Adventure Island, the water park across the street from Busch Gardens in Tampa, is getting its biggest makeover in 30 years. Spring breakers will find two new rides, a refurbished bar, a snack shack and a shady beach lounge area made for sitting while the kids play.
A hard-hat media tour on Thursday showed the water park in deep construction phase. Rapids Racer and Wahoo Remix will make a splash at Adventure Island in March. The park is also ready to open the Hang Ten Tiki Bar. It is the attraction’s first full-service bar with cocktails, snacks and local craft brews.
Formerly Wahoo Run, Wahoo Remix will be Adventure Island’s first waterslide to feature synchronized light and sound elements, so you are likely to hear a different song every time you go down the 600-foot slide. Enclosed tunnels that were once dark will now glow and groove as riders zoom through.
The new Rapids Racer ride will feature two-person rafts for the slide, complete with low walls to encounter your opponents throughout this side-by-side experience. The park says it features the world’s first dueling saucers in a journey full of high-speed tunnels and turns.
The water park is uniquely poised for outside entertainment, said Brandon Thom, vice president of Adventure Island. The park, along with all of Florida’s other theme parks, closed down for months starting in March 2020.
“Seeing the relief on people’s faces has been great. We can have fun again,” Thom said.
Among the new additions is a line of palms and tea lights on a beach area to make a pleasant relaxation station.
“We are leaning in on the island feel,” Thom said. “The thing about water parks is people can come in and sit down and fall asleep and some of them literally only do that. So we looked at our most popular area and enhanced it.”
The park is now open 10 months of the year instead of March through Labor Day. By heating the pools and realizing that Florida can be hot in October, the park has found a bigger audience, Thom said. The park opens March 5 this year, in time for spring break.
Adventure Island is offering deals on its annual pass, including benefits like six free guest tickets and monthly rewards. There’s also an annual pass deal for Busch Gardens that includes a free Adventure Island pass. See adventureisland.com for more information.