Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Checking In On Luna Park's New First-Of-Its-Kind Big WaveZ Ride

© Luna Park
Luna Park had previously announced a large expansion for its 10th anniversary in 2020, including a new flume ride, family roller coaster, elaborate ropes course, new park and gathering spaces, and the first instillation of a Big WaveZ, a new water ride from Zamperla.

The park had well documented all the expansion along the way, and all the new rides look like they will be a great addition to the growing park.  The Big WaveZ, the first of its kind in the world, seemed very interesting but a bit of a mystery as well.

© Luna Park
Initially the park said that the new water ride was interactive and will bring "King Neptune to life as riders interact with motion sensors and watch an interactive video screen.  Their actual behavior and motions will change the experience of the ride.  Each ride will be different, however it will always be wet.  There will be a viewing platform so non-riders can enjoy the thrills as well."

Sounds interesting but at the same time... confusing.  I totally missed the concept art for Big WaveZ that the park released, which can be seen here, complete with its aquatic theming around Neptune.  At first glance it looks like some kind of water ride free fall... unique indeed but still curious.

© Worldsteel Association
Luckily there is more information on the ride out there, including video of the prototype in action.  Worldsteel Association did an interview with Zamperla about their rides... which are made of steel of course, and buried in the article and video is some great Big WaveZ footage.

Granted these are of the prototype so it's not finished, but the ride appears to have a passenger car in the center that will seat riders facing outward in two rows.  As the center car moves upward huge amounts of water pour out from under it, making quite a spectacle.  At the top the riders take part in the interactive component of the ride, which according to Zamperla determines the ride patterns.  There will be a large video screen on the back of the oval sign that can be seen in the concept art up top.

© Worldsteel Association
At some point the passenger car does exactly what I hoped, either a true free fall or a controlled one I can't be sure, but it looks to drop rapidly then slow as the base of the car extends down into a pool of water to slow the fall.  The image above is after the car goes all the way down and the water starts to erupt out around it.

© Worldsteel Association
A second later there is a gigantic explosion of water from under the ride vehicle, which looks to cover an impressive area.  Obviously this is better seen in the video, but it certainly looks like Zamperla's promise of everyone being soaked will come true!

Some details still remain on the Big WaveZ, but it looks like a visually impressive ride that takes up very little space.  Most water rides require a large plot of land to do their magic, so the Big WaveZ seems to offer an innovative alternative to those.

Here's the whole video from Worldsteel Association, the Big WaveZ footage starts at 1:42.