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Aquatica ups the water park thrill ante with Ihu's Breakaway Falls

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Aquatica, the SeaWorld Orlando water park, has lots of thrills throughout the park, from steep slides to wicked wave pools. It even puts a thrilling twist on the old lazy river concept with Roa's Rapids, which lives up to its name as it whisks you rapidly along. Now the park has upped the ante on water-based thrills with the construction of its brand-new set of water slides, known as Ihu's Breakaway Falls.

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The ride, which officially opens on May 9, had a media preview on the morning of the 8th. As you can see from the accompanying slideshow, it's not for the faint of heart. You climb 80 feet to the three breakaway boxes on the 105 foot structure that towers intimidatingly over Aquatica. The height is enough to make your heart flutter, but when you step in, you don't know exactly when you're going to drop. If you want something a bit milder, there's a fourth slide that lets you experience the thrill without the scary anticipation.

Part of the fun of the boxes is that three people get locked in at a time, and you all get to watch each other, never knowing who's going to fall first. It's especially fun to go on the ride with friends and watch the reactions as you all wait for your fall.

Once you drop, there's an initial 40 foot plummet, then a more traditional slide part that differs for each one of the four slides. Each slide is a different color, with orange giving the biggest drop and overall thrill factor. If you like terrifying slides, make sure to try all four. Whether you start with the non-breakaway and work your way up to the worst or take that plunge and do the orange slide first, you're sure to enjoy this new experience.

For members of your party who might prefer a tamer experience, or young kids, Aquatica has plenty of other activities. Jump to this article to see the park's milder side. For five tips to help you enjoy the park, go here.

Need advice or guidance from a Central Florida theme parks expert? Check out my ebooks for Kindle and Nook.

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