Log Flume is a water ride located in Pioneer Village.
Ride Details Edit
Riders travel in a log-shaped boat around a level tree-lined waterway at a slow speed. After a minute and a half journey, the boat is lifted to the top of a 30-foot hill by a conveyor belt. At the top of the hill the boat suddenly tips downward into a water-filled chute and races back down, causing a large splash when it re-enters the waterway. Riders are seated inline in two seats that fit 2-3 people. This seating arrangement is similar to Jet Star 2's.
Before Lagoon’s Log Flume started soaking guests in Pioneer Village, it had a previous life near Oregon’s coastline. Pixieland¹ was a small amusement park which opened near the town of Otis in 1969. The park included an opera house, arcade, shops and two rides; a log flume and a miniature train. The park proved unsuccessful and closed after just a few years.
In 1974, Lagoon purchased the two rides. The Log Flume opened the following spring in a new area of the park planned to become a re-creation of a typical pioneer town of the Old West. As the newly transplanted ride eased into weekend operation in its new home, a deal to acquire a large collection of pioneer buildings and artifacts from the Sons of Utah Pioneers was still being finalized. When an agreement was reached, the laborious process of relocating Pioneer Village from Salt Lake City to Farmington was soon underway. By 1976, the Log Flume was accompanied by authentic 19th century buildings and a miniature locomotive.
Changes to the ride’s surroundings have somewhat altered the experience from the more isolated atmosphere it once had. Originally, most of the ride traveled through a completely wooded area which was fairly quiet with the exception of the steam locomotive of the Pioneer Village Railroad occasionally chugging by² and other riders coasting down the 30-foot drop ahead. The addition of Rattlesnake Rapids in 1997 and nearby picnic areas in 2000 opened up the area around the ride considerably. The Rattlesnake Rapids Railroad locomotive on display between the eastern curve and Rattlesnake Rapids Plaza marks a portion of the old Pioneer Village Railroad. In 2001, the Log Flume received a new log post entrance gate and sign. A new queue and covered loading platform were built in 2002.
During the 1990s, park maps inexplicably showed the Log Flume on a large hill. Whether this was simply an erroneous assumption by the map’s creator or evidence of an intended upgrade that never materialized is uncertain. It went uncorrected until 1999. Rumors had been circulating about a planned expansion or replacement of the Log Flume. Unlike some rumors the amusement industry, this was based on actual ideas that were once given serious consideration.
On numerous occasions from the late 1980s into the early ’90s, Lagoon approached the Farmington City Council to obtain approval of different uses for recently acquired land east of the park. News reports of the council meetings often mentioned the park’s master plan consisting of “a log flume, river rapids and mine train.” The obvious reason for an upgrade was that the current ride was “too small and crowded.”
Plans for an updated Log Flume might have been on the drawing board as early as 1989, but the first specific reference I’ve found was in January 1991. At least one version of the plan appears to have been an expansion of the existing Log Flume with a river rapids ride to the north. A representation of the plan, redrawn from a map provided by Destination Development, Inc.³, can be seen below. The proposed ride paths for the Log Flume and the ride that evolved into Rattlesnake Rapids are shown in blue along with the current ride paths, in purple.
Redrawn map of potential additions to Pioneer Village from around 1992 or ’93. The current ride paths of the Log Flume and Rattlesnake Rapids are shown in purple for reference. The lake in the center would have been about where Rattlesnake Rapids Plaza is today.
The expanded flume appears to be about twice as long, so it’s possible that one or two drops may have been added to the ride. Even though these plans were presented to the city council when asking for the necessary zone changes, there was no intention of installing the rides right away. The addition to Pioneer Village underwent many modifications until Rattlesnake Rapids was the only ride that survived. Still, the Log Flume continues to be a popular attraction despite the fact that wetter, more thrilling rides have since been brought to Lagoon.
Only Arrow ride at Lagoon Edit
Despite the fact that Arrow Development, Later Arrow Dynamics, relocated close to Lagoon, this is the only ride currently at Lagoon known to have been built by the company.
Much of the ride's rustic theming was not originally part of the ride when it was in Oregon. When Lagoon installed the ride they added split-log paneling to the ride's edges, log-cabin like structures and a wooden waterway with a waterwheel that serves no functional purpose. The waterwheel is actually turned by a motor and not the small amount of water falling into it.
Originally the ride traveled through a remote area of the park that resembled wilderness. Recent development at Lagoon has encroached on the ride's setting. The ride travels past several picnic terraces as well as a bright orange Sit & Smoke Station during its journey.