Sunday, October 19, 2008

I cut my foot at Wet n' Wild!

Nothing screams Florida humidity better than Orlando, thanks to our ever changing Gulf Stream vs Atlantic Stream combat zone. What better way to chill off than a visit to Wet n' Wild? I know, how about a tub full of sand and ice-water?

Wet n' Wild is a local water-based amusement park that offers two things: luke-warm water, and lines long enough to waste two days on an Orlando Flexi-Ticket. The park boasts technologically superior water-slides at a fraction of the cost to visit a Disney water-park. Unfortunately, unless you go in the super-awesome off-season, you might not see but half of what the park has to offer.

My favorite slide, "The Storm", is a pipeline slide that propels you into a large bowl where you get to experience sliding along a giant toilet, before plummeting through the hole in the center and dropping six feet into freezing cold water. The experience is themed with broken strobe lights, a "rain-storm" (water misters along the top of the bowl) and thunder/lightning sound-effects reminiscent of that crappy Halloween sound-effects CD you bought at the dollar store. However, the 30-45 second experience is undermined by the 30-45 minute wait on the most cramped and uncomfortable spiral staircase in existence.

If slides aren't your thing, the park also features the staple "lazy-river" tube ride, but navigating past hormone-crazed teenagers making-out around eveyr corner, and children who scream to their parents that their raft is too scary make the relaxing river ride more like a trip down the River Styx.

Visiting in the off season (anytime that's not between mid-April to mid-August) can provide a good day of fun rides and experiences that can be shared by the whole family, or with a group of friends. A kid-friendly play that appears rather clean can assure parents that the E-Coli scares from the 1990's are gone, and plenty of thrill rides prove excellent re-ride value to teens and young adults alike. The wave pool and river allow adults a chance to get away from the ridiculous rock-and-roll theme songs of the slides. But make sure you all gather back up for a ride on the Disco H2O (a 1970's themed raft-ride similar to The Storm) and the Brain Washer, an giant cone-shaped slide that provides an awesome trippy experience at high speeds.

So if you're visiting during a warm time of year and the parks aren't to crowded, it's worth a try, but anytime during summer it's a disastrous waste of money that could easily have gone towards a dinner show.