Knott's Berry Farm's Soak City opening this weekend for summer with new waterslides


Seven waterslides debut when Knott’s Berry Farm’s Soak City water park opens for the summer 2017 season Saturday.

The new slides sit on a nearly two-acre expansion taken from a chunk of the nearby parking lot.

“The park has been growing in attendance over the last several years,” said Roland Reyes, manager of the water park for Knott’s.

The farm was able to expand the parking lot last year when it purchased two small buildings along Stanton Avenue. The buildings were torn down and asphalt installed for parking, making the south end available for the water park, which is next to the farm’s Independence Hall.

As part of the project, one low-guest-capacity waterslide, the Pacific Spin, was removed. But seven new waterslides were added.

One of the new waterslides is called “The Wedge.” It is a family oriented raft ride that will hold up to six people at once.

“The family raft waterslide adds a lot of capacity to the park,” Reyes said.

The other waterslide tower, called “Shore Break,” contains two types of waterslides. One pair of the tube-style slides are called “dueling” slides. On them, riders can launch at the same time and race to the bottom.

The other four slides have riders stand in an “Aqua Launch” chamber. Once ready, a lifeguard pushes a button, causing the floor to drop and send them sliding down the tube.

The duration of each slide ride is about 20 seconds.

The park also expanded its Longboard’s Grill, doubling the size and capacity of the restaurant, and added new items to the menu such as chicken tenders, along with fish and chips. A shade structure has been added to the outdoor dining area.

Over the winter season, the park staff has been adding landscaping throughout where there was once large sections of concrete. In addition, all the existing waterslides got a new coat of brightly colored paint.

Along with the new slides, more than 200 lifeguards have been training to make sure everyone stays safe. All receive CPR and first aid training, and are certified by Ellis & Associates, a company that also audits the safety procedures throughout the season, according to Jeff Gahagan, vice president of maintenance and construction for the park.

The park has received a platinum rating, its highest rating, from Ellis & Associates for 17 years in a row.

“It’s very hard to get that platinum rating, but our lifeguards do continuous training and it’s worth it,” Gahagan said.

Gahagan said the park has been open for 18 years.

With the expansion, Soak City is now a 15-acre park, with a total of 23 waterslides. It also has a lazy river, a kid’s water play area and a wave pool.

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