The Original Schlitterbahn… Main Park… Schlitterbahn West… Whatever your go-to name for this side of the park might be, they all have a nostalgic (SAT word-of-the-day!) vibe that you just can’t shake! From humble beginnings in 1979, Schlitterbahn started off with just 4 water slides built around a 60-foot tall replica of the Bergfried Tower in Braunfels, Germany. Although those #OG slides aren’t there anymore, that iconic castle still stands tall and from it starts the longest tube ride in the park (& my personal fav), The Raging River! Before grabbing a tube and jumping in line for this ride there are a few things I think you should know:
1. Where does it even start?
Being a local and growing up in the park, I never understood why guests had a hard time finding the start of this ride until I started working here and had to give a family directions and realized “Wow! It is kind of hidden back behind the Soda Straws, literally at the far end of the park”! But I swear, keep going… Like really keep walking… Past Hillside, past the Soda Straws, when you see the bathrooms take a left and you’ll see the roped out queue line and a set of stairs leading up into the Castle! See? I told you it was there!
2. DO NOT forget a tube!
The classic black inner tube should be permanently attached to you when you are going to any ride in this area! It is required for every single ride except three – Downhill Racers, Der Bahn speed slides, and the Double Loop body slides! Make sure to find a tube that isn’t too big or too small for you but is juuuuuust right!
3. It’s all natural!
In case you didn’t know… The Main Park is fed by the Comal River that runs through New Braunfels! Every morning before the park opens all the rides slowly start to fill up with water that’s diverted into the park from a little finger of the river and then every night after we close all the water is drained back out into the river!
It’s a pretty cool sight to see! That being said… the waters of the Comal River are a constant 72 degrees all day, everyday! 72 degrees doesn’t sound that cold, right? But have you ever jumped out of a hot tub and into a pool when it’s cold outside? Yeah, well it’s kind of like that feeling except it’s summer and it’s 97 outside and you’ve just sat down in your tube at the beginning of the Raging River! But hey, you just waited in line and you’re a little sweaty and the water should feel #AMAZING!
4. And the winner is…!
Now that you’ve caught your breath and have adjusted to the water temperature, get ready to take your role as the finish line judge for The Downhill Racers! The Raging River floats you right into a front row seat of the head-first, wind in your face, big air, okay-I-may-scream-like-a-little-girl ride! And just in case you haven’t totally immersed yourself in the water, there is a good chance that you will get splashed by the these dare devils as they fly into the landing zone of the Downhill Racers!
5. BREAKING HEADLINE: Spider-Man spotted at Schlitterbahn!
Just on the other side of the Downhill Racers, riders approach a low clearance tunnel that literally goes under the building and seems to go on forever!
So… a dark tunnel, under a building, lots of other people around you, but you can’t quite see them… Not to make it sound like the plot of a scary movie but the first time I got to this tunnel I immediately started thinking of every possible option to get to the light at the end of the tunnel (literally)! All of a sudden, I heard splashing and laughing and someone come zooming past me and then I hear it… The song that not only calmed my nerves but also gave way to the greatest way to get through the tunnel! Any guesses…?
“Spider-Man! Spider-Man! Does whatever a spider can! Spins a web, any sizes! Catches thieves just like flies!”
If you haven’t figured out this sweet maneuver yet I’ll explain! Basically, turn around and face backwards in your tube, put your hands or feet (or both if you’ve already mastered your spidey skills) and simply Spider-Man crawl your way through the tunnel!
I promise that singing the song helps with your journey through the tunnel!
6. Take a float on the wild side… Or nah!
So, we’ve been finish line judges and Spider-Man and that’s all within the first 10 minutes of the ride! Whew! Now what? Well that answer is up to you, actually! But don’t worry you have plenty of time to relax before you need to make that decision just make sure everyone in your group makes the same decision if not some may end up taking a float on the wild side while the others venture all the way down to the river!
The Raging River gives you the chance to create your own ride experience by letting you choose two different endings to your ride! Take the exit to the right and you will join the other explorers on the Congo Expedition, where you may see some crazy jungle animals throughout your journey! Or take the straightaway and plunge down a few heart racing drops and splash down to join other guests at the entrance of yet another tunnel that’s filled with sea creatures!
#FunFact the sea creatures in this tunnel are all hand carved concrete work!
Which ever way you choose to take will be the perfect ending to an already amazing float! The Raging River takes you from one side of the park to the other and lets you see all that this naturally gorgeous park has to offer from the comfort of your tube! So sit back, relax, get your spidey skills ready, and choose your ending because this is one float down the river that you won’t forget!
For more information on Schlitterbahn New Braunfels and the Raging River, please visit our website!
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