Polin introduced Ride & Splash, an attraction that combines a leisure river and a water coaster into one at IAAPA. The ride offers park operators multiple opportunities to personalise it to fit within their park’s specific theming and infrastructure. From colours to branding, a park operator can match the ride to their facility’s exact atmosphere.
Polin’s engineering team developed the ride’s design as six sections that fit together to deliver a figure-8 of fantastic fun. The sections include a boarding/disembarkation station, a concrete water-flow channel, a lift conveyor, an elevated trough, a down ramp, and a run-out section. The Ride & Splash comes supplied with specially designed fibreglass boats, shown here, that perfectly match the attraction’s unique configuration.
Ride & Splash is an automated, self-regulating yet carefully safeguarded experience. Each ride begins at the station where guests both board and disembark from the boats. The station consists of a continuously running, variable-speed, chain conveyor with a concrete platform on each side. The speed of the station conveyor is adjustable to allow guests to disembark to the unloading platform and new guests to board from the loading platform. From there, the boats automatically are dispatched into the concrete water-flow channel and propelled by pump-powered water to the lift conveyor.
Set at a 25º angle, the conveyor raises the boats. The conveyor is also equipped with a safety mechanism, an anti-roll back (ARB) system, to prevent boats from slipping backward in the event of a belt failure. One reaching to top, the boats are released into the elevated trough that leads to the down ramp. The elevated trough consists of a raised, galvanized-steel channel that spans the lift conveyor and the top of the down ramp. Boats are propelled down through the elevated trough by gravity.
Available from four to ten meters (13 to 33 feet) in height, the down ramp is manufactured from galvanized-steel, wide-flange beams, with drip pans and side skirts. These devices provide the rails and guide for the boats as they roll down. “Show water” cascades over diffusers on the down ramp to create the illusion of a waterfall. The down ramp has a slope of 35º. Once boats begin their journey downward, they accelerate via gravity before splashing down into the run-out, where they decelerate and proceed to the station. The boats automatically are guided onto the station’s conveyor via the concrete water-flow channel, and the process is repeated.
During the attraction’s automated-mode operations, a ride-control system (RCS) actively monitors all boats and ride locations. The system may be stopped manually or automatically, as needed, in three sections: station, lift and elevated trough. At the station, operators can start and stop all movement to allow guest loading and unloading. In the lift and elevated-trough sections, either operators or the automated system may start and stop the ride to ensure that only one boat is traveling from the down ramp to the run-out exit section.
Splash & Ride boats are fiberglass amphibious vehicles. Depending on their length they can carry from two to 18 riders. When a boat is in one of the trough sections, it is afloat. The boat then uses “road wheels” to travel through the elevated trough, down the ramp and into the run-out. The guide wheels of the boat remain active throughout the course of the ride. The boat rests on its bottom — covered with a replaceable section of conveyor belting — when it is on a conveyor or lift. The front and rear of each boat is protected by bumpers, while its sides are protected by wear strips. Steel ratchet bars on the sides engage the anti-rollback arms on the conveyors as needed