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Wild ride

TONI YARDE, [email protected]

Wild ride

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IT WAS THE FIRST SPECTACLE that caught my attention when I arrived at the hotel in Orlando. That’s because it’s located just across the street.

The 30-acre water park is not easy to ignore. First you hear the screams, then you see droves of people walking the streets in swimwear and finally you see the long line with those eagerly waiting to take in the fun.

So, I and the other nine in the group did all the other theme parks and adventures and decided to save this one for last since it was within walking distance. Wet ’n Wild Orlando, the first water park in United States, is one of four theme parks owned by Universal Orlando.

From the names and looks of the rides, I had a pretty good idea of what I should expect. The park has about 15 rides specific to children, adults and family. Some of the 15 are: The Black Hole, Bomb Bay, The Storm, Brainwash, The Blast, The Flyer, Lazy River, Dicso H2O, The Surge, The Wake Zone and the recently-added Aqua Drag Racer.

From where we were we had a clear picture of some of the rides, but the actuality of what was on the inside was also truly amazing. Sadly, we went on a day I wasn’t in the best of health and I didn’t feel to go on any of the rides.

But the hot summer day belonged to the teenagers in the group. And boy, did they own it . . . . Only two of us took the trip to supervise the four minors.  As soon as we got in, the four wasted no time in joining the queue for the Aqua Drag Racer. The lines were a bit long but with the staff numbers on duty everything ran quite smoothly without any major hiccups or delays.

It was one wild ride after the other . . . The Brainwash was he next stop followed by Bomb Bay and The Storm. After the adrenaline rush they took a break to slow down the pace and Lazy River was the perfect ride to do that.

The “ride” gives a break from the hustle and bustle of the traditional theme park visit and vessels float leisurely down a “river”. The mile-long winding river takes you on a relaxing journey as you drift slowly past the swaying palms and waterfalls that surround the peaceful attraction.

The gang spent about 40 minutes there to recharge and then hit the other rides and they were so sweet that some rides were done more than once.

Food, it seemed, was far from their minds. 

When they came upon rides like the Disco H2O and The Blast they complained that they were “kids’ rides” compared to the other thrillers auch as the Black Hole where they screamed, yelled and laughedwith excitement.

And when they came upon rides like the Disco H2O and The Blast they complained that they were “kids’ rides” compared to the other thrillers.

When they weren’t on a ride we were all caught up watching The Wake Zone – a water sports area.

Beginners and experts alike can show off their techniques on the half mile Wake Zone cableway.  Those who wanted to try the ride for the first time watched from the dock to get pointers before giving it a try. There were wakeskates, helmets and life jackets provided.

I was told during an informal chat with one of the ride operators that all workers at the water park went through lifeguard training before being hired. Although the summertime is when the hive of activity is at it’s highest, the park is open year-round. Maintenance of the rides take place during downtime which is usually winter season.

By the time we had taken in the exciting Wake Zone, the young ones were eager again to complete the other rides before calling it a day.

They made the most of the last four rides.  So that by the time I was leaving the venue I too was soaking wet as if I had been on one of the wild rides.

The seven hours of diving and splashing turned out to be just as much fun for me as it was for the younger ones.

Wet ’N Wild was the fitting end to our five-day trip to Orlando which had started with the Magic of Disney.