The beach may get all of the attention in the Gulf Shores area, but that doesn't mean it's the only place you can cool off while on vacation. In fact, Gulf Shores is home to one sprawling water park and its variety of fun rides and attractions, and this facility is the perfect place to visit during your stay at one of the many Gulf Shores beach house rentals situated nearby.
About the water park
Originally opening in 1986, Waterville USA, better known simply as Waterville, has been delighting visitors for decades. It covers 20 acres of land and is conveniently located just a quarter of a mile from the public beach. This prime location means that it attracts many locals and visitors to the area, and with so many attractions within the Waterville limits, it's easy to see what keeps many of these guests coming back for more.
The water park may be the main draw at Waterville, but there are a number of activities that offer a way to have fun while staying dry. Waterville boasts an entire amusement park packed with attractions that take place out of the water. Nascart go-carts are a favorite for many, as is the mini-golf experience, which can be played as 18 or 36 holes. Other activities include the Cannonball Roller Coaster, House of Bounce and the Trampoline Thing.
There are a number of cool rides and attractions that you won't want to miss during your trip to Waterville. Families will love the Crystal Waters Lazy River, which drifts around several setups and allows visitors of any age to enjoy a float around the facility. Similarly, groups with younger children will like the North Shore Wave Pool, Wa Wa World, Shrimp Boat Village and Rainbow Falls, all of which feature a unique brand of fun on a smaller, more manageable scale.
However, that doesn't mean there aren't a few places where visitors can get their adrenaline pumping. Triple Dog Dare and Jet Stream are high-speed body slides that are sure to provide some thrills, while the Screamin' Demon and a few other open-air or enclosed tube slides offer a way to pack in the fun during your trip to the park.
One of the top attractions is the FlowRider. On this, visitors can go boogie boarding or stand-up surfing for a one-hour period. These sessions are $13 and do require a waiver to be signed if you want to try surfing.
Once you've gotten your fill of water rides, go-cart races, mini-golf and more, you can head to The Starcade. This old-school arcade is one of the largest of its kind in the region and features a wide array of games any visitors will love to play. Keep participating in these contests and you may earn enough points to take home a prize from Waterville, giving you a souvenir that will always remind you of the fun times had in this park even after you've returned to Gulf Shores rentals.
The water park portion of Waterville is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. An admission ticket allows you to access all of the rides within this section from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Although prices are subject to change, the fees generally do not vary by more than a few dollars from year to year.
The amusement park portion of Waterville is open from March through September. You can choose from several different payment options there, including a park pass, which provides access to unlimited rides on all amusement park attractions, or you can pay individual ride prices. Individual passes range from $3 to $8 depending on the attraction.