Bath time had never been so crazy! Guests could enjoy a splashtastic, watery adventure through the woods in their very own bathtub, courtesy of The Flume. Stomach churning drops, encounters with giant rubber ducks and a quick power shower were all provided on this ride, but just how wet would guests get?
Location: Ingestre Centre / Aqualand / Katanga Canyon / Merrie England / Mutiny Bay
Manufacturer: Mack Rides
Ride Type: Log Flume
Max. Drop: 26m
Max. Speed: 28mph
Site Area: 5.5 acres
Duration: 6 mins
Capacity per boat: 5
Number of boats: 35
Capacity per hour: 1200
Opening Year: 1981
Rethemed: 2004 (27th March)
Closing Year: 2015 (10th October)
After queuing around the large lake that The Flume resided on whilst grooving along to the beat of the rather funky theme music, up to five guests could climb into one of the bathtubs and begin the journey of a bath time! After departing the turntable station, their bathtub will sail away onto an unforgettable adventure.
A brief trip through a series of trees and several corners later, riders were presented with a large lift hill which the bathtub would begin to ascend. Many first time riders would brace themselves for an equally large drop at the other side, but they didn’t need to worry as the first drop was only small! After a brief splashdown, the bath continued the long and winding journey through the woodland, also passing through a tunnel. A second lift hill greeted riders, carrying them up into the opening of a dark tunnel. Without warning, the bathtub dropped guests in complete darkness down to the inevitable splash at the bottom. The chances of riders still being dry at this point were certainly narrow by now, but there was still more to come for those who were still dry!
Continuing to float down the dark tunnel, riders were suddenly greeted by an overhead power shower, raining down upon their bathtub! And that wasn’t all, as a giant rubber duck lurked in the shadows around the corner, waiting to pop out and make himself noticed by riders!
After emerging back into the woodland, riders climbed the third and final lift hill, passing over the queue line that they were waiting in previously. Upon cresting the top of the final hill, riders were presented with a long drop leading to the lake below. Guests should not have forgotten to smile as they began their rapid descent, as the on ride photo camera awaited to capture their expression before the unavoidable splashdown. The following wave had no mercy, and was sure to claim any hopes riders had of disembarking in a dry state!
As the bathtub returned to the station, one final set of overhead power showers will ensure that everyone emerged from the bath potentially soaked! Moreover, guests could also shoot at the bathtub with off ride water cannons.
The Flume began life in 1981 as the classic and iconic water attraction, the Log Flume. The simple theme of the ride was based upon the transportation of logs using water channels, much like the method that loggers from around the world still use today.
When the ride opened in 1981, the Log Flume was the longest ride of its kind in the world, a remarkable record for Alton Towers to hold. In 1984, the site of The Flume took on some residents in the form of the relocated dinosaurs from Springfield Centre, in order for the Black Hole rollercoaster to be built. They were eventually removed 12 years later in 1996.
Alongside the opening of Spinball Whizzer, 2004 promised a brand new theme for The Flume. After striking a deal with Imperial Leather, the logs sailed away downstream and were completely replaced with a fleet of bathtubs! The various structures around the ride including the station were repainted, and several rubber ducks and power showers made an appearance around the ride’s layout.
In 2008, the area of the park which The Flume resided in, Merrie England, was rethemed to the more pirate dominant area of Mutiny Bay. Despite the area retheme, The Flume remained intact and continued to take riders for a bath time they would never forget!
After the noticeable popularity of the off ride water cannons on the neighbouring Congo River Rapids, the decision was made to introduce off ride water cannons on The Flume in the middle of the 2013 season.
Just prior to 2015’s Scarefest event it was announced that The Flume would remain closed for the rest of the season, however it wasn’t until late February 2016 that Alton Towers announced that The Flume would not reopen, instead being removed from the park in order to make way for a new development.
A few weeks after, on 16th March 2016, the first official confirmation that Secret Weapon 8 would be located on the former site of The Flume came in the form of a simple tweet from the Towers Loving Care Twitter account (@AltonTLC). Later that year, planning documents submitted to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council revealed that SW8 would be a wooden rollercoaster, a first for the Resort, that would open in 2018.
The Flume remained Standing But Not Operating for the entirety of the 2016 season before finally being demolished after 34 years of operation in late November and December 2016, after the park had closed for the year.