Up until 2013 I has spent the last seven years of my life married to a woman with four children. So needless to say, we spent quite a few hours and days at various water parks in our neck of the woods. Some were great, some were middle of the road and some were just not that great at all. I’m going to do my best here to break down the experience at a couple of them that I have frequented and recommend.
The Daytona Beach Water Lagoon
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of Daytona Beach lies a spectacle to behold. The Daytona Beach Water Lagoon is one of my favorite places to go to. Not only is it nearby, it offers patrons a large variety of activities to keep not just you but your kids entertained as well. Rock Walls, Mini-Golf, Go-Karts, Laser Tag and a huge arcade are just some of the features the park offers that don’t involve saturation. However, if you tire of those and decided to get soaked the park has just what you need to quench your thirst, so to speak.
There are seven main water attractions located at the park and all of them offer a different feature. From the more intimidating Blackbeard’s Revenge (Sixty-two feet high, this series of dark and winding tubes offers speed, excitement and intensity. It’s not good at all for smaller children and they won’t even be allowed on the ride by park safety officers. It’s a blast for your older children and the adult ones) to the massive wave pool and speed racing slides, there is something for all ages and adrenaline junkies.
The park is moderately priced ($27.99 daily. $23.99 daily for Florida Residents) but in the end it is worth it. The park offers many different discounts and coupons and serves large groups as well. If you’re a Florida resident, it’s $4 cheaper a ticket than for out-of-towners. Personally, the all-inclusive wet and dry pass is a pretty good deal as some of the attractions require payment for each time you use them. The pass allows unlimited usage of the dry and wet attractions all day.
The park is very popular during the warmer months so parking and elbow room can be hard to find at times so, prepare for that and long lines for the attractions.
Buccaneer Bay at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
When most people think of Water Parks in Florida, places like Busch Gardens and Disney come to mind first usually but there are places, such as the above mentioned Daytona Beach Water Lagoon that are geared for people on a budget. Spring Hill, Florida’s Buccaneer Bay is one of those places. About an hour north of Tampa and run by the Florida Park Service, the site is not only a great place to observe wildlife, hike and camp but it’s a great place to have fun without it breaking your bank.
This is a pretty low-key and quaint place without the commercial saturation or the wall-to-wall people a major park may have. While lacking the big money thrill rides of larger water parks, Buccaneer Bay keeps things simple but entertaining. Slides, a river section for tubing and a swimming area for kids six and under are the main water park attractions but the park has many other events and attractions, such as canoeing, kayaking and river boat cruises to supplement the lack of water rides.
Pricing, compared to major parks pales in comparison. Just $13 for adults, $8 for kids and children five and under are free. Not only does the price include admission to Buccaneer Bay but you get access to the river cruise, a mermaid show and a reptile show as well, making the price unbeatable for entertaining your family…or yourself.