An adrenaline-inducing water ride, which does not exist anywhere else in the world, opened yesterday at Center Parcs at Elveden Forest.
The aptly named Tropical Cyclone reaches speeds of up to 30mph and spans over 200 metres in length, taking guests through a series of twists and turns and down a nail-biting 45 degree drop.
The thrill happens on board a four person clover-shaped raft in a tropical temperature of 30 degrees Celsius.
“The only way I can describe it is a roller coaster, but on water,” said James Barrett, parcs general manager, who did not mind admitting that at times he had ‘held on for dear life’.
The unique ride, which sees two award-winning water rides - the Tornado and the Behemothbowl - joined together for the first time, represents a £4 million investment and saw a design team travel to the USA and Middle East for inspiration.
“£4 million is a huge investment and I think that shows we’re a company which, even in economically challenging times, is prepared to put our money where our mouth is and invest in our products to make sure our guests have a great time when they get here,” said Martin Dalby, CEO of the Center Parcs group.
He added: “This is absolutely a world first, there’s nothing else like it in the world. It’s two rides bolted together for an amazing experience.
“It’s unbelievable, beyond expectation, so good I had to do it twice. The guests will be absolutely blown away.”
Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds, who first learnt to swim at the Elveden holiday parc, was among the first to try out the ride, as she helped launch it this week.
The 18-year-old, who won four medals at this year’s London Paralympic Games, said: “The new ride is amazing and the drop really gets your pulse racing. It’s so exciting that when you come back you just want to go again.”
Children from the Thetford Dolphins swimming club were invited to meet the gold medallist and try the ride out for themselves.
Miss Simmonds said: “Some of them watched me race at the Paralympics so it was such a surprise for them to come here and see me.
“This is one of my favourite places, so to come and open this amazing ride has been great,” she added.
As well as the water ride, a new child-friendly family lagoon pool opened this week.
For more details, visit www.centerparcs.co.uk