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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Our family day at Adventure Landing Shipwreck Island Waterpark!

Since I'm a part of the US Family Guide blogger team, I was recently given the chance to review a day at the newly opened Adventure Landing Shipwreck Island water park at Jacksonville Beach. I took my husband and two younger brothers with me for a day of family fun. We left our home early in the morning so that we would get there close to opening time. I find this time to be best as the lines are shorter, the park is at its cleanest, and I can park closer to the entrance (after so much fun, everyone is exhausted and dragging their feet when its time to go).
Adventure Landing has a few rules that you should know of:

Food options include two things: you can bring your own food but leave it in a cooler in your car or eat at the food venues they offer. We ate at the Wave Riders Grill since the Cantina was closed. It can be a little pricey I'll admit. We fed four with just under $40. I really liked some of the options they had though. I ordered the Grilled Chicken Wrap. It had white meat chicken strips, slightly crispy cucumbers, fresh lettuce, and tomato chunks.
It was satisfying and came to about $5.50. A hamburger was about the same price and nothing special. My brother ordered a small fry and soft pretzel that was altogether about $5.50 as well. Drinks are sold separately unless you make your order a combo in which case you have to add $3.69 for a small drink (which is a regular size at most other vendors) and a small fry. The fry sizes impressed me.

They were a little above average and tasted better than most you would get at a fast food restaurant. But enough about food (don't want to make every hungry here). Some items are better than others but prepare yourself for higher prices in that department.
The staff throughout the park was extremely friendly. Everywhere we went, we were met with smiles and several even asked how we were doing as we walked by. For a recreational park of this kind, I have never encountered such a great group. They have life guards posted everywhere watching everyone and making sure it was safe. 
They do check your bags to make sure you aren't bringing in anything that is prohibited or dangerous. I wouldn't want someone sneaking in a 6 pack, would you? There are no alcoholic drinks allowed. I personally appreciated this as I don't think liquor and water slides with kids around makes a good mixture. You may bring water in clear bottles only.

Bring towels if you plan on doing the golf or games as well as the water park. We did only the water park and preferred to be hands-free. With the summer sun bearing down you, the water dries really quick unless you are going from ride to ride (in which case, you'll stay wet anyways).
Always remember sunscreen. I slathered us thick before entering the park and am still a little red. So if you can rent a locker or make a trip to the car, double or triple your dose! Especially when going to a water park. The sun bakes your skin but really cooks you when you're wet.
Parking is free! If you are an early bird like we were, not only will you get to park close to the entrance (less walking after a long day of fun) but less lines at the attractions. The down side to being early was that some areas had colder water to deal with but after getting in and moving around it wasn't so bad. And actually, we found out those areas stay a little more chilly than the others anyhow.
If you want to rent a locker, its $5 for the day plus a $5 deposit that will be returned once you turn in the key.

Ride requirements: certain attractions do require you to be a certain height. At the end of some of the slides there would be a deep amount of water for you to drop into.  The Hurricane for instance, has you slide around then fall into a sphere-shaped bowl that you slide around before dropping through a funnel-type exit into an 8 feet deep pool of water. You have to be 48 inches tall and a very good swimmer for that one.

After taking a consensus of everyone present, we agreed the best one was The Rage ride. It's a long slide that uses the force of water to propel you along as you hold on for dear life to a figure 8 inner tube. You can ride alone or with someone. It was so much fun, we went on it about 4-5 times!

Coming in second place was the main attraction at the center of the park, the Shipwreck Island Play Village. You could get lost, but only if you wanted to! There were water cannons, places where the kids could run and play in and around it, plus several slides. There were three levels of high ones as well as some normal kiddie slides.

We also enjoyed just lazily floating along the Little St. Johns River in inner tubes. It provides a nice cool down in the midst of so much action. Another good resting area we liked was Typhoon Lagoon. Its a wave pool that periodically starts up and creates man-made waves that you can bounce along with.
They have another ride that only one of our small group dared to attempt; the Hydro Half Pipe. You know what a half pipe is, right? Skateboarders use them to do tricks. This was a huge one that had water on it and you slid down one side and up the other on an inner tube until you lost momentum and stopped in the middle. Incredibly scary! But many enjoyed it.
Eye of the Storm was another scary one. You slide on a curvy slide with no inner tube until you come to a sphere-like bowl that you swirl around like a twister about once or twice and then fall through a hole in the bottom into an 8 feet deep pool before swimming out to the steps. My brothers tried it once and didn't want to have another go.
And if Dad likes such things - they have a promotion for dads to swim free! Just check out the details here. Other specials and coupons can be found on their website as well. Also, you can get a deal for reading my blog! "Adventure Landing & Shipwreck Island Waterpark is The Place to Play!  Stay cool in the summer at Northeast Florida's largest water park.  Enjoy rides from mild to wild, including a Kiddie Play Area, Wave Pool and Lazy River!  Practice your putting skills on our Miniature Golf Courses, twist and turn in the Go-Karts, practice your swing inside our Batting Cages or perfect your gaming skills in our Mega Arcade.  Don't miss our Wacky Worm Rollercoaster and Frog Hopper - rides perfect for younger kids!  And, don't forget to stop by and feed the alligators!  Affordable family fun...so close to home.  My Readers Save $5 with http://www.jacksonvillefamilyguide.com/coupon.php?bid=11088&lid=13938&dealid=1158®ionid=312"
Overall, it was an amazing day! We had a blast, got a little redness going on... and had enough of a workout just climbing steps, walking, and holding on with everything we had. You can sit around lazing in the sun with your feet in the pools or you can find muscles you forgot you had while you squeal and laugh through all the cool attractions.


  1. Looks like fun! Makes me hungry. Can you go just for the food?

    1. It was a blast! We can't wait to go again. I wish we could go just for the food sometimes... That was the best chicken wrap I've ever had!