Theme Park + Water Park = Success?

It is today an industry standard to have a water park and a theme park located on the same property.  Most of the time, the water park is included in the price of admission to the theme park (not always though, for example, Dollywood's Splash Country is a separate and fairly pricey additional charge).  Since many parks have moved in this direction, one has to assume that there is a positive financial benefit gained by the park with the addition of the water attractions.  For Rex and I, it presents a difficult situation.  

We like water parks.  Usually they are under-whelming, but occasionally you will find a water park that offers genuine thrills and lots of fun (although overshadowed by the Disney monster water parks such as Blizzard Beach, Wet n' Wild on I-Drive in Orlando is one heck of a great water park).  Here is the problem – Rex and I have yet to enjoy a single water park that is attached to a theme park on the same property.  We have never experienced Boomerang Bay at King's Island, and believe it or not, we have never ventured into the Island Kingdom water park right here at our very own Elitch Gardens in Denver.  The reason is not that we aren't interested, but that we are focused on the "big boys."  There are only so many hours in a day and we are determined to experience each theme park for all it has to offer so that we can provide somewhat comprehensive reviews and be knowledgeable on the various parks.  That becomes very difficult when you spend 3-4 hours of the day in the water park section.  Unless. . . .

you were to argue that the water park section must be considered when attempting a comprehensive evaluation of the park.  In other words, would some people argue that you have not really experienced all that makes up the thrill of King's Island until you have first experienced Boomerang Bay?  Perhaps that argument could be made, but it is not one that Rex and I have yet embraced.  I think I speak for Rex (and I will let him chime in here) when I say that we understand the thrust of King's Island to be found in the actual King's Island park itself, not based on the water attractions of Boomerang Bay.  Although it adds a nice addition for park guests (and I would argue especially season pass holders), I do not think that we are lacking in our grasp of the overall experience of King's Island itself because we have not partaken of the water park offerings.

Maybe I'm wrong.     

1 comment on “Theme Park + Water Park = Success?

  1. Rex says:

    My thoughts are as follows: Even when water parks are part of the admission price and, hence, arguably part of the overall experience a “park” has to offer, I always put the main park and the water park down as two separate experiences. Certainly, by not going to Boomerang Bay, for example, I do believe you are missing out on Boomerang Bay (obviously) and are missing out on all that King’s Island as a whole has to offer, but you are not missing out on “King’s Island” the thrill park. I will point out that I don’t think this applies to water rides or water areas specifically within the main portion of an amusement park–for example, you are clearly missing out on Islands of Adventure if you do not partake of Toon Lagoon, even though that area is a water ride area.

    A rule of thumb that can be used probably 99% of the time is this: If you were to tell a friend familar with the park that you are going to that you are going there, would you need to add that you are going to the water park (or other water area) as part of that trip or would it just be clearly assumed. For example, “Hey, we are going to Kings Island tomorrow!” “Cool, are you going to get to go to Boomerang Bay too?” That conversation means they are separate experiences. As opposed to: “Hey, we went to Islands of Adventure yesterday.” “Awesome, did you like Dudley or Popeye better.” Assuming you hit toon lagoon as part of the conversation.

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