(The following photos were taken from outside of park properties.)
So, on Saturday October 26, I made an hour and fifteen-minute drive from Louisville, Kentucky, north to Big Splash Adventure resort and indoor water park located in French Lick, Indiana. Once at the top of the hill where the resort is located, you are greeted with the backside exterior of the indoor water park with all of the main water slides poking out. Further down, you see the hotel-portion of the resort, and the entrance to the main lobby to check into the rooms or buy day passes for the water park.
The indoor water park itself has a great amount of space around and above, with the majority of the water park’s walls and roof being made of glass so sunlight can enter through practically any angle, and so park goers can get a good view of the Indiana hills surrounding the resort. The park’s attractions include the Lost River that flows around paths and under slides, the Buccaneer Bay water playground with tipping bucket and small slides, two whirlpool spas, and the park’s four main water slides.
The first of the four major water slides is Pirate’s Plunder. The initial start of this blue body slide is a near-flat straight section and may need a bit of effort for riders to get going, but the slide picks up a bit once inside the dark area of the flume. There’s nothing very intense about this slide outside of not being able to see ahead of you along the way due to the darkness, making some turns sudden. It’s also one of the only two slides that end in the pool that connects to the lazy river.
Sitting to the left of Pirate’s Plunder is Silver Beard’s Revenge, the park’s wide inner-tube bowl slide. It begins with a gradual, yet easy drop into the bowl section where sliders complete an impressive amount of revolutions before coming into the exit in the middle. Exiting the slide involves a steep drop into a dark section and completing a U-turn before splashing into the shutdown lane at the end. The slide itself is quick on the drop, yet very gentle for the entire slide (minus the small drop upon exiting the bowl). It’s the most popular ride in the entire water park, with the longest wait of all slides.
To the left side of Silver Beard’s Revenge is the park’s normal enclosed inner tube slide, Jolly Roger Jetty. The first half of this slide consists of a left turn followed by a right helix in complete darkness. The slide’s tunnel then protrudes out of the water park, shining more light inside, and does two helixes to the left before coming back inside to land in the pool connected to the lazy river.
The last of the water slides is the park’s most intense, Scallywag Scuttle. This body slide was designed to fit the tight space near the roof, which made for a tight and quick initial turning drop out of the platform before continuing the rest of the slide and splashing into the shutdown lane at the end. Thanks to the drop from the station, Scallywag Scuttle has a quicker speed throughout the entire slide compared to the other slides.
Overall, the water park had a very decent collection of water park attractions and slides for a park of its size. I found myself especially enjoying a few laps around the gentle lazy river that winds under the slide structure, around paths, and under different themed fountains and dump buckets and shower curtains along the way. It is far from a water park that would provide thrill seekers a place to get their fix at, but it does have one element that many of the closest water park to it doesn’t have: A roof
It’s a heavy-hitter for families with young children, and made up the majority of goups at the park during my visit.
Jolly Roger Jetty: 7/10
Pirate’s Plunder: 7/10
Scallywag Scuttle: 8/10
Silver Beard’s Revenge: 8/10
Overall water park rating: 7/10
Eventually you make it to a more quiet corner of the amusement park where the new ProSlide complex was placed, along with a small splash and fountain area for smaller children, a new large restroom stall, an extra Dippin’ Dots stand and a roofed area containing free Pepsi drink stalls and a pretzel stand. The area was fairly quiet upon arrival considering it was far from most of the other water slides in the park, but as the day went on, people began to migrate more towards it and that’s when the lines really filled up.
Hyena Falls is yet another water slide complex built by ProSlide company for Holiday World Splashin’ Safari. On the lower deck are three enclosed inner tube slides named Chuckles, Giggles, and Tee-Hee. The slides vary in having helixes or regular turns, but each one has a section that has riders coming out of an enclosed section and down a dip to gain a bit more speed before coming back into a tunnel. They’re fairly short, but can pick up some fair speed when riding with a partner.
On the upper deck sits a specialty slide, the new ProSlide Wave named Laughs. This particular slide is longer than the three previous ones, and has a larger tunnel to accomodate ProSlide’s special two-seater whirly wheel inner tubes and larger single-person inner tubes. It begins with an s-bend curve before coming down a fast drop into the slide’s main centerpiece, which is a halfpipe element that is completely rounded to give a smooth, zero-gravity experience when riding up and down the wall. The exit from the element did have minor jarring due to the inner tube riding over rough waters at the bottom and coming quickly towards the edge of the flume before slowing down, but nothing to cause any discomfort from the floating sensation one receives on this slide in particular.
dry-side of the park. Coming from the Thanksgiving area later in the day, I noticed that the park had silently removed two inner-tube slides that used to sit near the entrance of the water park, their names AmaZOOM and Bamboo Chute.
(*Edit [May 7, 2014]: It has been confirmed that both AmaZOOM and Bamboo Chute were relocated to the Lake Rudolph campgrounds next door where it now operates as Santa’s Splash Down.)
Jungle Racer: 7/10
After that, I made my way to Black River Falls. This was the longest I waited that day. After waiting 30 minutes for an inner-tube, I head to the top to wait another 20 to get on the slide. It takes quite a while for the light to turn green and let the next slider down the chute. After the light does turn green and you start down the slide, you immediately enter a tunnel and hit a left turn helix. The water slide consists of multiple left and right turns in a pitch black tunnel filled with air holes punched out of the top of the slide. The slide also consists of jagged trims to slow down your inner tube along the course, and they can hurt if you do not lift your butt while riding! Soon the slide ends with a drop finale into the pool, where you disembark your tube and hand it to the awaiting rider.
Next in line was the Bermuda Triangle and Caribbean Plunge (which also meant I skipped Gulf Screamer, this was because Bermuda Triangle had a much shorter wait. Well get to Gulf Screamer soon.). Bermuda Triangle was practically a walk-on once you retrieved your double inner-tube. After climbing the stairs, getting on your tube and pushing off, you move slowly around one turn, take a dip and then complete a helix in the opposite direction. Along the course of this slide are a few trims as well to slow down your inner tube. Soon you go down another small dip and enter a tunnel where you make another complete helix in the opposite direction. Eventually you will exit the tunnel, go down a bigger dip and splash in the pool. Caribbean Plunge (Not Pictured) was a little more intense than Bermuda Triangle because of it’s very steep double-down drops. Both slides okay in my opinion, but none of the inner tube slides I rode this day were as good as Gulf Scream.
Gulf Scream was another inner tube water slide with a couple dips and many turns. What makes this slide stand out? It has wilder turns, no trims, and it ends shooting you outwards 3 feet above the pool! This slide has one of the most spectacular finales of any water slide I’ve seen. Being that you just came out of a turn and are still swinging left and right, you can hit the pool sideways causing you to fall out of your inner tube!
That was all for this day. The last slide I was able to hit before they closed the water slides and the entire water park was Dragon’s Tail for a second run. It’s now my favorite water slide in the water park!
As for the Flash Pass system? I think it would really sell at a water park like this. Lines usually get pretty long during peak seasons and a way to skip the lines would totally catch my eye. Today, though, was a very slow day. The longest I waited felt about 30-40 minutes (Black River Falls), at least 20 of those minutes were waiting for an inner tube. The Fastpass system for inner tube slides is that you get to go through a separate and obviously shorter line to get an inner tube, but then you will have to wait to get on the actual slide. For body slides like Dragon’s Tail, the normal line was big enough to have a rope split it into two; thus allowing Fastpass-ers to virtually skip the line.
I only saw one person use the fast pass system that day and it was for getting on Dragon’s Tail. I didn’t mind the Fastpass system that day since there was a smaller crowd, but on a busy day where lines back up all the way to the entrance, I would feel pressured to pay extra to use the system. I’m not saying that I dislike the Fastpass system or how Six Flags uses them, I think they are very useful when you don’t want to wait in long lines. I will try the system one day just to see how much of a difference it can make on a busy day.
Water Slide Ratings (N/A = Not Available)(* = Updated/Changed)
Atlanta Ocean Wave Pool: 7/10
Buccaneer Bay: N/A
Little Hooch River: 6/10
Tree House Island: N/A
*Overall Water Park Rating: 9/10
Walt Disney World’s Blizzard Beach water park is one large iconic artificial mountain containing dozens of heavily themed water slides and rides. Blizzard Beach is, of course, themed to a melting ski resort with snow and snow related scenery found everywhere, including a fully operational chairlift to the top. The park also features different sections of the mountain as “slopes” (Green, Purple, and Red slopes). The water park is hard to miss when you are driving near it since the mountain has an elevation of 90 ft., and one of the world’s tallest water slides sits 30 feet higher on top of it.
Summit Plummet is the park’s most notorious water slide and can be seen from almost anywhere inside and outside of the water park. Summit Plummet is the United States’ tallest freefall body slide, and one of the tallest freefall slides in the world. Riders simply scoot themselves towards the edge until gravity pulls them up to speeds of over 50 mph. The slide experience is like any other freefall slide, but it’s height and the theming around this slide helps it stand out above others.
Beside it would be the Slush Gusher speed slide. This water slide isn’t as famous as Summit Plummet, but it provides a slightly bigger punch with it’s three drops that provide a comfortable amount of airtime. Depending upon how heavy you are and how fast you are moving will depend on if you actually come off of the slide on the third drop.
The Downhill Double Dipper water slide is a double-drop inner-tube slide. This water slide is mostly known because of the speed it picks up on the two drops and the splashes created at the pool area. The slide also uses a system where riders do not have to push themselves towards the edge to go, but instead rest on a stopper that releases that and the other rider at the same time so they can race. This ride is fairly popular and has a slower loading capacity compared to the other slides, so you can find yourself waiting about 30 minutes to ride.
Toboggan Racers and Snow Stormers are the park’s two belly mat water slides. Toboggan Racers is an 8-lane mat racer slide with three drops. The drops are pretty large so you pick up good speed, but they are not as steep as other mat racers. Because of the slide’s shortness, I wouldn’t say that the slide is as exciting as the other slides in the water park. Snow Stormers on the other hand is a little more exciting because of it’s slalom-style flume. This mat slide has three lanes that repeatedly go left and right and has a few small drops to help pick up speed. This slide is a little more exciting and usually has a shorter wait than Toboggan Racers.
Runoff Rapids are three normal inner-tube water slides that sit behind Mount Gushmore. Two are open-flume slides and one is an enclosed-flume. The slides are just like any other inner-tube slide, but these slides last longer than average because of it’s higher starting area. The open-flume slides can only be used with double tubes and the enclosed-flume can only be used with the single tubes, so you will need a partner if you want to ride the open-flume slides.
Teamboat Springs is a very long family raft slide that also acts as a slalom with it’s long left and right S-bend turns into a final U-turn into a small lazy river section. This water slide also starts at the top of Mount Gushmore and works it’s way to the bottom. One great fact about this slide is that the rafts are large enough to fit 6 people at a time, and the slide’s loading capacity is very fast because of it’s continuous conveyor belt moving the rafts at the top.
Blizzard Beach is an amazing water park that is known in many places around the world and attracts people from around the world as well. But with this much popularity, you can expect lines to be pretty long for many slides. I myself had to wait well over an hour to get on Summit plummet and couldn’t bother getting in line for Slush Gusher because of the limited time I had in the park. Fortunately, this was the only problem I saw with the park. Everything else about the water park was great, especially the fact that there were sprinklers placed all over the water park to cool the hot ground from scorching people’s feet in the hot Florida weather.
Blizzard Beach is one of the many must-dos if you are visiting Walt Disney World for a few days. It is one of the amazing parks to be experienced with your family and friends. The next time I return, I’ll be sure to pay a visit to Walt Disney World’s other water park, Typhoon Lagoon.
|Sign pointing to different slopes.|
Water Slide Ratings (N/A= Not Available)
Downhill Double Dipper (2): 7/10
Runoff Rapids (Enclosed): 7/10
Runoff Rapids (Open)(2): 6/10
Slush Gusher: N/A
Snow Stormers (3): 7/10
Summit Plummet: 9/10
Teamboat Springs: 7/10
Toboggan Racers: 6/10
Ski Patrol Training Camp (Area contains multiple unnamed water slides): N/A
|A cave leading towards Purple and Red slopes.|
Cross Country Creek (Lazy River): 8/10
Melt-Away (Wave Pool): N/A
Tike’s Peak: N/A
Overall Water Park Rating: 9/10
I would like to first say that Holiday World has to be one of the cleanest parks I have ever visited. Even with free sodas and people drinking them from plastic cups, there is almost no litter to be found on their ground. Holiday World also gives off a great family feeling with the owners, Pat and Dan Koch, walking around their park often to greet guests. These factors I especially enjoyed about their park.
Zoombabwe is a very tall and long dark family raft slide. This slide is pretty fast for a dark raft slide, and with all that speed it’s surprising how long it lasts. The slide has air holes in it punched out in shapes of tiki faces and there are areas in the slide where extra water is added to slow down the rafts. This water slide also sits between the tracks of the Legend roller coaster, giving a unique view of passengers riding it. The downside to this water slide is that the walk up to it is pretty long.
Zinga is a purple and blue ProSlide Tornado that also sits in the area of the Legend roller coaster. This water slide starts with a speedy drop into a large tunneled helix, then it drops out into the Tornado section where you ride up the walls. This was a very fun slide to ride because of how fast you enter the tornado section and the floating feeling you get when you ride up the walls of the element. The downside to this slide is that it also has a long walk to get to it.
The Jungle Racer is a normal 10 lane mat racer water slide with three dips. This slide seemed to have one of the shorter lines in the park because of it’s higher capacity and short slide duration. The slide simply completes three drops, the third giving slight airtime.
Otorongo is made up of three black tunneled inner-tube slides. Each slide is named from part of the slide complex’s name: Oto, Ron, and Go. Oto (right) is a normal dark slide that does a few turns before landing you in the pool. Ron (Middle) is the dark slide with two quick drops before making a big splash in the pool. Go (Left) is the slid that completes a helix before dropping and landing into the pool. Each water slide has a water curtain where the tunnels end before you hit the pool.
The park’s ProSlide Behemoth bowl, Bakuli, is a very large water slide and the hardest water slide to miss. It consists of a few left and right turns before picking up a lot of speed going down a large drop and into the bowl section of the slide. When done in the bowl, you go down a much smaller, but steeper drop then forwards into the pool. This slide is quite thrilling because of it’s entrance speed into the bowl element. The only problem with this slide is that it sits within a lazy river and has only one way to get to it.
Splashin Safari was one of the best water parks I’ve ever visited, and the reason why is not just because of the water slides. Along with the great water slides are the nice staff, clean facilities, and the free sunscreen and drinks.
|Amazoom (Blue) and Baboo Chute (White)|
|Dolphin Plunge is the first water slide you will see when you enter.|
The Dolphin Plunge water slide is the most famous slide in the whole water park, it’s the water park’s water slide icon. Dolphin Plunge isn’t a speed slide, but it does move you at a pretty fast pace. Unfortunately because of that fast pace, you might not have the time to even look around the dolphin tank and see dolphins. Overall, the water slide is fun, but it has one of the longest waits in the park and might not be worth riding in a 1 hour line.
My favorite water slide has to be the new Omaka Rocka which is one of the few new Proslide Topsy-Turvys out there. The slide may look gentle in the videos but it packs a larger punch than it seems. Water splashes everywhere and has many surprising elements like making you go backwards and the bumps along the slide before you enter the three elements. The slide’s line isn’t as bad as it might look when you go to the park, I recommend anyone to try this slide before they leave.
|A slide structure containing Whanau Way and Omaka Rocka.|
Whanau Way inner tube water slides are fast and thrilling, mostly because of the hills on the slide.
Taumata Racer doesn’t have an very fast helix, but it makes up by having the steepest and largest drop on a mat racer I’ve ever experienced.
Walhalla Wave and HooRoo Run are two fun raft slides, Hooroo Run being more intense because of it’s three drops that produce a good amount of airtime pops.
I unfortunately dd not have time to ride Tassie’s Twisters because of the wait, but it seems like a very interesting slide.
The Roa’s Rapids fast river isn’t as intense as the Atlantis resort’s Rapid Rivers, but the water is fast flowing which makes it pretty fun to swim in.
|The other side of the water park with Taumata Racer,
Walhalla Wave, and HooRoo Run.
Having said the good things, there are a few down-sides to this water park. The water park can get quite quite crowded making lines soar up to 1 hour 30 minute waits. The longest lines in the park seem to be Tassie’s Twisters and Dolphin’s Plunge. I waited 1 hour to ride Dolphin’s Plunge and didn’t wait in Tassie’s Twisters’ line because I didn’t have time to find out how long the wait was. The other water slides seemed to have less than fair lines, but they can be around 20 to 40 minutes. Your best bet for visiting this popular water park with shorter lines is to visit around May, June, or early July. Anther good thing to do is to arrive early before the park opens.
Overall the water park is great, and it is very popular among Orlando’s many Attractions.
Water Slides Ratings (N/A= not available):
Dolphin’s Plunge (2): 6/10
HooRoo Run: N/A
Omaka Rocka (2): 8/10
Tassie’s Twisters (2):N/A
Taumata Racer: 6/10
Whanau Way (4): 7/10
Cutback Cove & Big Surf Shores: N/A
Kata’s Kookaburra Cove: N/A
Loggerhead Lane: 6/10
Roa’s Rapids: 7/10
Walkabout Waters: N/A
Overall Water Park Rating: 8/10
The 4-lane Proslide Octopus Racer “Riptide” was fun with it’s fast helix that produces a good amount of G’s, and the double-dip finale into the shutdown lane.
Everglides is one of my favorite slides because of how you ride a sled down a drop, then skid across water a certain distance until you stop and sink.The sleds are pretty heavy to carry, but at least you don’t have to carry them to the top thanks to a system that does it for you.
Key West Rapids is a very open spaced waterslide and looks like it was originally built for large family rafts, but uses single-rider inner tubes instead. The stairs to get to the water slide can be a little unnerving because of how high it is situated over a lake and how there are no risers behind every step.
Wahoo Run is the highest slide in the park because of how it is situated on top of a hill.It is a very fun family raft ride that has dark tunnels and waterfalls to soak you during the slide.
Runaway rapids are 5 slow open-flume body slides. These body slides are interesting due to the rock theming that the slide is situated around, and for the multiple flume choices. It is very easy to get lost trying to walk to the slide, so it is recommended to check the park map before venturing to it.
The tallest bodyslide in the park, Gulf Scream, is also fast but not as intense as the steeper speed slides found in other water parks; just be prepared when you hit the pool at a fast speed.
I did not get to ride Water Moccasin or Caribbean Corkscrew that day.
The Caribbean Corkscrew are two purple interlocking tunnel speed body slides that wrap around each other until they reach the end.
Water Moccasin are three aqua green colored speed body slides: one is simply a drop and the other two makes one large helix, all three end in a pool.
The only problem I faced with my visit is that it had rained, which caused the water park’s floors to become extremely slippery. Be sure never to run in this or any water park because doing so could be very dangerous.
Other than that, the entire water park is great and if you are visiting Busch Gardens amusement park next door for a couple of days, be sure to include Adventure Island as well.
|Mango Joe’s Beach Cafe|
Water Slide Ratings (N/A= not available):
Aruba Tuba: 6/10
Calypso Coaster: 5/10
Caribbean Corkscrew (2): N/A
Gulf Scream: N/A
Key West Rapids: 5/10
Runaway Rapids (5): 5/10
Wahoo Run: 6/10
|Fabian’s Fun Port|
Water Moccasin (3): N/A
Endless Surf: N/A
Fabian’s Fun Port: N/A
Paradise Lagoon: 7/10
Rambling Bayou (Lazy River): 6/10
Splash Attack: N/A
Overall Water Park Rating: 7/10
Six Flags White Water is an excellent water park with plenty of water slides to ride. The water slides range in differences from ones that start somewhere in the trees, to ones that are in clear view. The water park is home to some of it’s older, more wider water slides from it’s opening in 1984, and they are still running quite well. White Water has some new slides as well, like the Tornado, Cliffhanger, and Run-A-Way River.
The only problem I had with White Water is that it is sometimes difficult to get from one side of the water park to another. I don’t think there are enough maps or signs located throughout the water park to tell you where to get to a water slide, especially when trying to get to Cliffhanger, Tornado, or Run-A-Way River.
Other than this, the water park is one of my favorites for it’s unique and custom made water slides, and how most slides are situated on the side of a hill. This seems to be one of Six Flag’s better (if not best) water parks they have to offer and it is worth checking out.
|Black River Falls|
Atlanta Ocean Wave Pool: 7/10
Buccaneer Bay: N/A
Little Hooch River: 6/10
Tree House Island: N/A
Overall Water Park Rating: 8/10
|Bermuda Triangle (Ends) and Caribbean Plunge (Middle)|
|Atlanta Ocean Wave Pool|