Wrangling the start tub

Start tub.

That’s the pool you get into right before you ride Zinga, ZOOMbabwe, Watubee … and now, Bakuli.

It was the last piece to be added, a full 73 feel above the splash pool.

The start tub is down there, on the lower right. All hooked up.

Waiting to fly.

But first, there’s a bit of prep work up top.

That’s Randy smearing on the Super Glue.

Meanwhile, Will chats it up with John Simpson from Channel 7. Will talks with his hands a lot … in fact, if he had a scrap of paper and pen handy, he’d probably be sketching out something for John.

It’s an engineer thing.

For some reason, we all got a kick out of this, on the side of one of the cranes:

At last, it’s time for the topping.

Recognize that fellow up top?

It’s Craig! (Remember Craig?)

He’s ready to wrangle.

When that last piece is up high enough, Craig will grab the tether and guide the start tub into position.


A light spring breeze can be very pleasant when you’re still wearing a jacket, but we were all willing to sacrifice a little comfort if it made the job easier.

Grab it, Craig!

…and hang on tight!

Ahhh…nearly there.

Something like a hundred bolts now need to go into place.

Still a lot of work before we turn on the water, but Bakuli is all in one piece.

One big, huge, twisting, colorful piece.

Swinging ‘glass

Bakuli construction

It’s been a little too windy for this sort of work the past few days, but on Monday morning there was a whole lotta swingin’ going on down in Splashin’ Safari.

Bakuli construction

It’s a painstaking process, getting that piece of fiberglass to fit perfectly onto the rest of the slide.

Bakuli, as you may recall, starts seven stories up

Bakuli construction

Not sure why the sky disappeared from the above photo. When I compressed the file, the blue sky vanished. Weird.

Thankfully, the sky returned in this next shot.

Bakuli construction

Here’s the other end of the ride.

Remember, “bakuli” is the Swahili word for “bowl.”

Bakuli starts as an in-the-dark water slide and then drops the riders into this 60-foot-wide bowl.

Around and around you’ll go. And where you stop…

Bakuli construction

… is right here, which will eventually be a pool.

Put it all together and you get this gigantic flying saucer.

Bakuli construction

Let’s widen that shot and put Bakuli in perspective.

Bakuli construction

That’s The Voyage in the background and Monsoon Lagoon in the front-right corner. There’s Bahari River in the middle.

Just don’t anybody come up with the brilliant idea that our new water ride looks like a snake.

We know.

We’re in denial.

Surely you remember the Queen of de Nile … she wasn’t much of a snake lover, either.

Snow sculpture

No, we still haven’t had any snow to speak of, but doesn’t it look like we have been outside playing in the white stuff?

Here are the zebras from another direction.

Take a good look; which is their best side?

This summer we can ask the little ones: Which is their best slide?

Cool new critters for Crocodile Isle

Something we didn’t include in the New for 2007 news release is the batch of new water-play animals for Crocodile Isle in Splashin‘ Safari.

They will replace the original animal slides, which were part of Splashin‘ Safari premiere season in 1993.

Let’s start with the upper pool:

This zebra slide (shall we call them Zippy and Zappy for now?) replaces the turtle.

Zippy and Zappy make up a “dual slide” for added capacity, and will “load” from outside of the pool.

Next the children may splash about in the pool and then slide down one of
the body slides and into the lower pool, where they’ll find…

This happy parrot (let’s call her Pandora) is replacing the elephant slide.

Pandora’s pretty umbrella will spray cooling water down on the happy tykes below.

Can you just imagine the toddler happy dances that will ensue?

And the shrieks of delights?

(Please, though, no crackers in the pool.)

And what may we have chosen to replace the popular crocodile slide?

Another crocodile! …er, alligator.



Hmm. Let’s just say we’ll call him … fun.

Super Bowl week

Bakuli construction

How cool is this?

It’s all in the news!

An incredible tribute to this super Bowl Ride we’re building.

Bakuli construction

The newscaster had congested nasal passages. it seems; he kept mentioning it was so “colt” out. I guess he wanted to be sure folks knew Bakuli wouldn’t be open until the weather warms up.

… and I didn’t catch it all, but I think he made a joke about bears wanting to take a once-in-a-lifetime ride. He must have been talking about one of those polar bear clubs or something. I got a kick out of how often he mentioned it would be great to visit our super bowl on a sunny day.

Bakuli construction
Rachel braved the “colt” to take these photos.

Bakuli construction
I think she climbed to the top of ZOOMbabwe for this one. She wanted to take a wide shot to help us get our bearings.

Looks like a real winner has touched down in our water park.

Bakuli heads skyward

If you’ve been scratching your head trying to figure out exactly where Bakuli is going, this should help.

First of all, our busy little HoliBeavers have been hard at work constructing a temporary bridge over Bahari River.

That’s because the bowl portion of Bakuli will be located in the central, island area of Bahari River.

The start tower is to the north of the river.

And back in the center of Bahari River, the pieces of Bakuli are being assembled…

…one confusing shape at a time.

Got glue?

Bakuli is here.

All bazillion pieces.

Good thing we don’t have too many employees this time of year, as the parking lot is covered with huge purple, green and yellow pieces.

This one in particular … don’t you think it looks like a cartoon character’s mouth … or beak … or bill?

And this one … come on.

It looks like it was left out in the sun or something.

Maybe too close to the heater?

We’ll keep an eye on this piece once our crews start assembling this monster.

Bakuli bits

Good grief.

Haven’t even posted links to the articles that came about following last week’s announcement, and bits o’ Bakuli start showing up already.

These pieces are for the bakuli.

You know, of course, that bakuli is the Swahili word for “bowl.”

And that bowl is a big’un.

Sixty feet across, that bowl.

Heaved up onto its side, that would be about six stories tall.

Don’t know that we have a six-story building here in Santa Claus.

Well, yes I do know.

There was something about these colors that made me a bit uneasy. I like how they look together, but there’s something unsettling about them.

I finally figured it out.

Back in the 1980s, I had a suit with these colors in it.

Excuse me while I head for home to make sure it’s not still in the back of my closet.

Tubular, baby!

Child with inner tubes

Charlotte was kind (and, rightly so, proud) enough to send us these photos of Abbey …

Child with inner tubes

… and Eli. 

Eli with inner tubes

Of course, inner tubes are always free at Splashin’ Safari.

Simply tubular, baby!
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Bahari River’s location

Bahari River plan

We all know about The Voyage, but exactly where is Bahari River’s location?

It helps to look on this graphic:

Bahari River plan

It will be back here, between the two wave pools and behind Monsoon Lagoon:

Remember all those culverts?

We will put those culverts to good use. Gotta keep the creek out of the River, right?

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