The water park slide meets the amusement park dark ride in this unique attraction.
- Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 3.5
(Steep initial drop in partial darkness, some raft spinning)
- Type: Two-person raft ride in a semi-enclosed funnel
Water parks have been featuring "bowl" rides for a few years. Generally, they send riders, one at a time, down a slide and into an upright funnel where, not unlike a toilet bowl, they swish around a few times before plopping out the bottom in a variety of positions. In 2004, Splish Splash, along with some other water parks, debuted Dragon's Den, a variation on the bowl rides.
Using two-person rafts, riders hurtle down a slide and race up, down, and around the sides of the funnel. Instead of dropping out the bottom, the rafts exit via a hole at ground level where a jet pushes them through a water curtain to a pool. Inside the bowl, a "fire-breathing" dragon stands guard in the center. The theatrical fog and themeing extend outside of the ride as well. While the theme is fun, the actual experience is less intense than the raftless bowl rides. The Dragon's Den raft ride is slower and more predictable, particularly as riders exit the bowl.
The folks at Splish Splash obviously devote a lot of attention to detail and have a great deal of fun developing the park. (In a nod to Mel Brooks, one food stand is called Mama von Shtup's. Visitors who get the Yiddish reference are even more tickled.) Tweaking the attraction's medieval theme, the "dragon's agent" offers a safety spiel to riders as they wait in line-- except this chap from the Middle Ages has a thick Noo Yawk accent.