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Opening of Verrückt, world's tallest water slide, delayed

Posted at 3:43 PM, May 14, 2014
and last updated 2018-05-22 14:25:02-04

Schlitterbahn will delay the opening of the world’s tallest water slide, the Verrückt, until at least June 5, a spokesperson for the park told 41 Action News.

Park Spokesman Layne Pitcher would not discuss specific issues about the slide, which in April was certified as the world’s tallest at 168 feet and 7 inches and is a one-of-a-kind design.

Pitcher said continuing tweaks would require some “taking apart and putting back together” of the slide. The slide’s opening was planned for the park’s opening day, May 23, but could be delayed even past the first week of June.

Last week, 41 Action News reported on safety inspections at amusement parks around the area, including Schlitterbahn's ride. Inspection records for Schlitterbahn and other parks in Kansas are not available to the public but must be produced to state officials upon request.

The delay could be costly for Schlitterbahn, particularly in the short-term.

Park officials had long described Verrückt as the new marquee attraction at the Kansas park, even touting a $2 million economic impact at its unveiling in April.

With Verrückt out of commission on opening weekend-- the lucrative Memorial Day holiday weekend-- thrill seekers looking for the biggest and newest ride might flock to Worlds of Fun instead. That park plans to begin service of its much-promoted SteelHawk on Saturday, May 24.

Some would be-riders and parents said they were concerned about the cause of the delay, which has not yet been specifically explained by park officials.

"Based upon their adjustments, I don't think I'd let my kids on it now," KC parent Cassandra Lewis said.

But others said they were glad the park was taking its time to perfect the ride before opening it to the public.

"I'd rather they take their time and make sure it's put together correctly and make sure it's safe for the community," Becky Benak said.