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A 20-something’s Testimony to the Thrill of Waterparks


As a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie, I’ll jump at the opportunity to partake in anything thrilling. Blame it on my extremely extroverted personality, but there’s something inside me that constantly seeks excitement and adventure. Items on my bucket list include: skydiving, bungee-jumping, and trying out that swing at the edge of the world. But until I gain the monetary means and courage to do so, I’ll spend my time visiting the places I’ve loved since I was a little girl: theme parks!

There’s nothing like the excitement of a good roller coaster; I’ve been riding the biggest and best of them ever since I reached the bare-minimum height requirement. However, my favorite part of any theme park is the water rides. Especially in the dead heat of summer, I’d much rather stay cool and race down waterslides at top speeds, throwing caution to the inner tube.

I grew up right here in Rochester and the highlight of my summers were marked with trips to places like Darien Lake, Seabreeze, and Roseland Waterpark. My dad always hooked us up with season passes and my siblings and I begged him to take us almost every weekend. I have fond memories at Seabreeze, spending hours in the Wave Pool and getting in heated arguments with my fellow middle-schoolers over which slide was the best: the Riptide or the Vortex (p.s. it is and will always be the Vortex, Jessica).

All slide controversy aside, the Waterparks in Upstate NY have changed greatly over the years, debuting new attractions at the commencement of each season. With names like the Brain Drain and the Tornado at Darien Lake, these water rides rival their steel coaster counterparts. Boasting a 300 foot drop in 10 seconds, the Brain Drain sounds like something I can dive into.

Darien Lake is home to many water rides that classify as more of a thrill ride: the Rip Curl, new for 2016, is described as a “six lane, insane water slide racing complex.” The Swirl City Complex is a mammoth structure branching off into four completely different waterslides. Seabreeze has the Helix, a four-story drop through pitch-black tunnels opening up into a gigantic, hurricane-like bowl.

If you ask me, these are the true thrill rides. There are no straps, no harnesses, just a giant pool of water for you to plunge into below. Gone are the days simple slides; these parks are always looking to push the envelope and cater to the adrenaline junkies like me. Of course, it’s nice to take a dip in the Lazy River from time to time, but you’ll find me at the top of the tower, toes tingling, waiting to race down one of these crazy attractions.