990 or 1991, given you can see them in the '91 video posted earlier in this topic, but in videos from '89 they have the original seats). The new ones were a bit shorter, had a gap about a third of the way up (perhaps where the originals were modified from?) and featured a solid, curved headrest at the top, eliminating the handrails that used to be there
    [​IMG]

    • Post-refurb a whole new fleet of boats were introduced. These were the orange/red tub boats from Intamin. They’re essentially the same as the ones you’ll find at Towers or Thorpe but much bigger and before the centre grab-bars were installed.
    [​IMG]

    You’re correct that the ‘88 brochure features a stock image. That one is an Intamin boat. Aside from the headrests, the biggest difference you’ll notice on those is that on original Intamin 12 seater boats the riders are sat in six pairs as oppose to four threes as found on the American Adventure boats (AA’s later Intamin tub boats retained the 4x3 configuration).

    Presumably at the time of going to print they maybe didn’t have the ride finished or at least in a suitable state to be photographed, so had to use a stock image. I’d hazard a guess at the photo in the brochure being either Congo River Rapids at Busch Gardens Tampa, or one of Six Flags' Thunder Rivers, but without checking every 12 seater installation for yellow boats (which I can think of many better things to spend my bank holiday weekend doing!) I wouldn’t say for certain :tearsofjoy:

    _________________________

    There is one rapids boat mystery though that I remember caused a fair bit of discussion way back on another forum, that I don't think was ever quite solved.

    After the park had closed there was a period during the late 2000s of urbexing (before things started getting levelled and there was still something of interest to see). There are many photos of an 8-seater white hull sat on the site. To my knowledge I don't think anything like this was ever used on the ride. Given these would be smaller than the other boats you'd have to change the whole fleet, as you'd need some extensive modification to the station turntable to carry them.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Any ideas anyone? Possibly something in storage for another park, or maybe an alternative that was considered for the refurb? It doesn't look like a boat from any mainstream manufacturer that I can think of...
     
  10. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    Likes Received:
    7,454
    Favourite Ride:
    Crux
    Ian likes this.
  11. Ian

    Ian TS Site Team Team Member

    Messages:
    1,868
    Likes Received:
    1,033
    Location:
    Between a rock and a hard place
    Favourite Ride:
    Monster
    Good spot @Rick!

    If I recall correctly, Interlink acquired Big Country Motioneering didn't they? Hence why on RCDB Interlink is listed as manufacturing the Runaway Train but there are also Big Country Motioneering brochures for it. I'm sure I've come across similar things with Cherokee Falls appearing under both names.

    I wonder if maybe the white boat at AA is some relic from Big Country, and when Interlink took them over they adopted that rapids boat designs for their own model or something... There's certainly a connection between the two, though neither really explains what the white boat would be doing there.
     
  12. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    Likes Received:
    7,454
    Favourite Ride:
    Crux
    I think Interlink bought the assets from BCM. Unsure on the white boat!
     
  13. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    387
    Of course, the white boat! What a mystery. Someone out there will know.
    It must be but unlike the ones the pictured it only has one entry point (and 2 extra seats), so whichever ride it was intended for must have had some sort of positioning mechanism in the station (to ensure the boat was always aligned correctly). I can't actually find an example of such a boat actually in use.... Djurs Sommerland's is the closest but that has 6 seats and 3 entry points.

    I'd be very interested to know what that boat was doing there. I kind of wonder if it was supplied or procured in error at some point, although as Ian details above the actual green shells appear to be the same right from opening in 1988 to 2004, just with headrest modifications and different floats - so why they might have at some point purchased one I do not know.

    I also wonder why the handrails were removed. Such features are not uncommon among rapids rides around the world, although it appears no other UK models have had them (until Alton Towers' boats were recently modified) so perhaps this was a HSE recommendation?
    EDIT: looking at the image above, it appears that one of the handrails has an ad hoc repair with a piece of yellow tape. I therefore submit that the handles were weak and liable to snapping... thus necessitating the modified seat tops.
     
  14. Ian

    Ian TS Site Team Team Member

    Messages:
    1,868
    Likes Received:
    1,033
    Location:
    Between a rock and a hard place
    Favourite Ride:
    Monster
    I was watching a video the other day which had the exact same yellow tape on it. Maybe it was the same boat :tearsofjoy:
     
    WillPS likes this.
  15. Spark

    Spark TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    621
    Likes Received:
    297
    Location:
    Sheffield
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis


    A sad watch and you can still make out the out rapids track about 7 mins in
     
    Matt N and AT86 like this.
  16. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,310
    Likes Received:
    2,134
    It's beginning to look more like America than ever.
     
    DiogoJ42, MaxPower and Rick like this.
  17. Pleasure Beach Valhalla

    Pleasure Beach Valhalla TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    432
    Likes Received:
    257
    Location:
    West Midlands
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis
    The American Adventure has to be the most missed theme park in the UK. It's a shame that poor choices and visitor attendance led to its closure because it once had so much potential. Now everyone's waiting for the housing development site to emerge on the site of all the missed rides from the Missile which still happily operates today to Nightmare Niagara one of the most missed rides in the whole of the UK. Did anyone ever get anything from the auction that was held when the park closed?
     
    jon81uk likes this.
  18. CoasterMadMatt

    CoasterMadMatt TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Burntwood
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis
    American Adventure was my childhood park. Whilst I had been to Alton Towers and Drayton Manor (with the latter being only 20 mins away), we always went to American Adventure every year and loved it and wouldn't go back to Alton or Drayton until the late 90s

    I'll never forget the feeling of I'm going to fall out of the Runaway Train, that forceful splashdown on the third and final drop of Nightmare Niagara (and the amazement that they put in that third drop in the early 90s). My last visit was in 2002 and I do regret not going after whilst it was open, if only for the nostalgia.

    For those who haven't seen them and sorry for the self promotion, here are my photos that I scanned over, with some photos of the site as it looked several years later https://www.flickr.com/photos/coastermadmatt/albums/72157623890734458
     
  19. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,170
    Likes Received:
    5,203
    will all the houses have little plaques outside them,
    [​IMG]
     
  20. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    387
    Great photos, thanks for sharing.

    I particularly enjoyed the ones from the Flying Island. I only got on that once and I found it really enjoyable.

    The 1990 shot of the Rapids reveals another brief era of Rapid boat look - when some weird black tape was applied to the yellow floats. Also notable is how distorted some of the handles on top of the seat are, further evidence to support my theory about why they were removed.

    Final bit of geeky intrigue from me - I'm pretty sure that 1998 shot of Twin Looper is the latest I've seen with the Red train running.
     

Share This Page