Favourite Water Rides

Favourite Water Rides

‘Flowing through Rapids, whooshing on a Dinghy, coasting on a water coaster, these are a few of my favourite things…’

Deary me, sorry for getting slightly musical there! Following on from my Favourite Log Flumes blog post, I thought I’d write about my favourite water rides. There’s so many types of water ride out there that I’ve decided to just make one list on here. Along the way, I have travelled to a fair few theme parks and there’s been a few water rides that have really caught my heart. They are the perfect way to balance out attraction line-ups at any theme park and with it being Summer right now, great for the hot sunny weather.

As I started writing this, I thought the list was going to be short and sweet. And it has grown quite massively so I have had to keep things rather brief before I bore you too much. So, let’s crack on with my favourites! Note: These are not in any particular order.

Valhalla | Blackpool Pleasure Beach

This ride. Everyone knows Valhalla. If you don’t, you are not a true geek. I’m torn between loving this ride and hating it purely for the insane wetness levels that is achieved. And for a place like Blackpool, it just doesn’t seem to be the best place for such a soaking wet ride. And I don’t really believe there has ever been a person who has managed to come off ‘bone-dry’, even ponchos don’t keep you safe! Pack some flip flops, protect your bag and possessions (or find a locker!) and just immerse yourself in the experience and brace yourself – YOU WILL GET SOAKED!

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Journey to Atlantis | SeaWorld Orlando

This ride is certainly an interesting one. Part dark water ride, part water coaster. I love the theatrical elements of this ride within the dark ride section. As the rides name suggests, it is your journey to the mythical land of Atlantis, which has a few secrets of its own. Now, I haven’t been on this ride since 2015 so I know the storyline has changed away from the ‘evil Siren Mermaids’ who trick you whilst on your journey. I personally did like this element but can understand this might have been quite scary for the children. Anyway, this ride is great – especially the fun little coaster section towards the end of the ride!

River Quest | Phantasialand

You haven’t experienced a good rapids if you haven’t ridden River Quest. It is EPIC! I won’t be giving out spoilers simply because you need to experience the ride to find out the wonder and surprises in store. The theming around the ride is incredible, just like the whole park tbh. But River Quest has that special beauty about it that makes us geeks praise it so much. You MUST ride this when you make a visit to Phantasialand, just prepare yourself for a soaking.

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Pirates of the Caribbean | Disney Parks

I enjoy this ride very much. Just having the ‘Yo-Ho, Yo-Ho, A Pirate’s Life for Me’ soundtrack playing is enough to get you in the mood. I also enjoy the DLP version as it has that super cool interaction with the Captain Jack’s – Restaurant des Pirates or formerly known as The Blue Lagoon restaurant. As you travel through the seas, and encounter a variety of pirates along the way, you could be in for a splashing time! A must-ride at any Disney park – I mean, hello, Shanghai Disneyland’s version just looks out of this world.

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Traitor: Boat Ride to Hell | The London Dungeons Tooley Street

I did write a blog post last year about what I missed from the Tooley Street, click here to read, and this attraction is on that list. The first time I went on this ride, it was truly terrifying. The natural darkness of the railway arches that housed The London Dungeons just made this ride even more scary. Plus, as you travelled through Traitor’s Gate, and upwards towards the drop before returning to earth, backwards. As a kid, you’d be very scared – unless you were a tough cookie in which case, props to you!

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Waschzuber-Rafting | Erlebnispark Tripsdrill

The one thing to note about these Rapids, they are hard to find! You could easily miss these if you didn’t know they were around. And it is honestly so worth doing as they are not only crazy, but such fun to ride. You have a potential to get wet, as you do on a Hafema Rapids – just look at River Quest. Although this ride doesn’t have the same crazy, steep drops as River Quest in Phantasialand, they are just as good. Make sure you don’t miss out on riding these.

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Jungle Cruise | Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom

I love, love, love this ride so much. If anything, the gags will make you crease up laughing every time – even if they can be bad at times! Learning about the history of this ride, the jokes and gags were not a part of the original ride in Disneyland California. It was a more educational ride through the ‘jungle’. I’m so glad they added jokes in as it becomes a light-hearted attraction that is fun for the whole family.

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Krokobahn | Familypark Austria

I’m laughing to myself just thinking about this ride. You’d think that the staff would say, 1 adult per boat, since you know, this is a mini flume ride. Let’s just say that the operator wanted to have some shits and giggles, watching 2 adults ride this flume ride. Yes, the boat was struggling to carry us along. Yes, the lift hill creaked like crazy as we travelled up it. Yes, we got stuck at the bottom of the drop and had to use our body weight to drag us along. It was bloody hilarious and if you ever have a bunch of friends with you, give it a go. You will get soaked too.

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Popeye’s & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges | Universal Islands of Adventure

There’s not really much to say than in the Florida heat, this is a very much needed ride. Basically, wear your swimming gear underneath your clothes, bring a pair of flip flops and embrace the wetness. No matter how many times I have ridden these rapids, I have always come off soaked – even more so than the likes River Quest – and that is saying something.

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Jurassic Park River Adventure | Universal Islands of Adventure

Like Jurassic Park? Love Dinosaurs? Love a water ride? Then you’ll love Jurassic Park River Adventure. It starts off a gentle ride that looks fun for all the family, and with the classic Jurassic Park theme playing, you are taken away from reality and into a different world. And these sorts of ride that are immersive are what I love and want in a theme park! But wait, all is not as it seems as you travel further into the depths of the ride and something seems a bit amiss. You never know, you might see a mighty big T-Rex…

Grand Canyon Rapids | PortAventura

Ever get bored of the Rapids in the UK? Well, you’ll be in for a good treat when you try out these rapids. They are fast moving and will get you wet – perfect for that Spanish sunshine. This was my first real experience of trying out a rapids in a foreign country and my god, they make our UK rapids laughable – yes, I’m looking at you Rumba Rapids!

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Special mention to… Wildalpenbahn at Wiener Prater

I didn’t ride this (and yes, I wish I did now!) but let’s just say, watching your friends spin like crazy and hearing their ‘screams’ from the top… it’s an interesting experience in itself.

There’s plenty on this list that have given me some very fond memories. What are your favourites? Are there any I have missed that’s worth a mention? Let me know in the comments below.

That’s all for now.

LOTTIE TRAVELS

Favourite Water Parks

Favourite Water Parks

As the sun shines away with beautiful blue skies, I daydream about lazing beside a pool or cooling down at a water park. I believe that a water park really adds to any holiday, regardless of whether it is in the UK or abroad. From fast slides to a wave pool, private cabanas to a ‘beach’, there is something for everyone!

I have visited a fair few water parks in my time and I can’t resist visiting them. It is a nice break away from the hustle and bustle of theme parks and rollercoasters. Instead you can get your adrenaline fix with the water slides or enjoy a relaxing journey in a lazy river. With so much to choose from, you won’t ever be bored. So, let’s crack on with my favourite water parks.

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Typhoon Lagoon | Walt Disney World

I think if you were to ask people about Typhoon Lagoon, most would probably mention the insane wave pool. Honestly, you need to be a strong swimmer to withstand the powerful wave in the wave pool – reaching heights of 6ft! Of course, it is not just the wave pool that is the main attraction, there are plenty of water slides including the thrilling ‘Crush ‘n’ Gusher’. You can walk into a Disney water park and be transported into a completely different world! Definitely my favourite of the Walt Disney World Water Parks.

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Aquatica | Seaworld Orlando

This was a brand-new water park for me when I visited Orlando back in 2015. Whilst it may not be as well themed as the Disney water parks, thrillseekers will love the range of water slides on offer here. From body slides to family fun water slides and two lazy rivers! One is your typical lazy river with floats where as the other one, known as ‘Roa’s Rapids’ is a fast style rapids. I know this water park has expanded a lot since my last visit which makes me even more excited about visiting again when I plan my next trip to Florida.

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Sandcastle Waterpark | Blackpool

Are you even a Brit if you haven’t been to the UK’s largest indoor water park? Sandcastle is well known for being the best water park in the UK, and it’s obvious as to why. It’s huge. There’s lots of a slides including a master blaster and the interesting half pipe style water slide, Sidewinder – it’s so great, especially when you go down backwards! Due to its sheer size, there is so much to do that you could spend way more than a couple of hours here – the slides here are more than enough to keep you entertained.

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Blizzard Beach | Walt Disney World

What better way to represent a water park in Disney, in Florida, than with a crocodile/alligator trying to ride the wave on skis. It’s so random but so apt for a Disney. Creativity at its finest in my opinion. I do find Blizzard Beach visually stunning – from the fake snow around the park to the ski style lifts taking you to the top of Mount Gushmore and the ski slope peak of Summit Plummit. Trust me, the first time you look at this ride, you are going to be thinking ‘what the bloody hell is up with that slide??’ I do rate Typhoon Lagoon higher than Blizzard Beach but that doesn’t mean to say I don’t like the park. It has plenty of fun slides (body slides, racing slides, family slides etc.), places to chill out as well as some cool, relaxing rapids.

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Alton Towers Waterpark (formerly Cariba Creek)

Taking you back to the UK now, and a water park that is fun for all the family. Yes, it is not a massive water park but what Alton Towers waterpark has is enough for a good couple of hours of fun. The bucket as part of the Wacky Waterworks area is possibly the highlight of this place – even if you are an adult. The Master Blaster is a pretty fun slide that winds all around the water park, with a photo opportunity at the bottom – personally not sure this works well as half the time in my experience, I come out backwards. Let’s not forget the ‘racing’ style slides too: Rush ‘n’ Rampage as well as the outdoor pool area with the ‘Flash Floods’ slides. If you think about it, there is plenty to keep you entertained for a morning or afternoon – especially if you are staying on resort!

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Splashdown | Poole

As a southerner, you will know this water park very well. I certainly remember having some great times here as a kid. There’s so many cool slides to explore here with a range of intensities for thrillseekers and those who are less adventurous. Thrillseekers can enjoy The Screamer, Velocity, Baron’s Revenge, Infinity, Zambezi Drop and Dragon’s Lair. There’s so much to do here that it is a perfect option for an afternoon out with a few friends.

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Center Parcs ‘Subtropical Swimming Paradise’ (Longleat, Elveden & Woburn)

I’ve combined all of these into one as I seriously recommend this to anyone who visits Center Parcs. It is part of your stay with no extra money required to use the facilities. There’s fab slides including Tropical Cyclone, travel down on a float with 3 other people into a funnel – just watch out for the water splash which may get you in the face if you’re not careful. Each swimming complex is different at each Center Parcs Village but all have the same facilities from a fun wave pool, rapids, children’s splash pool area and at some places, a nice relaxing jacuzzi pool.

This is a short list – probably because I haven’t really focused too much on visiting water parks, but that doesn’t mean to say that I won’t visit them more regularly. When the weather is hot and sunny, a water park is just as good a day out as a theme park. Coming up soon on the blog, I will be writing a ‘small’ wish list of water parks I really want to visit. What are your favourites? Are there any I should make a visit too? Let me know in the comments below.

That’s all for now.

LOTTIE TRAVELS

My Favourite Woodies

My Favourite Woodies

Since us UK geeks are getting incredibly excited about the Wicker Man opening next weekend (although some have been lucky enough to ride it already!), I thought I would dedicate a blog posts to the other woodies I have ridden. My first real memory of woodies was back in 2002 when I went to Florida and rode Gwazi… yeah, that ride was interesting to say the least. Now that I have ridden a good few woodies that are absolutely great, here’s a list of my favourites.

 

Wildfire | Kolmarden Zoo

My babe! This ride is just fab and you really need to get yourself to Kolmarden just for this. Wildfire ticks all the boxes for me. The inverted zero G stall element is my favourite part of the ride, quite simply for the fact I was like “What the hell?!” when I first rode it. The ride has everything you need for a thrilling coaster that is fun for all the family and I think the on-ride photo above proves that!

 

Troy | Toverland

This used to my all time favourite woodie before Wildfire came along, but you cannot deny that this is still a favourite among the theme park community. I heard great things about this before I even ventured to Toverland in 2013 and yep, it did not disappoint. The sheer speed of the ride is enough to keep me wanting more – especially if its a hot day.

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Tomahawk | PortAventura

Awwww, Tomahawk was a beaut to ride. I can’t really explain why I prefer this over Stampida. I think it’s the fact that the ride is so fun to ride and you got some real good airtime!

 

Joris En De Draak | Efteling

Joris is another favourite of mine, not quite at the same level of Troy and Wildfire in my opinion but I won’t turn down a ride on it when visiting Efteling. For some people, they do rate Joris over Troy. For me, Joris is more family orientated and with the racing element, it adds to the fun of the ride – especially when you are on the winning train!

 

Twister | Grona Lund

Grona Lund is insane enough with the whole compact nature of the park but Twister… Despite the fact that it doesn’t look like much, I really enjoyed the ride! Don’t be deceived into thinking it won’t be thrilling because of how small it is, honestly it is worth the queue! Plus, you might find a few recognisable images of woodies in the queue line.

 

White Lightning | Fun Spot Orlando

Go to Fun Spot on a quiet day and you can just re-ride White Lightning. Those bunny hops give you plenty of airtime – like seriously. I honestly would return to Fun Spot just to ride White Lightning again.

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Wodan | Europa Park

Okay, I have to say that I have ridden Wodan when it was running ‘slow’ and didn’t rate it highly. However, like with all coasters, when they have been operating for the whole day and if it’s been a hot day, Wodan pretty much packs a punch. I didn’t think it was going to show me that it can be just as good as Troy but it did. Don’t judge the ride if your first ride is slow, wait until the end of the day and it may just surprise you!

 

Megafobia | Oakwood

Probably one of the most iconic woodies we have in the UK (or Wales to be exact) at the moment. I can now see why all the geeks rave about this ride, especially as John Wardley designed it too! Back row is insane on the ride, I just wish it was closer to home so we could all give it more love.

Despite not being a huge lover of woodies, I have ridden a few that have shown me that they can be fun and thrilling. Maybe my early memories of Gwazi put me off for a while! Here’s to next weekend where I get the chance to ride The Wicker Man. Hope to see a few of you there!

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS