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Oakwood Lake Manteca Waterslides


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I feel like I'm going to dissappoint you guys. You have to understand that most of the slides had at least one section underground and they were tube slides, not half-pipes. One of the things that made them so fun is that is was impossible to get an idea of the layout no matter how many times you rode one.

 

I'm afraid all I can do is just give you an idea of where each slide let you on and where the splash down pool was.

 

Here are the pictures.

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back

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inside

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Inside.

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Time for a bonus perk. I found that my mom had saved one of the brosures from the early 90s. This is the front cover.

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This is the final splashdown of the rapids ride. It basically was one long river consisting of many interconnected pools. The final drop was the largest drop on the rapids ride.

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This is a better background shot of the children's area.

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This was their Childrens/deck area. It was where all of the deck chairs were and you can see part of the large shallow pool that made up the children's play area.

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Again taken from the pizza shop balcony. Their oldest slide called The Plunge had a splash pool in the middle of it's course where you could get out if you wanted. This is the mid course pool. If you chose to continue, the second half of the slide was called the Waterfall for no obvious reason (It didn't have any big drops)

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View from the balcony of the pizza place. This pick shows how you were supposed to go down the slides headfirst. I think the slide in the picture was called Subway because it had the longest underground portion.

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This is probably the best picture I have of a slide layout. If you look at the background you can see the twists and turns of the slide dubbed the Elevator Shaft and then later the name was change to something I can't recall. This slide held two distinctions, it was the only one of the nine original slides in which you couldn't ride headfirst (the splash pool was too small and actually had knocked some people out in the past) and this is the only one of the nine slides that was entirely above ground and not covered by vegetation.

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They had a pizzeria located on the second floor above the building that housed the 9 original slides queue.

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These were some of my favorites when a kid.

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This is a photo of their innertube slide. There were three right next to each other even though you can only see one pictured here.

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As you can see you still had to use a mat but they allowed you to sit on it rather than lie down. This photo is from way back when they were still using the lake's water.

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This was their Kiddie slide. it was located outside of the 9 slide complex.

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Goliath513 I might as well post this here rather than in a PM. I've highlighted where I remember the paths to be in green and color coded the entrances and exists of the slides. I've also highlighted other splash down pools.

 

Don't assume that this very accurate e.g. in the picture I remember that cyclone and High tide were located right next to each other, but I'm not sure which was on the right and which was on the left.

 

Turbulence was the longest slide in the 9 slide Complex, going from pretty much the apex of the hill to one of the lowest splash down pools.

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The pools highlighted in the lower left corner were 2 inner tube slides, these were not enclosed and were just built for speed. Just straight slides that dropped ad leveled out twice before hitting the splash down pool. They started at the upper pool and ended in the lower.

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The park went under and was sold to a land company. They plowed it down to enlarge Oakwood lake and then around the border of the lake built luxury lake front housing, just in time for the housing bubble to burst. Which is kind of funny because one of the most hardest hit cities in the country when it comes to housing foreclosures is Stockton, located right next to Manteca.

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^Can you post the full article? It requires you to register to read it.

 

 

In the summer of 2004, it was announced that the park would be closed. The owners of the park cited high workers' compensation and health care costs as reasons for the park's closure in September 2004

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manteca_water_slides

 

It didn't exactly "go under" - it was simply becoming less and less profitable because of increased operating and staff costs. So even if the housing market was in a slump at the time it was decided to be closed, it still would have been closed. "To make way for houses" is not the reason for closure - high workers' compensation and health care costs were the primary reasons.

 

 

 

Thanks again for posting everything! I owe you one, darklingscribe! It's always sad to see a park like this go. Much more saddening than losing a corporate owned park like Geauga Lake or Astroworld (though SFAW i was pretty saddened by, but not as much as this). This one really hit home. Last month when flying home from Cedar Point as we were descending to SFO, I could see the former site of the Manteca Waterslides from the plane. It basically looks exactly like the last satellite photo does whenever that was taken.

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It didn't exactly "go under" - it was simply becoming less and less profitable because of increased operating and staff costs. So even if the housing market was in a slump at the time it was decided to be closed, it still would have been closed. "To make way for houses" is not the reason for closure - high workers' compensation and health care costs were the primary reasons.

 

They still should have put another bigger beter water park there instead of stupid houses

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  • 1 month later...
  • 8 months later...

who is watching this thread for updates. My name is Jeff, Formally Captain Miller of the Oakwood Lake Resort Park Rangers. Oakwood Lake Resort was the home of the famous Manteca Waterslides. I grew up going to the slides and then ended up working there later in life.

 

I stumbled upon this today and thought I would try to answer some questions. I may even have some pictures laying around somewhere. My plan is to go through from the beginning to answer questions if anyone is still interested. I will try to get in here and info but please be patient.

 

Here's a pic of me in front of the old Campground Office. We were getting ready for our Easter event.

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This is what the area looked like before the houses were being built. The only thing left from the resort is the Mobile Home Park in the lower left. (looks like houses)

 

If you look at the lower right corner you will see Woodward Ave. The parks address was on Woodward and if you follow the road to the left just before it turns south (down) the entrance to the park was on the right.

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I just moved into a new house last week and will need some time to find some pictures. I know I have some old brochures and ads. My kids were in a lot of the pictures taken for the print ads.

 

Oakwood Lake was actually sand quarry ponds from Brown Sands Inc. The brown family built the waterslides around the quarry ponds. They are still in operation just across the river from the old resort site. If you use Google Earth and look at the area of the old resort and then look across the river to the west you will see more "lakes" That's where the sand operation is now.

 

Here's a list of the Rides:

(I will try to match up pictures with the names later)

 

Thunder Falls (was rampage)

Turbo tubes (was called disco tubes on here but that wasn't the name)

Jet Scream

Rapids (lazy river)

Kiddie slide

Castaway Bay / Kiddie Cove (wasn't a wave pool)

 

Main Slides (also called Mat rides)

This was the main slide complex that you rode the slides on mats at 30 minutes intervals. We knew the rides as numbers but they also had names like cyclone, subway etc. I will have to try and remember the names.

 

This is were the waterpark was all started with slide #1 "the plunge" Slide #1 was the original cement slide that was poured using an old horse trough as a mold. The slide went down the hill and dropped into the lake.

The whole park grew from this one slide that was built by Budge Brown after he rode a natural rock slide in Hawaii.

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Thunder Falls

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Guy getting the Pizza is Mike Brown.

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Thunder Falls...so that's what got brought over to CGA's water park (excluding the open slide).

 

I do remember that we *were* supposed to go here for my dad's company picnic many years back, and I got excited as the only water park I had gone to previously was the 4 small slides they have at Shadow Cliffs, 15 minutes from where I live. I always heard about the sweet slides they had but never really saw them or even saw pictures. Of course, to my misfortune, the picnic was called off/relocated elsewhere.

 

Come around my senior year in high school, the seniors do a traditional picnic there at Manteca Waterslides but again, didn't make it. We would have had to supply our own food and/or know someone generous enough (which I didn't) to cook for us...I guess I could have bought food from there as well but it's too late now.

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So the park was paved over and turned into a man-made lake?

 

No, the lakes were there first. (sand quarries) they built the waterslides around the lakes.

 

When the property sold they bulldozed all the buildings and hills for the park and re-shaped the lakes. The shape of the lake today is not what they were when the park was operating. Oakwood Lake was actually three quarry ponds with the waterpark and campgrounds built around them.

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"Thunder Falls...so that's what got brought over to CGA's water park (excluding the open slide)."

 

That's correct. I don't know what they did with the third (open) slide.

 

________________________________________

 

The tall slide out front was called V-MAX, it was buillt off the existing bungie tower. (due to insurance costs we couldnt' do bungie jumping anymore)

 

My speech for the v max went something like this......

"It's the tallest speed slide on the west coast. It's takes a while to get up and only 2 seconds to get down at 40 miles per hour. It's a major wedgie machine. If you aren't wearing a thong right now, you will be when you leave."

 

The V Max was notorious for ripping off bikini tops!!

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All I have to say is AWESOME. My old topic got bumped without me having to even ask.

 

 

Last summer when my friend and I went to CGA, we rode the Thunder Falls slides that were relocated from here. They were pretty cool and are clones of two of the three tubes of a speed slide complex at Waterworld here in Colorado. Very Fun.

 

 

 

Here's some information based on what a friend of mine told me about the park. Maybe this can reduce the load of information for you to post.

 

Main Slides

#1: The Plunge (Second half of the slide was known as Waterfall and the splashdown was moved from the lake to next to Turbulence)

#2: Flash Flood (Featured a large almost plunger on top of it that would buildup water, and then discharge it and shoot you down. Unfortunately the thing used to push so much water was broken after a few years, and never replaced.)

#3: Turbulence

#4: Subway (longest underground section)

#5: High Tide (ran parallel to Subway)

#6: Cyclone

#7: Out of Bounds (ran parallel to Cyclone)

 

 

An old brochure posted here indicates 9 of these slides, but even counting Waterfall as the 8th slide, there is still one missing. The brochure I saw this in was from 1990. Do you know anything more?

 

 

3 Turbo Tube (innertube slides). From what I heard, these were known as disco slides because they gave the effect of having a disco balls in them, however this was more of a trick of the lighting from the outside with the semi transparent green tubing (Waterworld here has slides that gave this effect as well) instead of an actual light.

 

 

I also heard that The Plunge, Flash Flood, and one of the Turbo Tubes shut down a few years before the park closed. Do you know when or why this happened?

 

 

 

Jet Scream. Basically early innertube speed slides which consisted of two parallel tunnels that you could go down. The first part was enclosed and the final part was open. You rode down it, then it leveled out, and then it again went downward into the splash pool.

 

 

As for the innertube Rapids Ride, it originally had two rivers, but they cemented off one of the sides in the early 90's due to staffing issues. From what I heard, this is basically the same style of ride as Tortuga Run at Waterworld here in Colorado and the one at Dorney's waterpark (I forget the name) which are basically pools cut out of the hillside connected by small drops and turns to resemble a river flowing down a hill.

 

 

I saw a video (I think it was on mysapce) of V-Max, and it looked like one of the much larger speed slides we have here in Denver, only with the top of the drop enclosed. I can't seem to find the video, so if you have some pictures that would be cool.

 

 

 

 

There are some pictures a few pages back showing Castaway Bay / Kiddie Cove, Cyclone and Out of Bounds, Subway and High Tide, and the Plunge.

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To give Robb and others and idea of what Oakwood Lake used to look like when the park was open.

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