CANDIA — A cosmic storm may have delayed their arrival, but Candia’s two newest stars regained orbit and have settled into their rightful universe.
The Shooting Stars, Liquid Planet’s new twin speed slides, open to the public at 10:30 a.m. today with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony that also marks the start of the 2014 season for one of southern New Hampshire’s most popular summer attractions.
The new slides teased guests in 2013, when they were partially erected with their primary fiberglass footprint. Owner Kevin Dumont said a 2012 hurricane damaged the slides’ manufacturing plant, forcing a delay on the steel and other materials necessary to construct the staircase and support structure.
“The delay makes the opening of the slides that much more exciting, and we are thrilled to kick off our seventh season with a ribbon cutting celebration to officially open them,” said Dumont. “The Shooting Stars are the real deal when it comes to thrilling water park attractions. They are steep, fast and a real adrenaline rush.”
Dumont said the primary reason for the new additions is to appeal to a slightly older group of children, as opposed to the children 10 and under, for whom the initial water park was designed when it opened in seven years ago.
Guests will be asked to cross their arms and make a wish right before they plunge into a 40-foot vertical drop, racing against people on the opposite slide and settling seconds later into a cool water landing 131-linear feet later.
“With the addition of these new adrenaline-based slides, as well as to the new raft system we have in the lake, we’re trying to provide some things that appeal to the older kids as we grow as a park,” Dumont said.
Liquid Planet, which still has its popular twin 1,000-foot zip line system, has also revamped its natural Crater Lake attraction, expanding the beach area and exchanging its inflatable rafts with more traditional wooden floats and slides.
“In the past, we had these inflatable rafts, and they were cool, but they were hard to get on and hard to get out of the water, so now have real dock systems with real ladders with a real slide and a real bench you can sit on, and it’s closer to shore,” Dumont said. “We did that so people didn’t have to completely exhaust themselves trying to get from the sand out there, and then they can get out of the water easier and do all the things kids and adults like to do on docks.”
Other new additions include roofing over the slide stairs to provide shade for those waiting in line; Fantasy Falls, a waterfall cascading down a granite cliff; and an expanded “Cosmic Camp” summer camp.
Additional information on the park’s features, summer camp, season passes and day tickets may be obtained at liquidplanetwaterpark.com.