Splish Splash - 7/10/2014 - Good Advice From A Local Non-Enthusuast

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Friday, July 11, 2014 11:58 PM

Just got back from a visit with some great freinds who live literally minutes from Splish Splash. We weren't at the park very long, (Got there at 5 PM when it closes at 7). Picture perfect weather and temps in the 80s.

First - The lot fee booths close weekdays at 4 PM. This means that parking was free and there were abundant spots in the first front lot area.

Second - As expected, the camp buses headed out on or close to this time. There were quite a few campers and staff in camp shirts heading out in droves as we were heading in.

Third - Mondays tend to be the lightest days.

All these things combined to make for a great pop-in visit.

Here were some of the attractions I did (for the first time):

Dr. Von Darks Tunnel of Terror: It's dark, it's misty, there is a light in there that you head to, and then it ends. I had waited to do this for a long time. Turned out to be disappointing, but the line was minimal. By the way the unusually designed tube for this ride looked like a giant pickle.

Bootleggers Run (Water-coaster): This was my first ride ever on a water coaster. Very unusual. First the people in our group were weighed to make sure we were under 1000 pounds. (No jokes please...I'm working on that.)

The raft went up a black conveyor which acted like...well a roller coaster lift hill. Sort of. On the top was an employee making sure we were doing the right thing and perhaps performing a last check. (You see these types of people on flume rides all the time.) Next came the entrance into the tunnel. Ok...fun...then down and up. As we were going up there was a lot of water and mist spraying into my face and then I felt the belts on the underside of the boat take us up. This happened I think three times. After the third time the water level increased three-fold slowing us down. Then it was up another lift into the station.

It was a lot of fun, but I can honestly say I was expecting more. This was a popular attraction and most of the people were really enjoying it. I can also see how this would be a massively long ride in the middle of the day. (NOTE: There is also a single-rider line.)

The Battle Of Mutiny Bay - This is the new attraction for the year. It is very interesting. Four people board boats that move along a track at a slow speed. In front of each rider is a hand crank driven water pump that "shoots" water at the non riders standing in position around the "lagoon" that has a depth of about a foot and a half. The non-riders have similar cannons that face the boats as they pass and can fire back.

It's a lot of fun and I think it would appeal to family members of all ages. I rode with two children in my boat. Another family member and her daugter opted not to ride...but act as our enemies who would fire at us from the different stations. To make it more fun...they ran from station to station as we were about to pass. We had fun and our arms were tired.

Now this is where it gets unusual...

There were three or four boats on the track and all of them were empty except for our's. There were 4 or 5 stations of land-lubber cannons. All of which were empty except for the members of our party who were running around the "action" attacking us.

I would bet that if it were more crowded, the boats and the cannon stations would have been filled.

I think this attraction is a winner - but it was weired being under-unilized.

I did CLiff Diver with a total wait of about 4 minutes, Dinosaur Falls was about 5 minutes, the Abyss was about 5 minutes...and the wave pool was inviting and we spent about 10 minutes in there waiting for the waves to start...only to hear the park-wide announcement that "Splsih Splash was now closed."

All in all it was like riding with gold flash-pass status and a lot was done in a short amount of time.

Oh...and parking was free and we had a great spot.

Thanks for reading this.

Last edited by Richie Reflux, Saturday, July 12, 2014 12:41 AM
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Saturday, July 12, 2014 8:18 AM

It's always great when you luck out at a park, and it sounds like you had perfect timing. It's like the thing locals should do with their season pass- show up for a little while when they suspect the park might be slow or emptying out and try to get a few things in.

Your little unusual boat ride really isn't. They're called Splash Battles and they're wildly popular and have sprung up at theme and amusement parks everywhere. The very first one was a small installation at Indiana Beach of all places, and they took off from there. Six Flags Great America, Silver Dollar City, and Dollywood all have great rides with elaborate themes. Six Flags St. Louis added something similar this year that is like a tea cups ride that fills with water and the riders can battle bystanders and each other.
The interesting thing to me about the one you rode is that it's in an actual water park and it may be the first time I've heard of that. I've never tried one of those things, as fun as they look, because I shy away from getting my clothes soaked at an amusement park. Now, if I were at a water park and saw one I'd be all about it. It just makes better sense for a number of reasons. I've been to parks in the spring or the fall when it's cool and the Splash Battle either isn't running or has no riders.

On a side note, I've always wondered why water parks don't see the potential and invest more in water-friendly mechanical rides. All you ever see are slides and rivers. I know there's cost and maintenance issues involved, but water slides are notorious for having low capacity and long lines. A few mechanical rides would boost that. And a raft ride, a splash falls, a really wet Top Spin, or even a swinging ship with water bombs would be fun additions to a water park, IMO, and for some reason you don't see it.
I remember World's of Fun positioned their Splash Falls near the waterpark and had 2 queues going, one for the wet side and one for the dry. I wonder if they still do that.

Thanks for the report, Ive always wondered about that park, and I'm glad you had fun.

Last edited by RCMAC, Saturday, July 12, 2014 8:18 AM
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Saturday, July 12, 2014 10:46 AM

My dream water park would have mechanical rides for the very reason that you mention RCMAC. I love water rides a lot, but I hate to get soaking wet at a park. Who wants to walk around the park all day with wet, squishy sneakers?

That is something I like about Dorney Park. They have their rapids ride and giant splash "shoot-the-chutes" ride right near the water park.

What if a water park had not just a few, but many mechanical water rides included? That would be awesome! It would also help, as you mentioned, RCMAC, with overall park capacity, which would add to the value of admission.

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Saturday, July 12, 2014 7:18 PM

If you don't want wet sneakers, they make these things called flip flops and sandals ;-).

I have a pair of Adidas Adipure shoes as well that I often wear to parks, especially if I know I'll be doing water rides.

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Saturday, July 12, 2014 7:42 PM

Yea, I'll take my sandals with me sometimes. I forget them more often than not though. I have to wear sneakers if I am walking around a park all day, so that means lugging a bag around with me until I find a locker, or walking outside to my car to change shoes before I ride the water rides.

Maybe I will start getting an all-day locker at the beginning of my park visits. I always get one if I am visiting water slide attractions at Hersheypark and KI.

Comfort and simplicity is important to me.

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Saturday, July 12, 2014 7:48 PM

I don't like wet, squishy underpants. What should I do?

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Saturday, July 12, 2014 8:40 PM

It "Depends." ;)

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Saturday, July 12, 2014 8:49 PM

Mrs. Lady Pants

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Sunday, July 13, 2014 10:23 AM

Commando.

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Sunday, July 13, 2014 11:53 AM

I dunno. I try to avoid excessive chafing when possible. And what if Old Monstro decides to make an untimely appearance? No, I think I'll just avoid those water rides all together, thanks though...

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Sunday, July 13, 2014 11:58 AM

Use "Body Glide" and "Protect the boys."

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Sunday, July 13, 2014 2:04 PM

I second the Body Glide suggestion. That stuff solved a big problem that I have when I am visiting a park.

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