GEORGE TOWN: From a height of 78m above sea level, it is going to take at least four minutes to ride down the world’s longest water slide at the Escape Theme Park in Teluk Bahang.
At 1,140m-long, the slide beginning from the hilltop will take thrill seekers through treetops and main roads before landing at the park’s swimming pool.
Escape Theme Park chief escape officer Sim Choo Kheng said 705m of the slide has been completed and once the remaining 435m is up, Penang will boast of having the longest water slide the world has ever seen.
Sim said upon completion, it will be officially the world’s longest water slide, breaking the record currently held by the 602m-long water slide in Water Park, New Jersey.
“As part of our Phase 3 development, a chairlift (cable car) is also being built to transport customers from the foot of the hill to the top.
“It will also serve as a transport vessel for Hill Rider and Tubby Racer, two new attractions that will open together with the water slide.”
Sim said there were many challenges as heavy machinery was not used.
“Most of the materials were transported manually to the hilltop as we wanted to preserve the surrounding natural habitat,” he said.
Sim said the slide also uses a carbon fibre-reinforced polymer, supported by permanent steel structures.
“To build a slide this long would require building a tower, about the height of a 20-storey apartment, which is not only cost prohibitive but also a disaster aesthetically.
“So we decided to use the highest point of our forested land with an elevation of 70m as the launch tower,” he said.
State Tourism, Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin, who was also present, said the feat would put Penang on the map and set the theme park apart from the rest.
“With this world record attraction, it will attract more tourists and visitors all over the world to Penang.
“We need more world-class tourism products to put Penang on the map, especially as we usher in Experience Penang Year 2020,” he said.