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Perilous Plunge was a shoot-the-Chutes style attraction located at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. The ride opened on September 15, 2000, and closed on September 3, 2012.[1]

Perilous Plunge
Perilous Plunge.jpg
Knott's Berry Farm
AreaThe Boardwalk
Opening dateSeptember 15, 2000 (2000-09-15)
Closing dateSeptember 3, 2012 (2012-09-03)
Replaced byCoast Rider
Pacific Scrambler
Surfside Gliders
General statistics
TypeShoot the Chute
ModelMega Splash, Figure 8
Lift systemChain
Height121 ft (37 m)
Drop115 ft (35 m)
Length865 ft (264 m)
Speed53 mph (85 km/h)
Max vertical angle77.8°
Capacity1900 riders per hour
Height restriction48 in (122 cm)



The attraction was based on the pleasure piers of the past along Southern California's famed beaches such as Huntington Beach. 24-passenger boats were towed to a height of 121 feet (37 m) where a brief U-turn was taken before a world record 115-foot (35 m) water chute into a 650,000-gallon "splashdown" lagoon.

On 13 August 2012, Knott's Berry Farm announced that Perilous Plunge would be closing for good on September 3, 2012, in order to make way for a new attraction.[1] The ride has been replaced by three new rides: Coast Rider, Surfside Gliders and Pacific Scrambler, which all opened in 2013.


Perilous Plunge made its debut as the tallest and steepest water-based amusement park attraction in the world. Its drop was 115 feet (35 m). It was the first water-based amusement park ride in the world to utilize an adjustable electromagnetic braking system to control the volume of the splash.


Perilous Plunge opened with a harbor-themed blue-and-white color scheme and with three 24-passenger boats, with passengers held in place by lap bars and individual seat belts.[2] However, after a September 2001 incident in which a guest fell out of the boat during the descent and was killed, the boats were retrofitted with four-point harnesses. Shortly after the incident the ride received a more vibrant color scheme consisting of a green and blue track with lavender-gray supports. After a period of time, Knott's received two new boats with over-the-shoulder restraints. These new boats were drastically different in design and thus created a much smaller splash than the first set of boats. In addition, newer designs caused problems with the lift chain. Stress fractures appeared in the lift chain shortly after the arrival of the new boats. The ride was shut down, and a new chain was ordered. This time, the lift chain snapped (though the anti-rollback device prevented the boat from reversing down the lift hill). Finally, the problem was diagnosed and a new chain was ordered.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Mello, Michael (August 13, 2012). "Knott's Perilous Plunge's days are numbered". The Orange County Register. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  2. ^ Gottlieb, Jeff (September 23, 2001). "Rider, 40, Dies in Plunge at Knott's". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 23, 2012.

External linksEdit