[ General ]

Splash into Summer Fun at these Orlando Hot Spots

Grueling-hot summertime visits to theme parks can be alleviated with turns on one of their water-thrill rides. Take a whirl through this Orlando guide to H2O zones and discover which ones are worth getting soaked to the bone.

Kali River Rapids
Asia area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Water, water, everywhere: Its surrounding environment is incredibly green and gorgeous — with the exception of the ruins left by illegal loggers, which are impressive in their own way. Ride is divided just enough from park for an immersive experience. Serious drawback: visit too brief.
Vessel: Round raft, seats 12, seat belts strap in two people apiece. (Height requirement: 38 inches)

Splashdown lowdown: Hills are straightaway fun, contrasting with the tranquil flat stretches.

Saturation point: A drenching, equivalent to a bucket of water poured over you.

Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls
Toon Lagoon, Islands of Adventure

Water, water everywhere: Ride runs through classic cartoon settings with sound effects and sight gags. Early drops don’t get riders as wet as the following splash that comes over the sides and into laps.

Vessel: Log-flume style, seating five, single-file with lap bars — which upsets fans who want more hang time. It’s a snug fit, a challenge for the hippy and leggy. (Height requirement: 44 inches)

Splashdown lowdown: Dramatic drop looks just as steep from inside the log as it does from the sidelines. Brace yourself for a bounce at the end.

Saturation point: You’ll probably get good and wet, but if you escape reasonably dry, beware of onlookers who will pay 25 cents to fire a water cannon at your smug, dry self.

Jurassic Park River Adventure
Jurassic Park, Islands of Adventure

Water, water everywhere: Comprehensive theme successfully places guests in the movie setting. The soundtrack helps at start and finish. Dinosaurs craftily distract from impending drop.

Vessel: Boat with five rows of five seats and pull-down bar. (Height requirement: 42 inches)

Splashdown lowdown: Ride ends with a bang and a giant splash. Depending on your seat and the weight distribution, you might not get soaked. Heavier cargo (yeah, I’m talking about you) equals bigger waves.

Saturation point: Ranges from damp to dunked, especially in the face. A better guarantee is the splash zone that runs alongside the finale.

Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges
Toon Lagoon, Islands of Adventure

Water, water everywhere: Surprisingly steep ride with churning, side-to-side action and several opportunities for overhead waterings. Nice velocity in flat stretches.

Vessel: 12-seat round raft. (Height requirement: 42 inches)

Splashdown lowdown: Long lift through Bluto’s boat wash gives time to debate which rider will get wettest. It’s a bit futile.

Saturation point: Expect a thorough soaking.

Splash Mountain
Frontierland, Magic Kingdom

Water, water everywhere: Lengthy trip follows high jinks of “Song of the South” characters plus glimpses of the park from on high.

Vessel: Log with four rows of two seats, no harness or lap belt. (Height requirement: 40 inches)

Splashdown lowdown: Good air going down the mountain, briefly exhilarating.

Saturation point: Hit and miss, depending on seating.

Journey to Atlantis
SeaWorld Orlando

Water, water everywhere: Trek through the temple mixes wet and dry thrills.

Vessel: Boats with four rows of two seats, single lap bar. (Height requirement: 42 inches)

Splashdown lowdown: Public plunge looks like climactic ending — or is it?

Saturation point: Moderate dampness.

Maelstrom
Norway, Epcot

Water, water everywhere: Although signage indicates a “high-seas adventure,” it’s more like “it’s a small world” with puffins, polar bears and trolls.

Vessel: Viking ship of four rows, no restraints, no height requirement.

Splashdown lowdown: Although the ship briefly peeks outside the ride before diving into scream-filled darkness, it’s not nearly as harrowing as it sounds.

Saturation point: Relax. You’re more likely to get wet from heartfelt tears in the five-minute film that follows.

Information & Image courtesy of Orlando Sentinel
Tags: ,