Friday, March 30, 2012

Stone Mountain Park's new water-spouting Geyser Towers Opens Sat. March 31

By Howard Pousner

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Phoebe Feibus had come prepared for a preview of Stone Mountain Park's new water-spouting Geyser Towers attraction this week, donning yellow rain boots fashionably decorated with sock monkeys. The only problem was, she was getting so soaked that her galoshes kept filling up like tanks at an aquarium.
But when you're 7, it's hot outside and there is water erupting, misting, spritzing and spraying seemingly in every direction, a few quarts sloshing around in your shoes hardly puts a damper on the fun.

"Awesome!" was the home-schooled Atlanta girl's two-thumbs-way-up review.

A $1 million addition to the park's Crossroads Village fun town, Geyser Towers officially opens Saturday, not coincidentally just in time for spring break. The two-story, wet-and-wild climbing playscape promises regular dousings to kids of all ages from 10 sources of water as relief during Atlanta's typical summer armageddons of heat and humidity.

A few days earlier, project manager Paul Creasy had gone to great pains to explain that those who would prefer not to get drenched while climbing around on the Geyser Tower's polypropylene-rope bridges and tunnels -- translation: parents -- could avoid that fate. All people had to do to stay relatively dry, he pledged, was pay attention to the timing and location of eruptions and sprays as they moved under and around the playscape.

Even water-loving kids, he added, probably wouldn't require a change of clothes.

But clearly that was an adult talking and adults, even ones with five young children like Creasy, can sound so so silly when they try to sound expert on the behavior of kids around water.

At Thursday's preview, sodden youngsters raced from the Show Geyser, rising from an 8-foot stonework pedestal just inside the entrance and unleashing torrents of agua 30 feet high, to the often-erupting Bubble Geyser under the middle of the playscape, trying to soak up every drop.

One story above, other soaked young civilians lolled on the triangular-shaped netting stretched between the three towers, getting misted by a half-dozen elevated spritzers as they anxiously anticipating the thar-she-blows! moment when the frothing bubble geyser below shot up more liquid refreshment.

Stone Mountain Park marketing manager Laura Ramos said Geyser Towers is a response to regular requests from visitors for liquid fun. "We definitely wanted to address that need that we heard," she said. "I mean, Atlanta's got some scorcher summers."

Geyser Towers additionally fits in with Stone Mountain Park's growing portfolio of physically challenging attractions, along with its neighbor Sky Hike and the winter favorite Snow Mountain. Geyser Towers skews a little younger than the more adventurous, three-story Sky Hike, an elevated family adventure course where the only moisture involved is sweat. Its highest level is a daredevil-baiting 40 feet off the ground.

Targeting (but by no means limited to) ages 7 through 12, Geyser Towers features levels that are 14 and 24 feet high, with its tunnels and walkways fully enclosed by netting, like a fast-food playscape on steroids.

Once inside it, the climbing is varied. For instance, the "V"-shaped truss rope bridge between levels one and two is more supported and easier to navigate than the looser "V"-shaped suspended rope bridge between the first and second towers on level two.

To enter the structure, one must be at least 32 inches tall and young ones between 32 and 40 inches require an adult chaperone. Those under 32 inches, however, can get their wet on by simply hanging out on the ground level and there's even a trickling "creek" of moving water in a corner for toddler enthusiasts.

The structure has a capacity of 157, so there may be short waits to access it on the hottest days. Park officials believe an average visit will last 30 to 40 minutes, since most guests want to get their money's worth out of multi-attraction Adventure Passes, but there's no time limit.

Like Snow Mountain, Geyser Towers draws water from Stone Mountain Lake that it treats to make it potable, similar to swimming pool water. The roughly 50 gallons a minute used by the attraction recycles back into the lake via a closed loop system.

Geyser Towers would seem to close the loop on what young kids want when the forecast is set to sizzle. Trying to dry by the sun after his immersion, 11-year-old Atlantan Noah Vrazel proclaimed, "It was really cool. I liked running through the [bubble geyser] and going through the tunnels."

Did he want to come back?

"Yes," he said with the absoluteness of youth. "But next time with a towel."

From :
Erupting March 31st! Welcome to the first and only adventure of its kind. Geyser Towers bring an all-new, must-do experience to Stone Mountain Park. Multiple levels of suspended rope bridges and net tunnels connect you to towering platforms that overlook the gushing geyser. With its sporadic eruptions and multiple offshoots, you can play in the spray or stay high and dry. The options, and the fun, are all yours.

Ideal for the whole family, Geyser Towers offers plenty of room for adults and the perfect amount of excitement for the kids. As an option for our littlest guests, toddlers can splash in a trickling creek while mom and dad relax in the shade. Geyser Towers at Stone Mountain Park. One cool adventure.

Get your Mountain Membership today to enjoy this all-new attraction plus many more all year long!

Please note that for your safety, closed-toe shoes are required. Guests between 32 inches and 40 inches tall must be accompanied by a chaperone age 16 or older. Before experiencing the attraction please read the guest safety information posted at the entrance.
Location: Crossroads
Cost: Included in One-Day Adventure Pass and the Mountain Membership.
Minimum Height Requirement: 32 inches
Companion Information: Guests between 32 inches and 40 inches tall must be accompanied by a chaperone age 16 or older.
This is an Outdoor attraction.
This ride is Wheelchair Accessible.

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