We got together with 2 other families for a perfect day at Water World. We went first class all the way with a cabana rental and tube valet. Everybody brought fixings for lunch. The weather was perfect in the morning and even by afternoon it was tolerable.
We set up shop in Cabana #6, by the Thunder Bay Wave Pool. In addition to 2 tables, 8 chairs and 4 lounge chairs, the cabanas also have a ceiling fan, refrigerator and access to fountain drinks.
From there we started doing rides in The West Coast Adventure Section with Glacier Run, The Storm and Lost River of the Pharaohs.
Then we took a short break and took the Express Gondola over to the Big Top section of the park. First stop was the Mile High Flyer, then Double Dare. The more adventurous among us took on Tiger Tail (the long straight shot white water slides). The Flatliner was the most exposed, I did the easiest center run. Walking back we stopped at The Revolution in Wild Isle which had the longest line and where the tube valet pass really came in handy. We also took a lap on one of the more gentle rides in that section.
After that we took a break for lunch. It was all picnic food with sandwich fixings, fried chicken, vegetables and fruit. Feeling sated we headed back out for more rides.
We headed over to River Country for Eagle River, Rio Grande River and Ragin' Colorado River. After that we went to The Wave, where we each took turns wiping out in short order. I was actually a little impressed by the guys who were just getting in line all day to work on their skills (bringing their own boogie board and some were wearing wet suits). We also went over to The Voyage to the Center of the Earth.
Any downtime was quickly utilized by the kids splashing in the Thunder Bay Wave Pool.
That was the end of the day for me, the kids repeated a few rides, but I was pretty much done. We did not see any of Calypso Cove or the North Shore. We also missed doing The Lazy River, so there are a few attractions waiting for us next time. We did buy ice cream and dipping dots for the kids. It was nice to have 2 other families with us so the kids could have companions and there were buffer people around as the heat sometimes gets tempers going.
Ice cream was reasonably priced, they had plenty of lockers for valuables, folks are allowed to bring in coolers and the staff was all very friendly. Hyland Hills residents are $19 for adults and $16 for kids. Non-residents are $46 for adults and $40 for children, but there are numerous discounts available such as $10 off from Subway or buying tickets in advance. The Thunder Bay Standard Cabana Rental is $269 plus a municipal fee (There are other cabanas at various price points around the park starting at $129). Finally Tube Valet bands are $70 and allows the band wearer 4 guests to take the tube valet shorter lines (and not carry tubes). We did not rent tubes, but that would be $5 per guest.
I was glad that I had cheap sunglasses and flip flops with me. In the future, I would also bring a small drawstring bag to keep a towel, shirt, hat and cash on me.
The crowds and lines were much smaller than I expected. We waited on average 10 minutes for the attractions and the wave pool was not chaotic. I think the tube valet would be more valuable on a busy day, but a worthwhile purchase at any rate. I was surprised we lasted all day at the park from 10 AM to 6 PM.