Disney Cruise Line debuts the cruise industryâ€™s first-ever shipboard water coaster â€“ AquaDuck â€“ aboard the new Disney Dream. Guests have the opportunity to get swept away on an exhilarating flume ride above the upper decks of the ship â€“ and even out over the ocean.
I had the opportunity to ride the AquaDuck (more than once!) on the Christening Voyage of the Disney Dream on January 19, 2011. I had read the releases, seen the concept art and computer-generated ride-throughs and thought I knew what to expect. I didn’t!
The AquaDuck is an experience unlike any other (one of many like that on the Disney Dream). It’s both an exhilarating “E-Ticket” theme park attraction at sea, but it’s also a 765-foot long lazy river, with views that can only be described as spectacular. It’s something that elicits the same reactions (screaming like a giddy schoolgirl) from adults as well as kids.
Disney has once again set the bar, exceeded expectations, and over-delivered on their promise of an attraction unlike any other! And while words can’t describe the experience, neither can any video you might see, but I wanted to share part of my experience with you, as well as those of some friends who were on board with me – Chris Brogan (ChrisBrogan.com and @ChrisBrogan on Twitter) and Andi S. from the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (DisneyWorldMoms.com and @wifeandmomuniv on Twitter). Enjoy!
AquaDuck Fast Facts
As a convenience to guests, a conveyor system lifts rafts up from Deck 12 to the ride launch on Deck 16 AquaDuck is the first and only water coaster onboard a cruise ship The length of the entire attraction is about 765 feet â€“ more than two and a half football fields The length of the river rapids is about 335 feet
The overall height of the ride is roughly 46 feet â€“ equivalent to four and a half stories High-powered water jets accelerate guests upward and forward Approximately 10,000 gallons of water per minute propel guests through the attraction The loop that extends over the edge of the ship is about 150 feet above the oceanâ€™s surface There are three portholes in the tween club that provide silhouetted views of AquaDuck riders as they pass through the funnel
The minimum rider height requirement for AquaDuck is 48 inches
From high atop the aft funnel, on Deck 16, guests begin their voyage by boarding a specially designed two-person inflatable raft.
Almost immediately, AquaDuck quickly takes an exciting turn. Following an initial drop, guests glide through a â€œswing outâ€ loop that extends 12 feet over the side of the ship. Surrounded only by the clear acrylic flume, guests get a breathtaking view of the ocean surface about 150 feet below.
The excitement amplifies as riders experience the up-and-down sensations of a coaster, defying gravity in a torrent of gushing water, with high-powered water jets accelerating guests upwards and forwards via some of todayâ€™s most advanced water coaster technology.
As the ride continues, guests are whisked into an enclosed tunnel. Specialized lighting surrounding the flume provides a magical effect as riders travel through the forward funnel where kids in the tween club can catch a shadowy glimpse of guests through special windows as they whiz by.
Emerging from the funnel, guests swiftly glide along a stretch of river rapids 335 feet in length, providing a stunning panorama of the ocean and the shipâ€™s upper decks. Then comes a whooshing splashdown on Deck 12.
When the sun sets, AquaDuck immerses guests in a unique nighttime experience combining the thrills of this one-of-a-kind water coaster with customized lighting and stunning views of the nighttime sky.