Raft Ride
Here we have the Raft Ride. It was located in Eagle Lake beside the monkey island. It was later removed to make room
for the Old Mill Scream. Normally, I'd tell you of my experience of the ride but with my thanks going out to Patrick Walker
for the information and the all the pictures you see on this page, I'll let him tell his story about this ride. Thanks Patrick!!!
From Patrick:

There were a total of 18 rafts.  We would start the day using 6 and add by two as the crowds
picked up.  The maximum number we could have on the lake at one time was 14.  And believe
me when there were 14 rafts going it was busy.  There were four working positions on the dock
at one time - dispatcher, 2 loaders and an unloader.  The person dispatching was the key as
they had to know when to dispatch each boat to keep them as equally spaced as possible.  If
one raft was running slow you had to send it out a little sooner than the others.  They ran on
rechargeable batteries (about the size of a car battery) which were housed under the back seat.  
If I remember correctly there were either 6 or 8 batteries per boat.  It would take a few hours to
charge once the batteries were spent.  The rafts were kept along the walk dock that ran around
the perimeter of the lake, accessed from the loading dock.  There were 18 chargers which were
kept in the boat house (large building shown in picture 86j), and two charger houses (small
building to the ride side of picture 86j).  We would chain the rafts to the dock and plug the
chargers into the side of the rafts from a long cord that ran from each charger.  The rafts were
on a track.  There was a motor that was started by pushing a button located on the back to the
seat on the second bench of the raft.  A limit switch on the back of the raft would hit a flap just
before the boat got to the dock to turn the motor off (if one of the black geese didn't turn it off
first!).  The rafts stayed on the lake from opening day in the spring until the closing day in
November.  In the winter the lake was drained and the rafts were stored at the maintenance
building.  The main reason they closed the ride for good was that the batteries would not hold a
charge very long and it was better to invest in a new exciting ride than to put a lot of money in
new batteries and chargers.
(click a thumbnail to see larger picture)
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