As the name suggests I almost exclusively focus on roller coasters when I visit theme parks. I’m starting to branch out a bit as I visit more parks with my family, but to me time spent on anything that doesn’t have rails and wheels is not time well spent. Last week, I found myself at the Charlotte, NC-area’s Great Wolf Lodge. These super-sized, outdoorsy-themed resorts are all over the country. There’s a good bit to do for kids, but their biggest draw is their indoor water parks. My young daughters were too timid to tackle any of the water slides, but I was itching to sample them. One night, I got my chance and my first and most important target was Great Wolf Lodge’s Tornado slide. You’ve probably either ridden one or at least seen pictures of them before. They’re these water slides that start with a tunnel that leads to a massive funnel. The other riders had ridden it before and I really had little idea of exactly what the ride was going to be like. The three of us sat in an inner tube for 4 and we pushed off into the pitch black tunnel. It was dark outside (almost 9:00 PM) and I’m not sure how much sun light normally enters the ride. We floated in the darkness for a good bit and then my companion’s warning about the big drop ahead came to pass. I was in the seat that was facing backwards and the plunge felt pretty big. Then, I found myself completely dwarfed by the huge funnel with rushing water coming down the sides and lights. It was quite an experience. Pictures and even video do not do this ride justice. I felt so small. Like an ant being washed down an enormous drain. The sensation of sailing up and down the sides of the funnel were fun too, but for me the visual stimulation was unreal. Again, I don’t really do water slides. So, maybe it’s not as impressive for everyone. Also, the fact that it’s completely enclosed (it looks like some are not) and that it was night probably had an effect on how it all looked. I had to ride once more. The second time I was facing the drop and it didn’t feel as big. I was still in awe of the cavernous funnel. I can see why ProSlides get the mentions and buzz that they do. It was a great and very memorable ride. I recommend them if you happen to have one near you or you encounter one on your next trip. Find one near you. Here’s ProSlide’s list of Tornados. Have you ridden a tornado water slide? What’d you think? Leave a comment below. Image 1 via CC – Flickr User StephenK1977 6 Responses Dillon July 17, 2012 Six Flags White Water down in Atlanta near SFOG has one of those rides, I haven't gotten the chance ride it yet. But, after hearing your recommendation, I'll definitely try to get a ride on it the next time I'm there. Reply Matt July 17, 2012 I have only been on the one at King's Dominion and it was very fun. It was open though, I don't think that I would like an enclosed one because I am claustrophobic when it comes to water rides because I can't see the water so I won't know when I will get wet (I hate when I take a deep breath and water goes up my nose). I am not a big fan of water parks, as I prefer the simplicity of amusement parks. At amusement parks you can just hop on a ride, relax, and go. In water parks you have to wear swimsuits and worry about where you are going to put your shoes and the worst thing to me is that you have to ride in a certain riding position. For some water slides you have to cross your arms and legs, etc., while at amusement parks you just grab onto the grab bar and don't have to worry about it. As for roller coasters being the only reason to go to a park, I am different. I love almost all types of rides. Drop towers, max spins, S&S swing rides, giant frisbees, etc. My favorite of them is drop towers. I like to mix roller coasters and other thrill rides together and go on both types when I go to parks. Reply Gearhart July 17, 2012 The first one I went on at Zoombezi Bay in Ohio was epic, totally worth the wait, but I swear Hersheypark’s version is smaller cause it didn’t seem nearly as big and intimidating sloshing up the side of the funnel. The initial drop didn’t even seem as intense on Hershey’s but still a lot of fun, one of my favs. Reply CoasterCritic July 17, 2012 Maybe Hershey has one of the smaller versions. I haven't ridden a smaller one, but the size probably means the difference between a 'Weee!' and a 'Whoa!' Again, it was so intimidating and so cavernous in there. I've never experienced anything like it. Reply Quil July 18, 2012 I've ridden the Tornado at TGE, and I completely agree with how small the thing makes you feel. The drop felt massive, even though I know for a fact it's pretty small. Reply stash July 18, 2012 ive ridden one at soak city at KI and its a fun waterslide.The drop suprisses you with airtime Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.