Wet'n'Wild has established itself as Australia's premier water park for over 20 years. With Dreamworld's own water park set to open before 2006 is out, Roller-Coaster.com.au takes you on a walk through Wet'n'Wild's history, with a look at some of the park's many record breaking achievements.
Before Wet'n'Wild was purchased by Village Roadshow it was owned and operated by the Herringe Group of Companies.
Construction began on the park in September of 1982. Some two years and one month later the park opened to the public. Its total cost of build was $18 million. The park as undergone several name changes in its 22 years. Opening as Cade's County, it was later renamed Cade's County Wet'n'Wild and then later shortened to just Wet'n'Wild, after a licensing agreement was reached with the Six Flags chain in the USA. Most recently, it was renamed Wet'n'Wild Water World, so as to fit in with Sea World and Warner Bros. Movie World, the two other parks owned by Warner Village Theme Parks.
Double Screamer was the first slide of its kind to use an all-fibreglass slide structure. It was the first to use plastic toboggan crafts, and its manufacturers Rampage Intl. took out a worldwide patent on the revolutionary launch system which featured stainless steel rollers.
When construction was underway on Calypso Beach, then-General Manager of Wet'n'Wild, Steve Peet - now Village Theme Parks' Chief Operating Officer - called Justin Herringe, son of the former owner of the water park. He mentioned that the new lazy river attraction was being built where the old dam was. This puzzled Herringe, as there was never a dam on the Wet'n'Wild property.
Further investigation actually revealed that the dam Peet was talking about was actually where the 200,000 tonnes of dirt was removed to make the hill which formed Whitewater Mountain. Over the years it had been steadily filling with water to become a full-fledged dam!
Whitewater Mountain's four slides were originally mat slides, not body slides as they are now. It was the first ride in the world to use DuPont's revolutionary "non-stick" Teflon compound to make the slide smoother and faster. It was also the first to use Sikaflex instead of silicone to fill in between the slide sections, making it a better and longer lasting joint.
The since-defunct Speed Slides were at the time of their construction the fastest in the world. They were some 6ft (1.8m) and 3º steeper than any other.
Mammoth Falls wasn't always meant to be. The park's original owners were going to build a "Tsunami wavepool". This was to be a better wavepool which would create actual surfable waves, such as that seen at Typhoon Lagoon at Walt Disney World.
The land where Buccaneer Bay stands was actually going to be home to an adult activity area, not a children's play area.
Wet'n'Wild was the first theme park in the southern hemisphere to pay its lifeguards award wages. Previously all lifeguards in Australia were volunteers.
By Richard Wilson.
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