Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Let's get Really Wet!

Arrow's contribution to the Log Flume ride is often traced to El Aserradero at Six Flags over Texas, which opened in 1963. However, the essential elements of the log flume had been under development for many years before that.

As early as the mid-50's Arrow had kiddie boat rides in its catalogs.  The first could be described as water carousels. They had a circular pool with the same central drive system used on their carousels.

Kiddie Boat Ride @ Happyland demo park in Los Altos
By the late 1950's Arrow had expanded the concept to fully landscaped boat rides with serpentine guide rails. Note the lead boat in the lower left corner of the image below. There appears to be a small gasoline powered motor in the lead boat. There also appear to be power cords entering the boats hulls on the port side, about two feet back from the prow and a foot above the waterline.

Anderson twins and cousins at Playtown in Palo Alto

US Patent 3113528, dated December 10, 1960, describes a Boat Ride Apparatus which uses a submerged guide wheels, running on one or more guide paths using  "fixed guide and boat-mounted cooperating means, free of complexities and complicated controls, wholly automatic in operation and beyond change or adjustment by the boat passengers."

US Patent 3113528 - Boat Ride Apparatus

But first they had to be called in to fix the guide system for this;

D-305 "Triton"

Having mastered the technique of automatic submerged guidance, it was an easy deployment at the 1964 World's Fair.

Prototype It's a Small World flume at Arrow's 1555 Plymouth site
And from there to add a little rise and drop...

Walt and staff enjoy a little pre-Pirate dip

And bigger rises and drops...

Knotts Berry Farm flume ride
(Source: Wikipedia)

and even Bigger rises and drops...

I wonder what the guy in front is holding onto...

until you get one of these...

Santa Cruz Boardwalk Logger's Revenge

Until, by 1979 you have all these, all over the world;

Arrow's 42 Flume Ride Locations in 1979
Ready to get really wet, yet?


  1. The photo above the video of the flume is not a log flume but arrows prototype for the flying turns roller coaster

  2. Tony - Thanks for the clarification - We've got that fixed!

  3. No problem. I really enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the good work.