We’re back from our relaxing parents get-away weekend. Here I am relaxing in our private cabana at Aquatica, Sea World’s newest park.
Since it’s so new and there is not a lot of information about it online yet I thought I’d tell you my two cents about what we thought of the park and give any hints that we found along the way.
First off.. if you’re going, plan on going early. By early I mean 8:00 AM. We got there at 9:00 and it was already pretty packed. The gates open at 8:00 if you’ve purchased your admission online and when we got there an hour later the parking lot was about 2/3 full. The little fellow who walked us to our cabana said that they usually are full by 10:00 and close for admission until after 4:00 when things start thinning out.
If you want to get a chair in the spot you want.. you’ll need to get there early.
We decided to spend the money and reserve a cabana. There are only 16 of them so they go fast. We reserved it a month in advance. Since it’s high season for water parks it was full price at $175.00. For this price you get a private cabana with a ceiling fan and a refrigerator stocked with 16 drinks. They break it up into water, soda, and sports drinks but you can switch them out for whatever you want. You also get 4 towels and can ask for more. There is a service person who will take food/drink order and bring them to you cabana as well. You also get a large sized locker to secure your valuables and a coupon for 20% off food and merchandise all day. To me, one of the best parts was that the cabana area is secluded off from the rest of the park so the only people in that section are other cabana guests.
We were the first guests to arrive so we got to pick which one we wanted. They are assigned as you come in. We choose the one overlooking the wave pool.
My opinion was that it was totally worth the money. We were two couples so split between us it was $75 each for privacy and seclusion and shade. And here was the big kicker. As is typical in Florida this time of year there was a mid-day thundershower. There was lightening close enough (within 15 miles) to shut down the slides. When this happens they make all guests take cover. And there is not a lot of cover. We were allowed to stay in our cabana and with the sides down it was completely rain-proof. All our stuff stayed dry.
During this time I had to go to restroom and let me tell you it was like visiting the steerage level on the Titanic. Women and children were crammed into the bathroom to stay out of the storm and it was nuts. I had to fight my way in and go and fight my way out. Many people choose to leave the park rather than deal with it.
We spent the money for the guaranteed shade but turned out the value was in the shelter from the storm.
Now onto the slides…
The marquee slide is the slide that goes through the dolphin pool with a clear tube. It has the longest line and there is no other thing to say except skip it. The slide is a closed tube and you are totally in the dark until you hit the clear tube at which point you shoot through the dolphin pool for about 1.5 seconds and if you blink you’ll miss it. A total and complete disappointment. Not worth the time you spend in line at all.
These are four slides (two mirror images) that you use a tube to go down in. They were fun. I had a better time going down with two of us on the float – I just have more fun with a partner. We went down all four and they are very similar and worth the climb. Later in the day the link for these became really short which is good but that meant you had to climb the tower almost all at once which was embarrassingly winding for my 41 year old self.
Or as we called them the toilet bowls.. ’cause that’s what they look like. First off don’t be total dorks like we were and walk all over the place looking for how to get in line. You have to get in the Loggerhead Lane current and walk or float through the water to get to the start of the line. After that you take either a single or a double float up with you and there are two to choose from. We rode both, the blue was better. Everyone seems to get stuck on the bottom of the green before going down the second tube. Here is video of other people doing the green
And here is even more video of us going down the green one – please ignore my big ol white thighs.
This is one of the two that are done on actual rafts (they haul the rafts up there for you). You can have up to 4 people in the raft but th
e max weight is 600 lbs. We quickly did the match and decided that 200 each for the men and 100 each for the ladies left very few adults that were going to go in 4s. We went in couples. I have video of this but it didn’t upload to Flickr correctly so if you really want to see it check back on Flickr page soon.
Hoo Roo Run
This is the second raft slide. Max of three people on this one. Again we went in couples. It’s basically a straight run with three levels. You feel like your catching air on each bump. I was completely backwards the whole time so this video is essentially my husband screaming like a little girl while I tape his toe.
Hands down the best slide and the line moves really fast since 8 racers go at a time. Try all 4 color tubes since each one is a little different in the curve. We repeated this one the most.
Big Surf Shores and Cut Back Cove
These are the two wave pools. We didn’t realize until later in the day that they are two different levels of wave. I kind of thought the one outside our cabana was sort of wimpy which made sense after we found the other one was more active. The calmer one would be great for smaller kids who would get overwelmed by actual waves as it just sort of creates swells.
Here’s some video of the bigger waves.
I saved the best for last… This was absolutely our favorite part. It’s your basic lazy river kicked up to a strong current. An adult can stand in it but it takes effort. A child could not stand in it. They have life vests of all sizes and you put on on and let the current take you for a ride. It’s awesome.
I laughed my hinny off the first time or two around because it was just so fun. Probably as close to the feeling weightless as you can get here down on earth.
Okay now for the Parent View
We didn’t take the kids with us because frankly my kids aren’t ready for a water park with this much challenge. But here’s a couple of pictures of the kids sections. One thing I would say is that if you have kids that you need to keep an eye on, forget the cabanas – they are no where near the kid area and if you are going to have to keep your children in your sites you’ll never sit in it. There are some very nice shady areas near the kid area but you’d need to get there very early to get those chairs.
There is also a smaller kid area for the toddler types