MAMMOTH TOBOGGANS IN TATRALANDIA
A wide plain below the picturesque Liptov hills, lots of colourful pipes in the valley and people screaming. A moment of silence, a splash, a deep breath, and the sweet euphoria. I want to keep it up, let’s go again. Where? The toboggans of Tatralandia, which has been world-famous since summer.
It sounds incredible, but the first water park in Central Europe celebrated its fifteen birthday in summer. As in many similar cases, the age is just a number. Childhood times and diseases were replaced by adulthood and experience. The birthday was celebrated with mature novelties, which are, and will likely long be, unique in our country. „For years, we have been trying to please and entertain our visitors, and we are used to being the trendsetters,” said Igor Mráz, director of Tatralandia Water Park and revealed new attractions. “We decided to bring to Liptov something that cannot be found anywhere around. We have two unique toboggans, the only of its kind on the old continent.”
Fun for the whole family
A quick look on the blue “Delfín” and the yellow “4Family” indicates fresh air in northern Slovakia. Modern design, vivid colours, ride comfort and the height of the tower are the best invitation for fans of adrenaline and fun. There is a bonus: a lift for four-seater rafts that do not have to be carried upstairs, just get in them with the help of instructors. “We focused on families who can enjoy a ride together. The rafts are larger, heavier and more comfortable so people do not touch the laminate and their ride is safer. The roundness of the inflatable slider also brings
a lot of fun. As it rotates spontaneously, every ride provides
a unique experience,” says the water park’s boss about another feature. However, they can only be used during the summer months to complement the experience of many other water park’s attractions.
Comfort versus adrenaline
After hearing about this special novelty for the summer season, we had no choice but to give it a go. The view from
the height of a seven-floor block of flats shook our knees a little, but our determination was strong. After weight check, we got into the raft, counted to three and dived downwards. At that moment, I knew how acceleration from zero to 50 km/h in one second feels like. First a steep fall, then climb to the summit and a nice finish in a warm swimming pool. We felt fear, euphoria and adrenaline at the same time and we only managed the unanimous “let’s go again and let’s try the yellow one, too”. We immediately shared our impressions with the boss.
“The more than three-meter diameter of the toboggan makes the ride comfortable and it feels like entering a tunnel by car. You go through sharp turns, you enjoy a lot of light effects, while everything is great and safe. The parameters of blue “Delfín” are unique in Europe and will satisfy all adrenaline junkies. Thanks to the toboggans, Tatralandia ranked among the five best water attractions in the world in 2018,” says Igor Mráz, happy with the unexpected nomination. Of course he is happy, the closest gem like this is located in Dubai.
However, their construction was very complicated. For many months, Tatralandia searched for suitable architects and engineers to build this project. “For the first time, thermal water was used for such a structure and we had to deal with it. The water heating technology was the most difficult, not to mention the seasonal weather effects,” says the water park’s director.
The contractor had to adapt the structure to the conditions in Liptov, which was not at all easy. A unique technology will ensure that the laminate from which the toboggans are made will also withstand temperatures below zero. It’s no wonder that the process of construction can also be considered unique in the world. But they still have lots of ideas for the future. “The toboggan tower has room for two new attractions. We want to be the first in the region to operate a toboggan with water flowing uphill. With a little help, we can break basic physical laws, and show people that they can slide upwards,” says Igor Mráz with a smile and adds: “In cooperation with our Gopass loyalty program, we are also working on a novelty for competitive types: they will be able to compete in a parallel race,” he added to our curiosity.
There are similar toboggans abroad, but the one in Tatralandia will be different again. There will be no wall between the two racers so they will be able to see and touch each other and adjust the speed of the ride. To make it more attractive, there will be a couple of “bonuses” on the track: a stronger current for the faster rider and a cold shower for the slower one. The information about every ride will be recorded, so the water park’s visitor, like a skier, will get detailed statistics at the end of the day about the ride distance, with whom he/she raced and how well he/she did on the water. This model is typical of various computer games. In Liptov, they want to turn this interactive entertainment into reality, and they seem to be doing it successfully. Sitting at home in front of your PC in a swimsuit is definitely not what you want.
ARTICLE IS PUBLISHED IN V TATRY MAGAZÍN ZIMA 2018/2019.