The Verrückt water slide at Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City, Kansas, is officially open for business, Before park visitors go down the slide, they’ll have to go up: 264 stairs to a platform higher than the Statue of Liberty and Niagara Falls.
The slide, with a name that means “insane” in German, was officially declared the world’s tallest in April. The initial opening date was in May, but the park delayed opening it three times before Thursday.
In order to prepare for the opening, the slide needed some adjustments. The rafts, which were originally intended to hold four people, now hold three. The slope of the hill was changed to a “more gentle” 22 degrees, but was heightened by 11 feet. The structure is 168 feet tall. See the first-person view of the ride:
Before even being allowed to climb the stairs, visitors must step onto a scale to ensure the combined weight of the two or three people who will be on a single raft does not exceed 550 pounds. After passing that, a park worker reads a two-page list that is part warning and part disclaimer.
One of the warnings listed is the possibility of death.
The slide’s designer Jeff Henry called it “baddest ride ever built,” and said that he wore his cowboy boots the first time he went down because he wanted to be wearing them if he died.