Cedar Point is suffering from continuing problems with its $10.5 million water ride Shoot the Rapids, despite finally opening it last weekend.
The park has been forced to close Shoot the Rapids for extended periods since its grand opening last Saturday, and is currently preventing riders from sitting in the back row of seats in the ride's boats. There are also claims that the boats are taking much longer to traverse the course than originally planned - with the Cedar Point's official point-of-view video (embedded below) showing a 6-minute duration instead of the planned 3 minutes 25 seconds.
It is not uncommon for major new rides to suffer from teething problems in the early days after opening, and Cedar Point will hope to resolve the issues with Shoot the Rapids in short course. The park would have wished to have achieved this ahead of the busy summer season, but was unable to do so after the ride's boats were discovered to be too large during testing. This led to a 6-week delay to the ride's originally announced May 15 opening date.
The problem boats were eventually replaced, with Cedar Point laying blame for the fiasco on manufacturer Intamin and the contractor that built the boats. However, it seems that issues with weight distribution in the replacement boats may still be causing problems, leading to the back row restrictions.
Shoot the Rapids sees riders boarding 10-person boats, before travelling along a 2,100 feet, 3-minute-long course. The ride is themed around the Crystal Rock Bottling Company, with guests encountering "some wild feudin' and fightin'" as they pass through an "illegal moonshine still". The family ride features an 85-foot, 45-degree first drop through water rapids and rock work.
Cedar Point hopes that Shoot the Rapids will boost flagging annual attendance figures at the park, after a drop of 256,000 during the 2009 season.
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