Cape theme park cel­e­brates its 15th an­niver­sary

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PEOPLE -

RATANGA JUNC­TION SPOKESPER­SON RATANGA Junc­tion, which is open daily for the school hol­i­days un­til Jan­uary 14, weather per­mit­ting, cel­e­brates its 15th an­niver­sary this month.

The only day it is sched­uled to be closed over this pe­riod is Christ­mas Day.

Ratanga has re­cently re­lo­cated two of its prized at­trac­tions – the Sling­shot “Hu­man Cat­a­pult” Thrill ride and a World War II Dakota air­craft – within the park.

The Dakota, which has been re­named Ih­lati Sky mean­ing Jun­gle Sky, was moved into its new po­si­tion on top of Black Moun­tain near the en­trance to Ratanga this week while the Sling­shot has been re- erected nearby. A cer­ti­fied ride in­spec­tor from the ride man­u­fac­tur­ers in Utah in the United States is here to in­spect the in­stal­la­tion and the Sling­Shot is ex­pected to be op­er­a­tional shortly.

Both the Sling­Shot and the Dakota were re­painted be­fore be­ing moved to their fi­nal rest­ing places. Bill Tay­lor, gen­eral man­ager of Ratanga Junc­tion, said the re­lo­ca­tions will make way for an ex­cit­ing new hos­pi­tal­ity of­fer­ing for the Western Cape, de­tails of which will be an­nounced in the New Year.

The Sling­shot is a high adren­a­line ride com­bin­ing el­e­ments of bungy jump­ing and sky­div­ing with fly­ers hoisted 10 storeys into the air and launched in to a 30me­tre free fall at 80-90kph to­wards the ground be­fore swing­ing up­wards to an 180 de­gree arc. It has been re­lo­cated to a site near the park’s main en­trance and has been re­painted a bright yel­low and blue. The 1943 Dou­glas Dakota Mark 3 has a unique his­tory. It was used as a “glider tug” with the 512 RAF squadron in op­er­a­tion “coup de Main” dur­ing the first stages of the Nor­mandy D-Day land­ings in June 1944 as well as Arn­hem and the Rhine Cross­ing.Tay­lor said the Dakota will be re­fur­bished and will form part of the new Bridge­ways func­tion port­fo­lio. It will be well lit and is set to be­come a land­mark for Ratanga within Cen­tury City.

Go­ing for­ward, he said, they planned to have the Sling­shot op­er­a­tional for much of the year, even when the rest of the amuse­ment park was in hi­ber­na­tion out­side of the school hol­i­days.

“Its ca­pac­ity is lim­ited to 350 rid­ers a day, mak­ing it avail­able to guests out­side of the park’s sea­sonal op­er­at­ing sched­ule will re­lieve pent up de­mand. It will also be avail­able for cor­po­rate func­tions and team build­ing.”

Re­cent at­trac­tions in­clude a Lego Land play area and a re­vamped Mid­way Games while mak­ing its de­but this sea­son is a new Fives Fut­bol court where for no ad­di­tional charge you can test your kick­ing strength with a spe­cial de­vice that mea­sures the speed the ball trav­els into the net.

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