Vikings' River Splash. LEGOLAND Windsor's star, multi-million pound attraction for the 2007 and 2008 seasons... even if it didn't turn up until mid-August 2007! Delays and problems aside, this is undoubtably one of the park's top attractions, and a must-do on any day that isn't freezing cold or raining (because you will get wet, very wet).
What is it?
- A river-rapids ride built by ABC Rides
- Opened 18th August 2007
- Originally due to open ~April 2007, but severely delayed
- 9 guests per raft, when operating at full capacity
- Q-Bot reservations available
What does it do?
On leaving the loading station, you first get drenched from a curtain of water, and then from water-cannons available for other guests to aim - this sets up the theme for the rest of the ride well: wet! The raft then makes it's along a series of channels, including fast-flowing rapids, larger 'rough-water' areas, and bumps and turns, with models dotted around the track squirting yet more water. In total, the ride lasts approximately three minutes.
- Must be a minimum of 1.0m tall to ride
- Guests under 1.3m tall must be accompanied by an adult
- Upper and/or lower body control is needed
- Not recommended for guests with: back or neck complaints; heart conditions; high blood pressure; broken limbs; pregnant guests.
Definitely one of the highlights of the park. The queues can be long, especially on hot days, but it's worth the wait, and of course Q-Bot users can reserve a slot and walk straight on. You will get wet, there's no two ways about it, but on a hot summers day that's not necessarily a bad thing. A great ride for the whole family!
As you may have gathered by now, Land of the Vikings was originally scheduled to open around Easter 2007, but due to delays in construction (possibly down to protected trees), the ride did not open until mid-August. Even when August came, the date kept being pushed back, first by a couple of weeks, then a few more days, then a few more... Eventually, however, a date was set, and that date was met. On the day, Land of the Vikings was rammed. The queuing area for Vikings' River Splash was completely full, and then the queue continued a little like this:
...and a bit further...
...and yes, further still...
In fact, for most of the day the queue stretched right down to the Spinning Spider, and queue times exceeded two and a half hours! There were, however, a couple of real-live Vikings to entertain the crowds:
One of the reasons for the huge waits was that the ride was operating at a reduced capacity of six guests per raft, instead of the maximum nine. It continued at this reduced capacity for the rest of the 2007 season, and was closed entirely on certain days in September as, quite simply, the ride wasn't finished. Various mechanisms around the ride (mostly those that squirted water) still needed tweaking, and it appears that LEGOLAND used these days for that purpose.
The landscaping, unfortunately, was pretty much non-existent for the rest of 2007. It very much looked like a huge lump of concrete had been dumped in the heart of LEGOLAND Windsor, which essentially it had. In time for 2008, however, the entire water channel was painted brown, which did a surprisingly huge amount to helping it blend into the background.
So, to conclude, yes the ride opened a few months later than it should have done, yes it was pretty much incomplete until 2008, but who cares? The result is that LEGOLAND Windsor now has a well-sized river-rapids ride, and it's great!