Aquaman: Power Wave

Aquaman: Power Wave is set to open at Six Flags Over Texas for the 2020 season.  The ride replaces “AquamanL Splashdown”. Both rides are themed based on the D.C. Comics superhero “Aquaman”. 

Aquaman: Power Waver Logo
Credits: Six Flags PR Release

The ride is being promoted as a “first of its kind” “next generation” water coaster. 

The ride vehicles is a 20 passenger boat, similar to the previous Aquaman ride. Rather than riding in a circular track, as with the original Aquaman, the boats will be propelled up 148 feet twin track towers located at each end of the water way. After rising up the towers, the boats will plunge straight down. The boats will travel along  700 feet of track and travel at up to  63 miles per hour. As with the original, the ride ends with a large splash propelled around and onto the boats and the nearby spectators.

Concept Art of Six Flags over Texas Aquaman: Power Wave.
Credits: Six Flags Over Texas PR Photograph

The propulsion of the boats is generated with magnets.  

It is the first coaster of its time in North American and is being constructed at this time. 

Six Flags Overt Texas Aquaman Power Wave Boat
Concept art of ride unit to be installed on Six Flags Over Texas Aquaman:Power Wave.
Credits: Six Flags Over Texas PR Photograph

River Pictures

Spanish Fort firing on the Riverboat. fortfire.jpg (92735 bytes)
Riverboat outrunning the Cannon Shots. frfort2.jpg (62354 bytes)
Waiting for another boat. spfort.jpg (24024 bytes)
Jacque and Pierre, hanging from a tree. frj&p.jpg (84824 bytes)
Jacque and Pierre, hanging from a tree in later years. (Note different costumes.) rwjandp.jpg (32470 bytes)
French settlers in gun battle with the Indians. frrvrxfire.jpg (60185 bytes)
Another View. crossfire.jpg (30349 bytes)
Alligator looking for a “hand-out.” alligator.jpg (22372 bytes)
Indian war canoe. frrvwarc.jpg (42690 bytes)
Indian Village with Medicine man. frrvrivill.jpg (46610 bytes)
Another View. medman.jpg (54268 bytes)
Bear fighting off Timber Wolves. beareatingwolfs.jpg (25497 bytes)
Beaver felling tree. frrvrbvr.jpg (32110 bytes)
Boat coming into dock. riverlft.jpg (66838 bytes)
Boat docking. juliette.jpg (60022 bytes)
Aerial view of river area, with Roaring rapids superimposed. frrvrair.jpg (98433 bytes)

Aquaman Splashwater (Splashdown Falls)

Year Installed: 1986
Last Year Operated: 2018
Section: Moden USA
Manufacturer: O.D. Hopkins Associates
Other Names and Nicknames: Splashdown Falls

      Both the Flume ride and the Rolling Rapids have established that crowds in the Texas heat will appreciate a ride that gets them wet. Splashdown Falls, built in 1986 and opening in 1987, was built as the simplest ride that could accomplish this task. The ride is now named the “Aquaman”, based on one of the DC Comic Characters.

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          The design consists of a large lift hill, which pulls the rides’ six boats over fifty feet in the air. The boats then travel through a 180 degree curve section, where they then fall down a 45 foot drop at a 35 degree angle into a splash pool below. The twenty foot boats are each designed to hold 20 riders sitting in five rows of bench seats, for an hourly capacity of 1,800.

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     Up to twenty riders sitting in the boats five bench style rows, all experience some degree of splash. In addition, the riders could wait on the exit bridge after disembarking for the next boat to fall. Doing so, they could experience the full impact of the boats splash, virtually guaranteeing that they will be soak through and through.

      The 800-foot ride uses 250,000 gallons of water, circulated around the ride by a 180 Horsepower pumping station.The ride was built by O.D. Hopkins Associates. Inc of New Hampshire.

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      The ride’s name was inconsistent over the years. It was known as Splashwater Falls, just “Splashwater”, and Splashdown Falls in various publications The ride was later renamed the “Splashdown Reentry Test Simulation” to correspond with the retheming of the modern section to an Astronaut training center with the addition of the “Right Stuff” simulator. The final name was “Aquaman Splashdown“.

The ride was closed during the 2019 season to begin work on Aquaman: Power Wave to open in 2020.

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LaSalle’s River Adventure Spiel

Six Flags Over Texas
Mid 1970s

Good day my friends, I would like to welcome you aboard our little French Riverboat the [Nadine, Elizabeth (Belle), Juliet, Annabelle, Henrietta, Suzanne, Marguerite, Maria, Isabelle, Paulette, Georgette]

I am your captain and as we pull away from the dock, I would like to remind you to keep your arms and legs inside the boat at all times, for if you leave them out for just a ‘little too long’, ….they may come back a ‘little too short’.

Leaving the Dock

Boat pulls away from dock and starts around a corner

For we will be traveling down the dangerous Lavaca river which in 1861, our leader, Cavalier De LaSalle sailed looking for an alternate route to the Mississippi River. But he has was never been heard from since.

So that we don’t meet up with his same fate, I have sent ahead a French Riverboat captain and two river scouts, Jacques and Pierre, there camp should be just around this bend,

but wait? /excited voice/…. oh no? it looks as though the Indians have attacked the camp.


a campsite; fires burning from the battle;
dead Indian figures laying on the ground;
dead riverboat pilot lying on a sea chest with an arrow in his back

There is our river boat captain, lying on his chest. That’s him in the arrow shirt. It looks as though he got the point of the Indian message.

But I don’t see our river scouts, Jacques or Pierre, anywhere about, perhaps they escaped with their lives and we can find them as we continue our journey down the river. I certainly hope so, because we will be lost without them.

Over to my left is a pack of hungry timber wolfs and it looks like they had someone over for dinner. I don’t think that they will be bothering us.

Timber wolfs

Pack of wolfs sitting around a pile of bones.

Over to my right is a more friendly scene. Some friendly Tejas Indians are helping the Friar build the Mission San Francisco de los Tejas.Spanish Mission

Partial log mission, Indians carrying logs
Friar looking at scroll and nodding up and down.

You know, though, they have been building that Mission for 17 years and they still aren’t through. Maybe they should just rename it….’Mission Impossible.’

But wait, /quietly/ up ahead is a Spanish Fort. And as you all know, Spain and France have been at war for ten long years over this little piece of land known as Texas. Perhaps if we are very quiet, we can sneak by. But wait, they have spotted us.

Spanish Fort

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Spanish Officer raises up in the fort watch tower
and drops his sword signaling the cannons to fire.
Each of three cannons begin to fire, three times each.]// As the cannons fire

Oh no. I near miss to the front and another to the side. We will have to abandoned ship, Women and Children first, AFTER THE CAPTAIN OF COURSE. But wait, they have stopped. It appears as though the Spanish can’t even hit the broad side of a little French River boat and we can continue on our journey in safety.

But don’t look to my right. There’s Jacques and Pierre, our two French River Scouts, hanging from that tree.

Jacques and Pierre

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Two French river scout type figures
are hanging by their necks from a tree branch.

Oh well:It looks like they are at the ‘ends of their ropes’.Oh Jacque and Pierre, they always were the ‘swingers of the swamps’.There they are, just ‘hanging around’.It seems that they found the last ‘stretch of the river.’

I guess we will just have to travel on without them, but wait, look up in that tree, it is the Famous French Fur Trapper, Francis. I’ll just ask him if it is safe to go on.Fur Trapper

French fur trapper sitting high in a tree, shaking his head. // Yell out of the boat. Francis, is it safe to go on?

Look, as you can clearly see, he is shaking his head back and forth, which in French means ? ‘no.’ We could turn around, but I don’t think we would get past that Spanish Fort again, so we will have to continue onward.

You can also see Francis shaking his leg back and forth. After 17 years in that tree, I think that is French for… ‘I need to go to the restroom.’

But wait, did you hear something ahead?//popping sound

Cross Fire

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Indians on inside of river shooting at Frenchman hiding behind wine barrels on the outside of the river. Wine is leaking out of barrels shot in the fire fight.

Oh no, we are caught in a cross fire between these Indians on this side and our own Frenchman on the other. Everyone down to the bottom of the boat, for it would be quite a shame to be shot by one of our own country men.

I think that we made it safely by.

But look what the Indians have done to those barrels of wine. Once King Louie finds out what is happening to the wine that he is shipping to Texas, he will start sending Milk instead.

We have now entered the most dangerous part of the river, the ‘uncharted territories’. As you can see, everywhere are dangerous alligators, just waiting to make a meal of us. Why I have been told that there was once an English Teacher that stuck her hand outside of the boat right here, // pointing to alligators open mouth….
and now, she is teaching ‘shorthand.’

Oh no, everyone down, that’s a Caddo war party and those arrows are poisoned tipped, one scratch would mean instance death. That was very close, luckily they have decided not to fire.War Canoe

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war canoe appears and moves behind the bushesPop-Up Bear

beside the boar on the other side, a bear pops up and growls

Don’t worry, that just a bear fishing for his dinner in the river.

Over here is a Caddo Indian burial pier, the Indians buried their dead six feet above the ground in the hopes that that would give them a head start to the happy hunting grounds above.

Here a momma bear and her cubs are stealing some honey from those bees. And boy are those bees mad. Then again, I bet you would be pretty mad if you came home one night and found out that some animals was ? trying to steal ‘your honey.’

Over here is an Indian village and the Medicine man is trying to ward off the evil sprits.Indian Village

Hay ya, Hay ya, Hay ya
Indian Medicine man dancing around pot on the fire
Indian women cleaning clothes in the river

But wait, //excited// if you look carefully, you will see that all of the warriors are gone from the village. And when all of the Indian warriors are gone from an Indian village, it can only mean one thing,

…..’they are somewhere else.’ Lets hope that we don’t find out where.

Wait, everyone quite, there’s a cougar looking for his dinner, one wrong move and we will be it.

Quite everyone, ? careful,


The Cougarcougar is on a branch hanging out over
the river next to the boat, slowly the
boat passes the cougar by.// Very loud scream:

on no, look out. 

// calmer // – I thought he had that little fat man at the back of the boat.

Bear fighting Timber wolfsLarge bear waving off five timber wolfs.

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Here to my right a bear is fight off a pack of hungry timber wolfs. And as you can clearly see, he is fighting them… ‘bear handed’. I bet that he will… ‘barely’ escape from that situation. I just can’t …’bear’ to watch.

Look though, there are only five wolfs in that pack. If there had been one more, that poor bear would have been up against ‘a six-pack’.

Oh no, everyone to the side of the boat, as you can see on my right, there’s a river whirlpool dragging that poor soul to a watery grave.

The Whirlpool

hand sticking up from the water
holding a stick going
around (causing?) in a whirlpool

There is one thing that I can say about him however, he sure knows his way ‘around’ this swamp?

….and around? and around?

Over here is a more friendly scene, a group of beavers are hard at work building a dam. But wait a minute, look out,


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Beavers standing in clearing near small tree//excited// that tree is going to fall,

T  I  M — B  E  R.

Why, I do believe if that tree had been just a little bit longer, this boat would have been ….just a little ‘bit shorter’.

‘Leave it to Beaver’ to pull a stunt like that.

It seems that one have come to a fork in the river and I don’t know which way to go. I guess we should try this way.

But look out, everyone down. We are surrounded by Caddo Warriors. I guess we should have gone the other way.War Party

Indians on both sides of the River
threaten the boat with spears and arrows.

Everyone smile and perhaps they will think we are friendly. It looked like it worked, they are letting us pass,

but, oh no, here is why. We are heading for a waterfall and a solid rock wall behind it. The river is much to narrow to turn around here and we can’t go back past those warriors. I guess this is the end of our journeyThe Waterfall

ahead is a Water fall and behind it is a solid rock wall. // The captain stops the boat.

But wait, the wall is opening.// Boat starts back up.

We must have discovered a secret Indian treasure cave, for the Indians were known to hide their treasure in caves such as this.

The Cave

treasure chest with dead skeletons. (as opposed to live skeletons?)
looks more like a pirate cave than an Indian cave.

Look out,

// skeleton swings out from the dark.

It looks like that pour sucker has been on ‘a crash diet’.

There is the treasure, it looks like many that have tried to take it have paid with their lives.

Oh no, the walls behind us are closing, we are trapped inside.// boat moving very slowly.

But wait, the walls in front are opening, the Indians are repaying us with our lives for not disturbing their treasure.

And look, there is the flag of France, viva La France, we have made it back to Fort St. Louis and safety.

Back to Dock

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Back where we started

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As the boat approaches the dock, I would like to remind you to keep your arms and legs inside the boat and please remain seated until the boat comes to a complete stop.

I hope you enjoy your day here at fun filled Six Flags Over Texas.

Crew claps and cheers and goes wild.

End of Spiel

Unloading Spiel: // in sort of a rambling manner.

Please watch you head as your heading out, and watch your step as your stepping out, but most importantly of all, watch out for my poor aching feet.

You see I have been standing on them all day long, and so have about a hundred other people. The difference is, I like to stand on the bottoms, and they like to stand on the tops.

Why just this morning a spaceship full of half-crazed Martians landed at the front gate, got out of their ship, checked their brains in at the public lockers and came down here just to step on my feet.

Enjoy your stay here at Six Flags Over Texas and remember that there is only [insert exact count] shopping days left until Christmas.

A few notes about this Spiel:

  1. This is not a verbatium copy of an “official spiel”.  which was handed out to employees. That was more of a guideline to help each employee get started.
  2. This is very similar to what was actually said during the 1974-77 seasons.
  3. Each “River rat” spieled differently from the official spiel, other employees. Even an individual’s own spiel could vary between trips. Each captain had alternate remarks for the various animations and added comments if the boat was running slow.
  4. The spiel also changed over time, especially since the animations were occasionally changed.
  5. Around 1975, one boat was renamed the “Belle” in honor of Alan Bell, a supervisor at the time, which was interesting, as one of La Salle’s boats was actually named the Belle.

“El Aserradero” (Saw Mill), Log Flume Ride

Year Installed: 1963
Last Year Operated: Currently Operating
Section: Spain
Manufacturer: Arrow Development
Other Names and Nicknames: Log Ride, Flume Ride

     “El Aserradero”, or the sawmill in English, was the official name for the Flume Ride when it first opened in 1963. The name refers to the building housing the first lift, which is designed to replicate a log saw mill. Employees generally refer to the ride as the “Flume Ride” and guest simply  call it the “Log Ride”.

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    The Log Flume Ride is tied with the Carousel Ride as the fourth oldest attraction in the park. They are surpassed only by the Railroad, the Chaparral cars and  Casa Magnetica. It is actually been operated more seasons than either the  Carousel or  Casa Magentica, in that both have been closed at various times for more than one season.

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The ride is simple in concept. Guest float around a large “flume” in small fiberglass boats designed to look like wooden logs. The ride starts with a trip up the “low lift”or “lift 1”. A pump under the lift raises the water to the height of the flume at the bottom of the lift. The logs are carried up the lift on a conveyor belt, then drop down the slide into the flume, which at the bottom of the “low lift” is higher than the rest of the ride.

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    The “logs” then float around the curving flume, carried forward by the the water, which is actually traveling slightly downhill. The ride reaches the bottom of “the high lift” or “lift 2”. The water at the base of this lift is the lowest level of the ride. The logs travel up another conveyor belt and then drop down a much higher slide to the end of the ride. The final drop creates the splashing effect for which the ride is famous.

    Flume rides are now an amusement park staple and are common at amusement parks across the nation. The Log Flume ride is, however, a unique Six Flags’ creation. The Six Flags Log ride is the first log ride in the world. It was also the first ride in the park that did not have a Disney counterpart.

    The ride was constructed by Arrow Development, which originally built rides for Disneyland. Six Flags over Texas was the first park to receive Arrow rides outside of Disneyland. Arrow also built the  Happy Motoring and Chaparral Cars and would later build the  Runway Mine Train.

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The ride replaced the burro ride, which had been located in the same location.  The flume, as with the burro ride before it, together with  Casa are all that consisted of the Spanish section.

The ride is reminiscent of older “shoot the chute” rides at parks and fairs. In this rides, small boats floated down a large slide onto a large pond or pool.

Luna Park – Coney Island – Shoot the Chutes

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Flume II        

    The Log Ride proved so popular that Six Flags added a second flume in 1968, five years after the first. The second flume, Flume II, is essentially the same as Flume I, and is generally operated only on high capacity days.

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    The ride has changed little over the years. During the 70s, the ride was  enhanced by several animations.  Lumberjacks could be seen in the woods sawing logs. A large villain character stood on top of the Flume One Mill house sawing on a large log. The log created the appearance that any minute it would break off and fall on any riders beneath it.  He had a constant repetitive laugh that got very old for the employees working the ride.

    His counter-part was a large “Paul Bunyon” type lumber jack that stood atop of the low lift of Flume II. He swung a large axe back and forth at the logs as the rode underneath of him.

    Also for a time, the drop on Flume II was covered, creating a tunnel through which the riders dropped.

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    At one time billed by the park as “the most popular and exciting ride ever  devised.”  The ride is now overshadowed by the larger water rides, such as Splash Down Falls and LaSalle’s Rapid Adventure.

    Ride capacity at each flume is approximately 1,000 per hour.

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Roaring Rapids

Year Installed: 1983
Last Year Operated: Currently Operating
Section: Tower
Manufacturer: Intamin A.G
Other Names and Nicknames: Raft Ride

    When it opened in 1983 the Roaring Rapids raft ride was the largest, most expensive ride ever constructed at the park. The raft ride, designed to simulate the experience of white water rafting on a raging river, is  located just south of the Tower and physically takes up more space than any other ride in the park. 

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     The ride replaced both Skull Island and LaSalle’s Riverboat Adventure, which were removed after the 1983 season to accommodate the new ride. Construction actually began August 16th, 1982, the day after the Riverboat made it last trip.

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    Originally, the entrance to the ride was on the north side of the ride, directly across from the exit area for the Tower.  Later, the ride was renamed as LaSalle’s Rapid ride and the entrance was moved to the south side of the ride, in the same location as the former entrance to the LaSalle’s Riverboat ride.

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    The ride was designed by Six Flags and built by Intamin A.G. at an estimated cost of $4.2 million dollars. (Intamin A.G. also built the ShockwaveTower, and Spinnaker.) 

    The concept for the ride was inspired by the man-made river used for the kayak races in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. The first ride of this design was built by Six Flags for the Six Flags Astroworld park and opened in 1980.    

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    The ride constitutes of three lakes and four stretches of rapids. It is 80 feet across at its widest point and 16 feet wide at its narrowest.  The “river” is filed with 1.5 million gallons of water and is powered by two 400 horsepower pumps which pump 150,000 gallons of water per minute. These are supplemented by five water jets.

    The ride’s reservoir is capable of holding 2 million gallons.

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    With an average water speed of 16.6 feet per second, the river grade drops 14 feet from start to finish. The 1/4 mile ride takes about 2 minutes to complete.

    The ride is equipped with 20 twelve passenger boats and can carry approximately 1,200 riders per hour.

    As of 1983, all six of the theme parks then owned by Six Flags operated a ride of this nature.  Today, virtually ever major amusement park has a similar ride.

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