It’s been a very sad and crazy day for the theme park industry as Dreamland in Australia had a horrible accident that resulted in the deaths of four people, and left two others injured. It’s a “what if” scenario that no one wants to play out. Unfortunately, it’s a scenario that many theme parks should look at. Busch Gardens Tampa has preemptively closed down their Congo River Rapids attraction. It’s a decision that was made for safety reasons, while they figure out what exactly went wrong in Australia.
“We have made the decision to close our Congo River Rapids ride while we work with other park operators and ride manufacturers to understand what happened in Australia,” said Karen Varga-Sinka, Busch Gardens spokeswoman.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those involved in the tragic incident at the Dreamworld park. The safety of guests and team members continues to be Busch Gardens’ number one priority. All ride attractions are inspected daily by trained technicians to ensure they are operating properly and meet all safety guidelines set forth by state agencies and well as the ride manufacturers.”
The ride system on Congo River Rapids was the same that was on the river raft attraction at Dreamland, or at least very similar. At this time, no other parks have closed down their raft attractions. According to the statement, Busch Gardens will keep the attraction down until authorities figure out what happened at Dreamland. Once then, Busch Gardens can determine if it was a malfunction with the ride that needs to be fixed, or if there was another problem altogether. Currently, Roman Rapids at Busch Gardens Williamsburg is down for the season, so this will not effect the performance of that attraction.