• Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges

Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges

Luiz Alberto H.

Created: May 08, 2024

Last Updated: May 10, 2024

Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges
  • Year: 1999
  • Type: Raft Ride
  • Single rider line: Yes
  • Minimum Height: 42″
  • Ride Duration: 6min
  • Great second section
  • Colorful
  • Closes down a lot

Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rats Barges Review

Popeye the Sailor Man is inviting you to a Water ride with a capital "W"

Ahhh, Popeye, what a classic. It’s too bad that some people don’t even know who he is, considering his cartoons were already pretty old even when I was a kid. I do remember waking up early on the weekends, turning on my TV, and sometimes catching him fighting Bluto and defending Olive Oyl from anything and everything. His trademarks were certainly his muscles, the spinach, the smoking pipe, and the cool theme song. Guess what? I didn’t know that getting soaked from head to toe was part of his character.

This is a raft ride very similar to Animal Kingdom’s Kali River Rapids, but even better. You pick a seat, the raft goes down a river with waterfalls and hazards that exist for the sole purpose of getting you completely drenched. Simple, but effective. I love it. It’s extremely fun and you will be laughing for the entire time trying to find out who will get soaked next (pro tip: it’s probably going to be you). Plus, there are guests on nearby bridges equipped with water turrets, and most of them become Billy the Kid when they aim for your head.

Islands of Adventure Popeye ride.webp
Universal Orlando©

The Good

I really like this ride. One of the reasons why I consider it better than Kali River Rapids it’s because it’s just more colorful, featuring more props during the ride and sound effects that go well with the story. From Bluto and Popeye to Olive Oyl, broken boats, floating barrels and giant octopuses, everything is vividly present, all sharing a fun cartoonish aesthetic that enhances the excitement of navigating the rapids. You know what is also cool? This ride is a whole minute longer than Kali River Rapids!

This isn’t the kind of attraction that will give you crazy g-forces, sharp turns or anything like that. The adrenaline comes from not knowing how much you are going to get soaked, so it’s a very fun ride to bring the entire family. Get ready to go under waterfalls, see huge barrels loaded with water prepared to fire at you, pipes that spit water at you and more. Yeah, I hope you like that thing called “water”, there is a lot of that here in Popeye.

If casually navigating the river rapids isn't good enough, there's a section where your raft enters an escalator and ascends, reminiscent of attractions like Jurassic Park River Adventure and Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls. This is one of the highlights because instead of an immediate drop like a log flume ride, you go through a wild rapids descent with water engulfing you. It's awesome.

The Bad

The main problem with Popeye is that this ride closes down a lot, especially during the winter season from December to January. It’s always a good idea to check the park schedule before anything else to see if Popeye is open and the weather is good for a quick bath. It’s certainly an attraction that you should visit, especially during/near the Summer.

Will Kids enjoy it?

Yes! Based on my personal experience with my 5-year-old nephews, they absolutely love it. They even hope to be the ones going under the waterfalls and burst into laughter when it's their father who ends up being blessed by Poseidon.

Just remember to pack a pair of slippers for them to change into so they don't end up with soggy socks. Bringing an extra shirt might also be a smart move. A great strategy is to hit up this ride first and then head over to Ripsaw Falls afterward (or vice-versa), so you can experience the top two drench-inducing rides in a row and then change into dry clothes.

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