Sunday, 20 July 2014

7 Simple Rules for taking Water Rides

1) No belongings in Pockets

You might think your stuff are safe when they are securely covered in your pockets, but you will be gravely mistaken. As most water ride splashdowns will direct water towards your waist level, it is very likely that water will seep right into the pockets through the entrance and damage the contents.

It is best to put your valuables in your bags

2) Take off your socks

The only thing worse than walking around the theme park for the rest of the day with wet socks is the discovery that you have foot rot when you take off your socks. Don't let this happen to you. In fact, most water rides will direct about 30% of the splashdown right down to the floor of the ride vehicle, so it means that you really should take this precaution seriously

On a side note, most water rides will require you to wear shoes of some kind when riding, so don't forget to put your shoes back on after taking off your socks.

3) All bags and belongings in Plastic Bags (if lockers are not available)

Unfortunately, most of us will not have the money for specialised waterproof day bags. A much cheaper alternative is to pack all your stuff into a large plastic bag and tie up the opening properly to keep the gap as possible (I am not familiar with knots, so if you can contribute to this please comment). 

Unless the ride has a strict no-bags policy (ie. the drop is too intense to safely carry bags), it is preferable to carry your stuff on board (in plastic bags) then to leave them at the loading platform due to the risk of item theft (or someone else mistaking your items for theirs). Most River Rapids Rides like Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure (where you get most wet) do not have no-bag policies.

4) Ponchos are pretty much useless

Ponchos can shield you from the initial splash, but any water left on the poncho can still find gaps and seep onto your body. In fact, my experience riding (and observing others) on both log flumes and rapids rides is this: whether you wear ponchos or not, you will end up equally soaked.

5) Do not ride a high speed ride (eg. roller coaster) immediately after a water ride

If your whole body is soaked, let some water evaporate before you take on a high speed ride. This is because the water on your body will evaporate at a much higher rate when on a roller coaster (because of the wind), and you might actually catch a cold. (especially in bad weather or if you are recovering from illness)

Trying to accelerate the drying process by riding on a roller coaster not a healthy thing to do. Of course, if you intend to change your clothes after the water ride than this rules does not apply.

6) Don't drink the water

When we scream, it is inevitable that some water will end up in your mouths. However, I strongly urge you against drinking the water, be it on purpose or accidently. Here's why:
  1. To comply with water conservation codes, most of the water is recycled countless times and only occasionally passed through the filters (usually 3 times per day, which means about 180 rides between each filter)
  2. Water rides often accumulate rust on the guide-rails and other mechanical parts. These metal oxides can break off and mix with the water (some even dissolve) and these are poisonous to the body. Even though such contaminants are in trace quantities, prolonged exposure can still bring some health risks

7) Have Fun!

Humans have a primal connection with water as it is nourishing substance that brings us life. We all have the kid like instinct to seek and appreciate water and a water ride is the ultimate way to seek excitement from it. If the weather is hot, a water ride also provides a nice cool-off.

Some great water rides around the world:

River Quest, Phantasialand, Germany
Why: In true Phantasialand fashion the ride's theming is excellent. Also, this Hafema River Rapids has 1 high intensity element after another from drops to whirlpools to high speed sections so there is almost no lull moment in the ride

Journey to Atlantis, Seaworld Orlando, United States
Why: This rides just has many surprises, including 1 very big surprise at the end of the ride, one which you will never expect when you stand at the attraction viewing area. Also, the special effects and theming in this ride is fantastic. Leaving so soon? I think not!

Angkor, PortAdventura, Spain
Why: This ride is really interesting. Instead of getting soaked in the final drop, this ride allows riders to soak each other using water guns that can be aimed at other boats. The landscaping is also not bad.