On Tuesday, Corey and I took the day off for our pilgrimage to Schiltterbahn. Normally we go every year but were in a 3 year drought (pun intended?) as something always came up when we thought about going before. It was nice though because we got to see the multiple new rides that had come out since we last went.
They finally renovated the old Congo River, for instance. I had wanted them to do that for years since it has looked quite ugly for a while now. It was one of the original attractions when Schiltterbahn first opened I think. Instead of gutting the whole thing, they instead combined the original circular river with a tube chute that was decorated to look like a mine shaft. It ended up being really cool because it included a step, dark, slide (which I think was part of the old Cliffhanger ride perhaps).
They also renovated the old Dragon Blaster by adding some artistic elements. I thought it had lasers and things that shined against water and stuff but we didn’t actually see much of that. The ride was mostly the same but the wait wasn’t bad for it. I think they got rid of the other ride next to it though?
The one ride we were waiting for all season was broken unfortunately. It had opened two weeks prior but a pump broke was what we found out. It is really just a river to connect the East and West parts of the new park. I was hoping for a magical, and fast, water ride to get from the old to new park but that remains a dream (and a logistical nightmare otherwise).
The other parts of the park were mostly the same. Some new paint here and there. The Soda Straws had a new look, for instance. Barreling down them was pretty need on the inside since it looked like streaks of colored light on the sides. They did the same thing to the other body-turned-tube slide and that was nice. I never have understood why they made it a tube ride over a body slide though.
In fact, I wish they had more body slides. The Soda Straws generally have a short wait to them, usually I don’t even get dry by the time I get to go again. The tube chutes often involve long waits, second only perhaps to the Master Blaster (a ride we actually skipped this time) and having to haul tubes up a bunch of stairs is a hassle. Body slides are quick, easy, and fun and I’m not sure why there aren’t more of them. Liability maybe, but I don’t go to Schlitterbahn to be safe. I go to have fun, wild, water rides. I still miss the old white body-slides that were behind the natural pool. If you look close, you can still see there influence in the park. I am guessing, but I suspect that they, too, were the victim of the wussification of Schiltterbahn.
Which bring me to my point – the modern Schiltterbahn is cool, but I miss the older days before the bumps on the fast tube chute slides and when they had more of the body slides, dangerous or otherwise. Either way, the park needs more rides. If I go to a water park, the idea is to be wet longer than I am dry and, even when going on a Tuesday, the wait for most of the rides was longer than I would have liked. Especially on the shorter (but fun) tube chute that snakes around the natural pool. It’s super fun. Not worth the hour long wait and, in fact, had we known the line was going to be that long we would have easily passed on it. I dunno what the other Schlitterbahn parks are like (we wanna check them out one of these days) but the charm of the original, given it feeds off the river for most of the old park, is awesome! I wish they paid more attention to it.
Don’t get me wrong, we had an amazingly good time. Next year I hope to go early in the season just to see if it helps the crowds. Regardless, we’ll be coming back for more as we always do. I still want to stay inside the park one of these days in one of their cabins or motels. Would be so amazing! I would love more rides in the future, and dangerous ones, though! At least more of the body-slides like the Soda Straws, as those can’t be beat!