The-preview-is-better-than-the-hype
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Theme Parks


If you have ever gone to the SeaWorld Aquatica water park page and looked at all the cool videos of the slides, Dolphin Plunge would stand out.

For our family, it was going to be a highlight of our trip to the water park last weekend. Who doesn’t want to ride a waterslide tube beneath the surface of the water and peer out into the watery home of Commerson dolphins? Let’s back up just a bit first.

Dolphins Plunge is a water tube/slide ride at Aquatica. Their website declares that Dolphin Plunge is their “most popular ride”. Really? Here is what else they have to say.

This corkscrewing ride’s twin slides plunge you into total darkness before blasting you through into a brilliant underwater world. Keep your eyes peeled for the playful pod of beautiful black-and-white Commerson’s dolphins that call it home. – from the Aquatica.com website. 

O.k. so click the link after the above quote and take a look at what you can expect from the ride and then jump back here and I will tell you what it is really like. Go ahead, I will wait!

Dolphins’ Plunge: The waterslide that takes you under the water! Image courtesy Brian Miller

Welcome back! So, the slide is fun and I won’t deny that. It is a really cool body slide that twists and throws you around and the wait time wasn’t all that bad. The draw here is, however, the chance to go underwater and see the black and white panda dolphins as some have dubbed them. Here is the thing, you don’t get to see the dolphins.

I spoke with about 15 to 20 people who were getting off the slide at the exit pool and not a single one said they saw a dolphin but they all pretty much said the same thing which confirmed what my own personal experience was, “you can’t really see anything”.

My 9-year-old son shot down the tube next to me and through the plexiglass tube I could make out his bright yellow swim shirt as a massive blur but two things should be noted, one, the water might be clear but the tubes are not so clean of grime that you would see through them, and two, you literally have about 1.5 seconds of clear tube time before you hit the exit pool.

On our second day at the park, my 11-year-old daughter joined my son for another trip down. This was very early in the day so maybe the tubes were just grimy the day before but again, both said they could see nothing but a cloudy tube which is far from what the preview videos show.

All in all, it’s a waterslide and as such it is fun but if you are going to wait in line longer than 30 minutes just to see the dolphins under the water as you pass through, you won’t. But you will be disappointed. Fun ride? Yes. But the preview is a lot better



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