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Slip Sliding Away

What's new at water parks for the 2004 season?

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six flags water park ride picture

Funnel rides are all the rage at water parks this season.

Six Flags 2004. Used with permission.
Updated April 06, 2004
There will be water, water everywhere this year: new water parks, re-themed water parks, new water park attractions, new indoor water parks. It seems we just can't get enough water ride fun, and parks are only too happy to oblige us. Let's take a look at some of the highlights for the 2004 season. For more information about a water park, you can search the About Theme Parks listings by state or by name.

Castaway Cove, a new water park in Wichita Falls, Texas, will feature tube slides, body slides, speed slides, an interactive children's play area, a lazy river, and a wave pool. The summers get mighty hot in Texas, and Texans love to cast off their clothes and jump in the water.

Then again, summertime can get mighty hot just about anywhere, including northern California where Paramount's Great America in Santa Clara will be debuting Crocodile Dundee's Boomerang Bay. The new Australian-themed water park will include 11 water slides, an interactive playhouse and a sprayground for small children. Paramount's King's Island in King's Island, Ohio, will re-make its water park Australian style and also introduce its version of Boomerang Bay (minus the Crocodile Dundee for some reason.) Among the new features will be a four-lane racing slide, an interactive play structure with a tipping bucket, and the Tazmanian Typhoon, a tornado or funnel ride.

What is a funnel ride?

What is a funnel ride, you ask? The devilish attractions place passengers in four-person cloverleaf tubes and send them soaring back and forth along the walls of enormous sideways-facing funnels. Four Six Flags water parks will also be debuting funnel rides this season: Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, Hurricane Harbor in Dallas, Six Flags White Water, near Atlanta, and Hurricane Harbor near Los Angeles. The funnel rides will be as wild to look at, as they will be to ride. To see more photos and learn more about the intriguing attractions, you can read a review of High Anxiety, the funnel ride at New Jersey's Mountain Creek.

Over the past few years, many water parks have installed ProBowls, attractions in which single riders body slide into a giant bowl and circle around a few times before they are "flushed" out the bottom into a pool. Raging Waters San Dimas, a huge SoCal park, will be introducing a unique twist on the Pro Bowl for the 2004 season when it debuts Dragon's Den. Instead of a body slide, the ride will use two-person rafts, and the attraction will include a mist-shrouded encounter with a dragon. Dragon's Den will further blur the line between water park rides and theme park attractions. Sounds like a hot concept. Splish Splash in Riverhead, New York, and Wet 'N Wild Las Vegas will also introduce Dragon's Den rides this year.

Next page: Dollywood's Splash Country, Holiday World's Splashin' Safari, and three new indoor water parks
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