The four-slide chutes of The Kraken at the Wet ‘n’ Wild in Orlando, Fla. served as the design inspiration for a new six-slide chute version created for Deep River Water Park, which will open for the 2017 summer season. (Photo courtesy of Wet ‘n’ Wild Orlando)
After more than two decades of generating waves of excitement to attract guests, Deep River Water Park in Crown Point is adding a new aquatic attraction to draw anticipation for Summer 2017.
Named The Kraken, in honor of the mythical sea monster said to have terrorized ships and sea captains centuries ago, the new six-lane racing ride using braided mats will await thrill-seekers when Deep River Water Park opens for the season on Memorial Day weekend.
Towering 6 stories tall, the winding slides, intended to pay homage to the tangled tentacles of a giant octopus, are enclosed at the start of the structure with chutes twisting around one another.
Riders, traveling head first, are then ejected into the open-air latter portion of the slides traveling 15 feet per second.
Emily Trisler, spokeswoman for the park, said she's already fielding questions and gauging excitement about the new water park feature.
"We had more than 8,000 guests at the water park last year for the Memorial Day weekend opening, and we expect even greater numbers this year because of The Kraken," Trisler said.
"Guests always have their favorite slides and attractions they look forward to every summer, but when we add a big, brand-new opportunity, there's even more interest."
Trisler, who has worked at Deep River since 2006, said the improvements made in 2016 included new cabanas and other upgrades to the service area facilities for guests.
She said the Wet 'n Wild water slide park in Orlando, Fla., commissioned an earlier version of The Kraken, which opened in 2014, but features only four slides.
"I've lived in Griffith my entire life and throughout the years, even before I ever worked at Deep River, I spent many a birthday party at this water park," Trisler said.
"We're always planning improvements while keeping our promise to maintain the prices to be affordable and not change any of the added incentives, like the free parking, which guests have come to expect."
She said children love the "splash areas," such as a water-soaked house structure that includes a giant continuous-filling "water dumping bucket," while adults are drawn to the park's other signature features, such as "the cannon bowl," a huge water-swirling pool.
Sasha Mateer, who has worked at Deep River Water Park since 2000, including three seasons as the general manager since the property first opened in 1995, said guests travel from Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan to spend a day or the entire weekend at the water park.
She ranks Deep River's wave pool as one of the biggest crowd pleasers of the expansive water landscaped property.
"Guests can come and go throughout the day if they like, but most never feel the need to leave in and out of the main gate because we have everything they might want or need," Mateer said.
"There are plenty of food options, areas to stay cool and plenty of opportunities to keep everyone entertained for enjoyment."
Phil Potempa is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.
Deep River Water Park
When: Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily Memorial Day through Sept. 5
Where: 9001 E. Lincoln Highway, Crown Point
Cost: $20.95 per person Monday through Friday and $21.95 Saturday and Sunday with special late season prices and family packages available.
Information: 219-947-7850 or www.deepriverwaterpark.com