The Tidal Wave is one of those ride concepts that are so simple that it keeps it entertaining and always draws a crowd. When you enter the boat you can choose to sit in one of the 9 rows of the ride. If you want to experience a more exciting ride then I would recommend trying to sit on one of the outside rows. But if you can't get the outside rows, the inside rows are entertaining too.
Once the boat is loaded two wheels start kicking the boat higher and higher. What makes this ride particularly thrilling is the fact that when the boat is at it's highest height, you can look down into the water that you are swinging over.
This ride has had a few minor changes over the years. When it was installed in 1980 it took the entrance place to the old water skeeters ride. Later on the last remnants of the old skeeter entrance was removed. The ride used to also have two exits to it. You would unload from the boat and could head east or west to exit the ride, but eventually it was cut down to just one exit.
The Tidal Wave opened in 1980 in the northwest corner of Lagoon Lake . The location was previously the loading dock for the Showboat and later the Water Skeeters . A new loading dock for the Water Skeeters was built on the northeast corner of the lake which was accessed by a bridge going over the Wild Kingdom Train. A large metal gate (which had been in place since the days of the Showboat) remained until sometime around the late ’80s or early ’90s. It was removed and placed in a storage area or “bone yard” behind Pioneer Village. It could be seen there from the Lagoon Trail until vegetation grew up around it.
The ride was completely dismantled, refurbished and repainted for the 2007 season. The ramp leading up to the ride from the queue was also redone.