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Vote of the Week: What's your favorite type of water ride?

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Published: February 21, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Earlier this week, our Russell Meyer looked at some of the popular ways that theme parks use water to move visitors around on theme park rides.

Kali River Rapids
Kali River Rapids at Disney's Animal Kingdom

As Russell wrote, water rides come in many different forms, from slowing moving boat rides such as It's a Small World, to underwear-drenching rapids rides such as Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges. Log flume rides have been theme park staples since the early 1960s, and many theme park fans enjoy visiting water parks, too, where they can zip down a variety of water slides.

Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls
Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls at Universal's Islands of Adventure

But which of these types of water rides is your favorite? I suppose that the answer might depend upon the weather when you visit a park. A rapids or log flume ride that splashes sweet relief on a hot day probably won't seem as refreshing when the weather's cool and overcast. So let's imagine that you're riding each type of ride at its ideal time and place. Which one do you pick then, if you had to choose just one more ride for the day?


Please share a favorite water ride experience, in the comments. And, as always, thank you for reading and being part of the Theme Park Insider community!

Readers' Opinions

From James Rao on February 21, 2014 at 12:25 PM
Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean is my favorite type of water ride. It's practically perfect in every way.
From Mitchell Botwin on February 21, 2014 at 12:41 PM
My favorite water ride is the Lazy River in Discovery Cove. Relaxing after a day of playing with dolphins
From 65.61.89.149 on February 21, 2014 at 1:00 PM
Love flumes best. However, I had a fantastic time on the Bilge River Rats ride at Universal. Can anyone tell me how this compares to the Kali ride referenced in the article?
From 64.118.2.220 on February 21, 2014 at 1:31 PM
Got to ride on Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges at IOA during an early admission a few years ago. There was nobody there so they let us stay on the ride about 6 times straight. It was a beautifully warm morning and we were soaking wet by 10AM when they opened the park for the regular crowd. The looks we got as thousands walked in while we walked out to go to our rooms was awesome!
From Dan Heaton on February 21, 2014 at 1:35 PM
While I love rides like Pirates and It's a Small World, I still have to go with log flumes. I wish there were more of them! Even dumb ones like Dudley Doo Right were fun (except for getting ridiculous soaked).
From Amanda Jenkins on February 21, 2014 at 2:19 PM
This is a hard choice. I enjoy each of these for different reasons. I voted for the flume just because I am in a "thrill" ride frame of mind today.
From Anon Mouse on February 21, 2014 at 2:47 PM
I love the rapids rides because I greatly enjoyed the real thing, but without the hardships like the overnight camping, the dusty trails, the awful food, and the boat flipping over and getting dunked in ice cold water. What I prefer is a rapids ride that goes forward like a flume ride instead of in circles. Instead of worrying about getting wet, the high is actually about getting trounced by the waves. I miss that.
From Nick McKaig on February 21, 2014 at 2:48 PM
I really like Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls. It has probably the best drop of any water ride in that the angle is really convex (is that right?). I also like the vaudeville humor of the ride, it's a great light theme for a flume. The only downside is that this flume really gets you wet compared to others!
From 98.228.182.112 on February 21, 2014 at 9:14 PM
I'm a log ride lover. It's a great way to put thrill, theme/story, and wetness into a ride at the same time. Splash Mountain is my favorite mountain after all. To answer the persons question about Kali River Rapids.... It's a great ride that actually had a great in depth story behind it about conservation, but the only down side with that ride is that it's too short. There's a great drop to it though. Popeye is hands down the best river rapids ride out there. It's longer and has some pretty good theming . The only other river rapids ride that comes close to it in the United States is Grizzly River Rapids at California Adventure.
From 187.104.71.241 on February 21, 2014 at 9:16 PM
I just love the unpredictable factor that rapids rides have, it's like having different experiences everytime you go.
From 98.85.132.189 on February 21, 2014 at 10:37 PM
Kali river rapids is by far the most lame water ride that I have ever gone one you float past some burning logs and two people on the boat get wet.

Splash has the best story but Dudly Do Right and Journey into Atlantis have the best drops and coaster elements.

From AJ Hummel on February 22, 2014 at 12:07 AM
It's a tough call between boat rides (such as Jurassic Park) and log flumes (such as Splash Mountain), but I have to go with log flumes. A vast majority of parks have a log flume, and while not all of them are amazing the vast majority of them are still good rides. When it comes to boat rides, most of them are pretty basic: up the lift, around the turn, down the drop, splash, ride's over. River rapids rides are fun, but don't quite hold the same appeal for me (aka I've never found one I would consider a must ride...even Grizzly River Run), and while I enjoy water slides at water parks, the ones found inside amusement parks are often dull and pointless.

For the record, I do not consider rides like It's a Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean water rides because you don't actually get wet on them (okay, you can get misted on Pirates, but nobody rides it to get wet). Instead, these are dark rides that just happen to use a flume system as a method of conveyance.

From 98.21.194.8 on February 22, 2014 at 12:08 AM
There should just be an all of the above option. I like them all. So hard to choose! I do find it weird that people love the flumes so much and many parks seem to be getting rid of them instead of making newer, nicer ones.
From Kevin Maw on February 22, 2014 at 11:41 AM
The raft rides are awesome.
No matter how many times you ride them, you get soaked.
If you do play russian roulette well, you might just make it to inlet by the offload turntable, only to be soaked by water cannon.

Brilliant fun.

From Andrew Swanson on February 22, 2014 at 12:29 PM
DisneySEA Transit Steamer Line or Venetian Gondolas at Tokyo DisneySEA FTW.
From 86.139.117.212 on February 23, 2014 at 6:39 AM
The Flying Dutchman at Efteling in the Netherlands is truly awesome.
From 68.194.172.130 on February 23, 2014 at 8:22 AM
When I think about a question like this I ask which one would I kiss the most if I could never ride it ever again. So the answer is simple, for me it would be a water slide. I could not imagine never riding a slide again in my life, that would mean no more water parks!
From 92.29.193.204 on February 23, 2014 at 11:21 AM
For flumes and rapid rides, the whole point (and fun) is getting thoroughly soaked. As such, there is no better fun ride that than Popeye at IOA. I just don't understand why people wear ponchos - if you don't want to get wet, don't ride.

People ride roller coasters for the motion sensation - you don't see riders popping motion sickness pills before they ride - they know what they are getting on.

There is nothing I like better than being on a Popeye raft with a family who are in ponchos and get off just as wet as those of us without. Even with a poncho, it is a luckY rider who gets away without a good drenching.

Solution - take a change of clothes in the locker and just ride the water rides just before lunch or at the end of the day.

From 98.21.194.8 on February 23, 2014 at 8:14 PM
I will say that at least with Log flumes its usually more of a light splashing that will dry off fairly fast, as oppose to the other types of flume rides.... so if you'd like to enjoy the ride without being completely soaked the rest of the day then its the best choice. Yet another reason why I don't get why they are going away in some parks instead of building or renovating them into newer better versions.

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