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We Tried Wet ‘n’ Wild’s Newest Ride

Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawai‘i celebrated 16 years in business with the opening of Waimea Whirl.



Don’t let the rainbow colors of the Waimea Whirl fool you; it’s far from innocent. The Waimea Whirl at Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawai‘i is the park’s newest attraction. It’s been six years since the park has opened a new ride and the designers succeeded in making it a whirl of both fun and terror. 


We were among the first to try out the new ride, before the public grand opening this past Saturday, May 9. Mostly kids and their parents attended the event making us one of the few single adults. Hey, no shame.


The colorful Godzilla-sized attraction, sandwiched between the Big Kahuna and the Wai‘anae Coaster, can accommodate 250 riders per hour. That doesn’t seem too bad, but the first drop definitely gave us the stomach-dropping feeling.


Riders are required to sit on a two-person inner tube with handles that you have to keep holding on to. Forget about posting footage of yourself screaming on the ride on Instagram, because GoPros are not allowed on the ride.


After waiting at the top of the stairs behind children much braver than us, a lifeguard pushed us into a dark tunnel that sped down into a 30-foot bowl. While in the funnel shaped-bowl, you rotate around the perimeter about two to three times until you finally make it down into the second slide, which is another 20-foot drop.


It feels as if you’re being flushed down a toilet into the second slide. You’re not sure if you’ll make it out facing front or ending up backwards. Much less alive. We survived, but we had the unfortunate experience of sliding down backwards for the last drop. The ride ends with a splash in a pool shared by the Wai‘anae Coaster. We did not get soaked as we anticipated, only a few drops of water splashed on us.


This ride is best for thrill-seeking children and teens, parents would probably prefer the Shaka ride instead because it’s a lot scarier and bigger. The Waimea Whirl felt like it lasted 10 to 15 minutes, but it was really 30 seconds. You can ride it with a friend or by yourself, but either way, you won’t know which way you’re going to face getting out. 


General admission $47.99, junior admission (under 42") $37.99, senior admission/ handicapped (ages 65+) $37.99, free for children 2 years and younger, kama‘aina and military discounts are offered, 400 Farrington Hwy, Kapolei, 674-9283, wetnwildhawaii.com.




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Honolulu Magazine September 2018
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