Bravo, Movie World Madrid
Western flicks were a celebrated genre for over half a century,
celebrating the high noon and tumbleweed culture of the ĎMyth of the
Westí with a famous cast of goodies and badies with nothing in
was either the silent 1898 film Cripple Creek Bar Room or the famous
1903 classic, The Great Train Robbery that started off the fascination
with the rugged landscapes and rugged heroes of the west with countless
classics set into celluloid such as Stagecoach
or High Noon.
Bravo, the 1959 movie, encapsulates everything a Wild West film should
be, just as the genre begins to fade. John Wayne stars as a small-town
sheriff in the American West and relies upon the help of a cripple, a
drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother
of a local bandit.
Bravo, the 2002 ride, celebrates the film industryís infatuation with
all things western with an epic boat ride around the dusty wooden
streets of Western Americana and harsh landscapes of the West.
an overgrown knoll, the weathered but none-the-less over-powering Rio
Bravo Mining Company building hides the station. A winding pathway lit
with flickering lanterns guides you into the building, a veritable
museum of film-related artefacts and props.
and on the covered platform, boats slowly pass through the centre of the
boats are similar to Valhallaís, seating riders comfortably in four
pairs. Rio Bravo has the welcome addition of seatbelts to keep trouble
makersí hinds comfortably seated and out of mischief. As the boat
slowly advances along the length of the platform, you only have a short
while to adjust the soggy seatbelt and clip it in before you reach the
end of the platform.
journey through the wilderness starts off like a shopping trolley
rolling through an industrial estate with a slalom bouncing your boat
from side to side through a mass of concrete and gravel.
you sail onwards towards the more sympathetic landscape of the red-rock
mountain in front. A small turn takes you into a small, shallow lift up
into the mountain with fantastic views of the conical helices of Wild
Wild West to your left.
the boat stops, turns on a turntable before dropping backwards. If
youíre expecting a drop the size of a ripple in a rock pool (much like
Valhalla insults us with), then try and contain your excitement as you
plunge smoothly down a reasonably steep, reasonably tall drop and then
jolt rather sharply into a roller coaster style bunny hop before
smoothly skimming to a halt in the water.
brief backwards stretch takes you through a small canyon before you
stop, turn forwards and continue through the rocky landscape. The dusty
dunes are cluttered with branches, tumbleweed and... a ride camera.
the ride to this point has been thoroughly enjoyable, I canít help but
think expressions on ridersí faces are going to be that of
concentration more than exhilaration. It seems absurd to put an on-ride
camera anywhere but the drops on log flumes.
sail through the crumbling rock ravine, the sound of wind channelling
through the stony gorge. As the wind picks up, the sound of tumbling
rocks draws your attention aloft where boulders wobble precariously, one
collapses hitting a crumbling wooden water trough sending water pouring
towards the ground.
through some desolate foliage, you enter Dodge City, a deserted Wild
West township amidst abandoned stagecoaches. The rotten wooden sign
above informs visitors that the population is 157 Ė following a brief
exchange of gunfire, a stray bullet hits the sign, dropping to reveal a
new population of 156.
the dust swirls down the street of this sand-beaten town the ghostly
sound of gunfire draws your attention first right, then left.
you re-enter the mountain and start climbing a final tall lift hill.
Somehow I expected to be climbing inside a gold mine or something with
wooden rafters holding up the crumbling rock above, glistening with
gold. By this point the creative finesse of the designers has all but
modern corrugated walls are just about still visible in the darkness
decorated with speakers offset with flickering lanterns. At the top of a
rather lengthy lift-hill through a small corridor you stop in a cave.
stop at the top on a turntable, your hushed silence broken only be the
distant sound of dripping water. Your boat swings around 90-degrees to
the left, with two wooden doors swinging open.
beautiful view of the Wild West Territory distracts your attention from
the water in front cascading out of view as you advance towards the
sharp change of direction pulls you downwards as you bolt through spray
from the drop and cut through the lake at the bottom creating a rather
sensational splash. Front seat riders get the brunt of the splash,
everyone else is refreshed by the fallout.
have managed to provide Movie World with a great ride system for Rio
Bravo. The eight-seater boats manage with busy days well, are
comfortable and are just about the best type of boat you can expect to
find on a standard flume ride.
log flumes have three drops: the big final drop, a surprise drop
(whether enclosed or backwards) and one drop that is absolutely
forgettable. With only two drops on Rio Bravo, it is the forgettable
drop that has been omitted from the ride leaving two excellently
situated and well executed drops to remember the ride by.
final implementation of the ride system is over-shadowed by only a
couple of points: the boat has an often-irritating habit of bouncing
from one side of the trough to another. Some parts are worse than
others, but it is an annoying distraction that the ride can do without.
two otherwise perfect drops, too, a nasty jolt awaits new riders on the
first bunnyhop-style drop. The drop relies heavily on the element of
surprise, and as youíre heading backwards, the jolt is not only a
surprise but an uncomfortable one, too.
Bravo is a long ride, but very little of this is idly zig-zagging or
staging itself for itís next trick. High quality theming follows you
throughout the ride with the obvious highlight being Dodge City. Special
effects are minimal, but more than you expect from a log flume.
though, a few aspects bring it down a peg or two. The roller coaster
drop backwards is great, but the view isnít. It seems the designers
forgot that we would be facing backwards at this point and so a view of
the tin shed on the back of the mountain is unavoidable. As corrugated
buildings go, she ainít a looker.
course, taken in context, you realise what a great flume ride Rio Bravo
is and how itís downfalls are only minor blemishes on an otherwise
highly polished gem. Movie World have struck gold with an exceedingly
attention grabbing flume ride.
MS 01 June 2003
▪ Two great drops
▪ Not too wet
▪ Very good theming
▪ Great boats
▪ Jolt on first drop
▪ Boat bashes the side
of the channel
▪ Ugly building on the
back of the mountain