Sunday, August 28, 2011

This is one WET and WILD experience!

Another winner! Wet n' Wild Phoenix is one of the best water parks I've been to! The only water park I think is a rival is SeaWorld Aquatica (Orlando, FL). My only real complaint is that Arizona heat, which did bring down the experience just a little (sometimes you could feel the heat in the enclosed tubes). other problem is it took a bit of time to get here (especially from the airport). Other than that, I enjoyed every minute I had at the water park! The crowds aren't too bad either, longer than I was used to, but then again, the last time I went to water parks were off-season periods.

I didn't go on the Tornado, Mammoth Falls, or Raging River since I was on my own (part of the time I was at the water park, they shut these rides down anyway). However, every ride I did go on was great!

The rides are:

The Constrictor - A fast tube ride. Imagine being inside a snake and going downwards.

Phoenix Flyers - fun tube rides that banked up and down, and went really fast.

MAXIMUM VELOCITY - best ride ever of any water park (that I've been to)! I wasn't sure what to expect, since the Master Blaster let me down in SunSplash, but this more than made up for it! Lots of thrilling bumps! It's a water coaster, like in Noah's Ark, except designed for one or two people. Oh, and it takes your picture during the ride, but you have to pay to see it.

Desert Racers - another mat racing slide. As usual, these are great.

Serpentine Complex/Super Bowl - some tube slides, one has you going down the "toilet bowl" (yes, I know that's not an appealing way to put it, but trust me, it is fun!). Only problem is, although I was going by myself, I still had to carry a heavier double tube up. Still, lots of fun.

Overall, a fantastic water park with great rides. My favorite water park so far.

Food: Snack bars with the standard stuff are here, but the food is a bit pricey.

Transportation: Fly into PHX (Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport). Bus Route 35 (35th Avenue) will take you to the water park, which is on Pinnacle Peak Rd. The buses announce what street it's crossing, so you shouldn't miss it. Be prepared for a bit of a walk though.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Some Serious Sun Splashin'

Mesa's (Part of Phoenix) Golfland SunSplash is a decent waterpark, although a bit crammed (not in the sense that it's crowded), but it can be difficult to navigate. It's part of an entertainment center, with mini-golf and laser tag.

The water park itself doesn't have much of a theme, although the whole place has a medieval theme.

As I went alone, I didn't go on the Thunder Falls or the Storm Rider, although both looked fun but had longer lines. I also didn't go on The Cauldron. It looked pretty much like the Hurricane Hole in Splash Lagoon (Erie, PA), and I didn't feel like getting dunked into six feet of water that day.

The rides I did go on include:

The Sidewinder - a half-pipe ride, which was one of the scariest things I've been on. It looks like fun (and is), but the initial drop is really scary. You get on a tube and fall down, then go up, repeat in slower movement, until the ride ends.

Splash Water Harbor Slides - Some pretty fast tube slides which were fun, although I did notice quite a bit of dirt on them when I was there, but it didn't interfere with the ride. Still, they probably should clean it up.

Master Blaster Water Coaster - I was looking forward to this ride. I remember doing a similar ride in Wisconsin Dells' "Noah's Ark" (I haven't posted this one because I don't remember it well enough). I was disappointed with it, however. It wasn't that fast, just felt like a bunch of bumps up and down.

Dragon Tail Slides - good body slides, but at the end, water can get up your nose.

Bonzi Speed Slides - also body slides. They go straight down. Pretty exciting.

Overall, it was a decent water park, but it got tiring after a while because the body slides kept getting water up my nose and some of the rides were either too intense or not intense enough. Additionally, the Arizona heat makes the ground really hot, so wearing sandals is mandatory if you don't want to burn your feet.

Transportation: Fly into PHX (the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport). A number of busses can take you to the water park, such as 112 and the AZ Avenue Link Bus, depending on where you're starting from. (If you're near PHX, take the light rail to the last stop (eastbound), and then the AZAV bus.) You can also fly into IWA (Phoenix-Mesa airport), but I'm not sure what the transportation situation is like there since I haven't used that one.

Food: Has a snack bar that's inside, that has pizza, nachos, hot dogs, etc.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Water Park Aquarium

Imagine a water park that you could not only ride the rides, but also features sea life. Look no further than SeaWorld's Aquatica water park in Orlando, FL!

In addition to having rides, Aquatica features some fish to look at on the lazy river and a dolphin tank. It isn't exactly a combination of a water park and an aquarium (it would be really cool if it was), but it's still a nice touch. You can look under the dolphin tank from a certain point.

The water park is run as a part of the SeaWorld amusement park, although tickets are sold separately as it is across the street. Aquatica is one of four water parks in Orlando. The others are Wet n Wild , Disney's Blizzard Beach, and Disney's Typhoon Lagoon. I haven't been to any of the others except Typhoon Lagoon, and the last time I've been to Typh as at the age of 13, and don't remember it well enough to review it.

The rides:

Tassie's Twisters - a bowl ride with a circle of water to guide the raft into the exit, in order to prevent people from getting stuck. You have to go on the Loggerhead Lazy River in order to access this ride (interesting).

Dolphin Plunge - A body slide going straight through the dolphin tank. Very intense, but you don't really get to see the dolphins while in the ride.

Tamuata Racer - A mat slide where you race up to eight people, and it is timed.

Wahoo Run/Hoohoo Run - A four person raft ride which I didn't ride since I was by myself. One of the slides was straight down with bumps, the other was a twisting raft slide.

Whanau Way - A tube ride, very fast. There are four different slides to choose from, but only two were open when I was here (Pink and Blue). The one problem was they didn't offer single tubes for this slide, so I had to carry a heavy double tube up even though I was doing it by myself.

and last but certainly not least...

Omaka Rocka - A tube slide which had bumps and three funnels throughout the tube which push you back and forth through the funnel. This is a very rare type of slide. The only known locations of it are here, Great Wolf (Kansas City), and a water park in Darien Lake, NY.

There's also Roa's Rapids, a water river that propels you.

Food: I didn't eat much here except for popcorn and dippin dots, but there were several restaurants and snack bars.

Transportation: Fly into MCO (Orlando International). You can also fly to SFB (Sanford), but it will be farther away. The park is located on International Drive. If you don't have a car, take the I-RIDE trolley (serving all of International Drive) as it goes directly to the water park gate.

Overall, it was a very good water park and a lot of fun. It may be one of the best I have been to. It wasn't at all crowded (I went in January), but looking at the design, I expect it gets pretty crowded in summer. (Some of the pathways to the ride went on and on). Also, the water park is more expensive than most, at $48 a ticket. Besides this, however, it was a lot of fun.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.