Our 7 Favorite New Water Attractions of Summer 2014
Posted by Elizabeth Alton on Wednesday, May 28th, 2014
Summer is just around the corner. The weather is heating up and people are looking for fun ways to cool down. For many thrill seekers, this means planned trips to waterparks. The summer of 2014 promises some of the most innovative slides we’e seen, from blending types of slides to pushing the boundaries with record-breaking plunges. But be warned: many of the latest innovations in wet ride design are not for the faint of heart. Here’s a look at some of our favorite new water slides just in time for the summer season.
7. Verrückt – Schlitterbahn, Kansas City, Missouri
One of the most highly anticipated water attractions of summer 2014 is the new Verrückt water slide at Schlitterbahn waterpark in Kansas City. Originally scheduled to open over Memorial Day weekend, this record-breaking slide is the tallest and steepest in the world. It’s also one of the most terrifying. Because of the intense nature of this particular water attraction and the in-depth testing that’s required to ensure riders’ safety, park officials have delayed its opening until June 5th. Those who are brave enough to take the plunge down Verrückt this summer will board a raft and plummet over 17 stories reaching a top speed of 65 miles per hour. This slide pushes the limits of wet ride design to a whole new level.
6. Super Combo – Aqua Fantasy, Istanbul, Turkey
As you may have guessed by its name, Aqua Fantasy’s Super Combo ride is a unique combination of water slide configurations. Riders are taken on a whirlwind adventure on a two-person tube through four different types of slides. The Super Combo, designed by renowned waterpark design firm Polin, uses centrifugal force and jet propulsion to propel riders through a tube, an open orb, a tunnel, and into Polin’s first sphere slide. Innovative new materials create a visually stunning effect for riders as they are propelled through the sphere. A virtual light show of colors created by sunlight results in a different visual experience each time a rider takes the plunge into the sphere, making the attraction highly repeatable. This innovative water attraction is the first of its kind in the world.
5. AdrenaLIM Blaster – Xocomil, Guatemala
If you’re a fan of roller coasters, the AdrenaLIM Blaster water slide at Xocomil Park was designed with you in mind. One of the latest designs by WhiteWater, the innovative slide uses magnetic propulsion technology to send riders flying over six hills and splashing down one of the largest drops of any water slide in the world. The Blaster pushes the limits of the water park design for those seeking an adrenaline rush. But the tech thrill element isn’t the only thing that makes this water coaster unique. The four-person rafts are engineered to reduce splash. As riders are propelled down the slide they get to enjoy the full experience of the AdrenaLIM Blaster without having their vision obscured by walls of water. Reduced splash carts may soon become an industry standard.
4. Surf Safari – Cowabunga Bay, Las Vegas, Nevada
Though it hasn’t officially opened yet, the Cowabunga Bay waterpark in Las Vegas, Nevada will be home to a first of its kind attraction. Set to open this summer, Surf Safari is very different from your typical water slide or coaster. The new ride hurtles thrill seekers down nearly six stories in darkness before sending them flying full speed into a giant man made wave. The four-person rafts twist and turn along the length of the wave before splashing through its crest and into the pool below. Surf Safari’s combination of heart-pounding slide and innovative wave simulation create a unique experience for its riders. It is one of the most exciting and highly anticipated water attractions of summer 2014.
3. Ihu’s Breakaway Falls – Aquatica, Orlando, Florida
Ihu’s Breakaway Falls is a multi-slide experience that’s built to maximize the elements of surprise: it uses multiple breakaway boxes that open at random and send riders plummeting down a several story drop. Those brave enough to take the plunge stand and watch as the floor drops out from below two other riders without warning. The anticipation builds as they wait for their breakaway box to open. If the three breakaway box slides are too anxiety-provoking, there’s also a fourth open option for riders. But be warned: the fourth slide has the steepest drop.
2. The Aquaconda Slide – Atlantis
The Aquaconda slide at Atlantis The Palm’s Aquaventure is the largest diameter water slide in the world. But its size isn’t the only thing that makes it unique. The Aquaconda is actually a giant flume style attraction with another two-tube slide running right through the top of it. Riders making their way down the Aquaconda can watch as other thrill seekers fly down the tube slides right above them. Compared to the other slides on our list, the Aquaconda is relatively mild. Top speed on this particular attraction is only 25 miles per hour, but its design makes it an engineering marvel not to be missed.
1. Vuvuzela – Sunway Lagoon, Kuala Lumpur
The aptly named Vuvuzela water slide is a horn-shaped attraction at Sunway Lagoon that takes wet ride design to a whole new level. The towering attraction sends riders careening down a five hundred foot slide before thrusting them into a giant 72-foot funnel. The six-person circular tubes threaten to spin out of control as they are forced into zero-gravity twists and turns by the thousands of gallons of water pouring into the massive funnel. Designed by WhiteWater West, Vuvuzela is the largest funnel slide in the world. A trip down Vuvuzela provides the ride of a lifetime for thrill-loving water slide fans.
Images: blooloop.com, inparkmagazine.com, atlantis.com, lipstiq.com