Media members, special guests and community leaders were on hand to experience the tubular sensation of Colossal Curl at Water Country USA. Sitting prominently at the park entrance and swirling high above the trees in bright blue and yellow stripes, this brand new family thrill slide is now open at the '60s surfer-inspired Williamsburg water park.
Park officials and community leaders spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening on Friday May, 23, 2014.
Carl Lum, Park President, said …
“For three decades, Water Country USA has been a family-fun destination. Colossal Curl complements the wide array of slides, rides and resort-style amenities available to park guests. With the addition of Colossal Curl, the park has a thrill attraction that can be enjoyed by the entire family.”
Eleven students from An Achievable Dream Academy in Newport News were invited to participate in the first official ride on Colossal Curl. Lum, who serves on the An Achievable Dream, Inc. board, invited the students to participate in the first ride to get feedback on the slide's thrill factor.
“Customer surveys are important, but the true measurement of a guest’s enjoyment and satisfaction is the expression of excitement on his face when he experiences an attraction like Colossal Curl for the first time,” said Lum.
Colossal Curl is a first-of-its-kind slide in North America. It is the only slide to have both a 24-foot funnel (or "tantrum" in water park lingo) feature and a 40-foot wave element on one slide. The two thrill elements are connected by a series of enclosed tubes with watery surprises. Parts of the tubes are a slightly lighter color to let in light.
Carl Lum, Water Country USA’s Vice-President Jeff Thomas and Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance President Karen Riordan took turns conquering the curl with the students from An Achievable Dream.
“If the students’ excitement is any indication of our fans’ reaction, I imagine Colossal Curl will be a guest favorite for years to come,” said Jeff Thomas.
Colossal Curl holds up to four passengers in cloverleaf-shaped rafts, making it the first family thrill slide at Water Country USA and the only slide of its kind in North America. Colossal Curl also has a weight limit. All four passengers stand on a scale before boarding the raft. If it exceeds the weight limit, the group will be split up. There must be at least two passengers in the tube. Another exciting feature of Colossal Curl is the ability to load two tubes at once, making for less wait time.
Media members were given the opportunity to “Conquer the Curl” on opening day. And, yes, there was video involved. What did the Theme Park Examiner think of Colossal Curl? Even though my screaming was deemed “embarrassing” by my youngster, I loved Colossal Curl.
One of the best things about Colossal Curl is that, after the first drop into the funnel, there is an enjoyable tube ride through waterfalls and diffused lighting before you swirl into the next exciting feature of the wave element. Most rides of this sort give the rider a climactic drop, a few swishes and swerves and it’s over. Colossal Curl gives you a bit of a breather, per se, and not one but two exciting elements. I give it a definite thumb’s up. Or a very hearty shaka sign.
Colossal Curl Facts
- Slide length: 552.5 feet
- Size of funnel element: 1,400 square feet
- Weight of funnel element: 9,500 pounds
- Height of wave element: 40 feet
- Height of tower: 67.5 feet
- Number of steps to top of tower: 108 steps
- Height requirement: 48 inches
- Manufacturer: Proslide Technology, Ottawa, Canada
Water Country USA is open daily May 23 through September 1, 2014. For information on operating hours and tickets, please visit WaterCountryUSA.com.
Disclaimer: The author was invited to the Colossal Curl Media Day event as part of Busch Gardens Ambassador Blogger/Thrill Chaser program and as a member of the media. All opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author.