First up is the 125,000-square-foot Aquatopia, among the largest indoor water parks in the Northeast. The four-story Kartrite’s Quest features a 1,000-gallon dumping bucket, perched 52 feet overhead, as well as 84 interactive water effects from bubbler and geyser jets to water cannons and guns. Next, they are injected into a 16-foot sphere where they bank around 90-degree turns before plunging back into darkness via another steep drop.
With venues such as Dutch Springs in Lower Nazareth Township, Terry Hill Waterpark in Upper Macungie Township and Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in South Whitehall Township, the Lehigh Valley is already home to ample outdoor water parks.
But for those seeking water slides, a wave pool and other aqua amusements year-round, the Pocono Mountains is the place to go.
Already home to Great Wolf Lodge in Scotrun and H2Oooohh! at Split Rock Resort in Lake Harmony, the area is poised to become an indoor water park mecca following the openings of Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark in Tannersville on April 24 and Kalahari Resort in Tobyhanna Township this summer.
First up is the 125,000-square-foot Aquatopia, among the largest indoor water parks in the Northeast.
The 84-degree facility, featuring Texlon transparent roofing, boasts a swim-up bar, private cabanas, seven pools, 13 water slides and a multitude of thrilling water attractions, including Bombora FlowRider, a simulated surfing and boogie boarding experience; and The Lost River, a 500-foot tubing ride through jungle-themed caverns.
Supplementing the resort’s 17-year-old Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark, Pennsylvania’s largest outdoor water park with more than 37 attractions, Aquatopia is part of the 170,000-square-foot Arcadia Family Adventure Center, which also features dry-based activities such as video games, rock climbing, laser tag, miniature golf and a ropes course.
Highlights of the water park include Kartrite’s Quest, a next-generation aqua play structure; Storm Chaser, billed as “the longest uphill indoor water coaster in North America”; and Venus SlydeTrap, a combo family raft ride.
The four-story Kartrite’s Quest features a 1,000-gallon dumping bucket, perched 52 feet overhead, as well as 84 interactive water effects — from bubbler and geyser jets to water cannons and guns.
“It’s like a giant mouse trap,” explained Jeff Lococo, general manager and executive vice president for Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark. “You can pull on a rope and that might spill water on someone 10 feet away.”
On the 756-foot Storm Chaser, adrenaline junkies can choose a one- or two-person tube that will travel uphill on jetted water, taking them on five hair-raising drops and four breathtaking curves through open and enclosed sections.
The 54-inch-wide Venus SlydeTrap is the “most imposing,” Lococo says, with riders first taking a heart-pounding drop down an enclosed serpentine flume. Next, they are injected into a 16-foot sphere where they bank around 90-degree turns before plunging back into darkness via another steep drop.
“It has a zero-gravity feel and actually resembles a flytrap as it seemingly swallows riders whole,” Lococo explained.
Camelback’s $163 million expansion, which began about 19 months ago, also includes a new 533,000-square-foot hotel featuring gift shops, adult and children’s spas and 453 guest suites in 24 configurations — from one- and two-bedroom executive suites to family style suites with bunk beds.
Completing the picture are three sit-down restaurants: Hemisphere, a buffet-style eatery; Trails End Pub, a ski-in/ski-out pub near the Stevenson Chair Lift; and Neptunes, a lounge offering sushi and small plates.
Trails End, Serenity Spa and 215 rooms are part of phase two and will open in June, Lococo said.
Hotel guests will receive unlimited access to Aquatopia and one complimentary pass to Camelbeach (when it’s in season). Aquatopia will not be accessible to non-hotel guests, but those patronizing Camelbeach, Camelback Mountain or Camelback Mountain Adventures can show a proof of purchase and then will be eligible to buy a day pass, based on Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia occupancy.
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