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Amusement Park News
Amusement Park News
Washington State's Only Combo Theme and Waterpark: That's Wild Waves
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
  • Rides 4U - New & Used Rides
  • Rides 4U - New & Used Rides

At Wild Waves Theme and Waterpark, there are 70 acres of attractions that draw regional crowds in droves from May through December. In the summer months, amusement rides, special events, and waterpark play are the draw May to September; in October, the park hosts a Fright Fest, replete with 3-D attractions, jump scares, a traditional haunted house and Halloween décor. In December, the park glows with a million sparkling lights at the Holiday for Lights event. A laser light show, and Toyland for children, plus holiday shows are a part of the seasonal treat.

The park, which is Washington state’s only water and amusement park, opened in 1977, and has been going strong ever since, although its name has shifted between The Enchanted Village and Wild Waves over the years. It originally held just a half dozen rides in the amusement section; the waterpark itself was built in 1984.

The hybrid park is known for a wide array of rides and activities, but interestingly, it might just be a food item that remains a classic draw. Park general manager Todd Suchan points out many features for 2018, but it’s a traditional, edible one that repeat visitors and first timers alike seem to crave: that’s the Ultimate Elephant Ear, a shareable pastry treat topped with cinnamon, sugar, raspberry jam, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream. In October, for Fright Fest, the treat gets a new name of Witch’s Ear. Other popular park treats include cotton candy, homemade fudge, and the park’s gourmet hot dogs, Disk’o Dogs.

But while guests love the food, it’s the rides, water slides, and events that draw crowds. Attendance continues to rise this year, with many area residents and repeat guests, due in part to the many summer activities on tap.

Every Thursday evening in August from 4-8, there’s a new 21 and Up Single & Mingle party by the wave pool, reaching guests who may not have otherwise considered the park as their dating destination. Along with admission to the park, guests receive a drink voucher good for either an alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage at Sharkey’s Bar & Grille. There’s karaoke, and a chance for photo ops at Sharkey’s Selfie Station.

Every Friday through August 10th, families are invited to stay after the park closes and hop in the wave pool to watch a movie. The film Fridays are free with a season pass to the park, and begin at dusk. Screenings range from The Little Mermaid to Peter Rabbit, and the not-for-tots Jaws.

On the educational end of the event spectrum, Wild Waves offers Outdoor Education Days for educators, allowing admission discounts for teachers and students, with educational demos and displays available to assist in making summer school fun.

August 16th marks a summer highlight for the park: it’s Roller Coaster Day. The park stays open ‘til 8 for plenty of thrilling rides. Last year, in honor of the park’s 40th birthday, a 40-mile riding marathon took place; this year’s events are still rolling into place.

Other events this summer included Hula Nights, National Hot Dog Day, and both Memorial Day and upcoming Labor Day “Heroes Weekends.” On those dates, military members and first responders receive free tickets. There’s a planned “Last Call for Summer” party, too.

Over at the water park, guests will find many improvements this year, according to Suchan. There are two new food locations, new walkways, new shade structures, renovated rest areas, more deck space for lounging, and colorful new Adirondack chairs, he notes. “There are more than ten, fun, new special events at Wild Waves Theme and Water Park this year but perhaps the biggest news is the incredible value,” Suchan relates.

A single-day admission ticket for ages 4 and up is $42.99 this season, ages 3 and under are free, and $10-$20 savings are available when purchasing on line. The ticket allows full access to both water and theme park and includes all rides, slides, and attractions, with the exception of the Soaring Eagle Zip Line and the I-5 Dive Skycoaster, which must be purchased separately at the park. There are affordable season passes at $69.99 per person when purchased online, which include admission to the Fall Fright Fest and December’s Holiday with Lights. The park receives many repeat visitors, primarily from the Pacific Northwest area, and offers a season parking pass, too.

So, what are the main attractions? According to marketing director John Pagel, along with the waves and slides of the water park, the amusement park thrill rides are a big favorite. The largest wooden roller coaster in Washington State, Timberhawk Ride of Prey, created by S & S is a must-ride. Then there’s the exciting combo of wild and waves at the Lumberjack Falls boat ride that takes riders 50 feet into the water for a big splash of fun. Younger guests love Pirates Ahoy! replete with water cannons and waterfalls, an interactive play area that offers a variety of water activities in one spot. Family fun is the mission at Zooma Falls, where a giant slide takes riders around curves and turns down to a cruise under a waterfall.

The Wild Thing is a corkscrew coaster that takes its trip twice, with an upside down flip that’s designed to thrill. And if that’s not enough, then there’s
The Ring of Fire, a 360-degree looping coaster that propels riders back and forth along the track’s sides until it gathers the momentum to spin riders around. Halfway through, the ride reverses again.

Riders after more leisurely fun this summer are going for The Hang Glider, a gentle, spinning ride or the crashing fun of the Dodge’ms Bumper Cars. Tots are far from forgotten, too, with a Kiddie Coaster, a mini Ferris Wheel, and the Kiddie Combo, where kids get to ride around in their choice of just-the-right-size vehicle from sports car to fire engine.

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