Water slides made of gold?

Where are we? The park is large and it takes awhile to get your bearings. Photos by Melissa Lowrie
  Melissa Lowrie

Canoe Kids
By Melissa Lowrie
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If you are looking for big slides and long lines this summer, I have the perfect plan. (Oh, and bring a bunch of cash, too.)

It’s hot outside, after all, so the natural thought would be a water park. And why not start at the top of the heap and check out White Water? Seems like a good idea in theory …

The park opened in 1984 and became part of the Six Flags Corporation in 1999. In my estimation, the buildings haven’t been painted since. It was clean, so there’s that. But let’s just say it’s tired.

My first bout of sticker shock was in the parking lot. It was $15 for the privilege to park. We visited on a Friday about lunchtime and there were lines to get into the park (they search every bag). Then another line to purchase tickets. Little did I know this was a harbinger of things to come.

    One of the attractions for the younger kids provides smaller slides. 

Here’s the kicker: unless you are under 48 inches, you’ll pay the day pass rate of $41.99. That means for my party of three, it was $133.53 (guess there’s a tax on fun?). The rate for children under the 48 inch mark is $36.99. Tickets can be purchased online at a discount.

If you want to ride any slides with your kids, either bring someone with you to sit with your bag or rent a locker. I suppose you could leave it sitting in a chair unattended, but I didn’t feel good about that. Lockers are available to rent in three sizes at the bargain prices of $13, $16 and $19.

Now I’m in for $164.53 and we haven’t even gotten wet yet.

The park, encompassing 69 acres of Cobb County, is a lot to cover in bare feet. There are water features and slides for the smallest kids to the most daring teens. One of the new editions this year is Dive Bomber.

 CK    CK   
 The Dive Bomber is a new attraction this year at White Water.   The Tornado is a 132-foot tunnel that shoots rafts into the mouth of a gigantic funnel. 

The Dive Bomber is a 10-story tall water slide featuring “An enclosed, clear capsule with a trap door that releases riders for a zero-gravity experience,” per the website. There were no takers from my group for this particular ride, but I’m sure it is thrilling.

Sharing stairs with Dive Bomber is Run-A-Way River. Groups go down together on a large raft through a huge water slide that sometimes takes you through darkness. This one-minute ride was fun, but was it worth the 45-minute wait? Of course not.

Other attractions were less crowded, but the big slides all had the same long wait times. The park’s answer to this problem is a Flash Pass. It’s a wristband that enables the wearer either to make a reservation for a ride or bypass the line completely. Flash Passes are available for eleven of the park’s attractions.

  Can you make it across without falling in?

There are regular Flash Passes and “gold” Flash Passes, with rates varying from weekend to weekday. In addition to the ticket purchase, these passes run $25 to $55 each. As we waited in line after line, watching the occasional group scurry past us to the front actually had me considering this option. (As absurd as that was.)

The Atlanta Ocean Wave Pool is a good option to break from the lines, but it’s also crowded. Same for the Lazy River.

The kids thought White Water was fun, but too crowded. Sometimes the thrill of a good water slide makes the memory of time waiting dissolve; however, we never went on the same ride twice. It was impossible to make it to all the rides in one afternoon due to the lines, but they are open until 7 p.m. every evening, so perhaps the crowds dissipate the later it gets.

A few summers ago we visited the Helen Waterpark; it’s much smaller in scale and price, as was the waterpark at Lake Winnepesaukah. Both kids agree these are better options.

Water slides of every shape and size await visitors to White Water.

If you must venture to White Water, save your pennies and opt for the Flash Pass. And eat before you visit—no outside food or beverages are allowed and food prices in the park were in line with the rest of the rates. (Two small cokes and a funnel cake was $17.99.)

Should you need us for the remainder of the summer, we’ll be at the Swim Club.

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