Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Have A Wild Time At Wild Adventures In Valdosta GA

A moms review:
Wild Adventures is three family friendly theme parks in one. PLUS there are family friendly concert series too! The park offers something for everyone (even the grandparents would have fun so bring them along). There are amusement park rides, water rides, animals, shows, games, an arcade and tasty treats. This is hands down one of the family friendliest amusement parks I have ever been too. And they are very homeschool friendly. We not only had a fun family day but also got some hands on learning done too (yup I counted this as a homeschool day).

Here is a video with some highlights from our day:

Park entry was very quick and easy. There is ample parking and shuttles are available if you are in one of the back lots (which is still within walking distance). Being a family park they take safety very seriously so there was a bag and security check. They glanced inside any large bags and waved a metal detector wand in front and in back of each person. But this didn't slow down our park admission and it only took us about 10 minutes to get into the park. Once inside the park there are photographers who will offer to take your family's photo and keepers with some animal ambassadors that you can get up close and personal with.

The first place we headed per the kids request was Splash Island. But along the way we stopped to check out the tortoises. We also took a ride on the carousel and walked through Lorikeet Landing. Lorikeet Landing is an aviary that you can walk through to get an up close look at some very cool exotic birds. You are not allowed to touch the birds but you may get lucky and have one land on you (there was a guy standing next to us who had one land on his head). You can purchase nectar for a small fee to feed to the birds also. There were some really awesome birds that I have never seen before and both of the kids really enjoyed this attraction. This habitat as well as all the other animal habitats have plaques with lots of great facts and information about each of the animals.

On our way to Splash Island we stopped by the very clean restrooms to use the facilities and rent a locker. We opted for the per turn key locker which is $1.50 since we only needed to use it one time. There are also some very fun misters at the restrooms which are a great for a quick cool down on a hot day (there are several other misting stations throughout the park as well).

Then it was time to have a splashing good time. We crossed across the Splash Island bridge which goes over the lazy river. I love the little scenes they had set up for the lazy river. Our first stop was the GIANT splash playground called Polynesian Adventure. The splash playground features 6 fun water slides, a giant dumping water bucket and lots of fun water cannons. This was definitely one of my kids favorite parts in the entire park. We actually visited this area again before we left for the day. And I must say it was one of my favorite parts too. It is one of the safest splash playgrounds we have ever been too. My husband and I were able to position ourselves in one spot and keep an eye on the kids because of the way they have the attraction placed. The back and side portion of the splash playground are surrounded by a fence and wall so the only way in and out of the area is from the front. There are always 5-6 lifeguards surrounding the base of the splash playground, as well as one at the top of each of the larger slides. There is also a parent lost and found station right next to the splash playground. After the kids played for awhile we headed over to Hakini Rapids where the entire family took a ride on a raft down a twisty, turny water slide. In Splash Island there is also a wave pool, toddler splash pad, huge body slide and a few other water slides. There is TONS of shaded and non shaded seating throughout Splash Island. And there are also cabanas that you can rent for an additional fee.

After playing in the water we were hungry. Daddy opted for a pulled pork bbq sandwich was absolutely delicious. The kids and I had a large pizza. The pizza was really good as well.

After lunch we headed to the Tigers of India Show which was our second favorite attraction in the park. The show was absolutely wonderful and very educational for both children and adults. The show features the 4 colors of Bengal Tigers which come from the Marcan Tiger Preserve in Florida. I liked that the show highlights the Tigers natural behavior and is not a theatrical performance making them do things that are not instinctual and unnatural for them. Afterwards the handler and Lazarus, one of the Tigers, were available to answer questions and give you a closer look at these magnificent creatures. The show really made an impression on my daughter who now says she wants to be a veterinarian so she can work with animals. There are 3 wonderful shows each showing a couple times throughout the day. I am very bummed we were not able to see more.

Next we took a trip through Asia and Africa on the Safari Train. The ride was fun and educational but could definitely use a couple of improvements. Our wait to ride the train was about 20 minutes and the actual train ride only lasted only about 10 minutes. The train takes you on a journey through Asia and Africa giving you a look at several animals from these areas without an obstructed bar view. I think it would be an even better attraction if the train would stop during the trip for a few minutes to allow riders to look more closely at the animals. I liked that the animals were able to range freely in a more natural habitat it is not very often that you get to experience that.

Next it was time to hit the rides. There are family rides, kiddie rides and thrill rides. This was the first time the kids have ever ridden on amusement park rides so they were a little apprehensive at first but after a few rides they were having a blast and begging for more. There was plenty for them to ride on (they are 5 and 6 yrs old). The wait to get on the kiddie rides was always very short. The ride attendants were very nice and attentive. The majority of the little kid rides are all in one area located at the front of the park. I really liked this because the kids were able to go their separate ways and ride on different rides without mommy and daddy having to split up. We also enjoyed some good old fashioned family rides together like the bumper cars and century wheel. Well daddy skipped the century wheel and mommy freaked out the entire time telling the kids not to move AT ALL. I did manage to snap some great photos of the park though.

Of course we just had to visit the safari ranch petting zoo. My kids always enjoy petting farm animals. There were goats, a baby cow, chickens, bunnies, lambs and ducks. Gwyn had a great time playing king of the mountain with a goat...the goat won he butted her off the rock when she tried to hug him good bye.  So make sure you use care when in the petting zoo several of the goats do still have their horns and may not take kindly to lots of hugs and kisses.

The park flows in a circular layout around a lake. Both my husband and I agree that the circular layout makes the park really easy to navigate and helps with the parks traffic flow.  The water park entrance is located inside the main park and is accessed by a bridge. The many animals and park rides are intermingled surrounding the lake. The landscaping is very nice throughout the park and there are several GREAT photograph opportunities. One addition I hope they will consider adding in the future are some paddle boats in the lake.

As we were leaving the park I noticed a wooden board walk trail, right by the Junior Base Camp Kiddie Rides. DON'T forget about this little hidden area it will lead you through a nice quiet wooded area where you will see a black bear, bush baby, red tail hawk, some really big koi and a few other amazing creatures. Its a great educational learning spot.

Our kids were too tuckered out to attend the concert but I am sure it was just as amazing as the rest of the park. Family friendly concerts are offered throughout the year. Hopefully next time we will be able to catch the concert.

You will definitely need an entire day at the park and if you can two days. We were not able to see and do everything the park offers because we ran out of time and we were there from 10:30 am - 7:30 pm. I think Wild Adventures knows they offer too much to cover in one day. So GUESS what? Your general park admission (includes regular, junior or senior full price admission) is valid for two days. YUP you read that right, isn't that awesome! The second day MUST be used on the next, consecutive operating day ONLY. The holder of the original ticket must keep the ticket and present it on the next operating day to gain admission.  Next time we visit we will definitely be doing two days. There are lots of great inexpensive hotels in the area as well as other attractions.

I just saw on the Wild Adventures Facebook page that NEW attractions are being added for 2013! So make sure you follow their social media outlets and sign up for the email list (more information below).

More About Wild Adventures:
Wild Adventures is an amusement park the size of 155 football fields. Wild Adventures is owned by Herschend Family Entertainment which also owns and manages properties throughout the United States like: Dollywood, Dollywood Splash Country, Silver Dollar City, Newport Aquarium, Adventure Aquarium and Stone Mountain Park.  The company is based on Christian values and focuses on providing family friendly experiences to all guests. The park started out in 1996 as a small petting zoo but since then has become one of the Top 50 Theme Parks in North America.The park is home to eight roller coasters and numerous flat rides. The rides were added to the park in 1998 and Splash Island, the park's water park, opened in 2003 as the park's largest expansion which includes several water slides and attractions. The park features approximately 59 rides and attractions, including eight roller coasters, hundreds of exotic animals, shows, Splash Island water park and numerous concerts from country, pop, rock, Christian, to oldies superstars. All of the rides and attractions (except for Go-Karts, Mini Golf, Skycoaster, and Skill Games), general seating concerts, daily shows, special events and the water park are included with park admission.

The kids review:
Both Kids: "When are we going back? We really like that park!"
Gwyn: "My favorite things were the dragon twirly ride, big Ferris wheel and Tiger show. I really hope we go back because it was lots of fun. I really liked the cotton candy too! I also liked the water slide that was closed in. I also liked the bird thing we walked through."
Rowyn: "My favorite things were the tiger show, superman flying ride and bumper cars. Everything was my favorite."

Extra details:
-Make sure you download the NEW iPhone and Android App to help you get around the park.
-Parking is $10, cash and credit cards are accepted.
-Pizza is the best family deal if you plan to eat inside the park, a large is $19 and can roughly feed 4-6. No food is allowed to be brought in but you may go out to your car to eat or eat at the adjacent picnic area. (just get your hand stamped to return). One bottle water of water per person is allowed to be taken into the park. Food prices average $6-$10 per person (including your drink). You may also drive somewhere to eat, just show your parking receipt to avoid having to pay for parking again.
-Concession stands will provide you with FREE tap water upon request.
-Normal street attire is okay for the amusement park water rides (bathing suits must be covered). Proper bathing suits must be worn to enjoy Splash Island. Park attire must be family friendly.
-Lockers are available throughout the park for $1.50 per key turn. There are also lockers in Splash Island which are by the day at the rate of $10 for a small locker, $12 for a large locker and $14 for a family locker.
-Cash and credit cards are accepted throughout the park.
-The park is handicap and stroller accessible. Most of the rides are also handicap accessible offering ramps and opportunities to bypass lines (must obtain a pass at the guest service desk).
-Smoking is allowed in the park but only in designated areas.
-There are two first aid and lost parent stations one at the center of the park and one by the splash playground.
-A nursing mother station is available behind Swingin' Safari.
-Some items like mini golf, sky coaster, boxing robots and go karts require an additional fee for more details read here.
-If little ones need some down time from all the excitement there is a great shaded playground located at the front of the park.
-Reserved seating for concerts can be purchased but park admission is still required.

-Homeschool Day is offered twice a year in May and September. For $20 per person you can have a fun and very educational day. The waterpark is closed in September. And guess what else...Wild Adventures has even put together lesson plans for homeschoolers.
-Wild Adventures offers many SPECIALS check the website to view details on package specials, military discounts, end of summer savings and more.

3766 Old Clyattville Road
Valdosta, GA 31601

When to visit:

Theme Park hours vary check the website for exact hours of operation.  The waterpark is open everyday in June and July and limited times during March, April, May, August and beginning of September. Wild Adventures is closed in January, February and November.

Regular (Ages 10-54) - $45.99
Child (Ages 3 - 9) - $40.99
Senior (Ages 55+) - 

Links to follow:
-Wild Adventures Website
-Wild Adventures Facebook
-Wild Adventures Twitter

-Wild Adventures Email Newsletter
-Don't forget to check in on FourSquare and share some tips and photos.

*Disclaimer - We received free admission to Wild Adventures in return for our  honest review. Please note that prices indicated in the post are subject to change. I was not compensated for my review and all opinions are our own! Many of the links found on my side bars and in my blog posts are affiliate links. As a result, I might get paid money and I will most likely spend the money on homeschool supplies.

1 comment:

San Mah said...

These are very good activities when you are touring a new place but an alternative to that in harsh weather conditions would be coin operated kiddie rides

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