A 6-Year-Old Helped Design This Massive Spinning Water Slide


When their imaginations are allowed to wander freely, kids come up with some pretty far-out ideas. Take the structure in the video below: With tangled loops and impossible turns, it would fit right in if it were scribbled on the pages of an elementary-schooler’s notebook. But unlike some other physics-defying inventions dreamt up by kids, this concept is being built in the real world.

According to Attractions Magazine, the "SlideWheel" is a water slide in the form of a spinning bundle of tubes. It’s being constructed by wiegand.maelzer GmbH, and the German company credits the idea to a 6-year-old boy from Switzerland. The team's managing director and co-founder Rainer Maelzer told Attractions that the child described his vision for a "rotating waterslide" in 2012. Wiegand.maelzer GmbH patented the design and has spent the last four years making it a reality.

The tubes of the SlideWheel stretch 460 feet and can hold 12 riders spread out over three groups at once. A full rotation lasts 30 seconds, adding up to 90 seconds per ride of feeling like you're trapped inside a giant washing machine. The company writes on its website: "Because of the dynamic and unique motion within this slide, the rider gets the impression that the ride is more than twice as long."

While a prototype has been built, thrill-seekers won’t find the SlideWheel at water parks just yet. Wiegand.maelzer GmbH has just started closing deals with parks and continues to receive interest from sites across the world every day. The first version of the attraction that will be accessible to the public is coming to the IAAPA expo in Orlando, Florida, in late November. Get a taste of what the first riders can expect in the 360° virtual reality video below.

[h/t Attractions Magazine]

Goat Your Own Way: In North Wales, a Herd of Goats Is Taking Advantage of the Empty Streets

"We gon' run this town tonight!" —These goats, probably.
"We gon' run this town tonight!" —These goats, probably.
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

While residents stay indoors to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the deserted streets and flower gardens of Llandudno, Wales, have become a playground for a people-shy herd of wild Kashmir goats.

The animals live on the Great Orme, a nearby stretch of rocky limestone land that juts out over the Irish Sea, and they’re known to sojourn in Llandudno around this time when rainy or windy weather makes their high-ground home more treacherous than usual. This year, however, the goats are being especially adventurous.

“They are curious, goats are, and I think they are wondering what's going on like everybody else,” town councilor Carol Marubbi told BBC News. “There isn't anyone else around, so they probably decided they may as well take over.”

The goats have spent their jaunt balancing atop stone walls, trotting through the town center, and munching on flowers and hedges in people’s yards. But nobody seems to mind—Marubbi told BBC News that the locals are proud of the animals and happy to watch them gallivant through the streets from their windows.

While the herd has been living on the Great Orme for more than a century, the goats aren’t native to the region. According to Llandudno’s website, Squire Christopher Tower bought two goats from a large herd in France that had been imported from Kashmir, India. He then used them to breed his own herd in England. Sometime during the 18th century, he gifted two of them to King George IV, who developed another herd at Windsor. The goats’ wool was used to produce cashmere shawls, which became particularly popular during Queen Victoria’s reign in the mid-19th century. She then gave two goats to Major General Sir Savage Mostyn, who took them to his family estate, Gloddaeth Hall, in Llandudno.

It’s unclear why or how they were eventually let loose on the Great Orme, but they managed to acclimate to their new environment and thrive in the northern wilderness.

Today, there are more than 120 goats in the herd, and it certainly looks like they’re enjoying their all-inclusive vacation.

[h/t BBC News]

Take a Virtual Tour of Space Mountain and Other Famous Disney World and Disneyland Rides

cholprapha/iStock via Getty Images
cholprapha/iStock via Getty Images

Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida closed in mid-March due to the COVID-19 crisis, and it's unclear when the parks will reopen. Spending time in a crowded place with thousands of strangers from around the world is the last thing you should want to do right now, but if you're craving some Disney magic at home, there's a way to experience the rides while social distancing.

As Travel + Leisure reports, most major rides at Disneyland and other Disney parks are available online as virtual tours. That includes classics like Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and It's a Small World, as well as newer rides like Frozen Ever After and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

Even though the virtual ride-throughs aren't official Disney productions, many of them document the ride experience in impressively high quality. This recording of Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway at Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios in Orlando was filmed with a 360-degree camera.

You can also use YouTube to explore exclusive attractions at Disney parks outside the U.S. The video below shows a ride-through of Mystic Manor, Hong Kong Disneyland's version of The Haunted Mansion, in 4K resolution.

Transporting yourself to Disney for 10 minutes at a time is a great way to escape while you're quarantined at home. For more ways to combat boredom, check out these online classes and activities, as well as other virtual tours you can take from the comfort of your couch.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]