Aloha! The boys and I had the opportunity to make a little day trip to Waco (10 miles north of Austin, halfway to Dallas) this past week to check out their Hawaiian Falls Water Park. When you have a season pass, you have access to all seven of their parks around Texas. How could we not go to try something new? If you are heading up I-35, this is a great place to stop and cool off!
This is a wonderful park for families with smaller children. Lots of splash pads, tiny slides, and fun fountain opportunities. It brought back so many good memories of when mine were little seeing the moms just sitting in the shallow water while their kids splashed and laughed under these dumping buckets. A floating foam lily pad still beckoned my boys to play king of the hill, though, even at this age. Not sharing the photo I have of Jonathan's smiling and laughing as he goes for younger brother's throat, ah how sweet! Boys will be boys.
That is not to say my 13- and 10- year-olds didn’t find lots to do. It was a nice change to try out some different rides, as each park is different and has some signature slides. One ride especially was different than any other water slide we've ever done, and we've done a lot! This completely enclosed tube has LED lights flashing in certain parts throughout the ride and it's a really trippy experience! Kind of like being in outer space in the blackness surrounded by stars, in these sections of the tube it was so easy to feel disoriented and you might even be stopping momentarily or even going uphill instead of sliding down. I don't know how else to describe it! Sounds weird, but take my word for it, worth trying! That was their favorite.
Their downhill racer ride, called Pineapple Express, also had a unique twist. Whereas you usually get a clear view of all the lanes in a racing slide for multiple riders, on this one you start in complete darkness, sliding down and having no idea who's really in the lead until you emerge from the tunnel! They don't do this type of slide as much as some of the more twisty ones when we hit water parks, but they did this one over and over.
A smaller park also meant everything was closer together and less walking, which was much appreciated on such a hot day (104!), as well as shorter lines, and not as crowded in the shallower wave pool. It’s a quieter speed, for us Austinites, but I'm sure this is "where it's at" in the summer in Waco!
William also went for the $5, all-you-can-play day wristband for this Wipe Out style obstacle. Great deal! They have one at our park in Pflugerville, too, but this is the first time we've tried it. An attendant was constantly spraying it down to keep the inflatable from being too hot on the feet, with the slipperiness adding to the fun (and difficulty!), so this can keep your son or daughter entertained all afternoon as the kids take turns and enjoy watching each other getting bonked by the rotating arm. William allowed himself to get bonked several times, just because!
The cabanas here have table and chairs for 4, plus some lounges to relax on while the kids are sliding without you (I drove 100 miles each way and no one rode ANYthing with me! Harumph. So I actually did lay down a few times) and include unlimited drink wristbands for 4 and a cheerful server to take your orders and bring your food and beverages.
A couple other things worth mentioning that are a little different from Pflugerville, you won't need to pay for parking (woot!) and there are a lot of trees and grass, and surrounded by hay fields (with big bales of hay, that you could see form the slide towers), so it is a little more scenic and shady. Also, this park does not have a ropes course adventure park, so daily admission is less than the parks that do. It's all about the water! Check for specials like Buy 2, get 2 Free Sundays, Maui Mom Mondays or $2 Tuesdays with each regular priced admission before heading out!
I think we are planning to hit the location in Garland this week while we visit my mom who lives nearby, so I will have some pictures and info from that trip for you as well. I know from the website they have a half pipe slide there, which will be awesome!
Hope you are enjoying these last days of summer! Mahalo!