Wet-n-Wild is Las Vegas’ summer playground for 2016! We were invited guests at one of the hottest water parks in town before the summer crowds make their way into the park. My family does not opt for Season Passes as Wet-nWild Las Vegas is across town from where we live, and we also have a pretty jammed packed schedule every summer between summer camp and traveling. But, we make the effort to take the kids at least one time over the summer. Here’s some ideas on how to utilize your time wisely at Wet-n-Wild this summer!
Option 1: The Cabana Route
The cabana worked great for us this visit because we brought the twins (5 years old) for the first time. I also had my son and his friend, both 12, and my daughter, 10, along for the ride. I was a little hesitant at first thinking we wouldn’t use the cabana as much because the kids would want to be on the rides. I was also worried all of our time would be spent waiting in the lines to get on the rides. I was wrong on both accounts. Since we were there mid-May, the park’s operating hours only happened on the weekends, meaning smaller crowds, meaning non-existent lines. The weather was a perfect 80 degrees, but honestly, a bit too cold for my littles, and they kept asking where the hot tub was. We walked right onto rides, several times, throughout the day. The only line we waited more than 2 minutes in was for the Royal Flush. The Tornado was not opened that day, or I suspect there would have been a line for that as well. I also requested a cabana by the Paradise Falls, which is the kid’s area- full of slides and water guns and a giant dumping bucket, all designed for the smaller set. I felt comfortable enough for my twins to go down the slides on their own while I watched at the bottom and their older siblings escorted them around. (They are also strong swimmers.) There is another area with much smaller slides and less excitement near the Paradise Falls cabanas, meant for toddlers, but the twins also enjoyed those slides, mainly because the water was the warmest. There are also cabanas located around Red Rock Bay (the wave pool), but I am not a fan of that attraction, especially when I’m the only adult present. We were quite happy with the location at Paradise Falls, and having the cabana was great to let them have some downtime and get out of the sun for a bit, and also warm up with towels and cuddles. Cabana Check-In Tips: Get there early. Cabana Check-in, Groups Check-in and Season Pass purchasing is all done in the same place. The line can be long and slow depending on how many employees they have working that area. We were there on a slow day, and we had two large groups ahead of us just buying their Season Passes. My kids were growing wrestless, especially the twins, and luckily, I was able to get assistance on a cabana ASAP because I asked. You will be given a small piece of paper indicating your cabana number, and each person in your party must have a wristband indicating permittance into the cabana area. Cabana amenities include a complimentary pitcher of ice water, cups and napkins and a little fruit container that fed all 5 kids. You can also order food and drinks to be delivered to your cabana. We did not, but, we did grab some of our fave treats, dipping dots, and brought them back to hang out. The twins enjoyed people watching from behind our cabana as floaters went along the Colorado Cooler (aka: lazy river). The cabana is set up with 2 lounge chairs, 4 chairs and a table, offers plenty of shade, and good service. We were checked on frequently by our Cabana host and there is also a button you can push to get their attention when service is needed. Towels, sunblock, and safe are not available in the cabana. The canvas closures only close about halfway in front, so there is not total privacy or security, but there are lockers and bathrooms/changing rooms available inside the park. I did not notice any ceiling fans and/or misters inside our cabana, and we did not need them that day. However, I can only imagine how hot it might get inside the canvas walls without some kind of ventilation or misting system to help keep it cooler during summer temps.
Option 2: Lockers and Express Bands
In summers past, I would take my two oldest to Wet-n-Wild. I would spring for the Express Bands and grab a locker. We would be in and out of the park within 4 hours. If we wanted to stay longer, we would, of course, but my kiddos were usually spent at about that time. I also did not have the twins with me, so this system worked well because it was convenient and fast. The Express Bands is one of the things Wet-n-Wild does right. Personally, I lose my patience quickly standing in the hot sun, on the hot concrete with my kids crying and complaining and hanging on me making me even hotter and sweatier while waiting the 20 minutes to get on a 1-minute ride. So, in my world, the cost for the Express Bands is well, well, worth it. There are two options of Express Bands; Standard Express ($20) and Premium Express ($30), the difference is in the amount of times you have to wait for each ride. They work much like the new magic bands at Disney World (not Land…they are still lame and only have Fast Passes). You walk up to a machine, pick the ride you want to go on, wave your Express Band, push a few buttons, and voila! You are now waiting in line without waiting in line. So, say you want to ride the Tornado. You use your Express Band to “get in line”. Your wait time pops up on your band, say, 8 minutes. During those 8 minutes, you can grab a snack, go potty, hit up the Red Rock Bay, Colorado Cooler, Paradise Falls, then, oh, look, our time is up! Head back over to the Tornado, walk into the Express Band line, and grab your float. See? So easy. The lockers are also super easy and quick and large enough to hold the three towels, sunblock, changes of clothes and water bottles we would need for the day. Depending on the size you need, the lockers range from $9-$12. Upon renting a locker, you will get a wristband that you wave in front of a sensor and like magic, your locker pops open. The locker area is shaded, and also located near the restrooms/changing rooms. I highly recommend this option if looking to get through the park in a few short hours.
Other Cool Stuff to Know
Wet-n-Wild Las Vegas offers a plethora of other family-focused activities during the season like Dive-In Movies and concerts, with plenty of reasons to make it a whole day and night time experience. There are half day entry fees as well for the late afternoons, Season Dining Plans and VIP cabana rentals. Season Pass holders also have lots of benefits like buddy passes and discounts on pretty much everything- I was asked the whole day every time we bought something if I was a VIP or Gold member. Great rides that also include the Slideboarding– an interactive gaming ride combining skills and thrills inside the Zip, Zap, Zoom slides (the green one).
Taking Littles and Ride Info
I thought the twins were the perfect age to start riding the rides. They tend to be little thrill seekers, one more than the other, but nonetheless, I figured they were ready. They met the day with excitement, but after their first ride, The Constrictor, they became nervous and a bit scared. They didn’t want to go “in the dark” or “too fast”. I’m not sure if it was the water element that threw them off, and also, the water is cold, really cold. After a trip in the Colorado Cooler and floating in Red Rock Bay, they were ready to tackle the rides again. The Desert Racers I thought they would love, but I had to go back and fetch them from the bottom, and the attendant at the top had to convince them to go down. I thought they went when I said, “Go!”, but that wasn’t the case. Just good to have in mind if you’re bringing first timers to the park. The water is cold, some of the slides are dark and fast which can be scary for newbies. The twins are 43″ tall, so they were able to ride most rides. Those under 46″ tall have to wear a life jacket in the Red Rock Bay, which I am totally fine with- in fact, I make my older ones wear a life jacket or instruct them to stay on a float (can you tell I’m a bit paranoid with this ride- I worked at the old Wet-n-Wild on the strip, I know the horror stories). The other ride factor most people don’t think about is the weight requirement, and let me tell you, it’s a total bummer when you walk a l l t h e w a y to the top of the ride to find out you and your riding partner(s) don’t weigh enough. It happens. There is a scale at the top, that blinks either green or red to indicate if you made it (no numbers!). Honestly, I think that scale should be at the bottom of the ride so there is no guessing. Fortunately, most rides with a weight requirement have an alternative ride on the same platform with no weight requirement in case you hit a red light. All of this is reminding to tell you about entering the park. There is a lifeguard on hand right at the entrance, along with a measuring stick determining who is tall enough for what. Once the height has been established, they will provide your child with the proper colored wristband. This makes it easier when getting in lines for the rides as the heights requirements are color coded to the wrist bands. One thing I love about the rides is they end on the slide…there is no deep pool to drop into, so when one of the twins had to ride with my daughter, I felt better knowing they could both easily stand up to exit safely.
OK! Enjoy your visit to the park, and hashtag your fun times with #LVSummerPlayground on Facebook and Instagram!
Disclaimer: My family and I were invited guests of Wet-n-Wild Las Vegas. We were provided a full day cabana and entry into the park in exchange for this review. All thoughts, word, opinions are always my own.