So, on day 2 of entertaining my 2 1/2 year old nephew, we decided to head out to White Water. In fact, we were determined to get to the park right when it opened. Gasp! This may not seem like a big deal to you, but it was to me. You see, I’m not one to be early (ever!), especially in the morning. If you recall, I am a night owl!
Night Owl = Slow to Start
But, you can’t be a slow-to-start night owl when there is a nap curfew in effect. No, sir. If you don’t maximize your morning, you don’t maximize your fun (and that’s what vacation is all about, right?). We weren’t going to let that happen on our watch. So, off we went.
We arrived to a very empty White Water parking lot (great parking spot for us!) at about 9:20 a.m. There were several other people starting to line up at the closed gate. We sat in the car for a few minutes gathering our stuff and before we knew it, it was 9:30. We eyed the gate with anticipation, got out of the car and walked up to the still-closed gate. Hmmm. The park was supposed to open at 9:30, right? About this time we saw some life guards arriving for work, and it hit us. White Water wasn’t opening at 9:30. Our suspicions were soon confirmed – the gate opens at 10:00.
Well, some people may have been really frustrated by this, but not us! In fact, I was particularly enjoying the novelty of being somewhere not just a little early (which, as I’ve already confessed, rarely happens), but an entire half hour early. And, you know what? There were others there who seemingly knew that the park didn’t open until 10:00 yet still achieved getting there at 9:30. Wow. That is a totally foreign concept for me. But you know what they say, it’s always good to see how the “other half” lives. And, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I kind of liked it.
You see, because we were so early, we had plenty of time to apply our sunscreen AND (are you ready for it?) let it soak in. Now, that’s reason enough to get to White Water early. There is nothing more frustrating for my girls than having to wait 10 minutes (I may be on the later side, but I am a rule follower) after putting on their sunscreen before I left them jump in. And I can only remember how hard it is for a 2 1/2 year old to wait! Thankfully, when those gates opened, we went right in, found a spot for our stuff and were on our way!
We headed straight for Ohana Falls, or better known in my circle as “the family ride.”
Apparently, I came to find out, the lines are not nearly as long first thing in the morning. Short lines meant more riding (maximizing our fun!) for us. We hopped into the huge rafts (up to 4 people) and zipped down the slide – SO MUCH FUN! You gotta love a ride that everyone in your group can ride together AND enjoy.
Now, in case you were wondering, I did not perform some incredible acrobatic stunt to get this picture, nor is this family my own. No, sadly I have no (count ’em, ZERO) pictures from our day at White Water. I have no excuses, and I was really ok with it until I realized I would have to use pictures off of White Water’s website or no pictures at all for the ole’ blog. Sigh.
Anyway . . . after a few rides, we headed over to Splashaway Cay which is a great area for families with kids of all ages to play. I particularly like sitting in the front row of chairs where you experience a continual cool mist (watch out, though, sometimes the wind shifts or some mischievous child decides you are the perfect target for a water canon). It really is quite lovely (without the target practice).
After our stay at Splashaway Cay (I am a poet and don’t even know it!), we decided to try the new Aloha River at Hula Hula Bay. This attraction replaced the Lazy River – it is the same concept, but is much longer, more themed and has plenty of opportunities for you to get “splashed.” In a word, this ride is relaxing. Check out this video for a preview. We finished our time back at the kiddie area, Coconut Cove, where everything is just the right size for your little ones. There are plenty of chairs (if your child is old enough to explore on his own) and the area is nice and contained (nearly escape proof!), which is a very good thing when you’re dealing with “flight risks,” otherwise know as curious toddlers.
We knew it was time to go when we asked my nephew if he wanted to swim more or go home, and he said, “go home.” When a kid who has loved everything about White Water says it’s time to go home, you know you’ve reached a critical point . . . nap soon or total meltdown. We took the “nap soon” route and successful averted any kind of fuss. We got our hand stamped on the way out so that we could return later if we wanted to (such a great option for families who want to take a break for a little while) and headed home. I think he was asleep in two minutes! So, the moral of the story is . . .
Night Owl Who Toughens Up and Gets to White Water Early = Maximized Fun AND No Toddler Meltdowns!
I hope you’ll consider White Water as part of your Branson fun (and don’t forget to take pictures!). Remember that while you’re playing at The Track, you can buy discounted White Water tickets at the Track ticket counter! Here’s the skinny . . .
Don’t miss out!