We decided to take the kids for a chilly visit to Wildwater Kingdom in Aurora on July 4.
We arrived at the park around 3 p.m. after a long and costly detour at the Aurora Farms outlets.
Our delayed arrival turned out to be OK as the park was pretty empty thanks to a brisk, cloudy day. We parked in the upper lot and found a space in the fourth row so it was a short trek to the gate. Parking is $10.
Our children found it hard to believe that the expansive lot used to always be filled back in the days when Sea World occupied the park.
It is still hard to not feel a bit sad when you enter the park and see the ghosts of Sea World still there.
We decided to start the day with a bang on the Liquid Lightning raft ride down a 60-foot plunge into a giant funnel that spits you out.
The water was a bit cold so it was baptism by ice cubes. The lifeguard assured us that the wave pool and lazy river were heated.
The ride was a lot of fun and I was convinced we were going to flip over. Thankfully, we didn’t.
Some of our group ventured over to the Thunder Falls slide attractions. They didn’t last long. The lines were short, but the water was too cold.
We spent a lot of time in the park’s warmer Coral Cove where there are floating critters to climb on and a hot-tub like setting. There is also a circle pool that spins swimmers around.
We did a couple laps in the lazy river. It was a walk on with no wait for inner tubes. I particularly like the mini-wave maker feature.
We caught up with our older kids at the wave pool where it was pretty barren, not the usual sea of humanity. The water was warm enough, but chilly once you ventured out.
Our youngest wanted to check out Splash Landing that had just a few youngsters wandering around.
We ended the day with one last plunge down the Liquid Lightning attraction where the wait was just under 10 minutes.
If you can get over what’s missing, Shamu and Geauga Lake’s coasters across the lake, Wildwater Kingdom is an enjoyable day trip.
The park is Cedar Fair clean and the workers are attentive, but it seems like it is stuck in time. It would be nice to see Cedar Fair make a statement about its future by announcing a new attraction before summer’s end - something more than new lounge chairs.
Wouldn’t it be great to see Cedar Fair pump some money into the park and make it a premiere waterpark that attracts visitors from the throughout the state and beyond and fill up that empty parking.