By Richard Wilson
October 25, 2006
With construction nearly complete, the complete arsenal of new slides at WhiteWater World are apparent to all followers of theme parks.
WhiteWater World was dubbed early on as having many Australia firsts in its lineup of attractions. In the early days there were mixed feelings among fans. Some felt that the budgeted $56 million wasn't adequate for a truly groundbreaking new park. Others felt that this was just the jolt the Australian theme park industry needed to get competition firing up between the Gold Coast's two major companies, Dreamworld/WhiteWater World's Macquarie Leisure Trust and Sea World/Warner Bros. Movie World/Wet'n'Wild Water World's Warner Village Theme Parks.
As the park came to life many doubts were quickly settled as it became clear that this was going to be a world-class affair by all standards.
So what is in store for guests to theme parks this summer? What exactly has Dreamworld come up with that should have fans wanting more?
First we saw three simple tube slides come to life beside Dreamworld's Cyclone coaster. Nothing new here and at this stage many fans weren't convinced. These slides however made the most of a very tight spot and it should be very exciting for both riders of these slides and Cyclone as the two closely interact.
The park's Tornado then sprung up. If only it were three months earlier it would be Australia's first installation of this attraction that has been greeted with unparalleled fanfare at parks across America. That crown of course belongs to the perenially popular Wet'n'Wild Water World just down the road, with their version of the Tornado. To quell "been there done thats", Dreamworld opted for a slightly different version of the ride that is set to become as omnipresent as conventional water slides are. Before plummeting into the colossal funnel, riders will be subjected to a tight helix at the start of the ride. True, that's nothing special. Like a helix is going to make any difference.
Fans were taken by surprise however when work started on two attractions that are undoubtedly going to set WhiteWater World apart from the rest.
The first, the world's first 8-lane version of ProSlide's popular Octopus racer will see eight individuals on mats racing to the finish line. What makes this different from Wet'n'Wild's Aqua Racer is its tangled mess of helices that start the ride before they head into a series of thrilling dips to the finish line.
Construction was also underway on a Rocket slide. Waterslides have to go downhill right? Wrong! The Rocket slide is one of a new generation of water slides that use uphill propulsion to actually send riders up hills allowing for elements never seen on water slides such as bennyhills. What makes WhiteWater World's different from the many seen around the world is its revolutionary use of a LIM launch system to propel riders, instead of a clunky, unsafe, noisy conveyor belt. Riders will be silently whisked up the many uphill sections and of course what goes up must come down, so the ride is filled with some drops that'll be pretty exciting.
The final major ride for WhiteWater World is another Australia-first. Picture if you will (or dare) a giant toilet bowl, with the water spiralling down the drain.
Clockwise or anti-clockwise you say? I'm sure, like most things in life, The Simpsons has the answer.
Drop up to four riders in a cloverleaf tube from a great height into this giant toilet and you pretty much have WhiteWater World's final attraction. The ProSlide Behemoth Bowl is one of the parks many rides that will have to be ridden to be understood, with a combination of speed, plenty spinning around the bowl and a final splashdown out the side.
Tickets go on sale November 1 to WhiteWater World, which opens in December, including multi-park options that let guests visit both parks on the single ticket, and even jump between parks at any stage during the day.