The world's tallest water slide has been attracting quite a lot of attention leading up to its official opening Thursday at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas.
The Verrückt appears to be aptly named – it means "insane" in German. At 17 stories high, it's been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest water slide in the world.
Here are some of the "insane" statistics:
– It's 168 feet tall – that's taller than the Statue of Liberty and higher than Niagara Falls
– Riders must climb a circular staircase with 264 steps to get to the top
– The speed going down is 50 mph or faster
– The ride, from top to bottom, takes about 18 seconds
Wednesday was a preview day for local officials, VIPs and the media.
“That was the most amazing ride I’ve ever ridden,” Doug Flora of Prairie Village told the Kansas City Star. “And it felt safe from beginning to end.”
Associated Press writer Bill Draper gave an account of his ride. Before being allowed to climb the stairs to the top, riders must weigh in, Draper wrote. Two or three riders at a time step onto a scale to make sure their combined weight isn't more than 550 pounds.
Then they climb up the stairs, which takes a good 5-7 minutes, and get weighed one more time before climbing into a raft for the wet, fast and scary ride down.
Here are a few videos from the first rides on the Verrückt.
The first one is a video of the very first ride down the water slide, by water park designer Jeff Henry and ride engineer John Schooley.
In case you're interested in trying it out yourself, Kansas City is about a 7-hour drive from Minneapolis. A general admission ticket to the water park is about $38 for adults, but there are various special packages available on the Schlitterbahn Waterpark's website.