TAMPA — When Adventure Island, the water park across the street from Busch Gardens in Tampa, first opened in 1980, it only had a few pools and attractions. Now it’s swimming in the deep end with a load of upgrades and rides.
The park has been steadily adding ambitious attractions over the years, and this spring rolled out two new family water slides, a shady beach lounge area and a new tiki bar with 20 kinds of rum. That brings the park’s total to 10 water slides, two pools, a lazy river and splash play areas on its 30-acre property.
It’s newest waterslides are fun and easy enough for a preschooler to ride.
Rapids Racer features two-person rafts that can race against others in a side-by-side experience. And Wahoo Remix, formerly known as Wahoo Run, now has synchronized light and sound elements, including a different pop song every time you go down the 600-foot slide.
The park’s last big opening was just days before the pandemic shut down all of Florida’s theme parks. In March 2020, it opened Solar Vortex, with its swirly “tailspin” feature that shoots riders into a tunnel to reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. In hindsight, it feels like a metaphor.
If you go
Adventure Island: 10001 McKinley Drive, Tampa. $44.99-$55.99, depending on the date. Parking is $30. There is a Fun Card and multipark ticket deals with parent company SeaWorld and Busch Gardens. See adventureisland.com for information.