Water Ride Refurbishment

When it comes to water ride refurbishment, you can trust Garmendale.

Like any other ride within a theme park or attraction, Water rides require mechanical repairs, upgrades and alterations to ensure they run smoothly and to absolutely minimise downtime. It’s an area of the theme park refurbishment world, where we have made our name. Our experience in this sector stretches back well over 20 years and we have completed projects for water rides across the world.

There are a huge number of services we offer for water rides.

Control Systems

The demands of a modern ride have changed beyond recognition in recent years and safety is ever more paramount. Our control systems are second to none and ensure safety throughout the ride. This is every bit as relevant for a new ride being given a new lease of life, an old ride being refurbished and relocated to a new site or park or a brand new ride being installed. Our team of experts live and breath control systems and can advise you on the most suitable, long-lasting and cost-effective solution to controlling your water ride. 

Lift mechanism

To create the drop for the trademark splash of almost any water ride, you first have to gain height. This involves a lifting mechanism. Being submerged in water for most of its life also means that it is one of the first parts within the ride system to require maintenance and refurbishment. As you’ll see in the example below, when Bubbleworks was being prepared for its new life as the Gruffalo water ride, the first upgrade was to the lift. 

The troughs and basins 

The system of troughs and basins is obviously vital for a smooth running water ride of almost any type. They also show some of the worst wear and can begin to leak at the joints, or if the surface finish breaks down, in the walls or floor of the trough itself. The supports for the troughs are normally installed in the ground and over time can begin to rust or fatigue too. These are critical for safe operation of the ride, however hard they are to access. Some of our biggest jobs in this area have been when we have completely rebuilt the troughs and their supports to give the ride a whole new lease of life. You can see that in the examples below. Not glamorous work, but hugely important. 

Turntable and slewing ring

At the heart of any water ride is normally a turntable to move the cars around and allow simple, safe loading and unloading. Inevitably it is one area where wear has the biggest impact on reliability and smooth running. Conversely, it’s also one of the areas that can deliver the biggest improvement in ride reliability and smooth running. It’s not something most operators and no customers would ever even see, but it’s something we obsess about and have huge experience in their redesign, upgrade or refurbishment. 

Water ride boats or cars

As with many of the projects we work on, few people ever notice the engineering that drives a ride. The focal point is normally the theming on the car or boat as well as around the orientation area. A scruffy finish on a boat can give the impression that a ride is tired, when it’s still in the price of its life. So, as part of our service, we offer a refurbishment and upgrade service for the GRP and the running gear for the boats, so they look as good as new and run even better. 

Water Ride refurbishment Services

  • Control System Experts – Upgrade / Renewals Re-design
  • Feasibility Studies – New / Existing Upgrades
  • Trough Renewals / Upgrades
  • Trough Support Systems – Upgrades
  • GRP Repair / Replacements / Upgrades
  • Water Breaks – Re-design / Upgrades
  • Turntable(s) – Re-design / Repair / Upgrades
  • Lift Structure / Access – Repair / Upgrades

Case Studies

The easiest way to show you our experience in water ride refurbishment is to show you some of our previous projects. Here are a few that show the breadth of our skills.

Dragon Falls – Chessington

One of the bigger rides we worked on was The Dragon Falls at Chessington which is a log flume style ride. With this project, we hand dug out all of the damaged troughs around the ride and refurbished them. We also replaced all of the spines underneath that supported it. This has since been re-themed again and is now known as the Tiger Rock ride. Here’s a POV video of the ride from last year. We love this as it’s so clear that the structure we rebuilt is still looking like it’s in excellent condition.

Bubble Works

This was a project that had two purposes. To make the ride strong and reliable for its final season and prepare it for a new and rethemed future. We replaced the two lifts inside the ride and rebuilt all of the tubs throughout. This was the last season before Bubbleworks was retired and it was totally re-themed and came back as the Gruffalo River Ride Adventure. As with much of our work, what we have done is nigh on invisible to the public. The entire focus for the passenger is what goes on above the boat and the wonder of the beautiful Gruffalo story. You can see that ride in the video below or read about the original refurbishment here.

Refurbishment of boats from water rides

You’ll see from the pictures below that we have worked on many, many boats from water rides too. The level of refurbishment varies by design but we are often asked to refurbish the entire running gear on the boats. Despite being hidden from view, many have wheels hidden underneath and running in water for their entire life does put some extra demands on it.

slide-water-rides - Water Ride refurbishment