If there’s one sure way to beat the summer heat at least for a day, it’s relaxing at a water park. With lazy rivers, wave pools, and ice cream sandwiches all nearby, there’s easy enjoyment for everyone in the family.
It might be hard to believe now, but the water slide concept only began about 115 years ago. The first example of this now ubiquitous summertime enjoyment debuted at the 1906 New Zealand International Exhibition. A water chute over Victoria Lake took four riders down a flume skidding across the water and would later become an international hit.
A few years later, Minnesotan Herbert Sellner designed a similar water toboggan ride that rode down an incline and onto one of the state’s 10,000 lakes. Upon impact, the sled shot its riders more than 100 feet across the water.
Now, a century later, engineers have bravely designed and built numerous water slides and coasters that have upped the ante throughout the world. For those who seek more thrilling summertime fun, there are some long, tall, and funky water slides to get your heart racing.
Below is our list of the tallest water slides, fastest water slides, and longest water slides in the world.
Looking for a great slide for your organization? Check these slides out.
1. The Longest
The name says it all. The longest tube water slide resides in Malaysia. It’s simply called “The Longest” and traipses down a canopied mountain inside the Escape Penang amusement park. The slide is 3,645 feet, or the equivalent of 12 football fields, and dwarfs all other water slides in terms of length.
The park owners envisioned a ride where their visitors would get to know the rain forest in an up-close-and-personal way. It takes adventure seekers on a four-minute ride and sliders can almost touch the overhanging trees as they hurtle down the mountain.
Here’s another simply-named water ride at Buena Vista Lodge in Costa Rica. Waterslide is the world’s longest flume where riders sit on the slide and not on an inflatable. At 1,300 feet in length (four football fields), Waterslide gives its riders a unique thrill of being in the water and not just on top of it. Waterslide is part of the Buena Vista Adventure Center, which features ziplining, hot springs, and waterfalls, that provides tourists with the essence of Costa Rica in one locale.
Holiday World, a water park in Santa Claus, Indiana, boasts the longest water slide for between four and six people. It’s a multi-person water coaster called “Mammoth,” and it shoots riders up, down, and around a series of blue and yellow pipes for more than two minutes. The 1,763-foot flume (almost six football fields) spreads out over three acres of land and 70 feet in height. The ride opens with a conveyor belt ride to the top before dropping riders off into the chilly water.
The longest drop slide in the world is Kilimanjaro. Named for the famous mountain half a world away in Tanzania, Kilimanjaro sits at Aldeia das Aguas Park Resort in Barra do Pirai, Brazil, some 85 miles northwest of Rio. Riders are given three seconds to prepare for a 164-foot, near-vertical drop to the ground below.
Enthusiasts make quite a trek to the top of this ride - 234 stair steps to arrive at the drop zone. After the long walk, riders brave enough to try this flume end up shooting down the mountain at almost 60 mph.
5. MASSIV Monster Blaster
The water coaster – a ride that mimics roller coasters with ups, downs, and g-force propulsion – is one of the tallest water slides in the world. MASSIV Monster Blaster can be found at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Galveston, Texas. It’s 81-feet off the ground, so riders can see the Gulf Coast from the start of this 330-yard (one football field) flume.
Riders are thrust forward throughout the ride to approximate the gravitational forces needed to spring up before sliding down. This tallest water slide coaster concludes with three back-to-back-to-back drops.
6. Thrillagascar & Jungle Jammer
You don’t have to go to Brazil to find one of the tallest water slides in the world. You don’t even have to go outside. DreamWorks Water Park in East Rutherford, New Jersey, boasts an indoor, 142-foot ride that is the world’s tallest indoor water slide.
The park was scheduled to open in 2019 but construction delays and the COVID-19 pandemic forced its opening to push back almost 18 months. It’s now available for families who want to stay inside during the dog days of summer and still get wet in the process.
7. Captain Spacemaker
The tallest water slide in Europe is the 138-foot Captain Spacemaker at Aqualandia Park in Jesolo, Italy. Located 30 miles northwest of Venice, guests don’t need a gondola to experience this fun water park. Voters have consistently named it Italy's and Europe's best water park.
What makes Captain Spacemaker unique is that, unlike most other tall water slides, this ride utilizes four-person inline rafts to navigate the 60-degree slope of its drop. Groups reach a top speed of 62 mph before splashing down in the finishing pool.
8. The Blaster
Here’s the longest water slide at sea. Several cruise lines have added water slides to their ships in the past few years. But the longest one is located atop Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. The Blaster takes riders on an 800-foot (two-and-half football fields) journey around and down to the main deck below before shooting riders into one of the ship’s saltwater pools.
The first highlight is the dazzling light display in two of the flume's tunnels. The second highlight is when The Blaster propels its riders out over the ocean for a moment. It then corrals them back to the safety of the ship. The curve over the ocean is in transparent Plexiglas, so riders can see the crystal clear waters below.
Check these slides out for your pool.
9. Space Twister
This 202-meter (two football fields) ride is one of the growing number of virtual reality water slides popping up throughout the world. It’s located at the Sonnentherme water park close to the border between Austria and Hungary. In addition to sitting in an inflatable, riders are outfitted with water-proof VR goggles.
They can then choose from one of three virtual worlds – Dragons, Aliens, or Fantasy, which are timed to go with the twisting, turning, sloping curvature of the ride itself. Riders don’t just slide down the tunnels, they slide down jungles or the star-filled galaxy. This is a wild ride to be sure.
10. Daredevil’s Peak
Royal Caribbean did it again. But this time, the slide is on land and not on one of its ships.
Daredevil’s Peak is one of the tallest water slides in the world but is only accessible for Royal Caribbean cruise-goers. It’s located on the company-owned Coco Cay Island in the Bahamas, so only passengers with this stop on their itinerary are eligible to experience it. Daredevil’s Peak wraps four sweeping, colorful loops around its 135-foot drop. Riders still average almost 60 mph while cascading down the loops before splashing home in the finishing pool.
11. Mile High Flyer
If you’ve ever wondered what it must be like to hurtle down a four-person bobsled course, this might be the closest you’ll get to that experience. Leave it to a ski resort area to figure that out. The Mile High Flyer is a 1,000 foot (more than three football fields) water coaster where groups of up to four sit in a toboggan and ride up, down, and around a Denver-area resort.
Another water ride that begins with a lengthy conveyor belt ride up to the top, Mile High Flyer gives its riders a chance to anticipate the ride before it begins in earnest. The ride goes up and down numerous hilly shoots and takes riders through several twisting tunnels. One tunnel is long enough to take each person through total darkness for several seconds.
It’s the Italian word for loco. Insano, in Fortaleza, Brazil, is one of the tallest water slides in the world. Brazil is well known for its speed (think Formula 1 success), and this is no different. Insano drops riders 135 feet in less than five seconds at speeds approaching 100 kilometers per hour (65 mph). In case you’re not sure how scary this ride can be, there’s a long sign attached next to the ride that shows how far the drop is.
13. Scorpion’s Tail
Scorpion’s Tail is one of the tallest drop zone water slides anywhere. Located at Noah's Ark Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, it's one of the tallest looping water slides as well.
Riders are locked in a tube at the start. When the attendant presses the button, the floor opens and the rider is dropped into a free fall down the chute. Water envelops the rider. If you can catch your breath without sucking in too much water, you have only a second or two before the slide sends you into an almost vertical 360-degree loop before splashing down into the funnel at the end. It’s simply terrifying.
This ride is more than one-third of a mile and takes up over two acres of space at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana. Readers of amusement trade magazines have rated it one of the best water rides anywhere. Wildebeest includes a four-story drop with a top speed of 36 mph. Because it uses a conveyor belt to propel its riders to the top, it’s a great ride for those with walking issues or who have difficulty maneuvering stairs.
15. Kalahari Resorts
Indoor water parks have become the rage in the past decade. And why not? They allow families to experience slides and water-based amenities all throughout the year.
At 220,000 square feet, Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania, is the largest indoor water park in America. It features five water slides, a Flowrider, a spa, and a swim-up bar andrecently doubled in size to dwarf any other indoor water park in the U.S. We like the Barrelling Baboon, a water ride that incorporates twin funnels, dips, twists, and tempo changes.
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