Wet’n’Wild Las Vegas to Acquire First Slideboarding Technology Slide

Very recently, WhiteWater West announced that their newest sliding technology, Slideboarding, will be installed at Wet’n’Wild Las Vegas water park near Las Vegas, Nevada.

If you’ve never heard of Slideboarding, here’s an excerpt from WhiteWater on the technology:


Slideboarding is a waterslide that integrates gaming, skill, edge, and competitive sports into an experience that will define waterparks of the future. Slideboarding builds on the thrills of waterpark fun and adds in gaming in the same way we love to play today. It’s a waterslide that uses a state-of-the art ride vehicle with an S3 embedded game controller that when combined creates what we call a Slideboard. It uses a smart gaming system that knows who you are and tracks your progress/scores over your run down the waterslide as well as multiple runs thereafter.


Basically, it’s to combine video games with a water slide. It practically adds a whole new form of experience for a slide, bringing them from being less passive as attractions. Following the announcement, WhiteWater also released a video of people sampling it on another slide that was possibly retrofitted to include the new technology.

2014 Golden Ticket Awards

Amusement Today held their annual Golden Ticket Awards ceremony last night at SeaWorld San Diego. The Golden Ticket Awards, in case you didn’t know, is an annual awards show for the best parks and rides nominated by chosen “amusement park experts” located around the world. Think of it like the Oscar Academy Awards, but for amusement parks! Categories include best amusement park, best water park, best steel/wooden coaster, best new ride of 2014 (amusement/water park), and more.
Here are the winners in the water park categories:
  • Best Water Park: Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, New Braunfels, Texas
  • Best Waterpark Ride: Wildebeest at Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.
  • Best New Ride of 2014 – Water Park: Verrückt, Schlitterbahn Kansas City, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Best Indoor Waterpark: Schlitterbahn Galveston Island, Galveston, Texas
Schlitterbahn’s water parks have been touted as being some of the best in the world, and the New Braunfels, Texas, water park definitely take the cake in being awarded Best Water Park of 2014 at the Golden Ticket Awards year after year. I personally haven’t been to either of the Schlitterbahn parks myself, but they are no-doubt on my list of parks to visit in the near future! The closest one to me being the Kansas City Schlitterbahn, which holds the world’s tallest waterslide: Verrückt.
If you’ve ever read any of my reviews or trip reports of Holiday World’s water park, Splashin’ Safari, then you know how highly I praise their collection of water slides, especially their two water coasters Wildebeest and Mammoth. Both hydromagnetic water coasters are the longest of their kind, and are huge crowd pleasers with even those who prefer amusement parks over water parks, all thanks to the LIM motors that allow the rafts to travel uphill at very quick speeds and getting you ridiculously soaked. While Mammoth is the newer and larger one, Wildebeest still holds its intensity thanks to the quicker speeds and hills that produce airtime, which is likely why it took top place as Best Water Park Ride of 2014.
The newest water slide that caught the attention of the world and put thrill seekers into shivers, Schlitterbahn Kansas City water park’s Verrückt water slide takes the award for Best New Water Park Ride of 2014, which is reasonable considering it stands a little over 168 feet tall making it the tallest water slide in the world. It consists of a huge record-setting drop followed by an enormous uphill section powered by strong water jets to propel the three-person raft over and down the second drop before coming to a stop at the base pool.
The award for Best Indoor Waterpark of 2014 went to the Schlitterbahn Galveston Island water park in Galveston, Texas. The runner ups for this list are Kalahari Resort in Ohio, World Waterpark in Alberta (Canada), Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin, and Splash Landings in England. I can’t personally comment on the Schlitterbahn Galveston water park considering I haven’t heard a lot about it, but to my understanding it is a water park that is part indoors/part outdoors, with the majority of rides being outdoor. The indoor part of the park consists of sectioned-off wave pool, lazy river, and water slides that have retractable roofing to allow outside elements to take over during hotter seasons.
While that part does classify as an indoor water park, I’m personally confused on it taking the top of the list on being best indoor water park. I would hope that the people nominating these parks are taking into consideration what’s available when the park is forced to keep only the indoor section running, and not what’s available on the outdoor section. Many of the runner-up are purely indoors (and much larger), and are able to keep all of their attractions running no matter what the conditions are outside. Galveston seems like it turns into a fairly small water park once put into indoor-mode.
But again, I haven’t been to the water park myself, so I can’t personally comment on whether it is deserving of first place.
Still, to all nominees and award winner, I say congratulations! Here’s to another year of attractions bound to top any list of best and favorites!

Splash Adventure Review (June 30, 2012)

On June 30, I was able to make a visit to Splash Adventure water park in Bessemer, Alabama, with a college group I was with. While there, I also recorded POV videos of the water slides with prior permission from park management to do so. They even threw in an escort to get me through the lines quicker (and to let lifeguards know what I was doing). This allowed me to ride every slide at least once within an hour, and eventually leave me plenty of time to take photos.

Wildebeest Wildebeest Raft

Splash Adventure water park was previously known as Alabama Adventure amusement park which included not only the water park (which was known as Splash Beach at the time), but also a few roller coasters and other flat rides placed nearby. Management recently decided to close the amusement park side. Today, the amusement park side still stands with the towering Rampage wooden roller coaster standing off in the distance on the side of a hill, an S&S Space Shot closer to the park entrance, a Vekoma boomerang sitting at the side, and many more rides that are available for sale to other parks that may be interested in buying them.

Splash Beach (now known as Splash Adventure water park) is a nice medium-sized water park with a few water slides. It’s sizeable enough for a group to spend at least 4 hours within the park to experience enough of it (depending upon crowds). The collection of water slides at the park isn’t big, but it’s enough to have a fun time. There are two standalone body slides, four inner-tube slides, one WhiteWater West Boomerang slide, a water playground with two body slides, and a kids splash area. The park also has a wave pool near the entrance and a lazy river that circles the Salamander Bay kids area.

Wildebeest

The first water slide I rode was Upsurge. This was a WhiteWater West Boomerango water slide that sits past the wave pool on top of a hill, and it the first water slide you see when you are in the parking lot entering the park. It starts with an easy figure eight curve before dropping you towards the quarter-pipe wall and sending you and your partner backwards, up over a hill, and through a powerful water curtain. It doesn’t pull as much action as does half-pipe slides like ProSlide tornadoes do, but it is a pretty exciting slide for what it does.

This slide was also the most popular due to how it had the longest line in the water park during my visit.

The second slide to ride was Acapulco Drop, which was the park’s tallest water slide. Acapulco Drop is a standard freefall body speed slide, but this slide is much different due to it’s wider than usual sliding surface, the sharp downward turn into the drop making it feel like you are sliding off of a cliff-side, and the spectacularly abrupt end in the shut-down lane at the end. The slide is a great thrill, but can leave you a little sore after a few re-rides on it.

The water slide below it, and the third slide I rode, was the Splashdown body bowl slide. This slide starts with an easy and quick bank to the left as you plunge into the darkness of the tunnel. After that, you bank down even further and pick up speed, before giving a sudden right turn and shooting out into the bowl section where you swirl a few times before falling through the hole in the middle and into the 8ft deep splash pool.

It was a very enjoyable slide. The surface was a little rough on my back, but that didn’t keep me from re-riding it.

The next, and last slides were the Neptune’s Plunge water slides. These were four dark tunneled inner tube slides that wound around each other after beginning in the same station platform. They would complete a series of left and right banks and helixes before splashing into a pool at the end. This slide is a great choice for those who were too scared to ride any of the other thrilling slides in the park. Keep in mind though that the line for it may take a while. During my visit, the park only had one lifeguard sending riders for all four tunnels down one at a time, which seemed to lower the capacity the slide could have had.

Those were the only slides I experienced at the park, and were the only major rides in the water park aside from the water playground. The park also had dual zip lines and a brand new (and first of its kind in the world) water maze course, but I didn’t find the time to try either

The Aqua Maze course did look like fun though, and something I should try should I return here. It consisted of elevated bright blue and green walls that were placed so patrons would try to find their way through it. During the course, You would be handed a voucher that they would need to stamp at four separate locations within the maze so it would spell out “MAZE” once completed. While traversing through, guests would be bombed with water buckets from above their heads, and sprayed by watching patrons standing on the viewing platform, making this maze that much more worth trying out!

Splash Adventure, as a whole, does seem like a park where a group could spend a few hours relaxing, splashing on the slides, and trying out other water attractions. It is a nice clean park with nice park staff and a good collection of rides and attractions. For running it’s first year as a water park only, it does have plenty of potential to be come better.

I can only hope that the park puts in a new water slide someday, and I can highly suggest a family raft slide. Those slides are very popular with family and groups in other water parks, and would fit in greatly in this park.

Acapulco Drop: 8/10
Neptune’s Plunge (4): 7/10
Splashdown: 8/10
Upsurge: 8/10

Overall Water Park Rating: 7/10