Wet 'n' Wild opened in Sydney mid-December and I was excited. Excited enough to buy a season pass before I had even visited the place. Since then I've been twice. I've gotten wet. At times I've even gotten wild. But I have not been anywhere close to wet or wild in vast enough quantities.
But before I list the negatives, I'm going to mention the positives. First and foremost, Wet 'n' Wild has a handful of truly spectacular rides. The T5 is, in particular an absolutely blast. The 360 Rush is a short, sharp blast of nervous energy balled up into one brilliantly short, sharp, watery drop.
So the rides are great. The queues? Not so much.
I've been to Wet 'N' Wild twice now and both times were fraught with difficulties. On day one, in order to pick up my pass, I had to wait in a painfully long queue. At the end of said queue I was completely bemused to see the set-up. Four computers, lined up side by side in a manner that wouldn't look out of place at your local church LAN. This for literally thousands of people who would be picking up passes in the coming days and months. A little bit shocking considering the size and scale of the place.
But that was hardly the only queuing I'd be doing on that day. I arrived at Wet 'N' Wild at 10am, left at 4pm. During that time I managed to get on four rides. Four rides. An absolutely pathetic innings by any measure. This was on a weekday.
My second visit brought a separate set of issues. The queues were shorter, but the park seemed beset with multiple technical issues. I started queueing for 360 Rush, one of the more popular rides. The queue seemed short. At one point it slowed to a halt. Eventually we learned that, of the four slides available, only one was actually functioning. I waited patiently then, when I was literally next in the queue, the remaining functioning 360 Rush decided to break down in front of me! My brother in-law, who had just paid $70 for a one-day pass had wasted one whole hour queuing for a ride he wouldn't be able to get on. Incredible.
So all four 360 Rush rides were broken! It hardly bodes well and, to be quite frank, had me a little worried about the safety of the ride (which is totally awesome, don't get me wrong — but all four? Broken down at once?)
In addition a new system, which forces customers to use a wristband for most transactions, was equally unreliable. When I arrived I tried to rent a locker only to find that I couldn't pay cash, I had to queue up (hilariously) to add money to my wristband using one of a handful of computers at the front desk. Only then could I use my wristband to pay for the locker.
So, after queuing up to put $20 on my wristband, I had to pay $10 (non-refundable) for a locker which, incredibly — later in the evening — stopped working. I literally couldn't use my wristband to unlock the locker as the system had somehow become fickle and had stopped working. I encountered a group of people dealing with the same issue. For the remainder of my visit, every single time I wanted to get something out of the locker I had paid an additional $10 for, I had to find a member of staff to open it for me.
First impressions? Extremely negative. I'll be back — I have a season pass and live roughly 15 minutes from the place — but there are some serious wrinkles that requires straightening out.
Has anyone else visited Wet 'n' Wild Sydney? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.