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Solar Vortex: First dual tail-spin water slide to open at Adventure Island

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The first dual tail-spin water slide in the United States will open at Adventure Island this spring.

8 On Your Side went behind-the-scenes of the construction of “Solar Vortex” on Thursday.

It may be slightly “Florida cold” this week, but on March 13, Adventure Island will open its doors for the season.

Solar Vortex is expected to open shortly after.

The slide will feature three “AquaLucent” elements, which Vice President of Adventure Island, Brandon Thom, explained.

“There’s three different features and what they act as is LED effects. So the sun, natural Florida sun shines through, it’s pitch black inside except for these see-through translucent effects and it creates an awesome, awesome experience for the people that are sliding through,” Thom said. “It’s a family raft, actually is what they’re going to be sliding through on.”

In addition, the ride will feature the two tail-spins, which are described as two big bowls.

Riders will shoot into one side on their raft, bank around a sharp turn, and shoot out of the other side at 28 miles per hour.

While that sounds intense, project manager Andrew Hatcher agreed with Thom that Solar Vortex is a family attraction.

“And then one of the benefits of Solar Vortex is that it’s a family ride. So it has a low height restriction of 42 inches. And riders, it’ll be between 2 and 4 riders will experience this ride at one time. So it’s something that kids can come on and experience their first big ride,” he said.

Thom is confident park visitors will love the “AquaLucent” elements of the slide.

“It’s been positive so far. I think when everyone sees the AquaLucent sections and gets to experience what it’s like inside there, it’s going to be one of our more popular rides,” he said.

Like Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens, Solar Vortex does not have a solid opening date, but one is expected soon.

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