If there's one thing that I find super fun about my husband's family, it's that they love the water, and even more so, love to be in the water. We're not going on our big family beach trip this summer, so we've been trying to find alternate ways to spend time together this summer, while enjoying some of the best NC family attractions.
One of our favorite places to visit, is super fun Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe, located in Greensboro, NC, which is about 45 minutes north of where I live. Wet 'n Wild EP is the largest water park in the Carolinas, and has 36 wild and fun rides for the family! It's the perfect place to cool off, catch some sun and relax, and have fun! Wet 'n Wild offers something for everyone- from tiny tots to seniors, so it truly is a family friendly destination.
Our family was given the opportunity to visit Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe a couple of weeks ago, and when we told the family we'd be going, they were thrilled! Everyone in our family has been going to Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe for years! My husband used to love to go there with his friends, and though I hadn't been there in nearly 15 years, I was excited to see how it had changed, and experience the park with my own little man.
B, in his swim suit, and ready to head to Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe for a fun day!
When we got to Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe, we were directed to park. Just FYI- there is a fee for parking. We found a place to park with no problem, as we were sure to arrive early, right when the park was opening, around 10 am. We grabbed our bags, and headed to the park entrance, where we walked through security (it made me feel good that they were checking people's bags at the security checkpoint).
B leading the way with the park map in hand, with Sacha, Heidi, Cousin C, and Cousin Lucie. These five were ready to hit the water, and experience some of the rides.
And of course, I was ready to catch some sun!
Wet 'n Wild EP has changed a lot in the past 15 years, but some things remained the same. We quickly found the spot where we wanted to begin our Wet 'n Wild adventure- Thunder Bay, the giant two million gallon wave pool!
Even early in the morning, lots of chairs were already claimed by the wave pool.
We found a row of empty lounge chairs, however, and claimed those for ourselves. We hydrated up, and then we were ready to hit the pool!
Here's a glimpse of part of Thunder Bay, giving you an idea as to how large this wave pool really is!
We headed to the entrance of the Thunder Bay wave pool. I was happy to see that the lifeguards were checking the little ones for height, and directing parents as to whether or not their child needed to wear a life jacket. There were plenty of appropriately sized life jackets on hand for the children, and for adults, who felt safer with a life jacket on. We got B suited up in his life jacket, and then headed into the pool. I loved that we were able to just sort of wade right into the pool. The water was chilly, so we just got our whole selves wet! Within minutes, the pool began generating giant waves! These waves are some 84 feet wide, and we went deep into the wave pool, so we could ride them! We had a blast!
B and me, at Thunder Bay.
After we spent an hour or so at Thunder Bay, some of the group wanted to ride some of the water slides. So, we headed over to the Double Barrel Blast, where S, H, L, and C all raced two by two down the slides, and splashed into an 8 ft. pool below. B and I had fun watching them race! Next, we made our way to Shipwreck Cove, which is a 6 ft. deep pool, and houses a sunken ship! We swam around in there for a while, and then decided to check out the other side of the park, which had even more slides, rides, and the children's areas.
We walked over the Lazee River, which looked so calming, and comfy, yet it was so crowded that we never did get a chance to enjoy it. We then found ourselves in the children's area, at Splash Island. As soon as B realized that we were in the kid's area, he went crazy. He was so excited, and didn't know what he wanted to do first. I figured that he and I would spend the majority of the day in this part of the park.
B noticed a little green tube ride within the Splash Island play area, and asked if we could go and check it out. We walked over, and watched some of the other boys and girls on the ride, many riding with their parent. B's eyes lit right up, and he asked if he could ride it. I was sort of nervous to let my three year old on a tube slide, in a raft, and even more nervous that he's have to ride it with me! We grabbed a raft, walked up the stairs, and waited our turn to ride. I got B situated in his seat of the raft, got myself in the raft, and told him to hold on, and not let go. Once the raft got going down the slide, we felt like we were flying!
B, enjoying his very first water slide ride, at Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe!
My husband captured this awesome photo... look at B's big smile!
B loved this ride so much, that he asked to ride it over and over again. We must have ridden it at least 10 times in a row! B really wanted to take a turn riding it with his daddy, so Sacha was a great sport, and rode this with him, but unfortunately, the raft was a bit too heavy in the back, they flipped the raft once it was in the pool, as B was trying to climb out. We learned that it was better for B to ride with me, Aunt H, or Cousin L.
Sacha and B having a grand time on their ride...
We worked up quite an appetite after riding so many fun water slides in the morning, so we decided to take a break and have a bite of lunch. There are tons of places to eat at Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe, and lots of little snack bars, too. Everything looked and smelled really yummy, however, we decided to bring our own lunch from home. We packed a cooler, packed it down with ice, and left it in the car, until we were ready to eat. We then found a picnic table, and brought our coolers over. We enjoyed the break, technically outside of the park, since you can't bring food into the park. Our hands were stamped with invisible ink for re-entry after lunch.
B, taking a break to enjoy some lunch...
Sacha and Lucie, enjoying their lunch at the picnic area.
If you want to enjoy your lunch in the park, there are plenty of places to grab food from. You can also rent a locker for your cooler at the park, where it will be stored for a fee, and then you can enjoy your lunch in a shaded picnic area in the park.
After lunch, we were ready to hit some of the other fun water rides. We all had our eye set on the Cyclone Zone, and we could ride it as a family, which I thought was pretty cool. In the Cyclone Zone, riders get Swept away in a Polynesian riptide, secure in the safety of a life vest as you ride the swirling waters of a South Sea cyclone. *Just a note, on this ride and some of the others, your life jacket must be a US Coast Guard approved life vest.
Looked pretty tame before the ride began...
The rest of the family, suited up in their life vests, and waiting their turn to get into the pool for the ride.
Once you're in the pool, the current of the water just sort of whisks you away. The current carries you round and round, just like being in a cyclone! I snapped photos the first time the family rode this, and then got the chance to ride it, myself. It was a blast! It was so much fun to go round and round, holding hands with my hubby and little B! We all agreed that this was one awesome ride!
The family, enjoying their ride around the Cyclone Zone... all smiles!
Some of the other water rides and slides could be seen off behind the Cyclone Zone...
I noticed some of the other rides off in the distance, and wondered if we'd get to ride any of them. All of the water slides looked totally fun, but one of the rides I wanted to ride more than anything, was Dr. Von Dark's Tunnel of Terror! It was great to have another adult with us, who offered to take the younger boys to play back in the kids area for a while, while hubby and I rode a couple of the other water rides.
Dr. Von Dark's Tunnel of Terror- Photo Courtesy of Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe
We did get the chance to ride Dr. Von Dark's Tunnel of Terror. I only freaked out a little bit, right before it was our turn to get onto the ride. Basically, you sit in a two person raft float, facing each other. Then, you're pushed into a dark tunnel, and you can't see a thing... you don't even need to close your eyes- it won't make a difference! I felt like we were flying, and sliding back and forth! We went through winding parts of the tube slide, and then hit a giant cone, where I felt like we had to be almost upside down, we were sliding so high up on the walls of that cone! Then, it was a few more twists and turns, totally in the dark, and then we hit the landing pool. It was a fast ride, but the wait in line was worth it, just to get to experience the thrill!
B and Cousin C, ready to head back to the kid's area for some more fun!
While the kids played with Aunt H, and Cousin L, Sacha and I also rode the Raging Rapids. It's a long tube slide ride, and you can ride in a 2 or 3 person raft. It's basically structured like a long river, and you slide down in the raft, riding the rapids the entire way. This was a fast slide, and though I felt a rush of adrenaline on this ride, it's probably one of the more tame water rides/slides in the park, especially if you're like me, and don't like anything with a big free fall drop.
We caught up with everyone over at the Happy Harbour Children's Play Area- so much fun!
We were happy to find everyone else over at the Happy Harbour Children's Play Area, which includes two pools with a total of 6,400 square feet of water fun. The maximum depth is 9 inches and the play elements for children include the Silly Submarine and Ollie the Octopus. Just above this are, three kid's water slides. Adults were allowed to accompany children on the wide slide in the middle, so I took B down that one. It was so much fun! There were lots and lots of places to sit and lounge in the lounge chairs, many of them had umbrellas around to shade guests from the hot sun, as well. B and I stayed and played in this area, while Sacha, Lucie, Heidi, and Cousin C went off to ride some more water rides.
The rest of our gang rode the Twin Twisters (which I rode 15 years ago), and had a lot of fun. These double twisters are black tube slides, and they are pitch black inside! I remember being scared out of my mind on those 15 years ago! What a rush! The fearless foursome also rode the Dragon's Den, and a few others.
B and Cousin C, enjoying the kid's slides at Splash Island...
Eventually, B, C, and I wound back over at Splash Island. We spent the majority of our time here, because they had all sorts of splash and fun stuff for the little ones. B quickly took to the water slides, the kids wave pool, the splash areas, and of course, he loved the green tube water slide!
B and C on the tail end of a wild water slide race!
At the very end of our day, we all caught back up at Splash Island. We waded in the kids pools together, relaxed and enjoyed the last hour the park was open... oh yeah, we stayed until closing time, which was 6 pm.
B, splashing and playing...
Sacha, B, and C, getting soaked right before the park closed.
We had such an incredible day at Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe. Being there with a three year old was certainly a much different experience than my last visit 15 years ago (when I was in high school, and visited the park with my friends), but it was such a fun day for our family. More than anything, I love that there were so, so man options for families at the water park. Even if you have infants, there are plenty of safe places to play and splash in just a few inches of water. The toddler and children's areas were a lot of fun, even for the adults, and there were numerous places for families to lounge, relax, swim, and play together. I was glad that we only split up as a group a few times, so we could take turns riding some of the thrill water rides. Everyone got to experience something wild and fun!
Photo Courtesy of Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe
Want to Go? Plan Your Visit!
If you're in NC/SC/VA, or are passing through this summer, a trip to Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe should definitely be part of your summer plans! Emerald Pointe is offering MBP readers $10.00 off the General Admission ticket price of $35.99. Just use the code 14006 on the Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe website to receive your discount. Must book online to use the coupon code and receive the discount. Code expires 9/1/14.
Stay up to date on all the Wet n' Wild fun that awaits you and your group or family, at Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe, by following on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
Special thanks to our friends at Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe, for allowing our family to visit the park for a day of fun! I sure felt like I was recapturing my youth, and it felt special for my husband and I to visit with our son, 15 years after visiting the park together as teens! What sweet memories our day trip brought back. We can't wait to visit again!
Disclosure: My family and I were provided with tickets to visit Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe, free of charge, in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Your experience may differ from mine.