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Aquatica’s New Ride – Omaka Rocka 2010
We first visited SeaWorld’s new water park, Aquatica in August, 2009, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It is very different from Disney’s water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, but it has some brilliant rides. However, SeaWorld officials have now confirmed that there is to be a new ride which will open by March 2010, and which will be the first waterslide of its kind in the world.
This new water ride is going to be called ‘Omaka Rocka’ and it will give its riders unique thrills. It is the first new ride to be built at Aquatica since it opened in early 2008, so it will be anticipated with great excitement. The name, ‘Omaka Rocka’ is from the South Seas and means ‘rocking river. ’ The ride will have two slides with three funnels each, but the difference is that it will feature manoeuvres which are reminiscent of extreme sports such as skateboarding. Riders will slide forwards and backwards, climbing walls as they speed down flumes into massive funnels. They will slide high up one side and then up the other, rocking backwards and forwards, which will give a feeling of near weightlessness. As they come out of the funnel they will receive a drenching as they splashdown. It is said that these near-vertical thrills have only been experienced by daring skateboarders and snow boarders.
Rick Beddow, the General Manager of Aquatica, described the Omaka Rocka experience – ' They' re going to slide up one side and get a sensation of near weightlessness. They' ll come down that side and back up the other. They' ll probably be going backwards, but most definitely going to be screaming. It' s going to be a taste of a half-pipe – near vertical thrills experienced only by skateboarders or snowboarders. '
The ride will be on the wave-pool side of the park, and it will share a platform with Whanau Way. This was not the original plan, as Whanau Way tower was built to accommodate another ride. Although parts of the ride will be enclosed, some of the tubing will be ‘semi-transparent’ so that they let more light in. This will enable people watching outside to see the riders sliding through the tubes.
The best news is that the ride will have no height restrictions, although riders will have to be able to hold onto the grips and maintain the riding position throughout the ride.
I can honestly say that I will not be riding it, as I am a complete wimp, but my children can’t wait, and I am sure that next time we go they will make a beeline for Omaka Rocka.
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