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Review: Atlantis’ Aquaventure Water Park, Nassau/Paradise Islands, Bahamas

In case you don’t know or forgot, I went with family on a 3 day voyage onboard the Disney Dream cruise ship out of Port Canaveral, Florida, down to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. You can click here for a review of the ship and for Castaway Cay Island. In this post, I will be talking about the Atlantis Paradise Islands Resort and the Aquaventure water park.

On the third day of the cruise, I had woken early enough to see the ship slowly backing into it’s place at the docks facing the colorfully vibrant city of Nassau, Bahamas. Joining us later on was the Carnival Sensation cruise ship that docked on our side of the ship, and afterwards spotted the huge Norwegian Gem pulling into the opposite side of the ship.

On this day, we were a bit lazy and ended up getting our day off the ship started later than planned, giving us less time to do the things we wanted. Once we did get off the ship, we visited a few of the local buildings near the ship’s port to do some light sightseeing and speak with a couple of people we knew who worked within the area. By chance, one of those people were able to offer us a ride to the Atlantis resort, eliminating the need to walk or ride a ferry or hire a taxi. They were able to take us across the bridge which links the city part of Nassau to the Paradise Islands and dropped us off on the other side near the ferry’s drop-off point, and from there we did the long walk towards Atlantis.

The Atlantis resort is very closed-in (but free to walk through), and offers higher quality amenities like the many high quality shops offering name brand clothing and accessories, as well as a casino that is required to walk through if you’re heading towards the water park. The main floor within the hotel is very spacious and gives a sense of how wonderfully themed the entire resort is due to the heavy amount of artwork and sculptures located everywhere.

Finding the place to purchase daily tickets for the water park took quite some time as we had some trouble navigating the resort and eventually had to ask for directions. We were eventually led around a few corners and down a large flight of stairs to a desk that offered the wristbands for the water park and was able to make the trek out once we paid and were ready.

I should probably mention that the price for a single day non-guest adult admission to the water park is roughly the same price for a single day’s admission to Disneyland, so I would strongly suggest to anyone to plan ahead if they would ever like to consider making a visit to the water park and are not planning on staying at the resort. But with that said…

Atlantis Resort’s backyard water park, Aquaventure, is one of the highest ranked water parks in the world due to the sheer amount of theming found within every crack and crevice of this brilliant water park. The details come all the way down to the rock walls within the lazy rivers, to the intricate details inside the Mayan temple slide complex, to the dark atmosphere and sounds emitted within the Power Tower slide complex, to the many shark and manta ray tanks beside and around water slides and pools, to the incredible length and features of the action/rapids river, and so on. The level of detail within this water park makes this one of the highest detailed water parks in the world, among the ranks of parks like Aquaventure or Wild Wadi in Dubai, or Disney’s Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon in Orlando, Florida.

But its high ranking doesn’t end at its theming. The attractions located within the water park are some of the most exciting as well! Two of the park’s main complexes house slides that range from 3 action-packed master blaster slides, to four thrilling high speed body slides, to the water playground for kids, and to the smaller standalone body and inner tube slides within the Mayan Temple. This water park has plenty of slides for everyone to be able to enjoy, as well as many standalone pools and an enormously-long rapids river.

Starting with the park’s first and better-known slide complex, the Mayan Temple houses five water slides that ranges from beginner to extreme. Starting with the easiest slide: Jungle Slide is a lengthy slow body slide that starts about 1/3 of the way up the stairs leading to the top of the Mayan Temple and consists of a few easy left and right turns before dumping riders into a pool. Further up the stairs and completely hidden within the temple itself is the Serpent Slide, which is a dark enclosed inner-tube water slide that completes a few turns and helixes before emptying into a lazy-river like section within a long translucent box submerged within a shark tank so that riders can float forwards while seeing all types of sharks and mantas fly above and below them.

At the top of the temple sits the three speed body slides. Challenger Slide is dual speed slides that faces Power Tower and consists of an easy double-down (two drops) before splashing riders into a pool at the bottom. It’s a great transition slide for those who are trying to work their way to the more intense slides in the park. One of those intense slides includes the speed slide sitting opposite of Challenger Slide, the famous Leap of Faith. This is a 60 foot tall freefall body slide that drops off of one side of the Mayan Temple, and levels out before shooting riders at full speed through a translucent tunnel submerged within a shark tank and parallel to Serpent Slide’s tunnel. Riders on Leap of Faith also end beside Serpent Slide in the same pool.

The second and more outstanding complex goes to the Power Tower, which is a 121 foot tall tower that opened in 2008 themed to the Atlanteans’ need to generate electricity to power their city, and is complete with dark ambient noises of gears creaking and voltage hums being emitting from within. The slide complex houses four of the water park’s biggest slides, starting at the top with The Surge and The Abyss. The Surge is an inner tube master blaster water slide that consists of a high speed double-down before rocketing riders back uphill with the assistance of water jets propelling riders all the way, then they enter a tunnel to complete multiple helixes and turns before ending in its own river section. The river brings riders past water falls and rapid sections before spilling them out into the larger main rapids river.
The next slide located beside it at the top is a body slide longer, faster, and darker than Leap of Faith. The Abyss is a high speed enclosed body slide that begins with an initial 50 foot drop into darkness before re-emerging into light for a fraction of time, only to go back into darkness and drop further into the ground. A water curtain rains over the end of the slide, where riders are dumped into a pool inside a hidden underground cave next to tanks with alligator gars and other fishes that swim above.

Both The Abyss and The Surge water slides tend to take the lead with guests and visitors in being the favorites at Aquaventure.

 One level below the top sits two more slides that were only accessible via a conveyor belt that brought riders from the lazy river and into the tower (the stairwell that originally led to these slides was blocked off during my visit, possibly to control the flow of crowds). Once inside, you float in your tube down a slim lazy river to either one of two master blaster slides. The Drop starts riders with a 50 foot drop in total darkness before eventually re-emerging and shooting them up-hill via water jets to complete a few more turns and dumping riders into the river. The Falls begins riders with a similar drop, but not enclosed, before blasting them up two back-to-back uphill sections, completing a few turns, and dumping riders into the river as well.

The Current is the water park’s signature rapids river ride that takes riders in inner-tubes through a mile-long river filled with rapids, water falls, a wave machine section, and a conveyor belt lift somewhere along the way. This enormously long river is something necessary to be experienced because of the amount o distance you cover doing a single lap around the entire course, and the incredible theming around the edges and within tunnels. From this river, riders can enter a separate river (all without needing to get out of your tube!) that will take them to a conveyor lift that brings them into the Power Tower to board either The Falls or The Drop master blaster slides.

Aquaventure is an incredible water park that is highly recommended for anyone staying within the Nassau, Bahamas area. The park is complete with many standalone pools, a water playground, and plenty of bars and restaurants for dining and drinking. If you plan to spend any nights at the resort, then the entire water park comes complimentary with your stay. This is my second time coming to this water park, and out of all the water parks I’ve ever been to, this ranks as my second-favorite (behind the Aquaventure water park in The Palms, Dubai).
Because of the late start the morning while we were here, I only had about 3 hours to kill at the water park before we had to get back to the ship for our departure in the late afternoon. In that time, I tried to cover as much of the water park within 2 hours, and then take one whole hour to photograph the water park. The park was had a lot of people that day and I wasn’t able to reach every slide within that time, so I covered what I thought was necessary (including the rapids river, The Current). I documented my trip around the park in a video that was posted to the Water Slide Database YouTube channel, which you can view below!

Overall, I would highly recommend this quality water park to anyone interested in making a visit to it; especially to anyone planning a cruise that ports into Nassau, Bahamas.

Ratings for slides ridden (N/A= Unavailable):
Challenger Slide: 8/10
Jungle Slide: 6/10
Leap of Faith: 9/10
Serpent Slide: 8/10
The Abyss 9/10
The Drop: 8/10
The Falls: 8/10
The Surge: 10/10!

Overall Water Park Rating: 10/10!

Hurricane Bay POV videos (Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay’s water park)

For the past couple of months (as I tackle on a few college summer courses), I have made a few weekend trips to Kentucky Kingdom. From those visits, I’ve gathered some photographs and video of the park, and some tips on making the most of your visit. All will be posted in a review of the water park eventually. Until that time, feel free to enjoy the videos being posted to the Water Slide Database YouTube channel of the water park and the various slides within!

Furthermore, you can view more pictures and other tidbits of info about the park on the Water Slide Database website as well!


Review of Disney Dream 3-day Cruise (Part 2 of 2)

(Note: A very photo-heavy report after the break!) 

Early the next morning, the ship docked at the private island, Castaway Cay. While the majority of people immediately went to shore, I spent half of the day on the ship, taking in the opportune time to try out the ship’s Aquaduck water slide multiple times thanks to the short (and sometimes nonexistent) line!

The Aquaduck is a water coaster built by WhiteWater West, and is the first water coaster to ever be put onto a cruise ship. After ascending the winding staircase, riders board a double-person inner-tube then are pushed onto the flume via a conveyor belt. From there, the slide does a small dip and enters the first glass section and performs a 270 degree helix to the left. Sliders then enter the first drop and are shot back uphill with water jets, cruise forward for a bit, then repeat it (along with an onride photo) before turning right and entering a enclosed starlight tunnel. After exiting the tunnel, riders make another right turn heading back towards the Aft side of the ship through a straight glass section. Once at the end, the slide dips again, makes a U-turn and comes to a close in the splashdown area where an lifeguard retrieves the raft to put in a lift to bring back to the top.

The slide itself isn’t anything overly thrilling, like those found on the Norwegian Breakaway ship, but the water coaster sections and the 765 foot length makes this slide pretty fun. If those aren’t enough, then the glass helix over the side and glass sections along the edges of the ship are enough to make it a pretty unique ride. Keep in mind that the height requirement for this slide is 54″ to ride alone, so those under that will have to find someone old enough to ride with them.
Soon, we ventured off-ship and onto Castaway Cay. A trolly took us on to the main part of the island where most people were around the beaches and in the water. Part of the beach includes the Pelican’s Plunge floating dock, which houses two body slides that require people to swim out to it (very deep water, but life vests are provided free of charge). The open flume slide has a longer course and consists of a few figure-eight turns, and the enclosed flume does a fast downward helix, both before dumping sliders right back into the water. The floating platform also has a miniature dump bucket and spray guns to aim towards targets placed on nearby rocks.

The main part of the beach was nice, with it’s white sand, free drinks and ice cream (like on the ship), and little touches of Disney theming here and there. There’s a lot of activities provided on the beach as well like snorkeling, parasailing, jet skiing, and even biking down trails that go deep into the island.

There was one part of the island that blew me away and required a separate trolly of its own. It took you down a lush trail before speeding down a long airstrip, coming to a stop at the opposite end to drop folks 18 years of age and older to a secluded corner of the island. This area included its own beach, plenty of cabanas and loungers, some hammocks, and a few stands to buy drinks at. What amazed me the most about this area was how the water was far more calm and somehow looked bluer than it did on the other location. For cruisers looking to get away from the crowds, this spot is definitely for them!

The next and last day was spent out at sea, slowly cruising towards Port Canaveral and not arriving until the following morning.

As I said in the first part of this review, this ship definitely impressed me with what it had to offer, plus the quality onboard the ship felt unmatched to any other ship I’ve been on. I felt that 3 days was almost plenty of time to take in what it had, but I wouldn’t mind doing the same cruise on a 4-day voyage so I would have more time to explore every aspect of the ship!

Ratings for slides ridden (N/A= Unavailable):
Aquaduck (Disney Dream Ship): 8/10
Pelican’s Plunge (Castaway Cay Island)(2): 7/10

Review of Disney Dream 3-day Cruise (Part 1 of 2)

Two days after my visit to Rapids Water Park in Riviera Beach, Florida, my family and I made the two hour trek north out of Miami, Florida, to Port Canaveral to board the Disney Dream cruise ship for a 3 day voyage to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s Castaway Cay private island.

Disney Cruise Line is known for not only providing the magical Disney experience we’ve all come to love one way or another, but they are also known for being one of the highest ranked cruises in terms of quality, cleanliness, and overall experience compared to many other cruises. Part of Disney’s variety of large cruise ships include the Disney Dream ship, which was introduced to the lineup in 2011 and has been doing 3 and 4 day voyages to places in the Bahamas. Being that this was my third-ever cruise (previous two were the Norwegian Breakaway, and the Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Seas), I can say that I was definitely impressed by all that the ship had to offer for people of all ages, especially kids!

We got to exploring much of the ship and enjoying the food offered for the first day of the cruise. Between the mandatory fire safety demonstration, there were already plenty of activities for people available to do; including the Aquaduck slide (with a 1 hour line on this day!) which I’ll explain more about in the second part of this review. At the time our ship was ready to sail out of Port Canaveral, The Carnival Sensation and Carnival Splendor ships joined us on the journey going to the same second destination.

By morning of the next day, our ship had pulled into port at Nassau, Bahamas, parallel and in-between the other two Carnival ships, all before a very large Norwegian Getaway ship showed up last and docked alongside as well! My family and I disembarked and took a look at a few parts of Nassau, Bahamas, before finally making the trek over to Paradise Islands to experience the Atlantis Resort’s Aquaventure water park for a couple of hours. (A separate review of this incredible water park will come soon).

After all was said and done, we ventured back to the ship and eventually sailed out of port. What awaited us on our beds when we returned to our stateroom were red pirate-themed bandanas that read “Pirated in in the Caribbean!” This was to prepare us, and all other guests aboard the ship, for a Pirates of the Caribbean themed show involving a visit by characters from the movie, including Jack Sparrow, and a ending with a spectacular fireworks show above the ship! 

Deep Water Dive at Kentucky Kingdom

As many of you have probably heard, Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Kentucky, has been going big with continuing constructing on their newest rides and water park attractions. On Saturday April 26, I made a visit by the park to get a glimpse of how far it had come, and saw the structure for the 121 foot tall Deep Water Dive standing tall and proud! Not only that, but the top section of the slide had been recently installed as well (which made press after requiring closure of one of the nearby airport’s runways), and it turned out to be a capsule drop slide!
If you haven’t heard about this gargantuan, Deep Water Dive is a 121 foot tall body slide built by ProSlide that will become the United State’s tallest body slide once complete; beating Summit Plummet at Disney World’s Blizzard Beach by a mere foot! It was only until I saw the slide did I know this was also going to be a drop capsule slide, so it shall be a very interesting experience once it opens!
Comparing it with the park’s tallest dry rides, it stands about 20 feet taller than T2 suspended roller coaster (101ft), 21 feet taller than the park’s brand new steel coaster Lightning Run (100ft), and 31 feet taller than one of the park’s wooden roller coasters, Thunder Run (90ft). The only rides taller than it are the park’s Giant Wheel (150ft) and the new FearFall tower (129ft), but even with those, the slide still stands out on its own!
I sure can’t wait to try it out myself once it opens with the rest of the park! It’s sure to cause some screams!

Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay website

Review of Rapids Water Park (March 18, 2014)

To start my week long break in Florida, I made a 50 minute drive north from Miami to Riviera Beach, Florida (near West Palm Beach) to visit Rapids Water Park. Later within the week was a 3-day Disney Dream Cruise out of Port Canaveral which ported in Nassau, Bahamas, and Castaway Cay island. We’ll get to that cruise in a later report.
The first thing to note about Rapids is that it is huge! The water park has a whopping collection of 13 different ProSlide brand water slides (some with multiple flumes/lanes, which would count as 35 altogether!) within a 30-acre property. The majority of water slides are very thrilling, but the collection ranges from wild for the thrill seekers, to mild for those who can’t or choose not to experience the more thrilling slides.
Due to personal complications, my day started later than I had originally planned, so I only had roughly 3 1/2 hours to experience as much of the water park as I could. Luckily the late start would not prove to be a major issue, because the water park’s first operating day of the season was only three days before my visit! So one of the biggest advantages of visiting on this day, March 18th, was that the water park was nearly vacant; aside from the few groups enjoying the park, and the lifeguards and staff that were present. Most lines for the slides were practically walk-ons, which allowed me plenty of time to ride the slides I could and photograph the park!
After entering and getting settled near the park’s wave pool to stash my stuff, I started making my way around the edge of the park to the first ride.

Old Yellar
The first slide I was able to hit was Old Yellar, which is 4 yellow body slides that utilize flat mats that the rider sits on. It looked to be one of the park’s oldest slides, judging by the way the flume sat partially into the ground and had a small pool for each of the entrances to the slides.
After sitting on the mat and pushing yourself off, riders would cruise through various left and right turns, some with tunnels, before coming to an end in a pool. The course is simple enough, but the mats allowed for slightly faster speeds than would a normal body slide, and they allow higher left and right bankings along curves.

Kraken Racer
After Old Yellar, I made my way across the park’s pedestrian bridge to Splash Island, which was the second-half of the water park split in half by a service road. Once at the far edge of the park, I grabbed a belly mat and ascended the stairs to try the park’s latest water slide, Rapids Racer.
Rapids Racer is a ProSlide KrakenRACER belly mat slide, and was the first of its type built by ProSlide when it opened in 2011. It consists of 6 tunnels that intertwine each other in pairs of three, before the tunnel ends and all lanes connect for a large final drop towards the shutdown lane. I was able to have a try on the three far-left lanes for each color; first green, then white, and then blue.

The intertwining tunnels were very unique compared to other tunneled mat racers I’ve been on, which usually consisted of a full helix before exiting into a drop. To describe my experience on it, there is a nice rush of air as I gained speed from the initial drop and curve, and the slide’s slight changes in direction made the mat a tad difficult to keep completely steady (especially in the white flume). I’d assume something like this would result in some inexperienced riders on more busy operating days losing control of their mats and unintentionally rolling onto their backs before coming to the drop, which would create some entertainment for onlookers.

All-in-all, I thought it was a pretty fun and very unique take on a mat racer compared to those which simply dip multiple times.

Making my way from Rapids Racer, I stopped by Splash Hill to try one of the slides. Unfortunately after doing so, I somehow managed to cut my right toe, which could have been from pointing my feet toward the floor when I landed in the pool. After having a lifeguard clean and wrap it up, I decided not to get right back into the water, but to grab my camera and take advantage of photographing the water park for a little while.

After photographing the entire water park, I set aside my camera equipment again and managed to take on more slides in the park.

Baby Blue
Baby Blue is a body bowl slide situated within the slide complex near the front of the park. It consists of a wide and steady curve to the left as the slider gains an immense amount of speed before being spat out into the bowl and completing multiple revolutions around the inner perimeter, then falling through the center opening and into the 8 1/2 feet deep pool where a lifeguard will help riders find their way to the staircase.
It’s quite an intense slide for the speed it picks up coming into the bowl, and can leave you a little disoriented when swimming towards the staircase in the pool.

Pirate’s Plunge
The next slides to try were the two Pirate’s Plunge body slides, located at the very top of the main slide complex. Frankly, I have no fear when it comes to riding water slides, but this often changes when it comes to tunneled speed slides due to not being able to fully predict the experience! Adding on to the fact that these were the park’s tallest water slides did bring some fear for me to face, but I was glad to have done them because I ended up enjoying both pretty well!
After ascending the lengthy staircase to the top, a fork on the platform separated the line for riders to choose whichever flume to go down. The flume on right consisted of a helix and a few easy left and right turns with air holes along the way allowing riders to see in parts of the tunnel. The flume then exited the tunnel portion and came to a sloped drop before ending in the long shutdown lane. The flume on the left had no drops along the way, but proved to be more intense due to the steepness of the curves and turns allowing greater speed along the course. Plus, the entire flume is done in complete darkness!
Both slides end parallel to each other in two very long shutdown lanes. Riders simply ride the entire length of it until they come to a slow before hopping out; no large splashes of any kind created!

Big Red
Big Red is the a fun and quick inner-tube bowl slide. It begins by entering the tunnel and giving a slow curve to the left, and then dropping and banking to the right to enter the bowl at a fast speed and giving a few revolutions around the inner perimeter. The slide ends with a tunnel that leads riders from the center into a drop before leveling out and splashing into a pool.

Body Blasters
The Body Blasters are two standalone body slides that give multiple left and right sudden turns in complete darkness before giving a spectacular splash in the shutdown lane at the end. Nothing too special about these other than the sudden turns taken in the dark. Typically, these types of slides aren’t really my “cup of tea,” and my opinion on these two aren’t far from that.

Tubin’ Tornadoes
The last two slides I was able to ride were Tubin’ Tornadoes. These are two standard dark tunneled inner-tube slides that give left and right turns and a helix before coming out of the tunnel into a dip and splashing into the pool at the end.
All-in-all, the park has a collection of very exciting water attractions that could definitely fulfill an entire day’s worth spent at the park if you attempt to try as many slides as you can. Along with the park’s lineup of water slides includes a wave pool, a lazy river, a flowrider, two separate lilypad crossing pools, and two kids splash areas.
There were a few water slides I couldn’t get to because I didn’t have a partner with me to try them out, which included the two ProSlide tornado slides Big Thunder and Black Thunder, and the park’s two family raft slides Riptide Raftin’ and Ragin’ Rapids.
Still, with the slides ridden, the park proved to be quite fulfilling in terms of the amount of attractions it provided, and is definitely a destination worth checking out for those within the area!

Ratings for slides ridden (N/A= Unavailable):

Baby Blue: 9/10
Body Blasters (2): 7/10
Big Red: 8/10
Big Thunder: N/A
Black Thunder: N/A
Old Yellar (4): 7/10
Pirate’s Plunge (2): 8/10
Ragin’ Rapids: N/A
Rapids Racer (6): 9/10
Riptide Raftin’: N/A 
Splash Hill (6): 6/10
Splish Splash Lagoon (2):N/A
Tubin’ Tornadoes (2): 8/10

A Florida-Bound Spring Break!

About two weeks ago (from when this is written), I had my spring break in Florida and dedicated it to knocking out 2 water parks and a cruise! The week started off when I paid a visit to Rapids Water Park near West Palm Beach, Florida on March 18th. The day after was spent relaxing with family and preparing for the cruise, which was on the next day when we drove 2 hours North out of Miami to Port Canaveral, to board the Disney Dream ship for a 3-day cruise to Nassau Bahamas and Disney’s Castaway Cay private island. At Nassau, we did get off the ship for the Aquaventure water park at Atlantis Paradise Resort!

Because the Disney Cruise ended the day before my classes started back up, I’ve been having a little bit of trouble trying to get all pictures, videos, and reviews out as fast as I wish. So far, pages for all three places (Disney Dream, Rapids, and Atlantis Nassau) have been made and published to the Water Slide Database website, and all photographs have been uploaded tot he website and Flickr page. The first video of the whole trip, the Aquaduck POV, has been published as well. All that’s left is to edit and publish two more videos, and finally pump out the reviews for each place.

To keep current with progress on these, you can follow Water Slide Database on Twitter (@WaterSlideDB), “Like” on Facebook, or Subscribe on YouTube. You can also find us on Google+ if that’s your kind of thing!


New Year and Kentucky Kingdom

Greetings, and happy new year to all! We’re now only four months away from May, when many of America’s outdoor water parks re-open for another new season of sliding!
As mentioned in the previous blog post, there’s plenty of new attractions coming to various amusement and water parks in the United States, with record setters like Verruckt at Schlitterbahn Kansas City, or unique one-of-a-kind slides like Colossal Curl at Water Country USA, or even grand re-openings like Kentucky Kingdom.
While I was still in the Louisville area, I had gone for a small drive by Kentucky Kingdom on December 31st to have a look at the progress made on the park. There wasn’t much to see in terms of vertical construction, but plenty of land had been cleared for the water park expansion at the back of the park.
(The following photos were taken from outside of park properties.)
Different colored fiberglass flumes of various sizes were also placed next to each other in a field next to the park.
There wasn’t much to be said for the zone where the park’s future steel roller coaster Lightning Run would stand as well, but there were many pieces of metal rebar laid out in the area.
While there isn’t a whole lot to see now, I read somewhere on the Kentucky Kingdom’s Facebook page that construction may pick up sometime this month; although since I can’t find the comment anymore to confirm this, we may have to leave this as a rumor until it actually happens. I will have to return to college by mid January, so I personally won’t be able to keep up with progress on the park as it happens. The best source to find updates will have to be the official park’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Quick Look Towards 2014

While the winter season may have many water park go’ers (and even some amusement park junkies) in the moody blues, there are always alternatives to satisfy the needs of many like visiting an indoor water park, going south to a park in Florida where the weather is still roughly 80 degrees outside, or you can be like me and find an alternative from the amusement park industry to keep you busy; like visiting ski resorts.
Hopefully to warm all of you still waiting for the next season to kick in, there had been lots of news out of the entire amusement park and water park industry with new rides and attractions coming out and new ones presented.

Photograph courtesy of Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts

The first to mention is something that has finally caught the attention of many people by now and is the plan for Schlitterbahn Kansas City’s newest water slide, Verruckt; German for insane. This 4-person inline raft water coaster is confirmed to beat the current height record for the tallest freestanding water slide in the world, Beach Park water park’s Insano at 135 feet height. It is not yet confirmed, though, whether it beats the higher drop height of Aquas Quentes Country Club’s Kilimanjaro speed slide at 164 feet.
With more photos and info of the slide still making their way on to the internet as construction on the slide progresses, it has already made a mark as something that should put even the bravest of thrill seekers to shivers (myself included). Official ride website:
Still on the line with height records, the United States is soon to see another height record-breaker with Deep Water Dive. Planned to open along with the newly renovated Kentucky Kingdom, an amusement park that had been closed for several years after Six Flags previously operated it, this slide is planned to be the tallest free fall body slide in the United States at 121 feet, beating Disney Blizzard Beach’s Summit Plummet free fall body slide by one foot! Along with Deep Water Dive, the park has planned to open many other ProSlide model slides including Waikiki Wipeout inner-tube bowl slide, Kilauea topsy-turvy inner-tube slide, two family raft slides and a multi-bump speed slide.
Considering Kentucky Kingdom is my home park, I can personally say that I am very excited for its opening and will try my best to be there on opening day to cover it!

Not too long ago at the 2013 IAAPA show and convention held in Orlando, Florida, WhiteWater West had unveiled a new set of technology for the water park industry with Slideboarding. This type of slide utilizes interactive belly mat, the same kinds used on mat racer slides but with buttons added to it that match those of a Play Station controller. Riders are to descend down the flume through LED lit tunnels and press the correct buttons to score points along the way, and see who wins. There are also alternatives for this system for pre-built slides as well, which is explained in more detail in this video posted by Coaster Crew on YouTube:
Lastly, Water Country USA unveiled their newest slide to join the family of water slides with Colossal Curl, a ProSlide combo family cloverleaf raft slide with a Tantrum funnel and Wave quarter-pipe elements implemented to make it a unique one-of-a-kind slide.

These and many other smaller projects, from possible future water park openings to up and coming water park companies, are what’s in store for next year and the upcoming future. Keep on the lookout for next big things coming out from within the water park industry, you never know what might pop up next!

Big Splash Adventure Indoor Water Park Review (October 26, 2013)

Apologies on getting this review out late. I’ve been booked solid for the past month and haven’t had an adequate amount of time to continue on it! But I now have it finished and ready to be viewed!

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