Florida Instalment Four – Typhoon Lagoon

Today is Superhero training day and includes dealing with a tsunami, wave riding, stealth use of lazy river, and sliding to the enemy. All of this is carried out incognito, in fact once superhero outfits are jettisoned, it’s a struggle to tell them apart such is their ability to assume ‘normal’ personas.

 

The upside of the two water parks is the free parking so we can come and go as we please and our first day finds us in a parking place so close to the entrance that there is no need for transport and the security regime is far more relaxed as we’re ushered through the turnstiles with a show of entrance card and a touch and a fingerprint – job done.

The park is a disaster zone, it’s actually built that way. There are boats in the palm trees and a ship high up on the rocks. The training cove is fitted with a wave machine that defies description. It seems to generate a huge wave every couple of minutes. The wave is about six to eight feet high then, every tenth wave or so, you get a big one. You know when that one is coming as there are alarms sounded followed by a dramatic pause. We decide that this level of training may be a tad over the top for the little superhero but he has other views!

 

 

 

 

We settle on some sun beds on artificial sand that enables a view of maximum angle across the cove and towards the advanced training facilities disguised as water slides all with varying degrees of complexity and some demanding the use of inflated tyres that can be used either solo or doubled up with a training buddy.

The lazy river lies between us and the advanced facilities. It meanders its way through the jungle of exotic trees with occasional crossing facilities in the form of bridge or simple steps. There’s also the occasional cave with water dripping, flowing or squirting down to test the agility skills of the trainee. You never know when Doctor Death and his evil aquatic friends may resort to the use of radioactive heavy water or the more usual corrosive acids along with other dastardly deeds to ‘deal’ with the superheroes and terrorise law abiding citizens.

 

 

We start with tsunami training. The Superheroes make their way into the training pool and within seconds joined by the training supervisors in the form of SuperMum and SuperDad. There’s a threatening pause and then a whistle followed by a crash and the sound of water falling at a significant rate through invisible sluices. There’s a lull and the occupants of the cove hold their breath in anticipation. SuperZak is looking a little apprehensive and clings tightly to his SuperMum and is given the opportunity to move to shallower water but refuses. The water at the cliff edge has sunk by at least two feet and there are threatening bubbles coming from an invisible source. Then there’s a resounding crash and many of the occupants of the cove scream in a mixture of excitement and anxiety. The water under the cliff begins to expand and rise and it does it at an accelerating speed until it’s a good eight feet higher than where it was only parts of a second ago. Little Superhero is clinging to SuperMum and pointing at it whist the bigger Superhero is laughing the laugh of a cavalier. The wave is beginning to move away from the cliff towards us now and it’s big. There are people in it and it’s gathering speed until the top of it begins to break and spill people from it’s summit like pieces of cork scattered on to its trailing surface. New heads that had been floating above the surface are being hit by the broken surf and disappear underneath then reappear on the other side as it passes along the cove. It hits us next and I am submerged for a few seconds then I too am forced back up to the surface by the upward currents on the back of the wave. I look around and see lots of smiling faces including the Superheroes, one still holding hands with his SuperMum but not clinging to her anymore and the other SuperHero shouting a question and I ask him to repeat, “How long till the next?”

The little SuperHero is shouting, “Again, that was great, do it again…”

I look toward the beach area and the tsunami is neutralising itself as it spills into the shallow area and even the people there have beaming smiles holding tiny heroes who are dancing in excitement with bubbling surf around their legs.

So, several tsunamis later and SuperZak and BatHarry are well versed in ‘big waves’ and they’ve passed this part of the course with flying colours; Dr. Death just better look out!

So, do we eat or do some jungle training in the Lazy River next? The jungle training wins. We’re meant to acquire a log (actually it’s a rubber float thingy but we’ve got imagination). The Lazy River is about half a mile if you walk it but we’re going to do some covert floating, at least that’s what the rules say; however, our two SuperHeroes shoot off at a huge rate of knotts, swimming under things, over things, being shouted at by some of the trainers/lifeguards to get a float and diving under water again so that they could pretend not to hear them. I’m way back with SuperMum and are only slightly aware of this as SuperDad is nominally in charge of following them on a rubber float. They’re both good swimmers and the Lazy River is maximum of 2 feet 10 inches deep with a flow that you could walk against so there’s no danger but I am impressed that they could duck, dive, walk and swim for half a mile and come out without even being out of breath.

Bait-time now and we go to get an eye-wateringly expensive hot dog apiece followed by a refillable soft drink mug that offsets the cost of the hot dog by being filled several times and satisfying the thirst of us all.

 

 

 

Now for the advanced training. The course that to the uninitiated looks like a bunch of slides varies in intensity. There’s a height restriction on Humunga Kowabunga of 48 inches so the littlest SuperHero can’t do it; however, BatHarry steps up to the plate with his SuperDad who’s slightly nervous but agrees to go with him. This test of nerves delivers the participants to the pool below at triple speed and is well worth the experience if only to be confident that any supervillain will have no chance of escape via this route.

SuperMum and myself have opted for the Storm Slides which are about 300 feet and also deliver you to the bottom but via many twists turns and shoots. SuperMum goes first so that she’s in the catch-pool before SuperZak – purely to advise and, hopefully, give him a pass mark for effort. I’ll be following up so that I can be assessed also. All goes well and we’re assured once more that there’s no means of escape for the bad guys down here.

The process continues using inflatable thingies and various other devices to aid speed and comfort.

 

 

 

 

The day is a complete success with both SuperHeroes given awards of merit for work beyond the call of duty.

We leave in late afternoon after several more tsunami experiences and a tired pair of SuperHeroes.

Enjoy the snaps…G..x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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