Ok so first I am going to say there was not a lot of pictures taken because Water and cameras so not mix too well...
Elly came up with a really good idea with her tweet reply "@TAMAsurvivor I'm starting to wonder if you have your phone in a waterproof case or something! Lol"... So I am wondering if they actually make waterproof cases for phones, I am pretty sure there may also be a waterproof case for my camera to seal it in then... Better check out good old Wal Mart because my swim shorts do have pockets so I will definitely seek one out.
I did manage to get some pictures on the second trip. Keep in mind that I couldnt get any from the slide towers as I am not getting my camera wet but overall I have some pics of what this park looks like... Obviously its a huge step up from Waterworld and one of the best Waterparks I have been to in a while. So for the lack of photos I apologize but my sister always seems to want control over the locker wristband and obviously I am not chancing my camera getting wet on any of the slides in the wave pool or in the vicinity of the park where theres a lot of water... I will give reviews however of each slide and share the photos that I have of the park.
One interesting thing to note about this park would be the lockers, you have keyless entry which is kinda awesome since you get a wristband and you put it to the sensor which opens the door without having to use a key. In addition, they made improvements to the facilities where they would sell things and now have a nice air conditioned dining room if you wanna buy their overpriced food [but isnt the food overpriced anywhere you go including typical restaurants.... cough, cough... Knotts, Universal.... cough cough... movie theater...Ok I am done coughing becuase plain and simple it goes with the territory honestly and theres no reason to complain on food prices]... My best suggestion for drinks though is the sipper bottle they offer which is only $10.00 but you get $1.50 refills on the soft drinks so if you go quite often in the season it will eventually save you on drinks which is what my sister and I did to offset the $3.00 beverage prices. Especially since we will be going there for a while in the season.
First off we waited for the rope drop and hit up the "Superbowl" and Serpentines which are in the Serpentine Complex that features 5 slides [2 are the serpentines, 1 is the Superbowl, and 2 are Maximum Velocity which is also on the same tower above the serpentines]. The Superbowl is pretty much like any other toilet bowl slide the only difference is that instead of riding this one on your body and falling through the hole in the center, you ride in a Single or Double tube and swirl around and around until you gravitate towards a tunnel in the center which takes you into the Splash pool. The Serpentines are standard Inner Tube Waterslides, and Maximum Velocity is a dueling racing Master Blaster slide [the first racing master blaster in the US according to their website]
[And in the photo below, yes that long line of green tubes extending to the center of the picture is the line for Maximum Velocity... theres an even longer line just to get a tube for it] Superbowl **
- I really enjoyed this one and half the fun was the fact this one was not some ultra intense body slide into the bowl experience like "The Cauldron" at Golfland Sunsplash. This was instead a lot more relaxing way to get the swirling bowl experience without the agony of hacking up a bunch of water out your ears and nose and falling into deep water where you cant see the exit point. The best part about this tamer bowl experience is that you can also ride it as 2 people so its kinda awesome to see if you get flushed down the drain backwards or forwards depending on how your inner tube enters the center hole! Single riding is also quite fun as you wind up spinning, just make sure to keep your butt up the whole time to cause less resistance and you will glide around the bowl a little bit more.
My advice for this attraction on crowded days is that this slide will get a wait because as always with most water slides there is only one tube on the slide at a time and there was a lot of people lining up for this one slide. This slide also shares the same staircase as Serpentine Blue and Yellow so my only complaint for this slide tower is that Wet N Wild really needs some signage on the que, either a divider on the stairs, or at least more than an attendant at the bottom to explain to riders that the right side of the staircase is the line for Superbowl and the left side of the is the serpentine lines [which are obviously quicker]. There were a few times when we wanted to ride the serpentines and received dirty looks from people waiting for the superbowl who had assumed we were cutting in line for the bowl so I give this slide overall 2 stars because its fun to ride but the lack of signage in line is very confusing and I give this slide only 5 out of 10 because its fun but other than spinning in the bowl, thats really about it. Serpentine Yellow ***
- This slide is on the same slide tower as the Superbowl and "unfortunately" they share the same line. This one is pretty much a standard open waterslide that you ride on an inner tube. From the outside this slide doesnt look like too much and did not look too crazy but looks can be deceiving. This slide is open air and is actually still tame but wilder than the black mamba and togo which used to be at Waterworld... The fun thing about this slide is the parts featuring small dips to pick up speed and small tighter turns which turn up the thrills to keep everything exciting. I like this slide and so I give it 3 stars and 6 out of 10 because it is less thrilling than Serpentine blue but I have to draw the difference somewhere and Blue is definitely not an 8 on my scale.
Serpentine Blue ***
- This one is just like the yellow with one little bit of thrill thrown in, the first half of the slide is enclosed and that means its in total darkness. I really liked how the first half was pitch black but then when you got to the last half which was open air it kept up with the same fun the serpentine yellow had. I have to say that Serpentine Blue is a better improvement over the yellow because of the enclosed section so for recommendations, my choice is Blue because its very similar to yellow with the little dips and tight turns but the first half is enclosed. I like this slide better than yellow and for that reason I give this slide 3 stars for being thrilling, yet fun enough for the whole family and 7 out of 10 because the pitch black to open slide transition is fun.
After we did the serpentine slides, We tried to get on Maximum Velocity but apparently it was not running in the early morning and they were testing people with it on both sides... We asked the attendant at the bottom why it was not running and she told us it was maybe due to the fact that the water pressure for the master blaster was too high powered causing guests to get too wild of a ride and too much airtime... Well isnt that the point of a coaster style slide. You would think that in a perfect world it would be great to get such airtime on a waterslide but understandably, it would be very unsafe if that was the case because unlike a roller coaster, you are not attached to the slide and too much airtime can result in falling off the slide, liabilities to the park, and too much possible lawsuits... So they could have their maximum velocity closed and I can be bummed all I want but the reality is that I can come back and ride it any other time in the season. Obviously all of this is purely speculation coming from whomever we asked at the bottom of the slide but I could see that was probably the case because for most of the day, it was very apprent that people were up at the top test running it and calibrating the water pressure on the blast parts. Even at one time in the line they were bringing out EMTs and stuff while my sister and I tried to get into the line... Someone got hurt on a master blaster... that a surprise... those slides are kinda dangerous so they really are accidents waiting to happen... but they are fun to ride and so who really wants to think of the risk aspects of anything... So we skipped out on Maximum Velocity and went directly towards the Desert Racers.
Before I get to my Desert Racers review, I would like to add that this last Sunday I got to finally experience Maximum Velocity! My twitter update sums up the experience of this slide... "So i finally did maximum velocity and its amazing and worth the wait... But today is hella crowded but awesome i ran into people i know - 3:28 PM Jul 12th from txt"... Yes it is like the Peter Pans Flight of this waterpark, because we all know on our Disneyland trips that the line for Peter Pan will always be long at Disneyland, theres never really a good time of the day to hit it for a shorter wait, and if you want to ride it you just have to brave the wait and stick it out because the ride itself is so worth it! Well this last sunday was one of the most crowded days I have seen there and seriously no joke, the line for Tornado wrapped around and out to the entrance of desert racers. The Desert Racers line wrapped all around boogie board beach play area [that was just the line to get a sled], and the Raft slides towers went all the way towards where the wave pool was... but despite the long lines, Maximum Velocity is worth every minute in line!
[The photos below is the top of the slide tower which hosts Maximum Velocity and below is the Superbowl] Maximum Velocity *****
- This slide has everything right about it. Despite it having a few problems and some people getting hurt this slide is epic. To sum everything up its supposed to be a racing Master Blaster and both tubes will leave the station at the same time to race to the bottom. Now that would be fine if they designed the slide to be even for racing which I think they did; however after all that calibration of the water pressure they did on each slide to make it safe, the teal slide has more pressure and therefore always wins the race! So if you wanna race friends and win, ride the teal slide. Overall this ride is very thrilling for a waterslide and way better than the horrible and tiny Master Blaster at Golfland Sunsplash. The ride starts out by both people laying their double size tube on the conveyor belt and right as the belt moves you to the slide, you start out with a pretty steep drop which is totally unexpected, despite being able to see the drop in front of you. After that, you are blasted up by the water pressure and start the ups and downs like a roller coaster. So as to not spoil the surprise at the end, the last dip and enclosed turn on the ride has one intense part that is not expected when you are riding the slide. Just be prepared to be drenched with water... thats all I can really say! Overall I give this slide 5 stars and 10 out of 10 for being thrilling and fun with lots of surprises.
[The photo below is the desert racers] Desert Racers ****
- This one is really awesome, there are 6 to choose from and each of the 6 has a rainbow color! So you have a choice of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple! Half of the fun on this slide is the fact that you all race together and really, none of the tubes have any head start so its fun to just pick a tube and start racing. The feeling of lying on your stomach and going down the double dips at the end was fun! In all honesty this slide is good for kids and is very family friendly as its nothing more than a dressed up version of the Giant slides at the state fair, the only difference is that water and laying on your stomach are involved. Now one gripe... the way the slide is built and because of the Arizona heat, the mats dry off by the time you reach the top of the slide and they start getting friction at the top causing you to have to waddle your way into the slide tube or get stuck and behind. Also there is no waterflow at the very top loading area where there needs to be and the waterflow starts on the actual slide itself a bit deeper into the slide so it took a few rides on this to get the hang of the fact that I needed to wet the top part of the mat by holding the mat into the water and pulling it back or hold the mat back towards me until given the signal and then slide with a forward motion when given the signal to reach the water on the slide! Even though that is my only gripe, the ride itself is fun, and half the fun of the slide is seeing how far you can skid across the water at the bottom! I give this one 4 stars for the social racing aspect and 8 out of 10 because its just family oriented and fun to race your friends and family on.
So after the Desert Racers we headed next to the Tornado... this one is my new absolute favorite in the park... it really was a toss up between Maximum Velocity and this but I have to say that the Tornado ranks up there on favorite type of waterslide! Its not too intense but thrilling enough to be enjoyed and it takes bits of different waterslides and puts them all together... Like a Tornado! Now one thing to keep in mind with this attraction, great minds think alike and the word has been getting out that Tornado is one of the best rides in the park. What does this all mean? Well it means that Tornado will get long long lines and when we went on Sunday the line for Tornado was very long and wrapped around. Overall the wait is so worth it because this slide is just so much fun.
[Yes the line for Tornado is that long, it extended father to the right than the picture could take... actually from where I was standing was the end of the line for Tornado] Tornado *****
- This ride is different, its amazing, and yet at the same time its thrilling but still just right on thrills and fun enough for the whole family to enjoy. I can say that with this ride I never once saw anyone come off without a smile on their face and really it takes some of the best waterslide elements from slides like Halfpipe slides, Raft slides, enclosed slides, and even bowl slides to some extent and its like they mashed it all together and created this amazing thing called the Tornado! I have to say out of a lot of products and slides that Proslide makes, their Tornado slide seems to be a hot seller for waterparks and I can see why! This ride is really all about fun because theres a tunnel, some small turn, a lead up to the drop, the drop, and then splishing and splashing back and forth in the side of the funnel and then sliding through the hole in the center... amazing and so much fun! I give this ride 5 stars for being fun and thrilling for all who can overcome the drop into the funnel and 10 out of 10 for taking the best of different waterslides and putting them together!
[The picture below is the rafting complex, the red slide is Raging River and the ellow Slide is Mammoth falls but you can really call one ketchup and one mustard]
So after the Tornado my sister and I decided to hit the Rafting complex which are two slides which hold large rafts... this complex holds both Raging River and Mammoth Falls and both are interesting because Mammoth Falls is really more about the large 50 foot drop while Raging River is more about splashing back and forth between the turns. Both slides are also completely different experiences and thrilling enough depending on whatever one you choose to ride. Again, this seems to be the running complaint but its really miniscule but would make my parkgoing experience a lot easier and I am sure it would also make it easier for the average John and Jane Guest... There needs to be Signage in the line or a divider on the full set of stairs to say which line is for Mammoth Falls and which Line is for Raging River... Now common sense would tell you that the line on the right is for Mammoth Falls and the line on the left would be Raging River... but take that common sense and reverse it because if you line up that way, you will be riding the other slide. The reason for this is because Raging River loads on the right side at the top of the tower despite the slide itself being on the left side of the tower and when the slide tower reaches the bottom then the right side line is for Raging River... sound confused? Well thats how confused I was when I first got in line for these 2 slides and I am sure that I am not the only one... So for Wet N Wild, they just need better signage and everything would be less confusing and stellar like the rides themselves. Now with that complaint aside, lets get to my reviews on these rides... both are amazing and fun but one trumps over the other by a bit!
[If you look closely you can see a raft on Mammoth Falls after the big drop] Mammoth Falls ****
- This slide is fun, its thrilling, its got a drop and the feeling of gliding your way into the pool... but thats about it! This ride is thrilling and I do enjoy it but aside from the shock value of the 52 foot drop and scaling the wall, it leaves a little bit to be desired because after waiting in a line for it that goes down to the bottom of the stairs you are left wondering, is that it? Do not get me wrong when I say this ride should be experienced and should be done on any trip to Wet N Wild because its thrilling but I would honestly not wait too long to ride it. The ride itself starts out with getting onto the few turns that are on this slide. The turns on the slide would be fun if they were to maybe make them a little more thrilling like raging river but really they only serve the purpose of reaching the highlight of the slide which is the 52 foot drop. So overall this slide is a lot of fun, especially if you are like me and always get the bad luck of going down backwards. Now the drop is pretty intense and feels like a typical log ride style drop, its very thrilling, and overall Mammoth Falls is worth riding this just for the drop and the bommerang effect this slide has... but do not expect anything more from this slide. This slide is really more about showcasing a 52 foot steep drop onto a family raft style slide which is something I have never seen on this type of waterslide before so I give it propr for being very innovative and unique which is what Wet N Wild needs to really grab people in this season and gauge interest in their coming seasons so that is why I am bumping my rating up on this one to give this one a pretty good review. I give this one 4 stars for the originality of including steep drop and half pipe elements to a family raft style slide and 7 out of 10 for being thrilling, innovative, and unique despite it being only about the drop.
[If you look closely at the photo below you can see a splashdown on raging river] Raging River ****
- This slide is amazing, I love how they put good use to to finally giving Arizona its first family raft style slide. These type of slides are fun for the pure fact that they are very social, you nver know which way your raft will turn, and after every turn, the water splashes into you in all directions. This slide does not rank up there with Neptunes Fury at Raging Waters in Cali which was full enclosed but in Arizona I doubt we would be getting an enclosed raft slide like that due to how hot it gets here... But it can stand on its own as a fun, family attraction which has enough thrill to keep everything interesting! Pretty much you splash around as your raft hits the turns going back and forth until you hit the bottom pool. Overall I give this ride 4 stars as this is first for Arizona and 8 out of 10 as this one is a fun ride for the whole family.
Next we opted to hit the wave pool and lazy river which were the 2 attractions which were kept from waterworld. Now out of parks Golfland has ran, Waterworld had the best Lazy river but still in terms of lazy rivers this one needs a lot of work and improvements and while it has a cool name now, its pretty much the same river, just new packaging. I cant hold this against Wet N Wild because they assumed the lease for the park after Waterworld left and got stuck with the lowly maintained wave pool and rivers that Waterworld had. The wave pool in itself also suffers from the same been there done that idea in a few ways but I also have hope that if we give Wet N Wild some time they will make improvements as this year they were rushing to get themselves open as safely and as soon as possible for this season and still managed to only open their gates on the July 4th weekend.
Now according to rumors I have heard over the grapevine from people I know who know someone, etc, etc, I am hearing that they will be making renovations to the wave pool on one season and then the lazy river on the other season but they can only do it one at a time because their focus on additions for next season will be balancing out all the new inner tube slides they ust put in with quite a few new body slides in addition to either improvements to the wave pool or lazy river [whichever needs the most work and improvements as both are in horrible shape]. I am thinking the wave pool is going to be the first one improved upon becuase I was hearing from someone that Golfland left the wave machines in pretty bad shape, not to mention the pool still has paint chips and cracks on the bottom like it always has... but give it some time and I am sure they will make those changes!
[the photo below is of Cactus Cooler, thelazy river from waterworld] Cactus Cooler *
- This is the lazy river from Waterworld, I love the new name and I love everything cool about it but is it just me or does the river now move so much slower than it used to. Not to mention I understand there was no shade or theme when Waterworld had the river but now any trees surrounding the river are gone making it seem more open and more homogenized... it doesnt really feel like a river anymore as I can see the pool pumps between the river and Tornado, and its possible to see the access road the maintenence vehichles take, it really kills the vibe of a lazy river. Hopefully for next season they can put in some trees around it, maybe add some waterfalls, some pretty faux rockwork, or something pretty look at... maybe even make it more like a river. I understand Waterworld left this one in bad shape but maybe I was just expecting more or maybe I was not expecting it to feel so open... To me this one feels like an improvement but also a downgrade in some ways... but I like the small palm trees, the old castaway boat they added to it, and when the trees grow in, then I am sure they will have more of a river like feeling but maybe I was just expecting more. I just hope they could add some things to make it more river such as a little cave with a waterfall, trees, and misters and surprise fountains around the river to keep you from baking on the top of your tube and to also keep the ambience of a lazy river... maybe even some more power in the jets to push the river along a little quicker. Overall I was not to pleased with the newer river and while its a step up from what was there before, it still falls flat and needs some improvements so I give this one only 1 star and 3 out of 10. Monsoon Bay ***
- This is the wavepool from Waterworld just dressed up with a new marquee, this wave pool is a lot of fun but at the same time there isnt a lot going on with it... but a wave pool is a wave pool and as long as there are some waves and lots of fun then I would say its still fun. But again, Waterworld left this in such bad shape that to repair it would have probably caused Wet N Wild to delay opening it for the season, so I hop by next season they could fix the cracks on the bottom of the pool, the wave machines, and maybe do something unique with the pool itself... Now I am bumping my rating up on this one because the new lounge chairs now surround the wave pool and look pretty along with all the extra shade canopies which not only make the park look beautiful but also give shade so you can sit in the lounge chairs in the shade. For this reason I give Monsoon Bay 3 stars because despite the bad wavepool, the new landscaping, shade canopies, and pretty look around the wavepool make up for it and 6 out of 10 for the state of the wave pool in itself. Boogie Board Beach ****
- This is a area to go if you have younger children that might not meet the height requirements for the larger rides. This is basically a water play are that children can enjoy and play in. There is even a dumping bucket that goes off every few minutes and a bunch of hoses and smaller slides the kids can enjoy. I have not yet personally experienced this because I really have no reason to but I would know that my neices would enjoy it and they would have lots of fun splashing each other with all the hoses, water buckets, and pint sized water slides. Overall I give this 4 stars for children as this is a step above what Waterworld offered for the younger set and 9 out of 10 since it looks like something fun my neices would enjoy.
Phoenix Flyers ***
- So there is one more slide tower which houses 3 more slides and that would be the Phoenix Flyers... These slides are a lot of fun and totally amazing. In fact, they are all done in pitch black darkness which adds to the thrill factor with the exception of the middle slide which is only half enclosed. Both dark slides are also fun for the whole family and not too intense but thrilling enough to be enjoyable and they pick up enough speed to be thrilling yet gentle enough for the whole family. I am grouping all 3 together in this review because the Green and Teal are the same slide basically with a few differences in turns, and the center one is mostly open during the last half. All of them are fun and just typical waterslides. Overall I give each slide 3 stars and a 7 out of 10 for being fun and enjoyable.
[I am including this picture because it shows just how the pavement doesnt have that lacquer on it to keep it from getting too hot... as as a word of warning when you visit... WEAR FLIP FLOPS OR AQUA SHOES OR CROCS OR SOMETHING SO YOU DONT BURN YOUR FEET TO A CRISP... the heat makes the pavement like walking on a griddle if you are barefoot]
Overall that is Wet N Wild and their opening set of attractions for their 2009 season. I really enjoy this place and am actually going to be heading there for their season pass night! I am glad we now have a waterpark that us Arizona people can be proud of espcially since a lot of things have been