The clear door glides shut, encasing you coffin-like, as water runs down the back wall. A voice calmly intones a countdown -- 3, 2, 1 -- and for a heartbeat nothing happens.
Then the floor drops out and you plunge in a breathtaking drop nearly straight down before the tube levels out a bit and you are sent flying through twists and turns. Before you can catch your breath, you are shot into a dark section, with water splashing in your face, until you emerge into the light and splash into a shallow pool.
It all takes less than 30 seconds.
The Python Plummet is the highlight of the park's new six-slide complex called
There are three Python Plummet slides, each slightly different and ranging in length from 337 to 449 feet. The seven-story complex of water slides also features The Constrictor, a 450-feet-long tube slide that features four 360-degree loops, and Boa Blaster, two dueling 50-foot-high tube slides.
The project, part of an
All around Wildwater Kingdom, everything looks fresher and brighter, thanks to fresh paint. Even the Water Works play area, which was getting a little dingy, has been spruced up and looks practically new.
Other changes to the water park include a new 4,000-square-foot locker area with 3,000 electronic locks rather than keys; wider midways; a new roomy shade structure with numerous tables; an updated sound system and new chairs and lounge chairs.
Also getting an upgrade is the food throughout the park. Last fall, the park hired its first executive chef,
New this year is Sweetfrog, a frozen yogurt stand and the
Moving around the park will be the park's new food truck which features the slogan "Slide, Ride, Eat, Repeat," on the side.
The truck, which can serve anything made at the park from churros to burgers, will be in Wildwater Kingdom on hot days and on the midway other days. The truck also will make occasional trips outside the park.
Season pass holders will get an additional benefit this year with free admission to Dinosaurs Alive! -- the park's 3-acre animatronic dinosaur park. The separate area features more than 30 life-size dinosaurs, up to 40 feet tall in seven wooded settings.
Dinosaurs Alive, added in 2012, previously cost an extra
The popular thrill show by
The show features extreme sports including somersaulting bikes, back-flipping gymnasts and an aerialist who performs high above the stage to a throbbing soundtrack and light show. There will be performances daily except for Tuesdays,
Other shows include a new kids show "Team Charlie Brown" with music by the Peanuts characters in Planet Snoopy, "Jukebox Select," a show featuring songs from the '50s, '60s and Motown
Another new service that sounds practical is the park's Fastpay cashless wristband. Park visitors can load wristbands with money in
DORNEY PARK AND WILDWATER KINGDOM
-- What: The amusement park celebrates its 130th anniversary by opening
-- How much:
-- Info: http://www.dorneypark.com, 610-395-3724.
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