Changes Underway During Annual Shutdown
In 1993, the first phase of a dual-use attraction opened for operation at Ober Gatlinburg. On one side a Bungee Jump and the other a water raft ride known as Blue Cyclone Rapids. Since that time, approximately 1.5 million thrill-seekers have climbed the 60-foot-tall staircase in search of adventure.
Today, the attraction’s history has been written. After almost 27 years of exhilarating fun, the Blue Cyclone Rapids will be decommissioned during Ober Gatlinburg’s annual shutdown (April 25 – May 5, 2022) as we prepare for future park improvements.
President Kent Anders cited the reasons behind the decision as being multifaceted, “We can no longer support the ride’s operation. The original manufacturer, no longer in business, making it more difficult to find replacement parts required for routine maintenance.”
Although we are sad to see the beloved attraction go, we are excited for the future development of this area of our property.
History of the Dual-Purpose Attraction:
Officially opened in 1993, the ride first featured a bungee jump portion before the water attraction was added in the summer two years later. The Bungee Jump, stood over 60 feet above ground and recorded over 100,000 jumpers before it was decommissioned in 2009.
Thrill-seekers ascended a windy staircase to the top and after being safely strapped into a harness, jumped off the tower. Considering Ober’s Mountaintop Park sits at over 2,800 feet above sea level, one could describe it as jumping down from the top of the world. Though not as long-lived as its neighboring and more popular attractions, the Bungee Jump had a good run!
Since June 1995, the Blue Cyclone has always been a favorite among new and returning guests. Racing down 600 feet of water at speeds exceeding 30 mph, it was really a thrill to both see and experience. Families and friends loved being able to blast down the tubes and make a big splash, after all, it provided all the summer fun without the need for swimwear. It is no wonder that approximately 1.5 million guests have rafted down the Rapids!
A bungee jumper taking the plunge.
A throwback of the Cyclone.
Although the final demolition and removal is scheduled for the amusement park’s annual shutdown, from April 25th to May 5th, deconstruction of the site is already underway. Ober utilizes its shutdown period to perform general updates and needed improvements as the park is open 7 days a week for the rest of the year.
The perfect time to finalize such a major change.
Riders enjoying a splash on the Cyclone.
What Does the Future Hold?
If you have ever been to Ober Gatlinburg or any amusement park, there’s a good chance you have a favorite attraction. In this case, the Blue Cyclone Rapids may have been yours.
As of right now, we have no definite answer as to what will replace the Cyclone, we are exploring several options for the space.
Pic 4. Riders enjoying a splash on the cyclone.
As always Ober Gatlinburg is committed to creating unparalleled experiences for you and your family to make happy memories.