Water parks are something I very much enjoyed as a child. Living in Florida meant it was water park season all year long. I have many memories of the various times my family and friends spent that day enjoying slides and wave pools. In high school once I started to gain a lot of weight I started to be made fun of for my weight. A classmate asked what I was doing over the weekend and went I told her we were headed to the water park she said “I can’t believe you walk around in a bathing suit looking like that.” I didn’t let her see it but I wanted to cry. I never went to a water park again and in fast all water related activities scared me. I usually would swim in shorts and a t-shirt to avoid being seen in a bathing suit.
When I heard we were going to Aquatica I planned on spending a low profile day clothed in shorts and a shirt pool side while hubby rode the slides I would be to big for. Once I got to the park I saw people of all shapes and sizes sporting all sorts of attire. It made me laugh. I thought about how whether you are fat or thin there are certain things you just shouldn’t wear. I also noticed that some of the “thin” people didn’t look so great and some of the “fat” ones looked just fine. After taking a first dip into the pool I my clothes were so stretched out and uncomfortable I said “Screw it, I am taking it off, and if people don’t like it they don’t have to look.”
My heart sank when we got to the Dolphin Plunge, the one ride I really wanted to go on most, and it had a sign that said the weight limit was 300 pounds. Hubby tried to get me to ride anyway saying “You don’t look over 300, and they are not going to ask your weight.” However I just couldn’t do it. I had thoughts of my enormous weight cracking the tube and them having to shut down the ride. They’d kick me out of the park and put up a sign that said “Dolphin Plunge closed due to a big fat chick breaking it.” My husband rode it and he said it was fun. The claim to fame on this ride is that part of the tube is clear and you slide through the Cameron dolphin tank. He said the ride was so fast you couldn’t even see the dolphins and he rode it twice.
Next we decided to walk over to a group riding, knowing it would have a higher weight limit. There were two rides the Walhalla Wave and HooRoo Run. Walhalla Wave had a weight limit of 800 pounds and HooRoo Run had one of 600 pounds. Hubby and I rode them together and it was fantastic! I felt the thrill of childhood come right back to me and as soon as it was over said, “We have to ride again!”
When we came to the Taumata Racer I knew I would not want to ride it whether I could or not. It was one of those rides that had a long straight down drop. It turns out the weight limit was 300 pounds so I couldn’t have anyway. Hubby rode it three times and loved it. He is the adventurous one.
The last two slides we visited were Tassie’s Twister and Whanau Way. Both slides were for single or double riders. To my delight the weight limit was 400 pounds for both. Tassie’s Twister looked a lot more fun that it actually was. If there is a long line, I recommend you skip it. The Whanau Way slide was our absolute favorite. The whole thing is completely in the dark so you never knew what was coming next. There were many twists and turns as well as a couple drops. This one was fast and really got my adrenaline going. We rode this one three times. We both agreed it was the best ride at the park.
Attractions for anyone of any shape and size to enjoy were: Loggerhead Lane (Slow Lazy River), Roa’s Rapids (Fast Lazy River), Big Surf Shores (Wave Pool), and Walkabout Waters (a water playground).
As far as eating goes at the park, if you plan to stay all day you should buy the 20.00 Banana Beach Cookout Buffet all day pass. Hubby and I ended up eating all three meals there because we came at opening and stayed until closing. We mainly bought it because we looked at the menus and most single dining options were at least 10 bucks plus drinks and that is just for one meal. Besides, hubby and I drink a lot especially when we are walking around. We didn’t want to be buying 3 dollar drinks all day. The breakfast options were: bagels, croissants, pastries, cereal, bananas and yogurt. I had a banana, yogurt, and OJ. For lunch and dinner they had: Grilled Chicken, Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Fruit Salad, Watermelon, Cole Slaw, Pasta Salad, Caesar Salad, Rice, Mac & Cheese, brownies, and pudding. For Lunch I had a hamburger and fruit. For dinner I had chicken, rice, and fruit. Oh okay, I had a brownie too! Fountain drinks were available all day. Milk and Juice were only served in the morning.
It was a very good experience. It got me out of my comfort zone. I had a great anniversary trip. I was able to enjoy much more than I ever thought I could. Honestly, after the fun began, I never thought about my weight once.