By Ellen Liston
The newest waterslide to debut at Wilderness at the Smokies resort is an exhilarating experience for thrill seekers who want splash, surprise and the sensation of extreme free-fall.
Guests will start their adventure atop a 60-foot tower, where riders will board a two-person raft with a daring friend or family member to start the ultimate combination of sensations—rafting, drops, a shot of weightlessness and “going vertical.” The thrilling waterslide takes riders on a wild-water “raft ride” that begins with a shoot up the start of The Wall, then propelled 35 feet back up a vertical wall. Riders then pause before a steep drop down to experience one last thrill—a jolt of weightlessness over a tall transition hump at 40 feet per second before launching into a splashdown pool below. A water flow of 1,500 gallons per minute adds more fuel to the wet fun of this high-speed water experience. An average of 350 people will be able to experience the ride every hour it operates.
So what exactly does it mean to “go vertical”? “That means riders of The Wall will experience a reversed free-fall 35 feet high and then accelerate over a six-foot high transition hump to over 40 feet/second before the splashy finish,” said MJ Overton, Rides Specialist at Wilderness at the Smokies. “We think The Wall will quickly become a favorite here at the Wilderness, because it can be a different experience depending on which side of the raft you start on—it may go backwards first but then you end up going forward. That unpredictability will be like what you might experience on a whitewater adrenaline-filled rafting trip—it’s going to be awesome! The ride experience takes just over 30 seconds but thrill-seeking water enthusiasts will definitely come back and ride it again and again.”
Russell Archuleta, General Manager of Wilderness at the Smokies agrees that The Wall will become a favorite of resort guests. “Our beautiful area of the country here in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains offers amazing outdoor experiences full of action, adventure and heart-pumping fun,” Archuleta said, “and The Wall’ will simulate that experience in a waterpark setting. This new attraction will combine with our other great slides for the ultimate water thrill experience in one place here at Wilderness at the Smokies.” Archuleta added, “We look forward to continuing to expand and providing our resort guests with new and exciting experiences every time they vacation with us.”
Located in the River Lodge area of the Wilderness at the Smokies resort, the Lake Wilderness outdoor waterpark not only features The Wall and the Wild Vortex and Cyclone Racer extreme slides, it also features a lazy river and a wave pool for outdoor water fun as well as the Blue Gill snack area with food and drinks, the Cataloochee Creek miniature golf course, and 10 cabanas that can be rented per day and feature a private area with furniture and flat screen TVs as well as a cabana host to bring refreshments.
For more information about Wilderness at the Smokies, call toll-free (877) 325-9453 or visit www.wildernessatthesmokies.com.