Join the Travel Channel's adrenaline-pumping journey on the world's wettest, fastest and highest thrill rides.
Galveston Island, Texas
This mega waterpark is home to 4 of the biggest and most death-defying plummets in the world: Thunder Tub, Guada Loopy, Dragon Blaster and Cliffhanger. The Thunder Tub is slide like no other; you'll travel 231 feet of twisting terror at speeds reaching 26 mph. It also contains 3 20-foot drops that will make you catch air -- and your breath. Guada Loopy carries riders and their inner tubes 5 stories up and drops back to ground level via some serious twists and turns.
The Dragon Blaster is the world's first uphill water coaster; it uses 3,000 gallons of water per minute to rocket riders uphill at speeds of 35 mph. What goes up must come down, and riders on the Dragon Blaster plummet 270 feet -- in total darkness.
The steepest and fastest drop that Schlitterbahn has to offer is found on the Cliffhanger. A super-slide that towers at 81-feet high -- that's the height of an 8-story building.
Dreamworld Amusement is home to the tallest freefall in the world, the Giant Drop. Thrill-seekers strap into an 8-person open-air gondola that elevates 390 feet -- that's higher than the top of the Brooklyn Bridge. After the 60-second ascent, the Giant Drop lives up to its name, sending riders into a gut-wrenching freefall at speeds close to 85 mph -- and brakes mere feet from the ground.((
The Steel Hawg at the Indiana Beach Resort is the steepest roller coaster drop in the country. The vertical drop measures 111 degrees, 21 degrees past vertical -- meaning that terrified riders are actually falling underneath themselves. Each person strapped into the 4-man cars actually lifts out of his seat during the drop but is held in by serious safety restraints.
Magical Midway Amusement Park's Slingshot is the tallest catapult launch on the planet. Brave passengers are flung 400 feet in the air at speeds up to 90 mph -- 25 mph faster than the Florida state speed limit. This ride is a sadistic updating of slingshot rides that operate using bungees; this high-tech thriller features steel cables and an enormous magnet that, when released, catapults you into thin air.
Blue Bayou Water Park
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
This Dixie Land waterpark is home to 4 of the biggest water slides on the planet: Racers, Azuka, Voodoo and Conja. Racers pits 8 fearless riders against one another on the world's most slippery speedway; each racer travels headfirst at speeds near 30 mph. The Azuka is the world's tallest tornado ride; 4 riders are dropped from 80 feet above the ground into a 70-foot wide funnel. Here they experience pure weightlessness, swinging like a pendulum back and forth inside the funnel.
The Voodoo careens riders down an 80-foot enclosed tube in total darkness. The tube opens into a 60-foot wide pool, called a Behemothbowl, where adrenaline junkies spin and slosh before being spit back out into daylight.
Blue Bayou's biggest waterslide is the Conja -- the world's tallest and longest incline waterslide (think bobsledding, but on water instead of ice.) The 1,400-foot slide twists and turns, carrying 5-person rafts at speeds reaching 30 mph.
Santa Claus, Indiana
Holiday World in Santa Claus, IN, boasts a $6.5-million coaster that creates zero gravity. The Voyage provides a combined 24.2 seconds of total weightlessness each time it completes its 1.2-mile track. Its rapid downward acceleration is so powerful it counteracts the force of gravity making riders feels as if they are floating in midair.
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Wisconsin Dells, WI, is home to about 20 different waterparks that altogether boast over 200 water slides. Mt. Olympus Park is home to the country's largest surf pool, Poseidon's Rage, where bathers aren't dropped into the water -- water is dropped on them. The pool is bigger than 10 Olympic swimming pools, holds up to 2 million gallons of water and can hold 1,500 bathers at a time. While other wave pools generate 3- to 4-foot waves, this monster pool features whitecaps measuring 9-feet high.
Sand Master Park
Sand Master Park is the first and only place in America where you can sandboard (think snowboarding minus the snow). It features 40 acres of dunes that reach up to 80-feet high; the drops are so steep they send riders rocketing at speeds reaching up to 50 mph.