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Disney Dream - The AquaDuck

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Since many of you seem very interested in the AquaDuck (even my mom's first question to me was: "Did you ride the water coaster?") I thought I'd write about that next.

I was able to ride the AquaDuck three times - and it's a lot of fun. You ride in a raft (which will hold one or two people) through a mostly clear tube on a stream of water. It's 765 feet long and goes down about 46 feet in total. There is a loop that actually goes out over the side of the ship and two little uphill sections. The water flows at a rate of 10,000 gallons/minute.

The ride is shorter than I thought - only about 45 seconds from the time you board the raft until you're getting off in the unloading zone.

Here's a video Lee put together with some AquaDuck footage, including clips from several of my rides:

So how does it work? The access to the stairway is from deck 12 midship, port side,, near the aft funnel. Then you climb about 80 steps (I didn't count them) up to deck 16, which is the loading area. The rafts are carried up to the loading area by a conveyor belt - a cast member pulls off the next available raft and sets it down on the loading belt. You'll be riding an inflatable raft with two seating compartments. If there are two people riding the larger sits in back with the smaller in front. Singles sit in the back. There are handles on both sides to hold onto. When you're ready and the CM gets the ok light on the control panel they push a button and the conveyor belt moves forward, moving the raft into the water tube.

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You're immediately in the loop, moving fast enough that you hardly have time to notice what's going on - especially that you are hanging 12' off the side of the ship and 150' over the water!

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Then you're at the first dip, where you're suddenly propelled up a small hill - you'll get water dumped down your back at this point!

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Then you're in the clear part of the tube on the port side straightaway where you can see all around you, including the deck below - wave to your friends!

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There's a second dip (more water down the back) before you go around the forward funnel.

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You slow down as you travel through the starboard side straightaway, then enter the enclosed tube around the aft funnel.

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Then it's time to come to a stop in the unloading area where a cast member holds onto the raft while you step out to your left and exit down the steps back to deck 12. The cast member takes care of returning the raft back to the loading area.

My observations...it was a lot shorter than I thought it was going to be, based on simulations and test rides I'd seen on the Disney Parks blog - I expected to be on it longer.

The stream of water moves pretty fast in the first half. After you go around the forward funnel it slows down noticeably, and is more of a "lazy river" experience.

I was a little concerned that on the dips I might bottom out or jar my butt or back but that didn't happen at all - I just got water dumped down my back. The water is heated, so it wasn't really unpleasant - just a bit of a surprise the first time. (And yes, I screamed.) You don't get that wet other than that dump down the back - I've gotten a whole lot wetter on Kali Rapids. Someone in the front might not get very wet at all.

I really did not notice that I was hanging out over the side of the ship in that first turn - it all happened so fast.

The raft is very stable - I never felt like it was going to overturn or that I was going to fall out (and even if I did there was no place to fall - you're inside the tube until the very end). In the faster parts (especially the turn) the raft does climb up the side of the tube, but again, it never felt precarious.

They dispatch the rafts about every 30 seconds. The ride takes about 45 seconds from send-off to final splashdown.

I am not claustrophobic, but the tube generally feels "open" because most of it is clear. The only places you can't see out around you are when going around the two funnels and on the two uphill pushes, plus briefly when entering it at the very top. I'd say the tube is approximately four feet in diameter.

There is a height requirement of 48" inches. There is also a minimum weight requirement - I saw one raft get a little bit stuck up near the top because the occupant wasn't heavy enough, but it was only a second or two before she was moving right along.

I have been asked if it is handicap accessible. Unfortunately I forgot to ask that question, but I don't see how it could be - there does not seem to be any access to the loading area other than by those who are ambulatory and can climb the stairs.

The line was pretty short when I was riding it, since the ship was no where near capacity on the Christening Cruise. So my waits were in the 5-10 minute range. I think it's going to be a whole lot longer than that in the future - remember, they only send two rafts per minute. We asked, and at this point there are no plans to implement any kind of Fastpass or reservation system.

Loose items are not permitted, and cast members caution against riding while wearing sunglasses, visors, hats, flip-flops or other items that can come off during the ride. There are lockers on deck 12, just around the corner from the unload area, where these items can be stored temporarily.

I don't know the hours of operation - my observation was that if the pool area was open the AquaDuck was open. If you have better info please let me know.

This is great fun - I didn't see anyone who didn't come off smiling and wanting to ride again. The adults were having at least as much fun as the kids!

If you have additional information on the AquaDuck, or if you have ridden it and would like to share your experience, please use the section below to submit feedback or send a comment.

 

AllEars was invited media and guests of the Disney Cruise Line on the Christening Cruise.


The previous post in this blog was Disney Dream Primer for Repeat Disney Cruisers.

The next post in this blog is Disney Dream Christening Cruise Photos - Christening, Embarkation, Stateroom.

Comments (19)

Jessica Price:

Thank you for the fantastic blog Laura!

You mentioned that you had to be 48" to ride. Is that to ride alone? Can you be shorter to ride with an adult? I think my daughter would be really disappointed if she wasn't able to ride. She has 7 months to grow 4 inches!

Laura replies: Hi Jessica. Unfortunately it doesn't matter whether or not kids are with an adult - they must be 48" tall to ride.

Lori Edelman:

Yay! Great video! I'm there! I should have a report on what it's like to ride double.

Laura replies: Hi Lori! Looking forward to that! (For those who don't know Lori will be writing a blog on the Maiden Voyage - look for that in the Guest Blog area sometime next week.)

Laura:

Thanks for the review Laura! I'm happy you posted the height and weight requirements. We have been thinking about a Dream cruise in October. My two boys love seeing the commercials on TV and they LOVE the images of the Aqua Duck. Unfortunately, our 3 year old wouldn't be big enough to ride yet and he would be terribly disappointed if big brother could ride and he could not. So I believe we'll wait a year or two and make sure everybody's big enough. :)
Thanks for the review!
Laura

Paul:

Laura, thanks for this great review. I noticed on the information board there was text along the lines of "singles are subject to long waits". Did you see anything like this actually happening - like a single being forced to wait until another single came up and them being forced to ride together?

Laura replies: Hi Paul! I did not notice that sign. The lines were short enough when I did it that there wouldn't have been a need to enforce that kind of policy, so I'm afraid I can't answer that. We'll have Deb check it out on the maiden voyage.

Cindy Nagel:

Sounds a lot like Crush N' Gusher at Typhoon Lagoon.

Laura replies: Yes, it is - the Imagineers even referred to that when they talked about it.

Jaime Brockie:

I was on the benefit cruise (Jan. 21-23) and rode the AquaDuck once. I did see it closed down due to strong winds and heard that a raft had overturned due to wind in the open area. I thought the ride was GREAT and would have done it again if it wasn't so cold and windy the day I rode.

Laura replies: Thanks for the information - we'll incorporate the "wind warning" into the AquaDuck page we are developing.

Jessica:

You mentioned a minimum weight requirement, but is there a maximum weight restriction posted?

Laura replies: I don't believe there is one posted, and I didn't ask about it, sorry.

Ilene:

Is there a maximum weight for the AquaDuck? Do you have to know how to swim to ride it?

Laura replies: There is no posted maximum weight. The water isn't more than about 6" deep, so no, you don't have to know how to swim.

Jessica Price:

Thank you for the fantastic blog and pictures!

You mentioned that you had to be 48 inches to be able ride the Aquaduck. Is that to ride alone? Can you be shorter to ride with an adult? My daughter will be so disappointed if she can't ride. If not, she has 7 months to grow 4 inches!

Laura replies: Riders must be 48" tall, period.

Ray Sharpton:

Thank you for your report and photos. The AquaDuck looks so much longer or larger in your photos.

Christy:

Thanks for all the info, Laura! Can you post the minimum weight requirement?

Laura replies: Sorry, but I don't know - I was only told that there is one.

Deanna:

Is the AquaDuck open while in port?

Laura replies: Yes, except for the morning of debarkation. And barring adverse weather conditions like wind.

Melissa:

Wow, those height requirements are really disappointing. We have tickets to sail in March and our 5 year old (who loves roller coasters and water slides) is only 42 inches tall. She's on the tall side of average for a 5 year old.

I just looked at the current pediatric growth chart for girls and 48" isn't considered 50% percentile (average) until 7 and 1/2 years old. It seems short-sighted of Disney to build the ride so it's not accessible to their "princess" age demographic - or at least allow them to ride with an adult. Disney doesn't usually drop the ball that way.

Laura replies: On the other hand the pool slides on the Magic and Wonder have a maximum age and height requirement (14 and 64 inches, respectively), meaning that adults like me can't ride. Speaking as a big kid at heart, I'm thrilled that there's finally something like that for me to do. And the Dream still has the Mickey slide for smaller kids.

Brooke:

The AquaDuck sounds so cool. My only concern is that it's totally enclosed. Do you think that will cause a problem is it's warm? I just remember going on the water slides at a local water park and feeling unable to breathe in the enclosed parts due to the combination of heat, moisture, and chlorine. I'm not claustrophobic, so I know that wasn't the problem. I just wonder if there's air flow in the tube which there really wasn't in the slide tubes here at home.

Laura replies: That's a good point, and I had wondered about it, too. Looking at some of the other photos of it, it looks like some of the non-clear parts of the tube are actually open on the top, so that should help the air flow, but still, the majority of the tube is going to be closed. We may have to wait for reports after the weather warms up.

Aruna:

Thanks for the video and photos Laura. I felt like I was there - great description. We are booked for Feb 3rd and very excited about the aqua duck. Do you have a blog for other experiences on the cruise. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Laura replies: Hi Aruna! I didn't do a trip report this time, but there were additional blogs on my restaurant experiences and a primer that talked about some of the differences between the Dream and the Magic/Wonder.

I also saw both Golden Mickeys (an updated version) and Disney's Believe, which is an all-new show, and enjoyed both of those. I know you'll have a marvelous cruise!

Cyndi:

The height requirement has changed. Anyone 42", but less than 54" may ride with someone at least 54" inches tall as long as that person is at least 14!!!! Anyone at least 54" can ride alone.

Jennifer B:

I just looked on the cruise website... it is official - 42" with another rider 14 or older. Thank you Mickey!

Marcelo:

Hi, do you know if it is permitted to ride with a waterproof camera to record the ride? Tks!

Laura replies: When I rode it they did not permit me to ride with a waterproof camera (or anything else). You're supposed to use both hands to hold on to the handles. But that was back in January, so the policy might have changed since then - you can always ask.

Carole Gralia:

had the pleasure of being on the wonder in 2007 and the dream april 2011 and to my surprise going back on the DREAM MARCH 2013 WITH OUR SON, DAUGHTER IN LAW AND 8 YR. OLD GRANDAUGHTER.
I am going to be age 70 in jan. 2013 and I WILL BE GOING ON THE AQUADUCK!!!!!!!
There is so much to enjoy on a disney ship that we did not do everything and this up coming trip will take in what we did not do the first time.
No one but NO ONE DOES IT LIKE DISNEY CRUISE LINE !!!!!!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 22, 2011 10:20 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Disney Dream Primer for Repeat Disney Cruisers.

The next post in this blog is Disney Dream Christening Cruise Photos - Christening, Embarkation, Stateroom.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.