Area Aqua Adventures What you need to know before you visit your local water park by Clare Adams
There’s something about waterslides that just screams summer; the perfect pastime of sunny days and the ability to play all day long, letting the hours slide by (literally!) without a care. However, if you’ve got younger children who love to slide, and you start to go to a few different places, you soon start to learn that not all sliding is equal. Sometimes your little one can join in the fun, other times they’re not going to make the mark. Having seen the super-sad, slumped shoulders of a disappointed child after a 45-minute drive to go sliding, I started to question how this all works.
What’s with all the different rules? This is a question I’ve had for some time, as it’s become apparent to us that some places seem to go on age, others by height, not all age or height requirements are the same, and then some allow double-riding (especially for infants/toddlers) while many don’t. My kids love sliding, so when the water parks are closed, we hit the slides in all the rec centre pools, but quickly found that even there the rules vary a lot. It seemed to me that
there ought to be some standardization of the rules. But having asked the question of those in the know, I found that there are necessary differences that are driving the rules.
Bridal Falls Waterpark
Cultus Lake Waterpark
Rides: 4 advanced slides (min 42” height restriction and no double riding), one tube slide (min 48” height restriction and no double riding) 2 intermediate slides (no height restriction and doubling permitted), 3 kiddie slides and one kiddie tube slide.
Rides: 3 extreme slides (min. 48” height restriction and no double riding), 3 double or single rider tube rides (min. 48” height restriction), two 4-5 person raft rides (min 36” to ride or 48” to ride alone), 5 zero-to-60 single-rider, face first mat rides (min. 42” height restriction), 3 body slides (min. 36” height restriction), 8 children’s body slides and a floating river suitable for all.
Features: All heated slides, free parking, can bring your own picnic, lifejacket and locker rentals available. Hardly any steps – almost entirely sloped walking trails to slides. NEW VIP area includes hard cover, insect netting, propane BBQ and ice cooler. Campground next door.
Licensing for waterslides is governed by the Safety Authority which tries to provide a consistent approach to regulations. But the fact is, the slides are all quite different and as such have different safety concerns. Most of the
Features: Non-sliders can enjoy floating in adventure river. Newly expanded picnic grounds and hot tubs. NEW Bazooka Bowls and The Boomerang Inline Raft Ride.
Cost: $20 + tax for all riders, except under 2 yrs is free. $11.42 + tax for dry passes. Discounted rates offered for entrance after 3pm. NEW 5 at 5 deal - $5 for the last hour of sliding from 5pm.
Cost: Full day - $29 (incl. tax) for everyone 48” and taller, $20 (incl. tax) for everyone under 48”, except children 2 years and under are free. Senior and twilight rates (for the last 4 hours) are available. Non-slider tickets, family tickets and season passes are not available.
Splashdown Park, Tsawwassen
Atlantis Waterslides, Vernon
Rides: The Black Hole and Bonsai Blueline enclosed slides with 48” height restriction. 4 advanced body slides (3 are 425 feet and 1 is 395 feet), 2 intermediate body slides, Big Jim’s River Run tube slide (320ft), 5 children’s slides and one 46 foot ramp slide.
Rides: one advanced slide, 3 ultimate flumes, 2 intermediate slides, 2 little kiddie slides, ramp slide and pool, hot tub.
Features: Volleyball, basketball and pool for non-sliders to enjoy. Lifejackets, umbrellas, volleyballs and basketballs available to borrow free of charge (ID required). BBQ, tent and locker rentals available. Can bring your own picnic.
Cost: Full day - $23.50 (incl. tax) for everyone 13yrs and older. $16.50 (incl. tax) for 4-12 year-olds, 3 year-olds and under are free. Senior rates, sitting senior rates, twilight rates (from June 30th, after 2:30pm), family passes for 4, swimming only passes and park area only passes are available. Tubes are included in admission price.
Cost: Full day - $22.99 + tax for everyone 48” and taller. $16.96 + tax for everyone under 48”, except 3 years and under are free. Seniors rates, twilight rates (from 4 hours before close), family of 4 passes and season passes (weekday only and unlimited) are available.
Features: All water is heated. Disabled parking and access. 9-hole mini golf for those not wanting to swim or slide.