Sunday, September 28, 2014

Kentucky Kingdom - Part 1 of 2

I made a promise to post a review of Kentucky Kingdom's Hurricane Bay water park a long time ago, so I apologize for it being so belated... in fact, I'm positive that Kentucky Kingdom's season will have finally ended while I'm still typing up and proofing this review. Oh well, better late than never... I guess?

We'll get to a review of the water park in the second part (a separate post). I'd like to talk about the whole park (and the dry-side of the park) in general here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

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.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

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: Verr├╝ckt, Schlitterbahn Kansas City, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Best Indoor Waterpark: Schlitterbahn Galveston Island, Galveston, Texas

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Kings Dominion's 2015 WaterWorks Expansion

Cedar Fair made an announcement a while back about upcoming attractions for a few of their parks. Among those was the expansion of WaterWorks, the 20-acre water park that is part of Kings Dominion and free with paid admission to the amusement-side.

Photo Source
In the expansion, the park will introduce new cabanas available for rent, a new slash zone for families, and most notably a new 65 foot tall water slide complex housing 6 water slides, built by WhiteWater West. Three of those slides are on the upper level Paradise Plunge, and are trap-door tunnel speed slides that wind and bend around each other after an initial drop capsule launch that start riders at high speeds. The next three slides utilize inner-tubes, and range from two called Thunder Falls having multiple large drops, to a third named Aqua Blast having Constrictor™ elements along the 449 foot long slide.

Splash Island will double the options available at WaterWorks for the younger ones, adding new slides and water geysers for children to play with.

The expansion is planned to be finished and ready for visitors by spring of 2015. To read more about this project, you can visit this link to the official WaterWorks 2015 expansion press release.

(Any photographs or images used belong to their respective owners, and were borrowed from the source(s) linked.)

Friday, August 29, 2014

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...

Six Flags White Water Announces Dive Bomber Freefall Slide

Part of the latest news form the water park industry included Six Flags' recent unveiling of new attractions coming to every one of its sister parks, and within the bundle of new rides included Six Flags White Water's new water slide for 2015, Dive Bomber.

Tallest Slide at the Park Featuring Nearly 90 Degree Drop

MARIETTA, Ga. — August 28, 2014 — Six Flags White Water will make an enormous splash in 2015 with the addition of Dive Bomber, an electrifying capsule water slide towering 10 stories tall. Dive Bomber will take the existing Cliffhanger attraction to new heights and become the tallest water slide ever built at the South’s Most Thrilling Water Park.
“We are excited to introduce Dive Bomber at White Water as one of the most intense water slides in the south,” said Six Flags Atlanta Properties park president Dale Kaetzel. “It will test the courage of all thrill-seekers and our guests with an adrenaline rush never experienced before at the park, when it is least expected.”
The daringly tall water slide, Dive Bomber, will feature:
  •  An enclosed, clear capsule with a trap door that releases riders for a zero-gravity experience
  •  A tower more than 100 feet above the lush tree line of the park
  • A nearly 90 degree drop
  • Speeds of more than 40 miles per hour
Basically, it's going to be a drop capsule water slide that will replace the park's current 90 foot tall freefall body slide, Cliffhanger, and will give it an extra boost in height to bring it above the 100 foot mark. Rumors are saying that the new height for it will be 110 feet, which would put it as the 7th tallest water slide in the world, though this has not yet been officially confirmed as the park has so far only stated that the slide will stand "more than 100 feet" tall.

What will probably help this slide stand out is the drop angle, which the press release says will be nearly 90 degrees but we've only seen slide manufacturer ProSlide take their slides to the industry's current steepest angle for a drop slide, 80 degrees. Since this is as close to a real freefall you can get on a slide, it's sure to add a bit more shock to the already enormous drop!

You can check out updates for the slide at Six Flags White Water's Twitter and Facebook pages, and you can read more about the slide at Six Flags White Water's website.