on October 28, 2009
Popeye and Bluto's Bilge Rat Barges is one of the two major water rides in the Toon Lagoon section of Islands of Adventure. The main purpose of Toon Lagoon is to get visitor's very, very wet, and this ride does it's job. It's a traditional roaring-rapids style ride, where guests sit in a giant, circular car that winds it's way along a wild river. It's located just past the main entrance to Toon Lagoon, and is made unique by the cartoon-like atmosphere created by the theming. The ride makes you feel like you're in the middle of a madcap cartoon, which is definitely a unique feeling that you can only get at a theme park.The line for Popeye and Bluto's Bilge Rat Barges isn't anything special. It isn't themed or overly creative, but it does a good job of getting guests in the mood to get wet. The majority of my family's visits to Orlando are in the summer, so we always appreciate the water misters and giant fans that blow down on us as we wait on line. This is one of the most popular rides in the park (especially on a hot day) so be sure to visit early. This ride tends to have the longest line of all, so try to avoid it in the middle of the afternoon when crowds are at a peak.The ride itself is wild and fun. Twelve guests fit in each car, making it the perfect ride for large families or groups hoping to experience a ride together. Be prepared to get absolutely soaked on this one! As wet as you get on the other water rides in the park, this ride takes the cake. Regardless of where you sit, every single person on the raft will come off the ride dripping wet and wringing water out of their clothes. This is due to the fact that the barge goes through a "barge wash" - a car-wash type of device that shoots water jets over the entire vehicle. The whole barge also goes under a series of waterfalls, and dips under rapids where giant splashes of water come rushing into the boat. It's the perfect ride for hot summer days!Guests need to be 44-inches tall to ride, so it's perfect for family's with young children. As wild as the ride is, it isn't as thrilling or scary at the nearby Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls since it doesn't have any big drops or slides. The thrills here come from the rapids themselves, which dip, twist and turn the barge in all directions while soaking everyone inside. Since you do get so wet, free locker rentals are provided by Universal Orlando for an hour at a time so you don't ruin any of your belongings.
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