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More on Canyon River Rapids

This is a follow up article on Canyon River Rapids, which you can read more about here

Canyon River Rapids was added to Hersheypark in 1987, only after Hersheypark was forced to abort adding another kind of water ride. This water ride would have been installed in 1986 and would have been where Western Chute-Out was eventually installed in 1988 (which was replaced by Fahrenheit in 2008).

This ride was cancelled when Derry Township turned down the request to build the ride due to concerns over water management. The Canyon River Rapids proposal resolved those concerns.

1985-July-August Vol 7 No 4 NAPHA News (p15)
NAPHA News reported on the rumor Hersheypark was going to add a Shoot-the-Chutes ride in summer 1985.

This ride was a Shoot-The-Chute ride sold by Intamin, called Spillwater. It had a generally default design that could be customized if a park wanted it to be changed. One such example of this type of ride is Tidal Wave at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Hersheypark eventually installed a Shoot-The-Chute ride, Tidal Force, in 1994. Instead of going with an Intamin model, Hersheypark instead chose an O.D. Hopkins model.

Canyon River Rapids is Ready!
Published in The Gettysburg Times, May 14, 1987, on page 5.

On May 23, 1987, just two weeks after Canyon River Rapids opened, the ride was closed for 13 days after a boat flipped in one section of the ride. Two boats were able to be close enough together in one section of the ride. The section the boats were in turned out to be wider than intended, which allowed the two boats to get wedged. When the boats wedged, one flipped, resulting in minor injuries for the guests involved. That section was corrected so no two boats could fit through that area in such a way. No further incidents occurred.

1987-06-06 The Gettysburg Times (p3)
Published in The Gettysburg Times, June 6, 1987, on page A3. 

Canyon River Rapids is one of several river rapids rides that have been closed. However, Canyon River Rapids is the only ride willingly closed by a park. The other river rapids rides were closed when the park themselves closed.

Several of the boats from Canyon River Rapids were sold to Kennywood Park to be used on their rapids ride, Raging Rapids. Several of the boats remain in storage in Hershey.

Special thanks to R.D. Sussman for providing background on Hafema and Intamin. 


Harry Michelson View All

I have a wide variety of interests, from sports to politics, music to Star Trek. I write about the history of amusement parks on my website, The Amusement Parkives, which I founded in 2016.

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