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Tampa’s Adventure Island water park is swimming in new improvements

With two new family slides, a shady beach lounge area and new tiki bar, it’s the biggest park makeover in 30 years.
Manuel Garcia and Devin Collins, who are entertainers at Busch Gardens, react after riding Wahoo Remix, a new family water slide that opened this spring at Adventure Island in Tampa.
Manuel Garcia and Devin Collins, who are entertainers at Busch Gardens, react after riding Wahoo Remix, a new family water slide that opened this spring at Adventure Island in Tampa. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published May 24

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.

Related: We checked out Adventure Island's big makeover: 2 new water slides, shady beach lounge and tiki bar

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.

Rapids Racer, a new water ride at Adventure Island in Tampa, lets riders on rafts race in a side-by-side experience. It's part of the biggest park upgrade in 30 years.
Rapids Racer, a new water ride at Adventure Island in Tampa, lets riders on rafts race in a side-by-side experience. It's part of the biggest park upgrade in 30 years. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
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