Florida Water Parks – Some of the best

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Florida Water Parks – Some of the best

Adventure Island – Tampa

 Adventure Island at Tampa is close by to Busch Gardens and is packed with excitement and adventure.  It offers around 34 30 acres of water rides and other attractions.  There are picnic and sunbathing areas, along with outdoor cafes, snack bars and gift shops.

For people who love thrills, the Wahoo Run plunges up to five riders at a time, more than 15 feet per second as this half-enclosed tunnel twists and turns more than 600 feet to a waiting splash pool below.  Wahoo Run has been called the “fastest tunnel river raft in the world,” Here, you will corkscrew through spins and spirals propelled by more than 10,000 gallons of water. 

The Tampa Typhoon will also have you screaming as you “free-fall” seven stories down a 76 foot water slide on one of the most heart-pumping rides in the park.

Other thrill rides include the Splash Attack, Caribbean Corkscrew, Runaway Rapids, Aruba Tuba and the Gulf Scream, a huge 210-foot body slide that whisks you into the waiting pool below at 25 mph.

Also try Paradise Lagoon. This is a 9,000 square foot attraction, which features several individual attractions.  These include a rope walk, a cable drop, several slides and a 20-foot platform jump for cliff jumping.

The Endless Surf is Adventure Island’s 17,000-square foot wave pool that generates waves up to five feet high for hours of total fun at the coolest and wettest place in Tampa.

For those who prefer a more relaxing and quieter ride, there is Rambling Bayou where you can drift around Paradise lagoon in a car tyre inner tube (beware of the sun though as the water seems cool but the sun is very hot).

Adventure Landing: Shipwreck Island Waterpark – Jacksonville Beach

Adventure Landing and Shipwreck Island Water Park is a combination water park and amusement park located between Jacksonville Beach and the Intercoastal Waterway.

It is the largest amusement complex in northeast Florida, and offers family fun for all ages.  Shipwreck Island, is the interactive waterpark, and includes a variety of water attractions such as a wave pool, slides, inner tubing and a very unique uphill waterslide. The Shipwreck Island Play Village is the main centrepiece for children, and includes multiple attractions for young guests of all ages.

Adventure Landing/Shipwreck Island Water Park has three “extreme” slides. The newest ride is the Hydro Half Pipe, where single, double and triple-tube riders experience a sudden, nearly vertical, drop of 40 feet, and are then propelled through a pool of water to another ramp on the other side.

The Rage is an “uphill/downhill” water slide and The Eye of the Storm is a once in a lifetime ride, that is only for the most risky thrill seekers. You must be a strong swimmer and at least 48” tall to take on The Eye of the Storm.

The park also features a half-million gallon wave pool.

The Shipwreck Island Play Village, designed with children in mind, contains waterfalls, multiple small slides and water cannons that will keep children entertained for hours.
Be prepared to enjoy non-stop action on Adventure Landing’s dry side.

Start your adventure with the Adventure Speedway Go-Karts, where a twisting quarter mile go-kart track with live racing has results posted on a finish-line leader board. The park advertises that “it is as close to NASCAR racing as you get.”

For those looking for something a little calmer, Adventure Golf has two unique 18-hole miniature golf courses designed for fun and relaxation in mind. The two courses challenge all skill levels as they wind through tunnels, over waterfalls and “mountains.”

The multi-level Arcade has over 100 interactive games, and kids especially love Laser Tag, an indoor battle arena with “out of this world” lighting and sound.

For a thrill of a lifetime, the MaxFlight Coast Simulator takes guests on an adventure into the world of virtual reality. This ride has a 360-degree range of motion that allows you to physically feel what can only be imagined in the “real” world. You must be in good health to ride the MaxFlight Simulator, not pregnant and it is not recommended if you suffer from claustrophobia.

The Wacky Worm Roller Coaster is for people of all ages, and the Frog Hopper is an adventure ride for younger children.

Adventure Landing also offers Batting Cages, for hardball, softball, slow or fast pitch. It’s great for individual or team practice.

If you feel hungry after all that fun, there a two themed snack bars that have all kinds of food, snacks and drinks.

Adventure Landing’s Shipwreck Island Waterpark is located at 1944 Beach Boulevard, Jacksonville Beach.

Aquatica – SeaWorld Orlando

Aquatica is Florida’s newest water park which opened in April 2008.

This park offers a new twist in water play with animal interactions, as in the Dolphin Plunge which is the most popular ride in the park.  Two side-by-side enclosed tube slides send you racing through an underwater world that is home to a playful pod of beautiful black-and-white Commerson’s Dolphins.

Try the Taumata Racer if you are looking for the biggest thrill in the park.  This is a high speed competitive mat ride where eight racers rip down a staggeringly steep hill, head first.

Loggerhead Lane – take a load off your feet and hop on a lazy river ride down Loggerhead Lane.  This leisurely raft ride takes you through an underwater world colored by exotic tropical fish.

Tassie’s Twisters is one of the wackiest rides ever imagined. In fact, getting there is part of the fun.  From the Loggerhead Lane lazy river, you’ll make your way to the island in the center and climb to the tower.  Once you get to the top, lightning fast tubes shoot you into a giant bowl, where you’ll spin, and spin, and spin, until you’re finally spun back out into the lazy river. You’ve never seen or felt anything quite like it.

Whanau Way is a quadruple slide tower and is one of the most popular rides in the park.

Walhalla Wave & HooRoo is a is a thrilling ride for the whole family, zooming you through a 6-story maze of twists, turns, and tunnels before you surge back out into daylight.

Walkabout Waters is one of the most talked about places in the park for children. This towering, 60-foot-tall rain fortress is bursting with color, excitement, and adventures waiting to begin.

Cutback Cove & Big Surf Shores – one thing or should we say two things that makes Aquatica so unique are the giant, side-by-side wave pools you won’t find anywhere else in the U.S.  At Cutback Cove, the waves are always rolling, and the action’s always high. At Big Surf Shores, the surf can be high or slow and easy. What kind of wave do you feel like catching today? Two separate pools let you decide.

Roa’s Rapids race you along an action river ride through the white waters of Aquatica.  Get ready for an awesome adventure through a roaring sea of high tides, swirling whirlies, and gushing geysers- all at speeds that leave ordinary river rides eating this one’s wake.

Aquatica is located across the street from SeaWorld Orlando on International Drive and is open year round.

Blizzard Beach at Disney World – Kissimmee

Blizzard Beach is one of Walt Disney World Resort water parks and has a Winter theme.

For a really “cool” time, this 66-acre water adventure park has all the atmosphere of a major ski resort – but it is strictly tropical.

Here, visitors can slip and slid down “snow-capped” mountains amid a snowy scene (a visual effect only – temperatures actually remain a controlled tropical level year-round,).  Waterslides look a lot like slush cascading down the mountainside, and a “ski lift” takes guests to the top of Mt. Gushmore. Disney’s Blizzard Beach.  It contains 21 slides, a wave pool, and a separate area for pre-teens and children.

As you enter the park, the first thing you see is t
he 90-foot snow-capped mountain, Mt. Gushmore. It is home to the newest waterslide called Downhill Double Dipper, a side-by-side racing water slide that stands 50 feet high and 200 feet long. Riders travel up to 25 mph as they twist and turn before shooting out through a blast of water. 

Other adventures at Mt. Gushmore include slalom courses, toboggan and water sleds and the 120-foot high Summit Plummet, a breathtaking 60-mph plunge straight down to a splash landing at the base of the mountain. 

The Teamboat Springs is the world’s longest family white water raft that ride takes six-passenger rafts down a twisting 1,200 foot series of rushing water falls.

The Toboggan Racer is an 8-lane water slide that sends guests racing over exhilarating dips as they descend the “snowy” slope.

Snow Stormers has three flumes descending from the top of the mountain and following a switchback course through ski-type slalom gates.

Runoff Rapids is an inner tube run, where riders can careen down three different twisting, turning flumes.

Chair Lift is where wooden bench chair lifts carry guests over the craggy face of Mt. Gushmore, from its base at the beach, to its summit.

At Cross Country Creek, you can float on a tube along a lazy river that encircles the entire park. On the way, you will float through a cave where you’ll be splashed with “melting ice” from overhead. “Melt-Away Bay” is a 4,000 square foot (one-acre) wave pool that is nestled against the base of Mt. Gushmore and is constantly fed by “melting snow” waterfalls.
Tike’s Peak is a smaller version of Mt. Gushmore, just for children. It includes short water slides, a snow-castle, fountain play area and a squirting ice pond.

The Ski Patrol Training Camp is designed for pre-teens; equipped with inner tube slides and a challenging ice-flow walk along floating icebergs.

Typhoon Lagoon at Disney World – Kissimmee

Typhoon Lagoon is Walt Disney World’s 56-acre water park that includes a man-made watershed mountain and eight twisting, turning water slides and roaring streams. It is also home to a two-and-a-half-acre wave pool, one of the worlds largest (where the waves are as big as six feet and come at you every one and a half minutes)

The park features a water playground for children, a white sand beach and a lazy stream that surrounds the 95-foot Mount May Day.

Mount Mayday, is the 95-foot volcano on top of which is perched a shipwrecked shrimp boat.  At the summit of Mount May Day, guests can choose from several exciting water slides. At the base of the mountain is one of the world’s largest wave pools, complete with a white sandy beach and some of the most powerful artificial waves in Orlando. Also bordering the Lagoon is Castaway Creek, a 2,100-foot river that carries guests leisurely around the perimeter of the park. You can even go snorkelling amid tropical fish and other exotic marine life.
Typhoon Lagoon is the main wave pool that is two-and-a-half- acres, and holds 2.75 million gallons of water. There are two sets of waves that are produced in this pool. The first set are gentle bobbing waves that come on a continuous basis, like a normal wave pool. However, every half hour a loud horn will sound and that means that the waves will be changing.  At this point, get ready for waves as large as four feet that come at you with a lot of speed and force, every 90 seconds.

Castaway Creek is the lazy river that travels around the park. Take an inner tube and float along. The river is only 3-4 feet deep and runs on a slow current. As you float down the river on this 2,000-foot journey, you will see banana trees, palm trees, tropical birds and flowers. You will slowly drift through caves, under waterfalls and cool mists, and through tropical forests, and around all the other attractions at the park. If you choose, you can get off Castaway Creek at one of the many stops along the way.
Disney’s first ever water coaster, the Crush n’ Gusher is a thrilling experience that defies gravity as powerful jets propel passengers on rafts through every surprise filled turn until they splash land in the pool below.

Three water slides await you at Humunga Kowabunga, which sends you zooming through enclosed tubes at 30 mph to a splashing surprise ending.

Storm Slides is another set of three slides where you will twist and swirl through caves and tunnels.

Mayday Falls is the longest waterslide in the Park that takes guests aboard their own personal inner tube down the side of the mountain in the shadow of the famed shrimp boat.
One of the most dramatic attractions at Typhoon Lagoon is Shark Reef, a massive saltwater pool and manmade coral reef, where you can snorkel among swarms of exotic marine life. For those who don’t want to get wet, there is a sunken tanker with portholes that provide stunning views of the underwater activity.
Ketchakiddie Creek is Typhoon Lagoon’s play area, especially for children aged two to five. There is a small pool and water slide, fountain and bubblers, interactive water boats, and even a pint-sized white water rafting adventure. An adult must accompany all children.
Wet-n-Wild

Wet-n-Wild in Orlando, was voted by the Amusement Business Magazine as America’s “number one water park,” and also honoured by Aquatic’s International as the country’s “first true water park.” 

Wet ‘n Wild is, indeed, the oldest water park in the area, but it is continually adding new rides and is loaded with slides and other attractions for the entire family. It includes a 7-story water slide, various tubes, wave pools, and a Lazy River tube ride around the park and more, including a rather elaborate children’s area. 

Over a dozen thrill rides in all at Wet ‘N Wild (including several multi-person/family rides) will keep even the most discriminating amusement park aficionado entertained. Wet ‘N Wild is also fully staffed with certified lifeguards and all the pools are seasonally heated. 

One of the newest attractions at Wet ‘N Wild is Disco H2O, a multi-million dollar retro slide that showcases the 1970s disco nightlife. Like other bowl rides, this one sends passengers on a four-person cloverleaf “raft” down a slide and into a large funnel where it swishes and spins to the sounds of the hits of the 70s, before splashing out the bottom. Inside the ride are flashing lights and a mirror “disco” ball.
Other rides include the Bubba Tub, a four-person raft that takes passengers on a rollicking ride on a triple dip slide. 

The Surge sends five passengers at a time through a never-ending maze of twists and turns, and The Blast sends groups of two through a colourful maze with sound effects and then ends with a final plummet into the water. 

Experience the thrill of The Bomb Bay, where the floor actually falls out from underneath you in a bomb-like capsule, 76-foot high vertical slide. (Get ready to feel your stomach drop to your feet in this one!). 

Thrill seekers will want to try out The Flyer, which begins its’ descent from a vantage point located 40 feet above the park. This exhilarating ride sends passengers racing through 450 feet of banked curves and speedy straightways. 

Another of the park’s most popular rides is the Blue Niagara, where you’ll race, twist and splash through 300 feet of intertwined looping tubes that start at six stores above the park and end with a big splash landing.
Wet N Wild also features a winding Lazy River where you can enjoy a relaxing ride as you drift slowly through bubbles to an enchanting spring with a waterfall spilling over a rocky hillside. 

Wet ‘n Wild’s newly upgraded 17,000 square foot Surf Lagoon Wave Pool features some of the most powerful waves found at any water park.

Just for children, Kid’s Park at Wet N Wild, is complete with a giant sandcastle, kiddie pool and specially sized beach chairs. The Bubble Up is a large, multi-collared balloon that is crowned
with a mushroom-shaped fountain that sprays water all over the balloon’s surface. Kids can climb to the top (with the aid of a rope) and then bounce down the side of the balloon into a three-foot deep pool below. 

Shipwreck Island Water Park – Panama City 

Shipwreck Island Water Park is the only water park located within 300 miles of Panama City Beach. 

Six acres in size, Shipwreck Island is designed for family entertainment and offers rides, slides, a lazy river and a large wave pool, set amid lush tropical landscaping. 

Rides at Shipwreck Island include thrill rides, family rides and a special “Tadpole Hole” section just for children. 

The Raging Rapids, Tree Top Drop and the huge double slide Pirates Plunge are just a few of the exciting thrill rides at the park. 

The White Knuckle River Ride, Shipwreck Island’s newest ride, takes guests in large, three-to-five passenger inner tubes swishing and swirling down a 660-foot long, six-story high flume in an exciting, white knuckle experience. 

The Ocean Motion Wave Pool at Shipwreck Island has been said to be “the closest thing to the beach without actually being on the beach.” It contains 500,000 gallons of water and is the coolest thing around on a hot summer day. 

Visitors who prefer to take things slow can enjoy floating gently downstream in inner tubes on the Lazy River. 

Kids enjoy the Great Shipwreck and the Zoom Flume and even toddlers can get in on the action with the rides at Tadpole Hole, including the Frog and Pelican Slides.

Shipwreck Island is located at 12001 Middle Beach Road, Panama City Beach, FL 32407
Big Kahuna’s Lost Paradise – Destin 

Big Kahuna’s Lost Paradise is a combination waterpark and amusement park that is located in Destin on Florida’s beautiful Emerald Coast. This fun family adventure park covers more than 25 acres and boasts more than 40 water attractions, plus an arcade, roller coaster and miniature golf. Dozens of slides, three rushing rivers, white water tubing, two wave pools, a children’s area and the “biggest man made waterfall in the world,” makes Big Kahuna’s one of the most exciting and diverse waterparks in the state. 

The most impressive attraction at Big Kahuna’s is Tiagra Falls, the largest man-made waterfall in the world, which pumps 30,000 gallons of crystal clear water per minute over 250 feet of massive granite rock. 

Glide your way down the Lazy River through caves and other smaller waterfalls, around beautiful, lush tropical landscaping on your way to Tiagra Falls. 

Big Kahuna’s has it all – three rushing rivers, speed slides, body flumes, white water tubing, two large wave pools, and fun fountains. 

The thrill rides include the Maui Pipeline Speed Slides and Jumanji, a long snake of a ride that twists and spins you all the way to the bottom for a spectacular splash landing.
There are four children’s areas at Big Kahuna’s with kid-sized slides and variable depth pools. 

Pleasure Island is a child-sized paradise complete with a pass-thru waterfall, low-depth pools and a wacky octopus that sprays them with water. Youngsters also enjoy the Pirate Ship and Crocodile Flats, which offers twirling slides that plunge them into the basin below where an abandoned ship awaits with a “bubbly surprise.”
If you prefer dry land, Big Kahuna’s Adventure Park offers several fun options. Enjoy the thrill of racing at the Grand Prix Raceway or take a turn on the Sky Coaster, a heart-thumping ride that puts you 100 feet into the air. The Pakali Arcade offers a variety of games and Tropical Mini Golf is Big Kahuna’s miniature golf course that boasts 54 challenging holes on three unique courses. Beautifully landscaped with tropical flowers, sculpted trees and several waterfalls, each course winds over wooden bridges, through caves and dense flora.

Big Kahuna’s Lost Paradise is located at 1007 Highway 98 E, Destin, FL 32541

Rapids Water Park

Rapids Water Park is one of South Florida’s premiere family parks.  The Rapids features a full day of fun for the entire family whether you make a splash in the cool blue waves, take a thrilling ride down any of our 29 water slides, or just float around the lazy river. Rapids Water Park has 25 acres of action packed attractions, with something fun for everyone.

Big Thunder is the largest water ride in Florida is at Rapids Water Park in West Palm Beach! Accelerate in a four-person tube to over 20 miles per hour and be propelled high up the walls of the Big Thunder funnel.

Black Thunder – take a spin in the dark inside Black Thunder’s gigantic funnel! Up to four riders may enjoy a fast ride in the pitch black darkness on the Black Thunder raft ride!

Body Blasters – get swept away in a flood of water as you blast through 1,000 feet of darkness. With nothing to hold onto but your swimsuit, you soar through heart-pounding drops and pulse-racing dips and curves.

Pirates Plunge is not for the faint hearted. It’s two speed slides with twists, turns, dips and a 7-story drop. It’s a splash you’ll never forget!

Raging Rapids – twist and turn through the darkness and then burst back into the light to enjoy two sharp drops before splashdown on the Raging Rapids! Up to four riders may enjoy the fast and dark Raging Rapids raft ride!

Riptide Raftin’ is a tube ride that accommodates up to five people.

The Superbowls – two super water slide rides, Baby Blue and Big Red, that spin, twirl and send you plummeting into a heart stopping splash landing!

Tubin’ Tornadoes – dare to ride out the storm in this totally tubular ride. Grab a tube and travel in the dark at the speed of light before plummeting downward in 1,000 feet of tunnel. Thunder through whirlwind twists and turns before plunging into a pool for a cool landing.

Big Surf – catch a wave in this 25,000 square foot wave pool with waves that can go up to six feet.

Criss Crossing – challenge yourself to make it across the floating ice cubes, fruit and alligators at Criss Crossing!

Other rides include Dancing Fountains, Lazy River, Little Splash Hill, Water Flumes, Alligator Alley, Splish Splash Lagoon, Tadpool.

Rapids Water Park is located at 6566 N. Military Trail, Riviera Beach, FL 33407

This article was written by Phil Cornish.  Designer and owner of Florida private rental villa web sites http://www.floridasuntime.com and also http://www.simply-florida.com.

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