Old Black Water Ride

Our Glamour Tram now begins training for proper entry into the old “Black Water Flood” experience. . .

We sit in the Glamour Tram perched atop Pine Cone Hill. Pine trees line both sides of this one-lane highway that allows only one-way traffic–and that one way is down. This forested area involves twists and turns that are tricky for this 16-wheel contraption to navigate.

As we arrive in a small Mexican  village set, we trigger our genie to begin the “Dirty Water” escapade. This is the oldest part of the World Wide lot. I’ve watched this animation several times before, but only as a trespasser. Now I’m seeing it  from the Captain’ seat of my Glamour Tram.

Thunder and lightning signal that trouble is brewing as we come to a complete stop. Rain begins to fall from a sunny blue sky. Only in Hollywood! Anticipation reaches its peak just before the large gates release 10,000 gallons of water down a deserted street.

youtube universal flash flood pics - Google Search

Tram trailers 2 and 3 can get filthy wet here…

Normally the flood has much less water than 10,000 gallons. Busy tour days cut short the time needed to properly recycle, so it tends to be closer to 4,000 gallons. When only a trickle of water is released, the guests faces generally reflect disappointment. Is that it? Rumor has it the water is recycled into the tourist drinking fountains!

This is nevertheless a very relaxing spot on a hot afternoon. The water may look bad, but smells good!

We exit after the sound effects turn off, and the last gallon of dirty water disappears. Next, we drive to the old west set, “5 points Texas,” with streets pointing in 5 directions.


Dennis instructs us to park exactly in the middle of town so our mannequins can see in every direction. I look back at them, and realize many of my passengers are wet. At least we experienced the full 10,000 gallons of that Dirty Black Water.


Now we arrived at the site of my favorite TV show in the early seventies: “Alias Smith and Jones.” I love cowboys on the run. I jump out of the Glamour Tram to kick up a little dust and reminisce. This was my favorite part of the lot to sneak into before they started paying me.

One of the roads in this old western town has an active train, one that actually runs itself like a Ghost Train. Of course I’ve ridden the “Run Away Train” before, but again, only as a trespasser. Back then, I pulled a mannequiun out of the train’s engine compartment and personally replaced him as the train engineer. A sound track shouts, “Look out, I can’t stop!” as the trains come close to the trams.

It is all dummy-proofed, naturally. The engineer is only for show, and the sound track is on a recorded loop. All we have to do is trigger the train by way of the tram genie at the right moment.

It’s so simple, even I could do it!

Yes, I’ve been a train and a tram engineer on this very same street.

Much more intense training ahead, stay tuned!

Written and lived by Donnie Norden…page 9


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s