Park of the Week: Islands of Adventure

Six Flags Opens New Pirate-Themed Boat Ride in Texas

May 13, 2022, 3:46 PM · Pirates of Speelunker Cave opened today for passholder previews at Six Flags Over Texas, in advance of its official public opening tomorrow.

The indoor boat ride rethemes the former Yosemite Sam and the Gold River Adventure ride. In doing so, the new attraction calls back to the ride's original, 1964-91 theme as "The Cave." That ride featured original characters known as Speelunkers, who take on one of the title roles in the new adventure.

"Riders will be placed squarely in the middle of a pirate treasure hunt thwarted by resident Speelunkers and come face-to-face with mythical creatures, including mermaids and sea monsters," Six Flags described the ride in a press release.

And here is a video preview of the new attraction:

The six-minute ride has no height restriction and features a custom soundtrack and 64 Speelunker characters, according to the park.

If you're looking for an excuse to read more about classic theme park dark rides, we mentioned the original Cave ride at Six Flags Over Texas in our brief history of theme park indoor boat rides: Disney is about to revive one of its classic theme park ride systems.

Replies (4)

May 14, 2022 at 7:12 AM

the original cave ride was a big part of my childhood...SFOT was my home park and i think i started riding that ride at age 2...always loved it. when they removed it, we always missed the adorable little speelunkers so couldn't be happier they have brought them back and have added an element of another favorite childhood ride, pirates of the caribbean. i hope to get to dallas and see my old speelunker friends again soon!!

May 14, 2022 at 4:58 PM

Pretty weird...some of the ride is like a POTC ripoff, some of it is just...odd.

May 16, 2022 at 1:59 PM

I do not understand the 'theme'... the mix does not represent any believable story line.
(OK, I've got not the faintest idea what 'Speelunkers' are. I suppose, some kids IP that never left the USA ?

..

I now like to refer to a boat dark ride in Belgium, themed to the "Kabouter Plop" TV series and feature film, immensely popular in Belgium, The Netherlands and all around Europe. (Studio 100 IP) Unknown in the USA. :-) (Kids stories about BIG gnomes, full of character defects.. :-) )
The ride is in Plopsaland, Belgium. It replaced (in 2000) a former existing ride (1979) from "Meli Park", Apirama (themed to the life of the bees) on the exaxt same track. The ride is amongst the 'longer ones' worldwide. (8 minutes)
(The park focusses on age range 3-12 yo)

Old Super-8 film take of Apirama :
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=226931788539689

Nowadays "Bos van Plop" ride : ('The forest of Plop')
Including the fully themed waitrow : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9SpHSK5Guc
When approaching the ride outdoors, the feeling is totally "Fantasyland like environment" (actually, from the Tv series !).
Beter quality onride : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb2ux-yoxPY
The ride is amazing in visual quality. Almost Disney standards.
The boats themselves are fully themes as well, with a huge burning candle on the front.

Cheers

May 19, 2022 at 6:17 AM

I think it should always be celebrated when a regional park puts in a dark ride, regardless of the theme(s).
/sheds a tear for Curse of DarKastle
And there's nothing wrong with a dark ride being a little trippy. That's part of the charm.

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