Thursday, October 10, 2013

Best Summer Ever {2013}: Wet 'N Wild

Just when JAM thought all the fun was over now that we returned from our Cali trip, I was given complimentary media passes to check out Las Vegas' new water park, Wet 'N Wild. It seemed like a no-brainer to bring a water park back to the desert so JAM and I were ecstatic to check the place out. We went as soon as the park opened in the morning to avoid the rumored afternoon rush. Since we were visiting as media, they provided us with complimentary parking and Xpress Bands for each of us.

The park was actually a littler smaller than I expected. There are about 11 different attractions to visit with about 5 of those being slides that were fully accessible to the little kids (over 42" tall). Considering there were only 5 slides, it wasn't a surprise that the lines started to get a little long when the rush of people came in around noon. Some of the more popular slides had about an hour or more wait time.

This where the Xpress Bands came into play. Xpress Bands are an innovative wristband  that allows guests to wait in line for slides virtually. These bands are definitely worth the price in my opinion. The ones given to us looked like orange wrist watches. There are kiosks around the park used to reserve you spot in line with the bands. You scan your band, choose your slide of choice and then the wait time is synced with your band. You can group up to 8 reservations at one time which is pretty neat. Once the band clocks out at 0:00, you head to a special Xpress Bands line at the coordinating slide and away you go. JAM and I would hang out in the lazy river (AKA the Colorado Cooler) or grab a bite to eat while we waited. When it was time to head to our reserved slide we were usually the only ones in the special line so it was perfect. No one hour wait times burning in the Las Vegas heat for us!

Let me tell you though, it's been YEARS since I've visited a water park and this was my first time going as a mom. Whoo! If there was a time I wished Mahal came along on a trip, this would be the one just for his muscle power to carry the inner tubes haha. I definitely got a work out when visiting Wet 'N Wild and riding all of the slides. Most of the slides require an inner tube of some sort so when you're next in line, the person just getting off the slide hands off their inner tube to you so you can ride next. However, depending on the slide, these inner tubes can get fairly heavy. It also doesn't help that you have to carry that thing up like 7 flights of stairs each and every time. One of the most popular slides (The Rattler) had a raft-like inner tube and that thing was HEAVY! I'm only 5'2 and that thing was definitely bigger that me. There was no way I was lifting that off the ground to carry it. I felt bad for some of the kids that didn't have an adult to help them. Two little kids would make it up about 5 steps and give up. If I was struggling, I couldn't imagine how the kids felt. I was definitely hyperventilating by the time I reached the top step with my out of shape self haha. 

That circular lime green raft is the HEAVY tube for the Rattler. Eek!

Another complimentary feature provided to us was a locker. The technology set up for Wet 'N Wild's lockers were pretty neat. You naturally pay at a neighboring kiosk for you chosen locker (there are 3 sizes to choose from), and you receive a wrist band once you make your payment. You head to your section with your chosen locker size and you use your keyless access wristband to pop a locker open. No need to search for a locker key or trying to remember which locker is yours. That wristband allows unlimited access to your locker and all you need to do is scan your wristband in the coordinating locker section and the door pops right open. Neat! The largest sized locker was big enough to fit my fully packed beach bag and my purse. A little side note, WEAR YOUR SHOES! Don't leave them in the locker. Most of the water park is cement so the floors get super hot during the summer months. Worst case scenario, if you're wearing flip flops instead of water shoes just put the flip flops around your wrists when riding the slides. Many kids even left their flip flops at the side of the entrance or exit of the slide for convenience.

One thing that definitely surprised me about Wet 'N Wild was how affordable the food was. I assumed the food would be a total rip off just like any other amusement park I've attended. When we visited Legoland and Disneyland we easily paid $20 for a slice of pizza and a water. Not at Wet 'N Wild. Glancing at their menu most of the food was around $8 and some of those were combo meals. They offered a souvenir mug for about $12 that offered free refills and was totally worth the money in this Vegas heat. Plus, you can bring the mug back when you visit during the rest of the season and pay only 99 cents for a refill. JAM approved all the food he tried during our visit. This mommy opted for yummy goodness like Dippin' Dots and funnel cake instead of "real food" and I was just as satisfied.

It was all in all a great day at Wet 'N Wild Las Vegas. The lockers and Xpress Bands make our visit that much more enjoyable. All the staff was very helpful and friendly when needed, and all the attractions were a blast. We finished off our day hanging out in the wave pool (AKA Red Rock Bay), the Kiddie Cove, and Paradise Falls where JAM and I got drenched by a bucket filled with 300 gallons of water! We can't wait for the 2014 season to visit again, and hopefully with Mahal this time around.

What's your favorite slide at Wet 'N Wild Las Vegas?