KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A reservation system for the world’s tallest waterslide is getting mixed reviews from thrill seekers.
Schlitterbahn Waterpark officials explained it’s a strategy meant to maximize fun at the waterpark in the midst of overwhelming demand for the new ride. They said the system has been in place since Thursday, the first day the slide opened to the public.
But people who came to the park Saturday just for the chance to plunge down Verrückt and didn’t get to, said it left them disappointed.
FOX 4 talked to people who traveled from Omaha, Nebraska, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Fayetteville, Arkansas, to plunge 168 feet down the world’s tallest waterslide at a speed of 50 miles per hour.
“It's just another thrill ride that I want to conquer,” said Joshua Hotz.
But many thrill seekers didn’t get their chance Saturday when they arrived to the park and learned they could only score a ride on Verrückt if they landed a high-demand reservation.
“It was pretty disappointing,” said Anna Olsen.
“It was heart crushing,” added Hotz.
Schlitterbahn officials said the first-come, first serve system is the best way to ensure people don’t end up wasting their entire day at the park waiting in line for one ride.
Here’s how it works: People must show up at the park right when it opens at 10 a.m. for a chance to reserve a scheduled time slot to ride later in the day. But the quick morning crowds left no chance for some.
“They were already full by the time we got here at 11:30,” said Dustin Harder.
“I can see how the system would work,” said Jason Bye. “But when you come here and you don't know that there is a system like that, and then you're kind of shot for the rest of the day, you can't do what you wanted to do.”
Reed Hodges also missed his chance at making a reservation. However, the 10-year-old took his chance in the standby line and it paid off.
“I waited in line for like an hour-and-a-half,” Reed said. “They needed someone under 100 pounds so I raised my hand and I got picked."
As for the thrill? Reed said Verrückt is definitely worth the wait.
“It was really fun!” he said. “I was like ‘Awesome!’"
Park officials told FOX 4 the reservation information is clearly posted on their website and is explained to visitors when they first enter the park. There are no guarantees, but they said if you sign up for a reservation first thing in the morning, your chances for riding are pretty good.