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Grand Texas Amusement and Water Park: Delays for New Rides but Plenty of Splashing Summer Fun
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Delays have beset the planned summer opening of Grand Texas Amusement and Waterpark’s new rides. The park’s newest attraction, Gator Bayou Adventure Park and Big Rivers Waterpark were originally set to open June 29, a date pushed to mid-July, but the two attractions are not open yet. Weather and construction delays have led to the non-debut, but park officials are reminding 365 Pass purchasers that their pass is valid for a full 365 days no matter when they activate it.

For patient pass holders and other eager guests, the double fun of Gator Bayou and Big Rivers should offer a lot of family activities and thrills.

The 40-acre Big Rivers Waterpark holds a wave pool and water slides, and Gator Bayou Adventure Park offers a themed experience that includes a fishing hole, bumper boats, a petting zoo and an alligator exhibit. Both parks represent additional space for Grand Texas, located in New Caney.

Grand Texas already features two park areas: the Grand Texas RV Park and Speedsportz Racing, which opened in 2016.

The upcoming Big Rivers attractions includes the Boca Chica Bay Wave Pool which promises the “tallest waves in Houston.” The ride will be safety conscious, offering free life-vests for riders. Also free: tubes, which means long-term fun on what is billed as being the largest lazy river in the greater Houston area, the Rio GRAND Lazy River.

Gator Gulch is a family attraction that features over 300 water elements including slides and sprayers. It too has a “big” build-up as the “largest interactive play structure in Texas.” There are eight all-ages slides, Armand Bayou, Buffalo Bayou, Cedar Bayou, Cypress Bayou, Pecan Bayou, and Highland Bayou require riders under age 6 to be supervised by a guest over 16, and be 40” tall. At Rincon and Taylor Bayous, riders must be 36” tall.

Tiny tots will be well served by the five slides at Hatchling Hill, Bluebonnet Chute, Sunflower Slope, Froggy Falls, Tangerine Dip, Strawberry Twist, and Hummingbird Bend. The 36” height requirement will also apply here. And in Polliwog Puddle, tiny guests can splash and play in sprinklers, fountains, and nozzles.

Back on land, Gator Gulch will give guests the experience of getting up close and personal with prehistoric predators, and offers teaching moments about habitats and habits. There

There appears to be a strong interactive element to these attractions, with knowledge about those prehistoric behemoths at Gator Gulch, and a catch and release pole fishing experience at Big Al’s Fishing Hole. The idea here is to allow guests to teach their kids how to fish; it’s also a relatively quiet spot and a nice contrast to thrills and spills. The fishing experience is free, but bait runs $2.

Like Big Al’s Fishing Hole, Big Al’s Farm is all about the interactive experience. Billed as a petting zoo, fun for all ages, the focus is on small and large farm animals in a safe environment that kids will enjoy. And once, the tots have enjoyed petting a baby lamb or goat, they’ll be ready to take a ride on the Pony Express, where gentle live ponies circle. The pony rides are limited to a maximum weight load of 60-pounds.

At Big Rock Mining, kids will use a sluice box to mine for rocks and gems, and at the Big Bounce, harnessed trampoline platforms offer lots of jumping fun for kids and adults over 40” tall and less than 250 pounds.

These rides are hardly the end of the interactive vibe at Great Texas. The Bumper Blasters are positioned on a lake, bumper boats that are each equipped with squirt guns. With free must-wear life vests provided, passengers must be 40” tall and single riders 48”, then the squirt gun shooting and spraying can commence – at other riders or over the lake to take on distance spraying.

The Mystic Forest Maze looks like an elaborate wooden puzzle, time trial challenges are encouraged among guests. Yet another unconventional experience is that of Eagle Challenge, a six-story tall structure that is described as featuring over 50 different activities that measure dexterity and endurance. There are a variety of skill levels that range from novice to expert. With Eagle Challenge aimed at older kids, Raccoon Run is the perfect spot for younger kids to test skills, climbing, balancing, and exploring on a closer-to-the-ground attraction.

Zip lines receive their due at Hawk’s Glide, where a forested course line sends guests on an entry level, basic course from one tower and back again. More advanced zip line riders may want to experience the Falcon Flight, which has three towers and takes riders over a wave pool, down a creek and over a pond. The faster-moving ride speeds guests above the trees and buildings.

At Vulture’s Dive, the seven-story plunge allows guests, once safely harnessed in, to walk to the edge of the attraction and then free-fall toward ground level. Thrills and screams should follow. Climbers will enjoy Cougar Climb, billed as one of the tallest climbing walls in Texas, with a five-story ascent.

One of the most interesting aspects of Grand Texas is just how interactive it is; from waterpark splashing to petting zoo and climbing, the plan is to involve families in every aspect of the park experience. Many attractions, such as the zip line and bumper boats, make use of “natural” features such as forested areas and pond.

Located near Bush Intercontinental Airport, Grand Texas is planned to encompass entertainment, dining, and shopping options including an Outlet Mall, too. In the meantime, the luxury RV park with free cable TV and a large children’s playground, and the Speedsportz raceway are open for business. Everything else – Houston-area residents are still waiting to enjoy.
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