Guests could take a leisurely tour around Old MacDonald’s Farmyard on board their very own boat, pressing the buttons to make the right sound that would finish the riddles along the ride’s course.
Location: Britannia Farm / Safeway Farm / Old MacDonald’s Farmyard
Manufacturer: Mack Rides
Ride Type: Free Flow Boat Ride
Capacity per boat: 9
Opening Year: 1989
Rethemed: 1999 & 2007
Closing Year: 2013
Guests rode along a water filled channel in a small boat, and would have to try to guess the animals described as they went around and press the corresponding buttons in the boats which made the appropriate animal sound.
After being welcomed by a dragonfly host, guests would travel through scenes which included beehives, a duck pond, rabbits and their warrens, a flock of sheep being herded by a sheep dog, hen houses and a pig sty.
Some guests may have found themselves overwhelmed by sound effects, as it wasn’t unusual for some children to get very excited by the noises and press the animal buttons repeatedly. Of course it was all good fun and a valued ride for the younger generation, with it being one of the few rides the whole family could enjoy!
When it opened in 1989 as part of Britannia Farm, the attraction used to be known as the Canal Boat Ride, taking guests through paddocks containing numerous farm animals.
Although the attraction survived the area’s retheme to Safeway Farm and then Old MacDonald’s Farmyard initially, it was revamped in 1999 to become Riverbank Eye-Spy. Originally Riverbank Eye-Spy had 2D theming but in 2007 the ride was revamped again to include new 3D models, although the premise of the ride remained largely unchanged.
The attraction then closed in early October 2013 with the area’s retheme to CBeebies Land. It reopened in 2014 as In The Night Garden Magical Boat Ride, which, while using the same ride system, now featured Iggle Piggle, Upsy Daisy and the rest of the characters from the TV programme.