Viking River Splash opened at Legoland Windsor Resort in 2007 as the flagship attraction in the new Land of the Vikings area. Manufactured by ABC Rides, this river rapids ride was one of several attractions in this area targeted at guests seeking adventure, which both came and went over its lifespan.
Original plans for the attraction were submitted for approval in 2006 and was originally referred to as a lazy river ride before later being updated to be a rapids. The plans also outlined additional attractions which never came to be including a splash battle and a Sea Life Centre. Some of the documents also show a detailed look at each of the theming elements and several of the water effects which the attraction featured when it first opened.
Guests prepared to embark on a Viking adventure through this river rapids ride within unchartered waters. Following departure from the station, guests would first need to watch out for a watery onslaught from those still on-shore, although there were soon bigger concerns as the fierce-looking dragon approached. After passing through a large skeleton structure, the winding river took riders past Vikings and a hoard of armoured rats. Things then got very choppy as Vikings fend off an attack from creatures of the deep. When the ride first opened, the final section of the ride passed beneath an overhead structure, where several tipping buckets and Viking figures used to be positioned. In later years, these were removed and replaced with three spitting Viking heads.
Over the years, Viking River Splash saw a gradual removal of water effects and some theming features. A ride which was a soaker when it opened became a ride that barely gave riders a splash in its final years. When the attraction originally opened it had a height restriction of 1.0 metres, however, following the rapids incident at Drayton Manor, this restriction was increased to 1.1 metres. Also, all riders under 1.3 metres had to be accompanied by someone aged 16 years or over. The attraction also offered an on-ride photo and reserve & ride.
During the 2023 season, Viking River Splash became extremely unreliable. With the ride often being displayed as closed, it became more and more rare for visitors to Legoland to be able to experience the attraction. Ridership of the attraction had also dwindled due to its poor upkeep and distance from other attractions within the resort. Furthermore, rapids rides are notorious for being expensive due to their power consumption, running costs and increased staffing requirements. All of these factors are expected to have played a role in Legoland’s decision to announce its permanent closure in September 2023.
Attraction Source had the privilege of covering the final day of Viking River Splash. Due to the closure being on a Monday during school term time, the turnout for the closure was smaller than expected. It seemed that many enthusiasts had their last rides over the prior weekend and the month leading up to the ride’s closure. All riders on the final day were given an exclusive pop badge as they boarded the attraction to commemorate the occasion. After the attraction had closed to the public, the area was cleared, and the attraction then operated for its final ever staff rides.
At the time of its closure, it was unclear as to what would replace this attraction, with no planning documentation having yet been submitted for the area.
Explore other past rides and attractions in our dedicated archive.