The slide, located at Belle Isle Park in Detroit, had been closed amid the pandemic. In mid-August, the park announced the ride would be reopening on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day. But on the very first day of operation, Belle Isle Park shared a message to Facebook announcing its closure, citing the “speed” of the riders coming down.
“We are currently closed,” the park announced on August 19. “We are going to be making some adjustments to the speed that we have seen users coming down today. Hopefully, after our small adjustment, we will be back up and running and the slide will be slower for more enjoyment.”
Videos soon emerged on social media showing riders picking up so much speed that they would fly into the air after hitting one of the slide’s bumps. Many appeared to crash violently back into the slide with enough force to produce a loud, metallic thud.
Some viewers on Facebook expressed their concern for the riders, while others claimed the slide was always like this. A few jokingly suggested that park officials make the slide steeper, or spray it down with PAM.
A representative for the park also responded to the Facebook comments, claiming the slide’s operators were looking into adding “some adhesive or cleaning down the slide” to slow riders.
A few days after the slide’s closure, Belle Isle Park released a video on Facebook demonstrating the correct way to ride (by leaning forward and holding on tight to the sack riders are provided with). The post also explained that the ride had been scrubbed down and would be sprayed with “a little water” between rides to keep the speeds under control.
The ride reopened (again) this past Friday. It currently costs $1 per ride.