- Sports and Recreation
Water Park Rides
Theme Parks - Which Are the Best Water Rides
Theme parks have been around for a very long time though the concept of getting wet while riding took a little longer to catch on. Although America may have been responsible for the roller-coaster - I really think the Australians have taken the water slide to its ultimate expression. The bottom line is - unless your entire theme park is going to be inside - (which the Germans and Japanese have tried ) you need a very warm climate to make this work. My favourite water parks are in hot countries. Oddly, conservative Dubai has one of the world's best water parks
Today's theme park water rides tend to fall into two main types - passive rides where you are strapped in and go for the ride, and the more interesting ride where your own skill allows you to extend the ride. Also you need to chose between the more laid-back lazy riders or the adrenaline rush of the fast rides.
Holiday Theme Park, Santa Claus, Indiana, USA
Worlds Tallest Water Ride
This has just opened in an originally named Holiday Park in the improbably named town of Santa Claus, Indiana. The vital stats are that the Pilgrims Plunge takes riders to the top of 135-foot tower and then drops them down again at 45 degree angle - into a huge splash pool. Riders are in a 10-passenger boats which take 2 minutes 40 seconds to traverse the entire ride. Well I guess its the tallest but I'm not that impressed. Well you aren't actually in the water - you are strapped into a boat - you have no control over the ride at all - so I don't see it as that much fun - and I hate heights too!
As well the world's tallest water ride Holiday World also boasts The Voyage - the world's best wooden roller-coaster - according to them anyway!
Worlds Tallest Water Slide
Wild Wadi Theme Park: Dubai, UAE
Dubai has the almost perfect climate for water parks - and being Dubai it has a rather spectacular park: Wild Wadi. It has the tallest and fastest free-fall water slide: 108 feet (33 metres) high - its slide - you don't get a mat - you just slide down - feet first, reaching 80km/hr on the way down.
Wild Wadi is right next to the sea but there is no reason to actually get wet in the Arabian sea - in fact there is a complete artificial sand pool as well.
I admit to not making it down this slide - my excuse it was too hot to climb to the top - and I hate heights! I was having way too much fun in the standing body-board wave - here's a hint girls - if you are in your 40's and think that young men will never look at you again - got to Wild Wadi - I am actually not bad at body-boarding - and had to wear a rash vest (provided) so nothing fell out - but it was amazing to have all these 20 something local boys lined up whistling me !
Body Boarding: Wild Wadi Theme Park
World's Most Liberal Dress Standards In A Water Theme Park
Wild Wadi has the most liberal standards of dress for a water parks. The only rule appears to be no shoes- - fortunately they do have water sprinklers on all the paths - which you need in 40C+ temperatures (50+ in summer), There were a number of local girls enjoying themselves - in complete black burqas - no nonsense about not wearing swim wear here! Mind you wearing very little is kinda stupid - the local guys will like it but the sunburn would be serious.
Unfortunately if you decide to try out some of Australia's water parks you will need to wear proper bathing attire - no clothing allowed!
Whitewater World, Gold Cost, Australia
Newest Water Park in Australia
Well not really Australia - the Gold Coast - that strip of tackiness just south of Brisbane in Queensland is where you will find almost all the good water Parks in Australia. Its convenient because you won't even need to change hotels - they are all very close to each other. Whitewater World - opened in 2009 and is right next to Dreamworld - which is close to SeaWorld - the original Gold Coast Water Park.
Whitewater world claims the world's first eight-lane racing water slide called "The Bro" and possibly a world's first Surf School in the park - which seems really a little unnecessary -given the adjacent Gold Coast beaches - but at least you don't have to deal with the salt water!