Building Six Flags Over Texas historical perspective: The Spee-Lunker Cave Ride

July 20, 2015
Building Six Flags Over Texas historical perspective:    The Spee-Lunker Cave Ride

One of the all-time favorite and most iconic rides at Six Flags Over Texas was the Spee-Lunker Cave Ride.   The Cave Ride opened in 1964 and mystified guests for 27 years before it was re-purposed as another ride in 1991.

Crisp-LaDew historical perspective DFW

Crisp-LaDew historical perspective DFW

The Cave Ride was a dark ride where guests floated through a dark tunnel in tubs or boats amidst a colony of  Spee-Lunkers.  Spee-Lunkers were small creatures, about four feet tall.  They had long triangular faces and little pot bellies. The ride was something straight off a Hollywood movie set and it held its own for almost three decades.

What also held its own for the life of this famous attraction was the fire sprinkler system that Crisp-LaDew designed, installed and maintained.   Here is a look at the original fire sprinkler plans we drew for the Spee-Lunker Cave ride.

Crisp-LaDew six flags over Texas

Crisp-LaDew six flags over Texas

The building was a long, narrow 8,000 square-foot enclosed structure with eight separate sections of elaborate design sets.   The system we designed and installed included an elaborate network feet of water pipes and several hundred sprinkler heads.

When Angus Wynne and his team began building Six Flags Over Texas in the late 1950’s (the park opened in 1961), Crisp-LaDew was selected as the primary contractor to design and build the automatic fire suppression systems for the Park’s buildings and rides.   Our work at Six Flags included caves, volcanoes, train tunnels, log rides, mine trains, saloons, a Southern Palace and even a

very-strange leaning house (Casa Magnetica), to name a few.

“We have over 40,000 original fire sprinkler system drawings, many going back to as early as 1903. It is a library of thousands of famous and many historical buildings that we have done in our history and it makes us all feel great here to have had our hand in so many important and known buildings in Texas . Our ‘library’ even includes the fire sprinkler drawings for the Texas State Capitol which we did in the 1930s,” commented Cullen Crisp, President of Crisp-LaDew.

This obviously shows our longevity and leadership in the DFW market, but most importantly is the fact that not one ride or building at Six Flags equipped with our fire protection equipment has never been lost to fire.

Crisp-LaDew is proud of our heritage and vast array of projects we have been connected to in Dallas/Fort Worth and throughout Texas since 1932.    We never get tired of talking about our past, and we are certainly excited to talk about the future with our ever-evolving advancements in fire protection technology.