Monday, June 26, 2017

Wave Waterpark Review + Groupon Coupon Code!

With the hot heat rising, my padawan and I joined our family friends to have a mini adventure at a [semi] local waterpark for the day. While we got discounted tickets (keep reading for a really cool code you can use for a discount on almost any Groupon), our experience was something I'm not so sure I'd like to repeat.

If you haven't been to waterpark of any sort, it's basically a variety of rides, pools, and slides to get you soaking wet while wearing your bathing suit all day. It's a "theme park" with one main theme, water. 

I've been to very few - Soak City and Legoland's waterpark - but I can confidently say that I haven't ever experienced what I experienced today.

First off let's talk about the park itself. You aren't allowed to bring in your own food (unless you have dietary restriction, but it has to be all homemade and no "big" coolers whatsoever), no glass of any sort, no floaties, lockers are available for rental, chairs were all along the edges with a few benches here and there, and parking was free. There is one section of "big slides"- which seems to be three in one (didn't ride these personally, but I'll get back to this in a second), cabana's for rent, one "waiting pool" with a few restrictions, a "lazy river" that wasn't so lazy, a water jungle gym for kids bigger than 48", and a boogie board wave "ride".

Let's start with the restrictions. My son does indeed have dietary restrictions and being able to acquire the necessary "pass" to bring our food in was in itself a hassle. We were directed to an office where we had to explain our food item choices, his dietary restriction, and lightly scolded on why they don't normally let people bring food in - I get it, you want more money from people. As for the floaties, their solution is an ill-fitting life vest that kids are running around in (and eating in) causing some concern for food contamination for my little guy. After being scolded once again and told to sign a "refusal to use a life jacket" waiver, we were granted permission for him to use his floaties. I never left his side or let him go, so his safety wasn't at risk in the slightest. 

Free parking was a change from the other two water themed parks I've been to, which was a nice change. But really that's the only "nice" thing about this park.

During a snack break - we were lucky enough to snag a bench with an umbrella - we noticed a nearby family distraught. Being the curious mother that I am, I tuned into their conversation - yes I know I'm nosy - to find out that their daughter (who seemed to be maybe 6 or 7) got STUCK inside one of the slides. Not only that, but they didn't notice until a while after. I'm not sure if they found out because another inner tube went down or what in fact happened, but the parents were greeted by a supervisor who apologized. By the way, that's all they did. Apologize.

After the supervisor walked away, the parents then went on to say to one another, "How can you not know she was stuck inside?! If she doesn't come out and you know she went down, where else would she be?!". 

Slightly appalled, my friend and I just gave each other a look that basically said "holy crap". 

Once the kiddos had their snacks and we all refueled, everyone headed to the lazy river which ended up NOT being very lazy. More like "dodging rambunctious kids and stressful" river. 

To get an inner tube, you had to catch one floating down the river yourself or hope one popped up by the stairs. You couldn't share with your padawan's (even though mine is only 5 years old) so you better hope they can hold on or fit in some safe way (thankfully he did, barely but he did). While floating down the river, we had to dodge the kids practically running in between the tubes and swimming underneath everyone. Mind you it's a 3 foot deep "river" and if you went against the current, stood in any spot, or wore floaties, you were going to have a whistle blown at you. If you pushed people in inner tubes, threw the inner tubes, jumped into the lazy river splashing everyone, or whacked people's feet "playing", you were off the hook. So relaxing.

Giving up on relaxing on the river, we headed to the pool and tried to just swim. Problem was that the pool was split. 3/4ths went to those with inner tubes and floating toys and 1/4th (which was about the width of an apartment's bedroom and the length of a medium sized home's hallway) for the shallow (3 feet deep) end. 

Constantly splashed, bumped, and whistled at for accidentally touching the floating divider, we gave the lazy river one more shot. Two laps and we were done. 

A small note, every single "lifeguard" was a high-strung teen with a huge power trip. Regardless of other people literally holding onto the divider, we were the only one's to have a whistle blown at us (and yes, it was for barely touching the divider accidentally). 

My little guy and I watched my friends kids "ride" the boogie board wave, then we packed up and headed out. 

Overall it was nice to get a wet during a hot day and have a change of scenery. While we did save money by going through Groupon, the 45 minute drive is something we most likely will never repeat. 

The experience wasn't up to par with what we had hoped and the fact that it was over run by "campers" and teens with way too many hormones in control, made us grateful to have a swimming pool in our friend's complex. 

The adventure was a success seeing as how no one got hurt, we made the best of it, we enjoyed just being together, and no one fought. The park just won't get another visit from us. 

As for the Groupon code I wanted to share with you guys: I signed up for Groupon yesterday - specifically to go to the waterpark today - and found an online code to receive an additional 25% off of my first Groupon ($30 max discount). So instead of paying $23 for my padawan and I, we only paid $17.25. Not a bad price, but again, I won't be returning. Not even if you gave me free tickets unless you could guarantee the lazy river to actually be lazy, the workers to be trained (and polite) employees, and that kids won't be bombarding us from every angle. Even then I'd have to think about it. I mean, forgetting a kid inside the slide? Not cool Wave, not cool.

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