Monday, January 25, 2010


In the last few years we’ve come to consider ourselves water park aficionados. We tacked on a week to our honeymoon so that we could go to San Antonio, TX to visit Schlitterbahn—the nation’s largest outdoor water park. (Then we visited Schlitterbahn’s sister park on South Padre Island, TX too.) We’ve been to Wet n Wild, Six Flags New England’s water park, Six Flags Atlanta’s water park, Aquatica, Discovery Cove, Blizzard Beach, Six Flags Great Escape Lodge in Lake George, NY, and a few more I can’t recall at the moment. Before I knew Todd, I’d been to Action Park in New Jersey as well.

At Christmas Todd surprised me with a trip to Kalahari, located in the booming metropolis of Sandusky, Ohio.  Kalahari is the largest indoor water park in the nation.  It has a dozen or so rides, one of which is a water roller coaster that was clearly designed to mimic Schlitterbahn’s Master Blaster. There were two funnel rides, one was a tube ride, the other was a slide that ended in a funnel. There were rides on which we had to ride a mat, and there were others that we just rode on our butt. The park also included a giant wave pool beach under a specially designed ceiling that allows UV rays to penetrate so that park visitors can get a suntan while playing in the waves.

The only thing I didn’t like about this park was that the rides were all in complete darkness. The tubes were constructed of opaque fiberglass that didn’t allow light to penetrate. As a result we did not have a sense of where we were going as we slid down the tube. I’ve come to appreciate this variety at other parks, when only a few of the slides are in complete darkness. The innate thrill of not knowing which way the tube will bend, and whether I will be dropped down a steep incline at any given second, is an exciting change from sliding down the tube in the sunlight.

However, every single ride in complete darkness creates an unsettled queasy feeling, especially when riding backward. Toward the end of the first day I started feeling motion sick because my eyes could not detect motion in the dark, and conflicted with my body which clearly detected motion. I do not get motion sick. I am the kind of girl who can ride 7 different roller coasters in under 3 hours and still eat a funnel cake at the half way point. I am the kind of girl who remains at the helm, beer in hand, in 8-10 feet waves hollering at the heavens “Is this all you’ve got??” while my husband “feeds the fish” off the back of the boat. He gets motion sick. I do not. Yet, over the weekend I got my quease on while riding in complete darkness at Kalahari.

But there were other things going on a Kalahari that took the edge off the queasiness.  We headed over to the spa and took in a deep tissue couples massage.  We took advantage of the opportunity to play with a 9 week old Bengal tiger cub.  Twice.  We rubbed her belly while she tried out her baby tiger roar on us; the only response she received was 'Awwwwwww!'  We went to the hot tub bar, bellied up and received our fancy tropical drinks while soaking in a hot tub.  Then we carried the drinks outside--and that was the only time we'd been outdoors for the entire weekend.
But other than the complete darkness, I would totally do Kalahari again—maybe next winter to beat the February cabin fever.

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Blogger Taoist Biker said...

Honestly, it sounds like a great way to combat cabin fever! We have a couple of the smaller attached-to-a-hotel indoor water parks within a few hours' drive here, we'll have to keep that in mind!

January 26, 2010 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger BJ Knapp said...

TB-It was actually kinda weird to look out the window and see patches of snow on the ground. For all I knew it was summer indoors.

January 26, 2010 at 11:56 AM  

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