Much like the world’s best rollercoasters, thrill riders demand the best water slides to be bigger, taller, faster and even longer. In an effort to boost attendance and achieve greater recognition, the world’s leading water parks have been in an ongoing competition ever since water slides became popular attractions in the mid-80s. But due to height and weight restrictions, these type of gargantuan water slides aren’t suitable for every park visitor and also require the ability to climb stairs up to 17 stories high. The payoff, of course, is the luxury of experiencing the thrill ride of a lifetime. The following are the top five tallest water slides in the world.
9400 State Ave.
Kansas City, KS 66112
Taller than the Statue of Liberty and Niagara Falls, Verrückt is currently the tallest and fastest water slide in the world. Distinctively named after the German word for “insane,” the reigning king of water slides rises a spellbinding 168 feet, 7 inches from ground level and opened in 2014. This Guinness World Record holder features a three-person raft that hits its initial vertical drop at a maximum speed of 65 mph, followed by a second massive hill that drop-plunges the raft another 50 feet. Due to its overwhelming popularity, park visitors hoping to ride Verrückt must make a reservation at the attraction after the park opens. Visitors also must be able to climb 264 steps on spiral stairs to reach the boarding platform. Schlitterbahn Water Park is located 14 miles west of downtown Kansas City and 53 miles east of Topeka.
Aldeia das Aguas Park Resort
Rodvia BR 393, KM 270
Barra do Pirai, Brazil 27160-000
First opened in 2002, Kilimanjaro stood as the world’s tallest water slide for more than 12 years. Located in Aldeia das Aguas Park Resort about 85 northwest of Rio de Janeiro, Kilimanjaro has a stunning drop height of 164 feet and remains the record holder for the highest drop on a body slide. Easily the most visible structure in the popular water park, the thrill ride named after Africa’s tallest mountain reaches an estimated speed of 62 mph off of a radical 60-degree incline. The enormous resort and water park also features a 160 room hotel, convention center, restaurants and several other attractions, including 17 pools, a wave pool and a model car track.
Via Michaelangelo Buonarroti
15-30016 Lido di Jesolo Venice, Italy
+39 0421 371648
During certain times of the year, the magical city of Venice experiences a phenomenon known locally as alta aqua, or high water. But its most popular family-friendly attraction has a water slide that can also be described much the same way. Although its height of more than 137 feet high is disputed, Captain Spacemaker is by far the tallest water slide in Europe and easily the signature ride of the award-winning Aqualandia water park. Also known as Spacemaker, this mega-water slide transports three or four riders on rafts down a 60-degree incline while reaching a top speed of 62 mph before its splashy and crowd-pleasing finale. Located about 30 miles northwest of Venice, Aqualandia has been named Italy’s best water park nine times and was recently named the best water park in Europe. It features 26 water attractions over eight themed areas and includes Shark Bay, said to be the world’s first themed wave pool with authentic Caribbean sand both on and off the water.
Rua Porto das Dunas, 2734 Porto das Dunas
Aquiraz, Brazil 61700-000
Whether Insano is the world’s third or fourth tallest water slide seems to be up for serious debate. But whatever the case may be, this former world’s tallest water slide clearly lives up to the Spanish word for insane and its riders will be in for a completely exhilarating experience. Located in the largest water park in all of Latin America, Insano stands just over 134 feet tall and riders, without the use of a float or other some apparatus, slide on their backs down a dramatic 14-story drop while reaching a maximum speed of up to 65 mph. Once named the world’s tallest water slide by the Guinness Book of Records, Insano held the official record for more than 10 years until it was surpassed by Kilimanjaro. Beach Park is situated along Porto das Dunas beach, 10 miles south of Fortaleza in northeastern Brazil.
Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay
937 Phillips Lane
Louisville, KY 40209
At a height of 121 feet, Deep Water Dive ranks as the world’s fifth tallest water slide but boasts the tallest body slide in North America and the tallest drop capsule slide on the planet. The premiere attraction of Kentucky Kingdom’s water park, the thrill ride requires visitors to stand on a trapdoor platform that quickly collapses after a three-second countdown. Riders are then rocketed down the 377-foot-long slide at a 70-degree angle before decelerating in water at the finish. Named one of the best amusement parks in the U.S., Kentucky Kingdom reopened in 2014 after a major renovation and is a short drive from either downtown Louisville or the Louisville International Airport.