As summer vacation draws to a close, I had the amazing opportunity to Push Away the Screen and take my kids to Adventure Island.
Adventure Island is a 30 acre water park full of ways for you to have fun with your family while keeping cool!
From thrilling slides like Gulfscream and Riptide to the more laid back areas Splash Attack and Fabian's Funport, there is guaranteed to be something for everyone in your family!
My family really enjoyed the Rambling Bayou, a Lazy River offering a relaxing trip around the park, while riding on an inflated inner tube. You float through a misted rainforest and a flowing waterfall. We did this "ride" both with and without tubes. My son enjoys "running" through the river, swimming, and being pushed by the current. With a maximum depth of 3 feet it's a great way for him to practice some of his swimming skills, and when he's tired, he can float on his back and be pushed by the current.
We also enjoyed a few "family style rides." The Calypso Coaster (which can be experienced by single or double riders) is a high speed open flume ride with twists and turns that dumps guests in to a 3' pool at the end. I rode this with Ronin, and my girls rode together. There were a few other family rides as well, but we didn't get the opportunity to experience them all on this visit as the park was very crowded and my gang is not much for waiting in lines.
Having been to Adventure Island a few times each summer (except for this summer, we only made it once) I have my top 5 tips to share with you!
- BRING YOUR OWN FOOD! Adventure Island allows guests to bring a 15X15X15 cooler in to the park. I was able to pack lunch and snacks for my gang. This meant we were able to steer clear of the typical theme park food, and eat our healthy foods! I also brought in my own chilled bottled water and that certainly came in handy!
- WEAR WATER SHOES! Not flip-flops, but real water shoes. I wore my Merrell River Glove Water Shoe and it was great! Lightweight, but kept the hot sand and pavement from bothering my feet! The ground at Adventure Island is very hot for my feet, and the bottom of the Lazy River can be hard on feet, too. My kids didn't want to wear their water shoes, and while they didn't complain there were quite a few times when they were hopping from one foot to the other due to the hot ground.
- GET THERE EARLY!! Getting to the park at least 15 minutes BEFORE it opens is key to finding your perfect spot to set-up for the day. Yesterday the park opened at 9:30am, and we arrived at 9:37am. By the time we had our bags checked, and picked up our tickets it was after 10am, and we high-tailed it to try to find a spot in the shade and we were lucky enough to find a place tucked in the shade of some oak trees. We managed to snag the last table and it wasn't much later that I noticed people setting up towels on the grass. Getting there early also means you can get on some of your favorite rides without much of a wait. As I mentioned earlier there were quite a few rides we didn't get the opportunity to experience simply because the lines were too long, and having a special needs child often means we physically can't wait in those long lines and Adventure Island doesn't offer a special needs pass like Busch Gardens.
- KNOW WHEN TO LEAVE!! Growing up in the Sunshine State, I've become pretty awesome at predicting summer storms. Even though it was only 2:45pm, and the skies over Adventure Island were blue and shining, I could see something brewing off in the distance, so I told my gang it was time to pack up. They weren't happy with me, but went about doing what I asked. By the time we got to the car it was 3:15pm, and we started our drive home. Within 5 minutes it began to sprinkle, but by the time we made it home we were in a full-out downpour, which eventually turned in to a severe thunderstorm complete with a tornado! So be smart when playing outside. Know when to hold them, know when to fold them.
- RELAX! With more than 50 lifeguards stationed throughout the park, roving security, ample life-jackets, it's a great opportunity to just let go and have fun with your kids. I'm not telling you to let the non-swimming toddler experience the wave-pool on their own, but you can allow your kids to be kids, and just enjoy watching them having a blast!
Have you been to Adventure Island, or any other water park? What tips do you have to share??