Anyone driving on Interstate 5 south of Seattle near Federal Way just can't miss the Wild Waves Theme Park located on the east side of the highway. On a hot summer day, the water slides beckon weary travelers and commuters to cool off in the lazy river or lagoon. Children may ask to spend the day riding bumper boats or cars or the Ferris wheel at the Enchanted portion of the park, which is 20 miles south of downtown Seattle.
Confident swimmers at Wild Waves (wildwaves.com) head to the wave and activity pools to frolic in deeper water, while less able swimmers may stick to the Hooks Lagoon or warming tubs. Swimmers at least 42 inches tall can hit the Green water slides, the Konga River and slides or Zooma Falls, with its four-person tubes for group sliding. Swimmers at least 48 inches tall may cruise down the Raging River or hit the Speed Slides for the quickest means of reaching the water below. Leave the shoes behind when riding on the water slides, but lace them back up when you are ready to hit the thrill rides.
Adrenaline junkie youths at least 48 inches tall have their choice of fast-moving, stomach-churning rides from which to choose at Wild Waves. The Ring of Fire is centrally located at the park and hard to miss, while the Timberhawk roller coaster serves as a backdrop and beckons fans of twists and turns. With three full rotations, the Wild Thing is the park's aptly named thrill ride and takes roller coaster fans on a convoluted journey. The Falling Star is a moving platform set against tall trees, while the Disko Flashback is a circular spinner with riders facing out to the park while rocking and rolling.
Kids' and Family Rides
Known to locals as the fairy tale-themed Enchanted Village, this area of Wild Waves is ideally suited for younger children needing some entertainment for the day. Board the Enchanted Railway to scope out the park and prioritize the other rides on the agenda. Ride a horse on a traditional antique carousel and then head to the Wagon Train and Red Baron rides for kids or the Kang-a-Bounce for families. Round out the day on the Kiddie Coaster and driving a Kiddie Boat or Safari Jeep. Family rides may require a parent's assistance for younger visitors who wish to ride the Paratrooper, Scramble, Pirate or Hang Glider.
Season passes are the best value for locals planning several visits to Wild Waves over the summer and are available at local warehouse stores at a discount. Expect to pay a daily parking fee or purchase a season parking pass as well. Lockers are open to rent with a refundable key deposit and standard or VIP cabanas are available to those wanting a private space for the day. Aside from a water bottle, no outside food or beverages are allowed at Wild Waves, but several food venues serve pizza, corn dogs, burgers, ice cream and frozen drinks.
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