June 24, 2014

Verrückt, world’s tallest water slide, opens ... sometime (with video)

That’s a 17-story drop in a four-person raft on Schlitterbahn’s Verrückt water slide in Kansas City, Kan., with speeds reaching 60 to 70 mph. After spring delays, the ride is set for the summer, park officials say.

What will it feel like, this Verrückt? We’re just a few days from finding out.

Schlitterbahn in Kansas City, Kan., will open its world-record-holding water slide to the public on Sunday.

There’s the Niagara-Falls-barrel-plunge analogy — Verrückt’s height at 168 feet, 7 inches is about right — although many of us probably haven’t done that either.

While Verrückt’s opening, originally scheduled for May 23, was delayed for adjustments a couple times, the hype over it seems to have gotten even hypier. USA Today debuted a countdown Monday. The promotional video (see below) of the ride has more than 4.8 million views. The park said the opening this weekend coincides with a one-hour Travel Channel special on “Xtreme Waterparks.”

The Guinness Book of World Records has declared Verrückt — German for “insane” — the world’s tallest water slide. It edged out the Kilimanjaro slide in Rio de Janeiro by several feet. To get to the top, riders will climb 264 steps. That’s about 17 stories.

On the way to the bottom, the four-person raft is expected to reach speeds of 60 to 70 mph in a seriously vertical plummet.

Then, after the big plunge, there is a five-story hump to fly over, so to speak. But not to worry: The hump features a protective net, just in case.

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