Now THIS Is A Slide Show
For summer planning purposes — and porpoises — we turned to the folks at the World Waterpark Association to give us a list of the Wackiest Water Slides in America. We also asked them to consider geographic diversity. They highlighted seven, and here they are, with critical reviews:
1) Dolphin Plunge at Aquatica, Orlando, Fla.
"... a 76-metre-long black hole of spiralling tubing that shoots you right through the midst of Commerson's dolphins that look like miniature killer whales." — Susan Pigg, The Toronto Star
2) Discovery Plunge at King's Pointe, Storm Lake, Iowa
"... features first-of-its-kind-in-Iowa technology that allows guests to choose from eight different virtual reality action themes, such as sea creatures, storms, hot air balloons, sharks and more." — Paula Reece, Des Moines Register
3) Scorpion's Tail at Noah's Ark Waterpark, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
"... is like a water slide on steroids. 'The stats are staggering,' says Joel Bullock of The Coaster Critic, referring to the ride's 50-foot free-fall start, 40 mph speeds and 3-g forces. Add to that the only loop in a water slide in the nation — not quite vertical for obvious reasons — and the result, says Bullock, is 'insane.' " — Rob Lovitt, MSNBC
4) Wildebeest at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.
"... billed as the 'world's longest water coaster,' the Wildebeest takes riders on a 2 1/2-minute ride over a one-third-mile course that includes an initial four-story drop and six other hills. Bonus: No stair climbing is required for this water ride, thanks to 'alternating magnetic field' technology that propels the rafts up the first hill." — Hannah DeShon, South Bend Tribune
5) Disco H20 at Wet 'n Wild Orlando, Orlando, Fla.
"... combines water with pulsating lights and four-on-the-floor thumping beats. Riders first plunge downward through a dark tube in four-person rubber rafts. When they come out, they whirl into an "aqua disco" complete with disco balls and disco tunes." — Breuse Hickman, Florida Today
6) Dragon's Revenge at Schlitterbahn Waterpark, New Braunfels, Texas
"... a thrill-seeking ride featuring two-person rafts that float through foggy caverns and castle ruins before ending with a dragon in a dungeon scene and a 30-foot drop into a moat." — L.A. Lorek, San Antonio Express-News
7) Voyage to the Center of the Earth at Hyland Hills Water World, Federal Heights, Colo.
"... a four-and-a-half-minute ride underground where ferocious T. Rex and other 'auto animatronic' dinosaurs roar and dart out as your three-person raft is sucked into dark vortices." — Dyan Zaslowsky, New York Times
Anchor's note: ... a slideshow for those who don't like slideshows. — L.W. @NPRtpj