Nearly three decades after opening as one of the first waterparks, Wet ‘n Wild is still making waves. With a mix of high-thrill rides, children’s water play and family entertainment, it continues to draw crowds in the competitive Orlando market.

One big reason: its extensive water thrill ride theming. When George Millay opened it in 1977, his vision for Wet ‘n Wild was essentially a theme park with water rides, and today that dream has really become a reality.

New for 2008, The Black Hole, a Wet ‘n Wild classic, has been updated with pulsating lighting and dramatic cosmic effects. Guests experience six different ride sequences on this attraction, renamed The Black Hole: The Next Generation to reflect the changes.

In the past several years, the park’s newest rides have come to include some state-of-the-art effects. Disco H20 is a four-person, cloverleaf raft ride that recreates a ’70s-style watery disco. It features a huge disco ball and the familiar lights and sounds of the era.

Additionally, Brain Wash, a six-story extreme tube ride, flashes lights, sounds and video at guests descending a 53-foot vertical drop into a 65-foot domed funnel.

WakeZone offers more high-velocity excitement. Guests can try three styles of wake boarding-inspired fun. There’s traditional wake-boarding as well as Knee Ski, a cable-operated ski in which riders kneeboard around a 1/2-mile-long lake. The Wild One tows two people around the lake on tubes. Other thrill rides include The Storm, a bowl ride; Der Stuka, a six-story speed slide; the Bomb Bay speed slides; the Mach 5 slide tower; The Flyer, a toboggan-style tube ride; and The Surge and Bubba Tub multiperson raft rides.

Besides the thrill rides, there’s plenty for guests who want to take it easy, including a 17,000-square-foot wave pool and a 1/4-mile-long lazy river, themed for Florida’s historic past. There’s also Wet ‘n Wild’s summer beach party, with a live DJ, music, contests and dancing.

The park’s claim to fame may be its thrill attractions, but there are

several features just for the little ones. With Bubble Up, a large, wet, inflatable bubble, children can climb, bounce and splash their way up to the top and down into the 3-foot-deep pool. The Kids Park, offers scaled-down slides, a miniature lazy river and a castle-themed interactive play structure.

Staying competitive with new, unique and consistently updated attractions has proven successful for Wet ‘n Wild, but Marketing Manager Ashley Bailey says that is only one piece of the park’s strategy.

It is one of the nation’s only waterparks to be open year ’round. Wet ‘n Wild adopted this schedule in 1992 and quickly found that its heated pools and extended hours were very popular with tourists looking for an unusual winter excursion.

OWNER:Universal Parks and Recreation Group (owned by General Electric)


SIZE: More than 30 acres


SIGNATURE ATTRACTIONS:The Black Hole: The Next Generation, Disco H20, Brain Wash, Bomb Bay, Bubble Up

FUN FACT:To conserve resources, Wet ‘n Wild recycles and treats its water, saving valuable resources.

NO. OF LIFEGUARDS: More than 200 during peak season