Since many of you seem very interested in the AquaDuck (even my mom’s first question to me was: “Did you ride the water coaster?”) I thought I’d write about that next.
I was able to ride the AquaDuck three times – and it’s a lot of fun. You ride in a raft (which will hold one or two people) through a mostly clear tube on a stream of water. It’s 765 feet long and goes down about 46 feet in total. There is a loop that actually goes out over the side of the ship and two little uphill sections. The water flows at a rate of 10,000 gallons/minute.
The ride is shorter than I thought – only about 45 seconds from the time you board the raft until you’re getting off in the unloading zone.
Here’s a video Lee put together with some AquaDuck footage, including clips from several of my rides:
So how does it work? The access to the stairway is from deck 12 midship, port side,, near the aft funnel. Then you climb about 80 steps (I didn’t count them) up to deck 16, which is the loading area. The rafts are carried up to the loading area by a conveyor belt – a cast member pulls off the next available raft and sets it down on the loading belt. You’ll be riding an inflatable raft with two seating compartments. If there are two people riding the larger sits in back with the smaller in front. Singles sit in the back. There are handles on both sides to hold onto. When you’re ready and the CM gets the ok light on the control panel they push a button and the conveyor belt moves forward, moving the raft into the water tube.
You’re immediately in the loop, moving fast enough that you hardly have time to notice what’s going on – especially that you are hanging 12′ off the side of the ship and 150′ over the water!
Then you’re at the first dip, where you’re suddenly propelled up a small hill – you’ll get water dumped down your back at this point!
Then you’re in the clear part of the tube on the port side straightaway where you can see all around you, including the deck below – wave to your friends!
There’s a second dip (more water down the back) before you go around the forward funnel.
You slow down as you travel through the starboard side straightaway, then enter the enclosed tube around the aft funnel.
Then it’s time to come to a stop in the unloading area where a cast member holds onto the raft while you step out to your left and exit down the steps back to deck 12. The cast member takes care of returning the raft back to the loading area.
My observations…it was a lot shorter than I thought it was going to be, based on simulations and test rides I’d seen on the Disney Parks blog – I expected to be on it longer.
The stream of water moves pretty fast in the first half. After you go around the forward funnel it slows down noticeably, and is more of a “lazy river” experience.
I was a little concerned that on the dips I might bottom out or jar my butt or back but that didn’t happen at all – I just got water dumped down my back. The water is heated, so it wasn’t really unpleasant – just a bit of a surprise the first time. (And yes, I screamed.) You don’t get that wet other than that dump down the back – I’ve gotten a whole lot wetter on Kali Rapids. Someone in the front might not get very wet at all.
I really did not notice that I was hanging out over the side of the ship in that first turn – it all happened so fast.
The raft is very stable – I never felt like it was going to overturn or that I was going to fall out (and even if I did there was no place to fall – you’re inside the tube until the very end). In the faster parts (especially the turn) the raft does climb up the side of the tube, but again, it never felt precarious.
They dispatch the rafts about every 30 seconds. The ride takes about 45 seconds from send-off to final splashdown.
I am not claustrophobic, but the tube generally feels “open” because most of it is clear. The only places you can’t see out around you are when going around the two funnels and on the two uphill pushes, plus briefly when entering it at the very top. I’d say the tube is approximately four feet in diameter.
There is a height requirement of 48″ inches. There is also a minimum weight requirement – I saw one raft get a little bit stuck up near the top because the occupant wasn’t heavy enough, but it was only a second or two before she was moving right along.
I have been asked if it is handicap accessible. Unfortunately I forgot to ask that question, but I don’t see how it could be – there does not seem to be any access to the loading area other than by those who are ambulatory and can climb the stairs.
The line was pretty short when I was riding it, since the ship was no where near capacity on the Christening Cruise. So my waits were in the 5-10 minute range. I think it’s going to be a whole lot longer than that in the future – remember, they only send two rafts per minute. We asked, and at this point there are no plans to implement any kind of Fastpass or reservation system.
Loose items are not permitted, and cast members caution against riding while wearing sunglasses, visors, hats, flip-flops or other items that can come off during the ride. There are lockers on deck 12, just around the corner from the unload area, where these items can be stored temporarily.
I don’t know the hours of operation – my observation was that if the pool area was open the AquaDuck was open. If you have better info please let me know.
This is great fun – I didn’t see anyone who didn’t come off smiling and wanting to ride again. The adults were having at least as much fun as the kids!
If you have additional information on the AquaDuck, or if you have ridden it and would like to share your experience, please use the section below to submit feedback or send a comment.
AllEars was invited media and guests of the Disney Cruise Line on the Christening Cruise.