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Park Hoppin’ with Paul Ruben

Lazy rivers (and even lazier guests)

There I was, floating in the Great Kanagawa Wavepool at Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark. Located in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, the $163 million (€144 million) facility is the largest ski in/ski out indoor waterpark hotel in the US and has transformed Camelback Resort into a year-round family and adventure destination. Being terminally lazy, I was content to just float in the wave pool. There

weren't even any waves, so I was being ultra-lazy. But it made it safer to take this photo, since my camera is not waterproof. Two of the waterpark's premier attractions were five storeys above me. The Venus SlydeTrap is a combination family raft ride. Storm Chaser is the longest uphill indoor water coaster in North America. Both are from WhiteWater. I was thinking about climbing the stairs to ride them when I had this absolutely positively great idea for the next great waterpark attraction that deserves to come to market. You're reading my mind, aren't you? What every waterpark needs is an

elevator to the top of its slide complex. Many waterparks have conveyor belts to transport large tubes to the top. Why not people conveyors, too? Camelback has a dozen elevators scattered through the hotel, plus several ski lifts outdoors. Couldn't they spare one to get me to the top of the slide? I'd like to slide down. I'd rather not climb up. Like I said, terminally lazy. Waterparks burn all this energy

circulating water through giant pumps. Elevators are relatively energy efficient. You could still have stairs for young people who haven't yet learned the joy of elevator riding, especially upwards. America has laws to insure accessibility for the disabled, but has yet to provide any relief for those of us who are lackadaisical, lethargic, indolent, languid, shiftless, slothful, dilatory, languorous, or torpid, which are all characteristics widely celebrated in America. Fortunately, Aquatopia has other attractions I found very appealing since they

do not require an elevator, or even steps. I spent a long time in Mystic Springs, the resort’s indoor and outdoor warm spa lagoon. The soothing waters of this mythical lagoon rejuvenated my body after climbing all those stairs. Kartrite’s Quest is a fully themed and immersive multi-level AquaPlay structure.

Like a traditional interactive play structure, it features a 1,000 gallon (3,785 l), themed giant dumping bucket perched more than 52 feet (16 m) overhead and 84 interactive water effects including bubbler and geyser jets, rotating dumping troughs, hose jets, pull ropes, tipping cones, water guns, plunger jets, water wheels and water cannons. Many of those interactive water effects required some stair climbing. Standing under the giant dumping bucket didn't. The Lost River is an unusual lazy river, carrying guests on a dark, adventure

river ride through the jungle into a mysterious temple before emerging into daylight and a 60ft (18 m) waterfall. I love lazy rivers. They are so aptly named. Not far from the Lost River and adjacent to the Great Kanagawa Wavepool,

it's hard to miss the DHC-2 Beaver Float Plane, affectionately named, “Spirit of Tannersville.” It's perched on its launching pad high above Flyboys, the adults- only swim up bar. Flyboys is my favourite part of Aquatopia. Float in, quench your thirst, no stairs.

APRIL 2016

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