Raging Waves reopens with new Aussie Mat Dash slide
Raging Waves in Yorkville had planned to debut its new Aussie Mat Dash waterslide last year. Instead, the coronavirus pandemic prompted the family-owned and Australian-themed water park to hold off, even though construction on the attraction was complete.
"The truncated season was very limited attendance, and we all know the turmoil and upheaval from last year," said Raging Waves owner Randy Witt. "So we just made the decision that we have this great new ride -- one of only three in the world -- and we'll do it justice by rolling it out right at the beginning of the 2021 season."
Raging Waves reopens Saturday and Witt predicts the six-lane competitive racing Aussie Mat Dash will be popular. Modeled after similar slides found in Italy and Hershey, Pennsylvania, the Aussie Mat Dash has six racers sliding down headfirst on padded-foam mat in style akin to the skeleton race at the Winter Olympics.
"It has three uncovered rally points where you can glance to your left or right to see how you're stacking up against your fellow racers," Witt said. "It's a lot of fun."
Witt predicts the Aussie Mat Dash will attract plenty of repeat riders.
"Everyone's going to have their own idea of which is the fastest lane," he said. "When you hear the kids talk, they're going to debate about which one is the fastest."
Even as rates of vaccination against COVID-19 continue to climb in Illinois, Witt said Raging Waves will continue to follow all assembly and social distancing guidelines laid out by the Illinois Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.
"Cleanliness, friendliness and safety are the three priorities in which we run this business," he said about his 58-acre water park.
"We just continue to stay the course," Witt said. "We have 32 slides, 43 private cabanas and something here for everyone from the tykes and small kids to grandparents."
Raging WavesLocation: 4000 N. Bridge St., Yorkville.
Park hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 5 to 11 and Aug. 16 to 20; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 11 to 31; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 12 to July 10 and Aug. 1 to 15, then Saturdays and Sundays; closing Sept. 6
Tickets: $24.99-$39.99; $19.99 seniors and kids under 34 inches in height; private cabanas from $200; (630) 882-6575 or ragingwaves.com
Parking: Adjacent lot for $10-$20