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Ihu's Breakaway Falls Archives

May 10, 2014

Take the plunge on Ihu's Breakaway Falls at SeaWorld's Aquatica

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Orlando's tallest, steepest water-slide attraction opened yesterday at SeaWorld's Aquatica. Are you brave enough to give it a try?

My 9-year-old daughter was -- and there were plenty of adults who wouldn't step foot onto Ihu's Breakaway Falls during a media event Thursday! Few theme-park rides frighten my daughter, but this one made her think twice before climbing 126 steps to the 80-foot-tall platform. I believe she mostly was apprehensive about not being able to wear her goggles to see better because she normally wears glasses on dry land. The "thrill" part of the ride didn't paralyze her, as it would some kids.

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After taking in the amazing view of SeaWorld and Aquatica, my daughter stepped into the clear chamber as the rhythmic drumming of a heartbeat beat in the background. When she was ready, she crossed her arms and legs, gave the team member a thumb-up sign, and waited for her countdown to start. Then, the bottom dropped out and she plunged at a rate of 20 to 24 feet per second before splashing into a spiral speed slide. (During normal operation of the attraction, three riders will be in position, one in each breakaway box, and they won't know who will drop first, adding to the anticipation.)

My daughter emerged at the bottom of the water slide all smiles. She was shaking a little from the adrenaline, but she was not upset by the experience. She said she expected it to be a scarier than it was, so she was fine once she had experienced it. Still, this attraction is not for the faint of heart or anyone with ongoing medical conditions.

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My daughter first rode the orange slide, which drops more than three stories and is the longest of the four slides, at 420 feet. Each translucent tube slide offers riders a different experience. The green slide has the shortest drop, but it's still a 28-foot fall. And the blue slide is the steepest of the trio that start with breakaway boxes.

Next, my daughter tried the purple slide, which does not have a breakaway box. It does start from the same platform, though, and it has the steepest incline. She said she liked that slide best and she rode it multiple times. Neither slide, however, caused the dreaded wedgie, she was happy to report.

See a first-person point-of-view video of Ihu's Breakaway Falls:

Although it may seem like hours for those who are frightened, the ride really only lasts about 7 seconds total, I was told. Most of us can talk ourselves through that, right?

What to know before you go:

** Riders must be at least 48 inches tall to experience Ihu's Breakaway Falls. The maximum weight allowed is 300 pounds.

** Nothing can be carried on this ride, including cameras.

** Riders cannot wear items that may come loose, such as goggles or jewelry.

For the opening weekend, Aquatica is testing a fun green-screen photo opportunity. Visitors can pose individually or with their friends and family, and their image will be placed in the promotional artwork for the attraction. The cost is $15 per image. That price buys you a 6 x 8 print, and the image also is sent via email or text to the recipient. Additional images for the same person are $5. The Ihu's Breakaway Falls photo booth is the first of its kind at the water park, which doesn't have professional photographers stationed throughout the park.

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On the day before the official opening of Ihu's Breakaway Falls, there was a small selection of branded merchandise.

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To take a look at all the other attractions that Aquatica has to offer families, please see my previous post.

One-day admission to Aquatica is $46 for adults and $41 for ages 3 to 9. The Splash and Save ticket, which must be purchased in advance online and is good through May 31, is $28 per person.



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February 24, 2014

SeaWorld Orlando's water park Aquatica to open new attraction Ihu's Breakaway Falls on May 9

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As of May 9, thrill-seekers will have a new attraction to conquer in Orlando. That's when SeaWorld's Aquatica debuts Ihu's Breakaway Falls, the tallest, steepest and only multi-drop tower slide of its kind in the southern United States.

During a recent hard-hat tour of the construction site, I spoke with Bryan Nadeau, the vice president of Aquatica, about the new attraction.

"When the sun is hitting it and these guests are falling, at 20 feet per second -- you're going to be able to see these guys flying through these translucent tubes all the way around the structure," he said.

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Nadeau answered many questions that we expect AllEars.Net readers and water park enthusiasts to ask:

Just how high is high?

The platform where riders will start the body slides is about 80 feet from the ground. Ihu's Breakaway Falls will be the tallest structure at Aquatica at 105 feet overall.

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What am I getting myself into?

Riders step into one of three clear "breakaway boxes" that face each other. The see-through bottom drops out and guests plummet in a free fall that transitions into an exciting body slide.

Will I have any control over when I start my ride?

You will be asked to give the ride operator a thumbs up when you're ready to go. After that, you have to wait and see what happens. The ride operator can set the boxes to drop randomly or all together. Each guest will hear a countdown, but he or she will not know if other guests are hearing it at the same time.

Just how fast will I be going?

Riders will drop at about 20 feet per second. The free fall ranges from 27 feet to 40 feet on the three slides that are positioned at an 80-degree angle.

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What happens after the free fall?

Riders transition from a vertical position to a horizontal one and circle the structure in four loops at a speed of 16 miles per hour. The entire ride lasts 20 to 30 seconds.

Should I ride Ihu's Breakaway Falls more than once?

That's up to you, of course, but if you do, you're likely to have a slightly different experience each time. That's because each of the four tubes -- purple, green, blue and orange -- takes a unique path.

Can I enjoy this attraction without experiencing the free fall?

Yes, a fourth slide is an open tube that starts from the same platform and does not have a breakaway box.

Can young kids who are brave enough ride Ihu's Breakaway Falls?

Like the Dolphin Plunge and Omaka Rocka water slides, there is a 48-inch minimum-height requirement.

How are animals incorporated in the ride?

Although guests zooming through this ride won't be seeing any animals -- there's no time! -- Aquatica team members will be offering animal interactions near the attraction. Ihu, the water park's colorful gecko, will be represented by a real gecko.

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Where is this attraction located?

Ihu's Breakaway Falls is being built where the cabanas were situated adjacent to the wave pool. The cabanas are being moved to the island in the center of Roa's Rapids and are expected to open prior to Ihu's Breakaway Falls.

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How can I follow the progress of construction on Ihu's Breakaway Falls?

By reading AllEars.Net, of course! Aquatica also has set up a new Facebook page just for this attraction.



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About Ihu's Breakaway Falls

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to A Mom and The Magic in the Ihu's Breakaway Falls category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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