Shoot the Chute

Shoot the Chute is an amusement ride consisting of a flat-bottomed boat that slides down a ramp or inside a flume into a lagoon. Unlike a log flume, a Shoot the Chute ride generally has larger boats and one single drop.

It may also refer to a playground slide in New Orleans vernacular.[1]


The first of this type of amusement ride was built by J.P. Newburg in 1884 down the side of a hill at Watchtower Park in Rock Island, Illinois. The ride traveled along a 500-foot (150 m) greased wooden track, skipping across the Rock River at the bottom. It was then poled back to the ramp by an on-board ride attendant. Newburg took this unique ride concept next to Chicago, where more flumes were built and the rides grew in popularity.[2]

Paul Boyton opened Paul Boyton's Water Chute, America's first modern amusement park, at 63rd and Drexel in Chicago, Illinois, on July 4, 1894. Boyton's was the first amusement park to rely solely on mechanical attractions. Paul Boyton and Thomas Polk built another example in 1895 for Sea Lion Park at Coney Island. The ride was widely copied and "Chute" rides were found at many amusement parks throughout the United States,[3] and even became the name of several amusement parks. While the original form of the ride is largely obsolete, modern log flume rides work on similar principles.

On the earliest chute rides, the flat-bottomed boat was pulled up the ramp by cable, sometimes with a turnaround on a small turntable. In the ride at Sea Lion Park, the passengers arrived at the top by elevator. The bottom of the ramp curved upwards, causing the boat to skip across the water until it came to a stop. The boat was guided to a landing by a boatman on board.[4] The oldest ride of this type still in operation is the Boat Chute, constructed in 1926 and 1927 located at Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park in Rossville, Georgia near Chattanooga, Tennessee.[5] An operating modern reproduction of the Luna Park shoot the chute ride of the early 20th century, The Pittsburg Plunge,[Note 1] is currently in operation at Kennywood amusement park in Pennsylvania.

Modern rides

The Shoot the Chute concept has evolved over time in the amusement park industry. All modern Shoot the Chute rides today feature a guide track after the descent down the chute into the pool of water that allows the boats to return to the loading platform—completing a closed circuit track. Most modern Shoot the Chute rides usually consist of (though not limited to) an oval shaped layout or a figure-eight layout. Many Shoot the Chute installations also have an observation platform or bridge so that spectators, in addition to riders, can get wet from the splash created by the boats.

Intamin took the Shoot the Chute concept to extremes with the opening of its first Mega Splash, Perilous Plunge at Knott's Berry Farm. At its opening, it was the tallest and steepest water flume ride in the world. Three seven-ton 24-passenger boats would climb a 121-foot (36.8 m) lift-hill, round a curve and descend a 115-foot (35 m) water chute at a 77.8-degree slope. Upon landing in the lagoon below, the boats created a 45-foot (13.7 m) high splash that drenched riders as well as spectators standing on an observation bridge overlooking the ride. The ride used an adjustable electromagnetic braking system to control the volume of the splash. A similar ride, Hydro, was later constructed at Oakwood Theme Park in Wales, UK. Perilous Plunge was removed from the park in 2012.

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana, built an even larger Shoot the Chute ride named "Pilgrim's Plunge." Designed and built by Intamin and dubbed a Hyper Splash, it was, at its opening, the world's tallest water ride, with a top speed of 50 miles per hour (80 km/h). Pilgrims Plunge featured a 135 open elevator lift leading to a 131-foot (40 m) drop at a 45' angle that would propel the boat to speeds approaching 50 miles per hour (80 km/h).[6] Pilgrim's Plunge opened for the 2009 season and was featured on a segment of the Travel Channel's Extreme series.[7] It was renamed Giraffica for the 2013 season and removed in April 2014 due to downtime and reliability issues.[8]

Notable manufacturers



Adventure FallsMichigan's Adventure United StatesHopkins Rides1995Operating
AmazonasSommerland Syd DenmarkUnknownUnknownRemoved
AnacondaEnergylandia PolandIntamin2017Operating
Aquaman SplashdownSix Flags Over Texas United StatesHopkins Rides1987Removed
Aquaman SplashDownSix Flags Mexico MexicoHopkins Rides1993Operating
Bermuda TriangleSea World AustraliaUnknown1994Removed
Bermuda Triangle - Alien EncounterMovie Park Germany GermanyIntamin1996Operating
Boston Tea PartyCanobie Lake Park United StatesHopkins Rides1998Operating
Buzzsaw FallsAlabama Splash Adventure United StatesSkyTrans Manufacturing 2011Removed
Cataratas SalvajesParque Warner Madrid SpainIntamin2002Operating
Centrale Di PompaggioFelifonte ItalyHafema2003Removed
Congo FallsKings Island United StatesIntamin1988Operating
Diamond FallsKings Dominion United StatesIntamin1985Removed
Diamond RiverLegendia PolandUnknown2016Operating
Formerly Hydro
Oakwood Theme Park United KingdomIntamin2002Operating
Dschungel X-peditionLegoland Deutschland GermanyIntamin2002Operating
Escape from PompeiiBusch Gardens Williamsburg United StatesIntamin1995Operating
Flash FloodNoah's Ark Water Park United StatesHopkins Rides1999Operating
Fluch Des PharaoBelantis GermanyHafema2003Operating
Fuga da AtlantideGardaland ItalyIntamin2003Operating
Formerly Pilgrim's Plunge
Holiday World United StatesIntamin2009Removed
Grand SplatchParc Astérix FranceIntamin1989Operating
IguazúIsla Mágica SpainIntamin1997Operating
Jungle SplashEtnaland ItalyIntamin2010Operating
Jurassic Park: The RideUniversal Studios Japan JapanVekoma2001Operating
Jurassic Park River AdventureUniversal Studios Islands of Adventure United StatesVekoma1999Operating
Jurassic World: The Ride
Formerly Jurassic Park: The Ride
Universal Studios Hollywood United StatesVekoma1996Operating
La Furia de TritónTerra Mítica SpainIntamin2000Operating
Los FiordosParque de Atracciones de Madrid SpainIntamin1998Operating
Lost River RideFlamingo Land United KingdomBear Rides2004Operating
Lumberjack FallsWild Waves Theme Park United StatesIntamin2002Operating
Mega TsunamiChina Dinosaurs Park ChinaIntamin2011Operating
Mile High FallsKentucky Kingdom United StatesHopkins Rides1994Operating
MonsoonWorlds of Fun United StatesIntamin1992Operating
Monsoon FallsSix Flags Discovery Kingdom United StatesIntamin1999Operating
NiagaraBellewaerde BelgiumInterlink1995Operating
NiagaraMirabilandia ItalyHopkins Rides1999Operating
Old Mill ScreamOpryland USA United StatesIntamin1987Removed
Padre PlungeSchlitterbahn Corpus Christi United StatesSkyTrans Manufacturing2017Operating
Perilous PlungeKnott's Berry Farm United StatesIntamin2000Removed
Pirate ReefLegoland California United StatesHopkins Rides2012Operating
Pittsburg PlungeKennywood United StatesHopkins Rides1995Operating
Playland PlungePlayland Park United StatesHopkins Rides2001Operating
Plummet SummitMagic Springs and Crystal Falls United StatesUnknownUnknownOperating
Power SurgeSix Flags Fiesta Texas United StatesIntamin1992Removed
Rim RunnerAdventuredome United StatesArrow Dynamics1993Removed
Roaring SpringsLowry Park Zoo United StatesUnknownUnknownOperating
Roaring FallsCelebration City United StatesHopkins Rides2008Removed
Shipwreck FallsDarien Lake United StatesIntamin2002Operating
Shipwreck FallsElitch Gardens United StatesHopkins Rides1997Operating
Shipwreck FallsGeauga Lake United StatesHopkins Rides2000Removed
Shipwreck FallsSix Flags New England United StatesHopkins Rides1997Removed
Shipwreck FallsSix Flags America United StatesHopkins Rides1993Operating
Shoot the ChuteNagashima Spa Land JapanHopkins Rides1994Operating
Shoot the ChuteChimelong Paradise ChinaUnknownUnknownOperating
Shoot the ChuteHappy Valley Shanghai ChinaGolden Horse2009Operating
Shoot the ChuteHappy Valley Shenzhen ChinaGolden HorseUnknownOperating
Shoot the ChuteHappy Valley Wuhan ChinaGolden Horse2012Operating
Shoot the ChuteWonderland Park United StatesHopkins RidesUnknownOperating
Sklooosh!Knoebels Amusement Resort United StatesHopkins Rides1997Operating
Snake River FallsCedar Point United StatesArrow Dynamics1993Operating
Spillway SplashoutSix Flags New Orleans United StatesHopkins RidesUnknownClosed
SplashDuinrell NetherlandsHopkins Rides1992Operating
Splash CaribeParque Diversiones Costa RicaHopkins RidesUnknownOperating
SplashuteYokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise JapanUnknownUnknownOperating
Splashwater FallsSix Flags Great Adventure United StatesHopkins Rides1987Removed
Splashwater FallsSix Flags Great America United StatesHopkins Rides1987Removed
Splashwater FallsSix Flags Over Georgia United StatesHopkins Rides1986Operating
Submarine SplashGyeongju World South KoreaUnknownUnknownOperating
Super SplashHansa-Park GermanyUnknown1986Operating
Tanganyika Tidal WaveBusch Gardens Tampa United StatesArrow Dynamics1989Removed
The WaveValleyfair United StatesHopkins Rides1992Operating
Tidal ForceHersheypark United StatesHopkins Rides1994Operating
Tidal WaveSix Flags AstroWorld United StatesArrow Dynamics1988Removed
Tidal WaveSix Flags Magic Mountain United StatesIntamin1989Operating
Tidal WaveSix Flags St. Louis United StatesHopkins Rides1991Removed
Tidal WaveThorpe Park United KingdomHopkins Rides2000Operating
Timberwolf FallsCanada's Wonderland CanadaHopkins Rides1989Operating
Tutuki SplashPortAventura Park SpainIntamin1995Operating
Vikingİsfanbul TurkeyIntamin2013Operating
Whitewater FallsCalifornia's Great America United StatesIntamin1990Operating
Whitewater FallsCarowinds United StatesHopkins Rides1988Removed
White Water LandingDorney Park United StatesArrow Dynamics1993Operating
YucatanRainbow Magicland ItalyIntamin2011Operating
Zeslizg Do WodyLegendia PolandUnknown1959Removed



  1. The name of Pittsburgh was often spelled without the h in the 1800s and early 1900s. The Pittsburg Plunge, located in Kennywood Park's nostalgic "Lost Kennywood" section, features the bygone spelling.


  1. Fleurty Girl T-Shirts Archived 2010-10-16 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 12 October 2010.
  2. Watchtower Park Article by Rock Island Historical Society. Retrieved 30 April 2008.
  3. Amusing America Exhibits of the San Francisco Public Library. Retrieved 4 August 2007.
  4. Stanton, Jeffrey (1998) Coney Island-Sea Lion Park. Retrieved 4 August 2007.
  5. Lake Winnepesaukah. "The Boat Chute". Archived from the original on April 22, 2010. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
  6. "Holiday World Adds World's Tallest Water Ride |". 2009-04-29. Archived from the original on 2010-06-12. Retrieved 2010-09-14.
  7. "Don't throw your back out, Will! |". 2009-06-24. Retrieved 2010-09-14.
  8. "The wisdom of Sir Isaac - Holiday World". 17 April 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  9. History of Lagoon Archived 2007-12-17 at the Wayback Machine
  10. "Lewis & Clark 2". Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  11. Luna Park article by Russell Allon Hehr from The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History Archived 2007-11-24 at the Wayback Machine
  12. History of Luna Park Archived 2007-08-10 at - Case Western Reserve University
  13. "Shoot the Chute Ride In Chicago". Roller Coaster History: How It Started. Retrieved 2008-12-07.
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