When I was about 8 years old, my family took a trip through Las Vegas and we spent a day at Wet 'n' Wild. I only remember 4 things from that day
- Hearing my dad talk about the "Der Stuka" - and I think he actually went on it. It was a water slide in which you begin by standing in a capsule, the floor is then removed from under your feet, and you free fall down the water slide with a near vertical drop.
- Seeing coconut shell bikinis in the gift shop and being thoroughly confused.
- Being amazed by the misters around the park. I had never seen or heard of such a thing.
- And getting the worst sunburn of my life.
I have vivid memories of laying in my hotel bed that night - on top of the covers, trying not to move - in red hot burning pain.
Since that visit circa 1988, Wet 'n' Wild shut down. But this summer it came back! New location, new water slides, new everything.
In the spring, before it's opening, we were tempted by the many advertisements for season passes. But I just wasn't sure if I wanted to throw down that much $$$ for an activity sight unseen. Later in the summer I thought about taking the kids just once to try it out, but the admission price ($39.99 per person) was a tough pill to swallow. We decided to be happy with our $2 admission to the activity pool with their 1 waterslide and call it good.
Then, this week I got a text from a very nice family at church inviting me & the kids to join them at the park for the day. They had gold season passes and would be able to get us in . . . . for free.
We felt so very lucky & blessed to get this invite! The kids were beyond excited when I shared our plans the next morning.
And it was great to go to the park with seasoned pros because they had a set of tricks and know-how that helped us make the most of our day.
#1 - Get there early, before the gates open.
#2 - As soon as the gates open send the older kids running to the Rattler to grab a raft or two, while you stake out some lounge chairs in the shade.
#3 - Go on the Rattler first. Because the line gets long as the day goes on. Like, 1-hour wait kind of long.
#4 - Eat a good snack just before going into the park. They don't allow any outside food, and the food in the park is pricey! It works out okay if you can split a few lunch orders and then eat something on the way home -- stash some non-melting snacks in the car or stop at Dairy Queen for cherry dipped cones, like we did.
#5 - Bring frozen water bottles in your bag. No coolers allowed.
#6 - Wear water shoes. It may feel dorky at first to traipse around with water shoes on, but everyone is doing it. The cement is hot. I wore flip flops and would just take them off and hold them each time I went down a slide.
#7 - Wear sunscreen and reapply, says my 8 year old self.
I didn't get too many photos because my phone was stashed in a locker all day. But I did bring it out once to capture a few things.
Payton & Anna really enjoyed the kids' island. And for that matter, Conner liked it too.
Note the difference between 10am (above) and 1pm (below)
I thought the location was really interesting. You are literally on the edge of the desert. It's just kind of odd to see these brightly colored water slides popping up in the middle of the desert landscape.
My favorite slide was the Desert Racers. The wait was never very long, but oh boy, the stairs! After this day in the park I did not feel bad at all about waking up late and missing part of my morning workout. I'm pretty sure I climbed 900 stairs by the time the day was through.
We had a great day and we left the park thoroughly exhausted! I think the kids are at a great age for this. And the park is small enough that I never felt uneasy sending Payton & Conner off on their own. Eventually we would run into them or see them floating by on the lazy river. That was really nice to be able to let them loose (with a buddy) and just enjoy the day.
Next year we may have to reconsider season passes and make it a Wet 'n' Wild summer!