New water roller coaster at Splish Splash

Children plummet in a raft while riding Splish

Children plummet in a raft while riding Splish Splash's newest ride, Bootlegger's Run, a cross between a white water raft ride and roller coaster with a height of 235 feet and speeds of 30 mph. (June 2, 2013) (Credit: Steve Pfost)

The newest ride at Splish Splash is, well, making quite a splash.

Bootlegger's Run is a two-minute screamer's delight at the Calverton water adventure park. The multimillion-dollar water roller coaster, with a top height of 235 feet, starts with a 47-foot (almost five-story) drop. It hits speeds of 30 miles an hour with hairpin turns through open air and enclosed tubes before sliding back into its starting spot.

"It's a little bit of everything, so it will definitely be our crown jewel," says general manager Mike Bengtson.


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Luc Perigaut braved Bootlegger's Run on its inaugural weekend earlier this month like a champ.

"Your stomach feels like it's flying," said the 10-year-old from East Setauket. "I think it's one of my favorite rides."

HIGH-TECH RIDE

Bootlegger's Run uses hydromagnetic technology -- the first water ride in the state to do so, according to park officials. Magnets propel the four-person rubber rafts forward and up the inclines.

Like many of the park's more thrilling attractions, riders must be at least 42 inches tall (and accompanied by an adult if 42-48 inches). There's a limit of 700 pounds of weight per four-person raft.

The ride begins and ends at ground level, a boon for people who have trouble climbing stairs.

RIDERS DELIGHT

Parkgoers loved the ride on its first weekend, with the only complaint being that it should be longer.

"You don't notice the height, and then it just drops," Robert Pagan, 31, of Queens, said after taking his first spin.

Four girlfriends who came off the ride dripping wet were heading right back on the line.

"I like that it feels like a real roller coaster," said Shaina Katz, 19, of West Hempstead. Her friend Rivka Apfel, 19, also of West Hempstead, said she had to be cajoled by her friends to try it but was heading back on line for thrill ride number two.

Bootlegger's Run joins 20 other rides at the water park, a favorite summertime hangout for families and teens. The 96-acre park also has two wave pools and a 1,300-foot-long lazy river.

DODGE THE LINES

Also new at Splish Splash: the H2Go Pass. Much like Disney World's skip-the-line pass system, H2Go holds your place in line and gives you an estimated return time for specific attractions with long line times. Passes cost $30 on weekdays and $35 on weekends, and a limited number are sold each day.

New spray park

There's also a new spray park opening in Wyandanch. The grand opening is on July 13 from 10 a.m.-noon at Geiger Lake Park, Grand Boulevard, between West 24th Street and Lake Avenue, Wyandanch

INFO townofbabylon.com, 631-957-3000

COST Free for town residents, $5 nonresidents

While not the high-pitched thrill scream ride of the Bootlegger's Run, there are loads of spray parks on Long Island, with the latest one opening next month at a park straddling Deer Park and Wyandanch.

The Geiger Lake Park spray park has a "Tree of Life" theme, highlighted by a bridge with water slides between two large trees, multiple water cannons and a rope climb net. A large spider and snake feature will have several twisting, spiraling slides. There is also an area for smaller children.

The grand opening July 13 will include music, prizes and family activities.

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