Located on a jungle-covered hillside in Malaysia, the new 1,140-meter-long water slide being built at Penang’s Escape Theme Park will most likely be declared the longest in the world when it opens, in August 2019.
The current Guinness record for the world’s longest water slide has been held by the 605-meter slide at Action Park, in New Jersey, since 2015, but in just two months time it will be claimed by a new water slide currently under construction in the Malaysian state of Penang. Already 65 percent complete, the slide already measures 705-meters-long, and when finished will take thrill-seekers on an epic 4-minute ride from the top of a hill, through a lush jungle before, dropping them into a large swimming pool at the bottom. Escape Theme Park announced that the remaining 435-meter section of the water slide will be completed in time for its August inauguration.
“Our plan was to build a water slide which would enable visitors to view the whole park and we did not intend to break the world record. Nevertheless I am proud of what we have achieved,” Escape Theme Park CEO, Sim Choo Kheng, told Channel News Asia.
One of the most challenging parts of the construction process was utilizing the terrain and trees of the Penang jungle without damaging the fragile ecosystem. To this end, most of the materials were transported manually to the hilltop, instead of using the heavy machinery usually required for such projects. During planning, engineers also figured out ways of working around the trees instead o chopping them down to make room for the slide.
“I am overly concerned over the environment here so we tried our best to maintain the greenery by not chopping down the trees,” Sim Choo Kheng added.
Typically, to build a slide this long would require building a tower about the height of a 20-storey apartment, which is both very costly and unsightly, especially in such a natural setting as the Penang jungle. So Escape Theme Park decided to use one of the nearby hilltops as the launch point for the water slide, which riders will reach via cable car.