It's the first thing you see as your Royal Caribbean cruise ship approaches Perfect Day at CocoCay: the ominous Daredevil’s Tower. Rising 135 feet into the air, the sight of it is enough to get pulses racing. But pulses really start to race when visitors climb to the top of the tower and contemplate taking the plunge on Daredevil’s Peak, the tallest water slide on the tower, and one of the tallest water slides in the world.
Could you take the plunge? Only you could answer that. Some of you may be hardened thrill warriors–the proverbial daredevils for whom the attraction is named–and wouldn’t think twice about giving it a whirl. But many of you may have questions you would want answered before committing to such an extreme ride. Questions like: Just how thrilling is Daredevil’s Peak? What does it feel like descending the tower? Will I lose my bathing suit?
Let’s see if we can address some of your potential concerns and provide enough info so that you could make an informed decision. As for losing your bathing suit, well you’re on your own for that one. If you do decide to try Daredevil’s Peak, make sure everything you're wearing is nice and secure.
Where and What Is Daredevil's Peak?
Daredevil’s Peak is located at Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas that is exclusively available to passengers aboard its cruise ships. The water park is the highlight of the island, but there are lots of other things to do during the shore excursion, including lovely beaches, an enormous pool, snorkeling, kayak tours, a zip line, and a helium balloon experience.
The water park is considerably larger and has far more attractions than are typically found at resort hotels or other cruise line’s private islands. Perfect Day at CocoCay offers three water park areas: Splashaway Bay, Captain Jill’s Galleon, and Thrill Waterpark. Spashaway Bay and Captain Jill's Galleron are both complimentary and available to all passengers. The parks feature smaller slides, interactive water elements, and other activities geared to younger children. The adjacent Thrill Waterpark requires an additional fee and, as its name implies, is packed with high-adrenaline slides. This is where Daredevil’s Peak is located.
The skyline-hugging Daredevil’s Tower includes five body slides, all but one of which deliver hair-raising rides. At the other end of the park is Splash Summit. Its three slides, which all involve rafts or tubes, also pour on the thrills to varying degrees. A wave pool and an adventure pool that includes floating lily pads and other activities, round out the attractions at Thrill Waterpark.
What to Expect When Riding Daredevil's Peak
In order to challenge one of the world’s tallest water slides, you have to climb to the top of Daredevil’s Tower. It's the equivalent of trudging up about 14 flights of stairs. Daredevil’s Peak has one slide, and guests descend one at a time. Riders will need to wait for the all-clear signal from the ride operator before they take off. Because it is such a tall, long slide, it takes a fair amount of time for each guest to complete the journey. As the marquee attraction at Perfect Day at CocoCay, the slide attracts plenty of visitors.
Because of all these factors, the lines can get long for Daredevil’s Peak, especially on a sunny day in the Caribbean. About 3/4 of the way up the tower, there is a sign proclaiming that the wait from that point (presuming the line has reached that point) is 60 minutes.
The view from the top of the tower is stunning. It offers birds-eye vistas of the entire island, the docked cruise ships, and the ocean. When it is your turn to slide, the ride operator instructs you to lie flat on your back, assume the “mummy position” (arms and legs crossed), and shove yourself off. Invariably, sliders scream as they make the initial descent.
Gravity takes over as guests make their way down the red slide that spirals around the tower. The slide isn’t translucent, but it does allow some light in. Some sections have multi-colored rings embedded into the slide; they deliver a kaleidoscopic effect when guests race past them. The speed seems to pick up a bit towards the end of the ride, and the experience becomes a tad more disorienting. For the finale, guests navigate an open section of slide and are bathed in light. Before they know it, they are in the splashdown runout, and the ride is over.
Who Can (and Should) Attempt Daredevil’s Peak?
The minimum height to slide down the tower is 48 inches. Children are about 7 to 8 years old when they usually reach 48 inches. Anybody under that height would not be allowed on Daredevil’s Peak. (There are slides and attractions with lower height requirements at Thrill Waterpark.)
Just because a child is 48 inches or taller does not mean that they should be coerced into trying the slide. That holds for adults as well. It should be a personal decision. Keep in mind that it is a solo ride; children (and wimpier adults) would have to be able to–and want to–make their way down the tower without anybody accompanying or reassuring them.
How Thrilling Is Daredevil’s Peak?
The 135-foot Daredevil’s Peak is among the tallest water slides in the world. When it opened, Royal Caribbean billed it as North America’s tallest waterslide. However, a few months after its debut, DreamWorks Water Park at the American Dream complex in New Jersey was readying a taller slide at 142 feet. While it is very tall, Daredevil's Peak is not as thrilling as comparable slides.
Instead of dropping down at an angle approaching 90 degrees (i.e. straight down), as some other extreme slides do, Daredevil’s Peak winds around the tower at a fairly tame pitch, resulting in a relatively mild ride. The speed is what you might expect on a smaller water slide that curves around; the difference with Daredevil’s Peak is that it starts at a much taller height and takes longer to reach the bottom.
By comparison, the 120-foot-tall Summit Plummet, the featured attraction at Walt Disney World’s Blizzard Beach, offers a straight shot down and accelerates sliders up to 60 mph. The three water slides tucked inside the centerpiece Krakatau Volcano at Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay start at 125 feet in the air and all include launch chambers, which release passengers into a near-freefall through a trap door after a brief, anxiety-producing countdown. One of the slides, the Ko'okiri Body Plunge, is a speed slide that drops almost straight down like Summit Plummet. Additionally, all of Universal’s slides are in tubes that are nearly opaque and deliver rides that are mostly shrouded in darkness.
Even other slides that share Daredevil’s Tower at Thrill Waterpark are more thrilling than Daredevil’s Peak. The two slides on the 75-foot-tall Dueling Demons include launch chambers and release sliders in a near-vertical position. It may only be 50 feet tall, but Screeching Serpent is a speed slide that begins at a precarious, almost 90-degree angle.
On a thrill scale of 0 to 10 (with 0 being wimpy and 10 being yikes!), we think Daredevil’s Peak rates a 6, mostly because of its extreme height and the nerve it takes to initially take the plunge. Once it gets going, the ride is aggressive but not overly intimidating. In contrast, Summit Plummet and the Volcano Bay slides rank 9 on the thrill scale.