The biggest slide in the world is located in London and is located in an area little frequented by the thousands of tourists who visit the city every year.
Located in the Stratford district of East London, the Arcelor Orbital Mittal is an electrifying find for travelers who want to experience the UK capital beyond the hype of more famous attractions such as Big Ben and the London Eye.
Known only as The Slide, the attraction is located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a space that also houses a swimming gym and the football stadium of the English team West Ham United, which hosts sports matches and shows.
The Orbit Tower, where the largest slide in the world was installed, is a very tall monument, 114 meters high, designed by the English artist Anish Kapoor.
Those who watched the broadcast of the 2012 London Olympics may remember the giant red structure that always appeared in aerial images of the Olympic park. The monument was designed by Anish after the artist won the Turner design award, with the mission to build a building to beautify the Olympic park and to serve as one of the legacies of the London Olympics.
The construction of the Orbit Tower cost £22 million. Most of the money was injected by the steel company Arcelor Mittal, which today administers and names the monument.
During the Olympic Games, the Orbit Tower served as a transmission tower for television channels from around the world. Afterwards, it became an observation tower for the City of London.
Because it is hidden from the traditional tourist circuit, the Orbit Tower was a little-traveled lookout until 2016, when a revitalization project included the slide in the installation.
The artist responsible for building the largest slide in the world was the Belgian Carsten Höller, who has other metal slides (obviously smaller) installed around the world.
The 178 meter long slide cost £3.5 million to build. The toy is made with silver metal tubes and makes 12 complete turns around the Orbit Tower, until ending in a straight slope of 50 meters.
From one end to the other, the 78-meter descent takes about one minute. The maximum speed of those who venture into the attraction reaches 24 kilometers per hour in some parts of the toy.
The price to slide, and also enjoy the view from the observation tower, is £16.75 per adult. Children under 3 years old are not allowed and it is possible to visit the lookout point without necessarily returning to the ground by sliding on the metal tubes.
The butterflies in your stomach begin even on the ground, when the attraction’s security team helps visitors put on protective equipment, which consists of a helmet and arm protectors.
After that, visitors are taken to an elevator that leads to the top of the tower. From the lookout, you can see London in 360 degrees, and observation time is not limited. When you’re ready to slide, just join the queue, which usually takes an average of 25 minutes.
To slip, visitors are laid down in a kind of sleeping bag that goes up to the waist. The feet are immobilized inside the bag to prevent the legs from hitting the sides of the tube. When the staff gives the green light, the visitor pushes his body forward to start the descent.
The initial scare of the first slope is the worst of all, but as the slide begins to circle the tower in the 12 spirals, the body gets used to the sensation and the ride becomes more fun than radical. The speed of the descent is really impressive, and is very reminiscent of water slides in water parks, only in this case, without water.