The wait is finally (almost) over: Verrückt is scheduled to open to the public on Thursday.
But first, members of the local and national media today are scheduled to get in rafts and go down the world’s tallest water slide at just shy of 169 feet.
So will the reviews be brutal — or breathless?
Schlitterbahn water park officials have tried to milk the slide’s opening for all its worth. The media have been intrigued enough to post plenty of stories and videos about the attraction even as the opening was postponed several times this spring.
Naturally, that by itself generated plenty of coverage, including when unconfirmed reports emerged that paying passengers just might go airborne.
If you watch the video that’s already out, the ride doesn’t appear to be as wild as one might think.
True, you will have to walk up 264 steps to get to the top, and that steep first downhill is downright scary.
But the rush does not look to last that long — about 20 to 25 seconds or so by watching the video.
Now I won’t be one of the “lucky” media members getting a chance to provide first-person accounts of Verrückt today. Still, Kansas Citians will have plenty of press coverage to sample.
In Schlitterbahn’s perfect world, the media will gush over how exciting the ride is, and thousands of patrons will flock to it in the next few summer months.
And if the media go ... meh?
Expect the daredevils to show up anyway; Verrückt looks like a challenge they would embrace.
As for the normal water park crowd, it’s going to take more than hype to get them to experience the ride and tell their friends about it.
In the end, Verrückt has to deliver what Schlitterbahn officials have long promised: an insanely fun time.
To reach Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter @YaelTAbouhalkah.