What’s Up With Wet n’ Wild?
For years, Wet n’ Wild has been an iconic part of Orlandovacation history. Since 1977, thousands of families have flocked to the waterpark to cool off during the hot and humid Florida summers. From the highspeed thrills of the Der Sukta, a nearly vertical, 60 foot free fall speed slide, to the cool and calm waters of the Lazy River, Wet n’ Wild has always provided something for the whole family to enjoy.
Sadly, at the end of 2016, Wet n’ Wild will be closing their doors forever. But for families coming to Florida between now and then and considering spending the day at Wet n’ Wild, here are a few things to think about:
1. Get there early– For the rest of the summer, Wet n Wild opens at 9:30, and it is highly recommended to get there before that. If you get there right at 9:30, you’ll spend time waiting in line to get into the parking lot, and then the walk from the parking lot, crossing Universal Blvd., and waiting in line to get into the park will take you another 15-20 minutes. Families who decide to get there closer to 10 or 11 will most definitely spend a lot of time (30-40 minutes at some times) waiting to get into the park.
2. Don’t expect Disney– If you’ve already spent a day at Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach, mentally prepare yourself that Wet n’ Wild is not like either. Some of the rides are a little dated and in need of a paint job. It’s not as themed or detailed as the Disney parks, and generally feels a little older than the other water parks in the area. It’s not Disney, but that also means you don’t pay Disney prices. Tickets to Wet n’ Wild are much cheaper than tickets to the bigger water parks, and depending on the needs of your group, it could be a better option. Many people complained that little things, like the “DJ” broadcasting specials and store promotions over the intercom is a little annoying, or that the cabanas were not as impressive as those at Disney or Aquatica. If you expect Disney at Wet n’ Wild, you’ll leave disappointed.
3. Crowds– Of course, no matter what water park you visit during the summer, you’re going to encounter crowds. Wet n’ Wild has great deals for locals, so weekends can be packed with teens out for the summer and families who live near by. Going during the week is probably your best bet if you are from out of town.
4. Be Mindful of the “Cooler Police”– There are signs in the parking lot about what you can and can’t bring into the parks in regards to coolers, snacks etc. It is also posted on their website. So, don’t be surprised when you finally get through the slightly confusing and sometimes unorganized entrance process, that they will check the size and contents of your cooler, and will give you the option to either throw away the “contraband” or bring it back to your car and do the entry process all over. Save time, embarrassment and hassle by following the guidelines for coolers and backpacks the first time around.
Although the closing of Wet n’ Wild is a sad fact for locals and tourists, it is paving the way for bigger and better things for the Orlando area. Volcano Bay, Universal’s brand new water park will open in 2017, and rumor has it that some of the newer slides and attractions from Wet n Wild will make the trip across the street to Volcano Bay (with brand new themes and paint jobs, of course, to fit with the Polynesian theme of Volcano Bay.) The space
that Wet n’ Wild occupies now will probably be used for more hotels, increasing the options for families coming to Orlando for vacation.
If you are coming to Florida this summer, consider making Wet n Wild part of your trip itinerary. It has the thrill rides, it has the kid rides, and is a less expensive option for a family to cool off during the summer. If you are in search for a “theme park” vibe, Wet n’ Wild falls a little short, but can still be a great place to spend a hot Florida day.