Food & Wine Festival 2014: The Full Review
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Do Not Let Go!
Let me repeat that. Do Not Let Go.
Yesterday my family braved Memorial Day weekend crowds to try out Colossal Curl. The bottom line? It is far and away the best water slide we have ever experienced.
For context, we have only been to WCUSA, Aquatica, Adventure Island, and Wet ‘n’ Wild, so there may easily be better rides out there. There is no question, however, that CC is markedly better than anything else in the park.
So, let me tell you about the ride.
First off, Do Not Let Go…hold on with both hands.
When we got to Colossal Curl, the line looked intimidating. It stretched all of the way down all four flights of stairs, around the path, and almost to the entrance. I have a remarkably low tolerance for waiting around; thankfully for us we had Quick Queues. Yes, that is a thing. I normally don’t bother with QQs for WCUSA, but given the crowds I expected, I decided that discretion was the better part of valor, and shelled out the $12. We loved the ride so much, however, we came back later and had to stand in that same line. It went surprising quickly, and as I said I have a very low tolerance for standing and doing nothing.
A quick comment on the stairs, themselves. I have a fear of ledges and falling. The stairs on many of the slides scare me…a lot. The CC steps are made with an aluminum frame and poured concrete. They felt secure; nothing shook; and I couldn’t see air below my feet.
Anyway, when we reached the top, we discovered the reason for the relatively short wait time: they were loading up to three rafts at once. In addition, they were sending the rafts out fairly rapidly, so that there were at least two on the slide at once.
We were asked to step as a group onto a scale to verify that we did not exceed the 700-pound weight limit. The attendants were very careful about loading, as well. They directed Tony and me to sit across from each other, with our daughter in between to distribute the weight evenly. It quickly became clear why all of these precautions were necessary.
The ride itself was amazing. But…Do Not Let Go.
We splashed down the first slope to the Tornado 24 horizontal funnel. It was fast like the first drop in a classic roller coaster.
We then slid down an open area, until we hit a serpentine tube. While this section is certainly not as slow as the doldrums in Big Daddy Falls, our pace did reduce dramatically. It almost felt like a trim.
Then we hit the truly mind-blowing part of this ride. Do Not Let Go!
We shot up the TornadoWAVE quarter pipe, which was high and fast and amazing. We raced down and then slid right back up the side, which curls over. The reason for the overhang — and that “trim” — was immediately apparent. I was facing backwards (and thankfully holding on), and my head and back came off of the raft altogether. I experienced exhilarating airtime.
From there it felt like a more traditional slide, as we sloshed our way — very quickly — to the bottom.
Since we rode it twice, I was able to try it forwards and backwards. Backwards was a far more intense experience, but I really could not see what was happening, or where we were going. I was simply bombarded with water and speed and really cool G forces.
I think I should mention a few things that do concern me about Colossal Curl. First, I believe the efficient loading process may have caused some injuries based on other reports we have heard. Hopefully, they will work out the best timing soon. Second, I do believe that letting go of the handles with either or both hands could be dangerous. I think the ride operators should be more vigilant and emphasize this point more. Finally, I really dislike the location. I understand they may have had little to no choice in the matter, but the views are ugly, the location is inconvenient, and I do not want to see a huge ride plopped at the entrance of the park.
In any case, if I have not made these points clear let me underscore them now: