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Splash Adventure (Alabama Adventure) Discussion Thread


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- Rampage has a new logo with a Rhino. I prefer the original logo. See my Avatar and You be the judge

 

Seems you may not have been the only one, from their facebook:

 

OK Rampage fans, the rhino logo is OUT, and we need your help. We want YOU to design a new logo for our favorite wooden coaster. All you have to do is create a logo and email it to RampageLogo@AlabamaSplash.com. If your logo is chosen, you will receive 4 season passes or 8 one-day tickets for the 2015 season. The deadline for submissions is December 12, 2014. Thanks and good luck!

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Cool aerial photograph that Alabama Adventure posted just in case anybody wanted to see it. Pretty cool to see how the park has changed in recent years. Especially since 2018. 

^According to RCDB Rampage cost 4.3mil in 1998 or about $6.9 mil today adjusted for inflation.   I'll throw out my arbitrary "fingers crossed for a new gen Vekoma" post here..    One day it'll ha

That's a good point. Do we know the price range on those? I just figured that would be too expensive. Plus I thought that they might be turned off of an Intamin due to the higher maintenance costs. Bu

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Back to Splash Adventure news: over the weekend Dan Koch tweeted that the park's website had been updated with 2015 pricing, hours, etc. This includes the new park map that has Rampage back, but I noticed it does NOT have Acapulco Drop (freefall slide) on the map anymore. It is also no longer listed under attractions either.

ASA2015ParkMap.thumb.jpg.feed359a5eceb7450bf8edf9325800ea.jpg

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^ Am I the only one that thinks this feels a little odd? It's mostly a water park, with a few kiddie rides, and a giant wooden roller coaster. Don't get me wrong, they gotta start somewhere and I think there are baby steps to be taken, but 2015 feels a bit "un-balanced" for the park. I do hope this is part of the longer-term plan because I'm a fan of Rampage and would love to see this park be successful!

Edited by robbalvey
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No, you aren't. The kiddie rides were dead a lot of the time last year, but that might change some with Rampage reopening. I do wonder if they would have been better off with starting with 3-4 kiddie rides and 2-3 "bigger" rides like a Scrambler, Tilt-A-Whirl, Flyers, etc. to give a little more balance.

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Waterville USA is in the same boat almost with a Waterpark, Few Kids Rides, and a Wooden Coaster.

 

 

I do agree that they need stuff for the non coaster, non waterpark people over 48." A Scrambler, Swinging Ship, Swing Ride, Bumper Cars would work well (Plus the 3 Rides I mentioned earlier.)

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Reminds me of Wild World (Now known at Six Flags America). Wild World as a water park and all they had was a small selection of kiddie rides and the Wild One. They slowly but surely expanded the dry park when the park became Adventure World. I have full faith in Splash Adventure. I think starting a park off as a water park is a good way to start for a developing theme park property in this region in the US.

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I think starting a park off as a water park is a good way to start for a developing theme park property in this region in the US.

 

Which is the exact opposite of what happened originally. They had about 20 rides and a tiny waterpark that was always packed, so of course it took five years for the first expansion to the waterpark to occur.

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I visited the park on Sunday to try out Rampage for the first time in three years. I am happy to report the ride is running GREAT! Easily some of the best rides I have ever had on it! I had a chance to speak to the man that lead the renovation work and according to him there is still a little fine tuning to be done until it is exactly where he would like it to be.

 

Here are some pics/notes from my visit:

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Hello Vision Alabama Magic Beach Splash City Land Adventure USA.

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In case you forgot where you are or the year.

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Current map of the park, complete with Rampage goodness.

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The "new" sign. Sigh.

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The train is essentially brand new after an extensive rebuild back at PTC last summer.

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Still towers over the park.

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Another train of riders comes flying into the station.

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Splash Express is in the same location and even has the same layout as the old Adventure Express that operated here from 1998-2011.

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Jump Around opened towards the end of last summer and is one of only two non relocated kiddie rides at the park.

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Centispeed is a Wacky Worm coaster, one of several rides relocated from Gillian's Funland after it closed.

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It also had a lot of work done to it during the off season.

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Crank N Roll was actually located here from 1998-2003. It was then kept in storage at the park from 2004 until being reinstalled last season.

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Little Bumpers is the other ride built brand new for the park. It uses the shed from the old Zamperla Speedway ride.

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Little Harbor is located where the old Carousel sat and rounds out the kiddie rides that were operating Sunday.

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Like Holiday World, the park started offering free unlimited soft drinks this season.

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There are still tons of reminders from past rides. Buzzsaw Falls operated here for only one season prior to the rides closing after the 2011 season.

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Here is where Balloon Wheel operated. The park actually bought a similar ride to put in last year, however when that unit was removed from its previous park the arms were cut off with a torch instead of being unbolted.

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So what do you do with eight balloons from a ride that can not be used?

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If you are Alabama Splash Adventure you place them throughout the park!

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I leave you with a final picture of Rampage. If you can make the drive over to Alabama, you won't be disappointed with a cycle on the southeast's tallest wooden coaster!

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Thank-you for posting this trip report! I am planning on buying a season pass and visiting this park at some point during the season since I only live about 30 minutes away. I got to ride Rampage back in October of last year and it was running incredibly well after all the re-track work that was done. It is a great wooden coaster. I am impressed with what the Koch family has done with this park in just a little over a year since the purchase. There has been a lot of media attention for Alabama Splash Adventure in the area via TV, radio, and social media. I hope people in this region will visit the park this season and make it a success.

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Here's a feature Pat and Dan Koch had on Alabama Today this week: http://www.abc3340.com/Clip/11626952/splash-adevnture#.VYsKtXum2rg

 

I've noticed that, while the water park is obviously the draw of the park, they seem to have avoided any mention of the kiddies rides in the park in any of the last 8-9 promotional cycles (the way Waterville USA markets FunDepot). This has really made me curious of how the dry-side fits within their master plan (if they envision operating similar to Waterville, which would not be to much capital/infrastructure beyond what they have now) or slowly, serious growth as Holiday World did during the 90's focusing on the water park and adding Holidog's FunTown for 5-7 years before making any large dry-side attraction additions. Why operate that dry-side at all Pat and not mention it? I know Pat and Dan have this well-thought out and are in this for the long-haul. Just itching to know what their vision is.

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Okay, so nobody has posted on this thread in an awfully long time. I was hoping to get a discussion started to hear what people had to say about this park, especially as I have never visited before. If you had to put together a five year plan for the park (2016-2020), what would you choose? Here's what I would do:

 

2016

I would lay low but open a scrambler ride and/or maybe another flat. Maybe reopen the log flume, if possible. Obviously keep building up infrastructure.

 

2017

I would add a ProSlide Tantrum complex or a Kraken racer slide. This would keep the water park fresh and high capacity.

 

2018

I would open a unique ride from Sally Corp that utilizes a gaming system similar to JLBM at SFSL & SFOT. Being very familiar with the installation at SFSL, I think they could get one without the DOF vehicles and a bit smaller for $3million. It would be something that would really set the park apart for families, and it would be a ride that the entire family could enjoy together.

 

2019

For 2019, I would try to reopen one of the old water rides or bring back a flat such as an S&S drop tower or Swinging Ship ride.

 

2020

I would open a Premier-built steel coaster, a clone of Superman from SFDK. It would really pack a punch and be an amazing addition to the park while investing less than $10million.

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Here is an article from AL.com stating what will be new to Alabama Splash Adventure for 2016.

 

http://www.al.com/business/index.ssf/2015/11/alabama_splash_adventures_addi.html

 

They are adding a 30 foot family free fall ride and a tea cup ride. They are also adding a new Pepsi Oasis station, a new restaurant, and cooling misters throughout the park.

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They had me at "misters." But seriously, compared to Holiday World's location, free drinks and misters in a humid climate such as Alabama would do wonders! Still nice hearing updates done to this park, no matter how small. I just hope they decide to invest in a bigger attraction soon or next year. Maybe a large flat, or a large major water slide or slide complex. They could really use a family raft slide.

 

Also, when did the park remove their freefall body slide?

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It closed during the 2014 season. It was still standing last year, so who knows when they will actually remove it. It's had numerous extended closures since it opened in 2003.

 

Also want to point out I believe they will only have a net gain of 1 ride. The tea cups are going when the Helicopter Heroes ride was. I don't think it operated in 2015. It is no longer listed on the website either.

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I heard a pretty hilarious story about a coaster enthusiast going there, seeing the worst ride operations he'd ever seen, and that Dan Koch somehow determined what car he drove in to the park with and left a hand written "sorry" note on the windshield. So there's that. Honestly, for a lot of enthusiasts, there simply isn't reason to go to Alabama, which is probably why this is a dead thread.

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I'm hoping to help revive this thread in the next couple months because, as I just announced in the SFSL thread,

"Before heading off to work for the day, I wanted to take a quick second to announce that I won't be gone from the park all summer, like I mentioned was possible. Instead, I'll be only gone from around May 7th to June 11th. I am extremely lucky to have the opportunity to spend five weeks down in Alabama working/living with Dan & Pat Koch (from Holiday World fame), as they continue to expand and improve their newest park, Alabama Splash Adventure. While I've been friends with the Koch's for a few years now, they have shown me incredible hospitality in letting me live with them for free. Plus, they created me a position that will have me working in HR, Group Sales, Operations, IT, and Marketing every day/week. I'm really, really looking forward to it, and I'll try to post a ton of pictures to the ASA forum as much as possible, but I still plan on keeping up with what is going on around here too."

 

I, among others, helped to turn the SFSL thread from a very negative and lackluster thread into a pretty active and positive thread with lots of discussion in the past few years since I started at the park in 2013. I've been described as the SFSL thread's version of the HW thread's 'Raven Maven' (aka Paula Werne, PR extraordinaire), and while, as I told Paula, I felt that that was a bit of an insult to her, hopefully I can at least bring plenty of information & pictures to this thread to at least promote some discussion and suggestions from enthusiasts.

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I'm hoping to help revive this thread in the next couple months because, as I just announced in the SFSL thread,

"Before heading off to work for the day, I wanted to take a quick second to announce that I won't be gone from the park all summer, like I mentioned was possible. Instead, I'll be only gone from around May 7th to June 11th. I am extremely lucky to have the opportunity to spend five weeks down in Alabama working/living with Dan & Pat Koch (from Holiday World fame), as they continue to expand and improve their newest park, Alabama Splash Adventure. While I've been friends with the Koch's for a few years now, they have shown me incredible hospitality in letting me live with them for free. Plus, they created me a position that will have me working in HR, Group Sales, Operations, IT, and Marketing every day/week. I'm really, really looking forward to it, and I'll try to post a ton of pictures to the ASA forum as much as possible, but I still plan on keeping up with what is going on around here too."

 

I, among others, helped to turn the SFSL thread from a very negative and lackluster thread into a pretty active and positive thread with lots of discussion in the past few years since I started at the park in 2013. I've been described as the SFSL thread's version of the HW thread's 'Raven Maven' (aka Paula Werne, PR extraordinaire), and while, as I told Paula, I felt that that was a bit of an insult to her, hopefully I can at least bring plenty of information & pictures to this thread to at least promote some discussion and suggestions from enthusiasts.

 

Good luck in your new endeavor

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I see that the park now has a Live Cam: http://wiat.com/weather/webcams/

Not the best location for a nice view of the park, in my opinion, It doesn't show anything that would motivate me to visit the park.

I think they need to relocate the Live Cam to a location that at least shows people having fun.

The park is actually a nice place and it is a shame that their Live Cam does not do it justice.

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What is up TPR friends? Owning and operating Alabama Splash Adventure has been quite a ride for 27 months now. We purchased the park in March 2014. We continue to rebuild the park. We are now entering a growth curve. In order to change nearly 20 years of missteps since the park opened in 1998, we have spent substantial money on infrastructure and changed the personality of the park. One simple example is every single HVAC in the park were original units installed in 1997-1998. The maintenance department was in desperate need of all of the must have mechanical equipment to fix and maintain a park, like a Bobcat, forklift, etc. All of the pumps in the water park have been replaced or repaired, etc. etc. etc. Did Yul Brynner say that? LOL. We have improved upon all lines of sight within the park in the past year to remove virtually all of the relic park/look and feel and that existed. In terms of ride and slide capacity we have made a little improvement, but we simply could not even begin to really chase attendance growth until we improved the park substantially. The good news is that 2015 we were up 25% in attendance versus 2014. 2016 is off to a fantastic start. Rome wasn't built in a day. I do know that based on what is going on insofar as our operations are concerned, in ten years, I will be back on this forum talking about more substantial pieces that have been installed. One word of advice to those who might choose to purchase a relic park- just say NO! LOL, but kind of true. This has been a very hard bit of work to reach the point where I can walk through the park with pride about how we look and how we entertain our guests in terms of team member service and friendliness. I run 3 different 5 year cash flow models with varying levels of attendance. Even the worst of the three allows us to grow in the next five years. But candidly, a big roller coaster isn't looming in the five year forecast. It wouldn't make sense for us. With that said, I do believe we need some more thrilling elements and some great family rides and slides are looming in the future. Those rides and slides are coming. Capacity is being added which means something good is going on at our park. We listen to our guests. We are changing local guest perception of the park. Locals now view the park a safe, clean, fun place to visit. For that we are grateful and proud. Hope to see you at the park. It is raining hard here this morning. Going in for a Sunday attendance free fall. But we get back on track Monday when the rain moves out. Someone remind me to post final attendance results on here in August. It will be good. Wherever you visit this summer, have fun and be safe. Hope to see you at the park. Thanks! Dan Koch.

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For the past six weeks, I have relocated to Alabama (from Six Flags St. Louis). It's been an insanely eye-opening experience living & working (mainly working) with Dan and The General (aka Mrs. Koch). The night of April 30th, when I first arrived, Mrs. Koch drove Dan, my mother, and I all around the property. To be completely homest, I didn't realize how much work needed to be done on every square inch of that park. It's amazed me how much things have changed since then, as I told Dan, "I didn't think you could ever make it look this nice in that amount of time."

 

The Rampage, which I'm told is a lot better than last year, is fantastic! My main wooden coaster experience is SFSL's Boss, Screamin' Eagle, and American Thunder, plus HW's Raven, Legend, and Voyage. Rampage is hard because I want it to be my number one woodie, but the first three hills on Voyage are the only thing standing in the way. Either way, I don't think there are any parks of this size that have coasters of Rampage's caliber.

 

I've been gathering pictures slowly and am looking forward to creating a mega photo TR showing off the park, some behind the scenes things, and sharing some interesting information & stories picked up during my Alabaman Adventure (my family thinks they're so clever when they started calling my trip that). Stay tuned!

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