Dragon Falls is a dark ride like no other. This ride is focused on music, sets, and characters to tell its story. Through its charming characters, beautiful scenery and thrilling drops, this attraction is meant for all ages to enjoy.
As you start your journey, you will ride down a river in a boat emerging from a swampy, yet endearing village. This village is inhabited by the species known as the Draconi. The Draconi are a humanoid species related to dragons. In this world, dragons are quite rare nowadays. Through song you hear the story of how one of the mythical dragons fell down a waterfall and was never seen since. As a result, the waterfall leading down to the water is cursed.
You will progress through the village and eventually meet the two main characters. These two characters are Draconi by the names of Rinzo and Smudge. Rinzo is green while Smudge is purple. They have been best friends for years. The villagers had warned the boys that the waterfall is cursed and not to go near it, but of course Rinzo wants to check it out. Smudge is hesitant but goes along with Rinzo. Your boat follows them to the waterfall and this is the place of the first drop.
As you fall, you will see Smudge falling beside you while Rinzo is still at the top reaching down. This illusion will be done by another waterfall in front of you with a mirror effect. Riding along after the drop you will notice the shadow of a giant creature in the water swimming under your boat. This will be done with projections .(This creature is Smudge as a dragon.)
The river ride continues into a swamp where you will see Rinzo with Smudge. However, Smudge has turned into a dragon by falling down the waterfall and has lost his memory. He only lies around and is terribly lazy. Meanwhile, Rinzo struggles to move him along and find a way to turn him back to his old self. Smudge is unwilling to listen to Rinzo and through song you hear how much Rinzo is struggling to get his friend back.
Moving along, you enter a beautiful scene with glowing moss, leaves on trees, and even the river you are riding on is glowing. Rinzo is resting atop a sleeping Smudge while expressing how lonely he is without his friend. This is where another drop will occur as you fall right under Smudge and Rinzo.
After going through caves on your boat, you eventually come up to a large lift hill and emerge in the mountains. Hot springs are all around and in the distance below you, you can see the village you started in. Smudge is relaxing in a hot spring while Rinzo looks out to the village. You drop down a small drop and into another new scene.
Further down the mountain, Smudge notices a very unique salamander which turns out to be the real dragon that originally fell down the waterfall. Rinzo at this point has lost hope that he will ever see his friend as a Draconi again. Somehow, Smudge has been touched by Rinzo and all the effort this little Draconi put into pushing him along sparked something in this lazy dragon. This time, Smudge pushes Rinzo along after realizing how much he has done for him. Smudge sees the salamander and is inexplicably drawn to him.
The salamander and Smudge come together and Smudge is able to give the powers back to the salamander. A transformation scene is presented where both Smudge and the real dragon turn back into their original selves. This would be done by Pepper’s ghost and revealing animatronics at the right time while being hidden by projection effects.
There would be one final drop into the finale with Rinzo and Smudge waving at you and singing one last song with the real dragon nearby. Finally, you enter back into the village where you started and leave the ride.
Effects, Props, Thrills, and Ideas
Animatronics would be used often in this ride even if they have limited movement. Some examples of subtle movements would be like characters breathing and blinking. Numerous fantasy animals would be located in strategic areas throughout the ride, thus giving life to the landscape while not upstaging our main characters.
While riding through on your boat in certain scenes, as one looks down at the water, a guest could see things moving through it. The possibilities are fish, underwater plant life, or light effects. Glass could be placed in these areas to keep water on top and effects below safe from water damage.
The drop areas would have unique scenes while you drop or immediately before the drop. An example of this is in the beginning when the guests can see themselves drop in a mirror that looks like a waterfall in front of them.
In this fantasy world, all plants would be completely original. The glowing trees would have the leaves glow themselves and not just be lights on a tree. Moss in some areas would glow as well, perhaps even changing color. Steam could also rise from the hot springs at certain times.
Because this is a family friendly ride, there are no scary scenes. The drops would give some incentive for teens and adults to ride as well. The songs would all be unique with the pure intent of telling a story and would have background instruments that would coincide with the landscape such as banjos and drums for the swamp and village as well as chimes and flutes for the more beautiful scenes.
Pepper’s ghost would be used for the transformation scene. Using a mirror and a hidden 3D figure, the characters would seem to disappear and reappear as the actual animatronics from under the floor. Lights and projections would help to hide the rising animatronics as the Pepper’s ghost effect disappears.
Whatever area you are in will feel new and different from earth. The feel of this ride is that you are in a foreign fantasy place, with foreign creatures, and yet it is somehow relatable.
Various landscapes would be used. The village houses will look slightly fantastical made of wood and such. Some houses would even be built above the water on stilts.. Bridges would also be a part of the village, crossing over rivers and into other parts of the land. The further you get from the village, the less manmade the area will look. In the mountains, the hot springs would be apart from each other in separate pools with rocks surrounding the area. Forced perspective will be used in some scenes particularly the village far in the distance. Small boats would go around in that scene for believability. Trees in areas would tower over you. There will be some day scenes and some night scenes. You would be able to see things in the water all around you whether it’s the river you float down or a small pond nearby.
Lessons From the Story
There are many lessons one can gain from this story. The lesson of not judging someone by their outward appearance is something we all can be reminded of often. This story also shares the lesson of not giving up on someone. People all go through hard things in life and sometimes we just need a push in the right direction. The characters would also reveal that loneliness is something that happens in life. However, do not give up on yourself when you feel that way and if you try hard enough, you will get back on track. Forgiveness would also be a small yet powerful theme. It was Rinzo’s decision to explore the waterfall, and as a result of that, Smudge was the one that turned into a dragon. Even so, in the end, Smudge never gets angry. People make mistakes and you should forgive them and just go on with your life.
By using a circular or oval ride area, you can make the ride footprint smaller. Through drops and lifts, the boats can travel over and under each other without interference.
By using bromine to disinfect the water, it is better than bleach for many reasons. Bromine stays present in the water for a longer period of time, cleaning the bacteria. It also is easier on clothing and skin. It is much better for people with sensitive skin and eyes. Thus, this product is much safer for the guests. ( What is ironic is that bromine was discovered in a swamp.)