If you grew up in the 80’s you probably remember going to the water park in the summer. Water parks have been around since the 40’s and 50’s but the evolution of water parks took off in the late 70’s and into the 80’s. The first indoor water park was built in Edmonton Canada in 1985 and it became the model for indoor water parks all over. One of the most notable names in outdoor water parks in the 80’s was Wild Waters. Of course, the slides weren’t as sophisticated as they are today, but it was great fun and a refreshing way to cool off on a hot summer day. Here are a few fun facts and memories of what it was like enjoying a day at the water park in the 80’s.
We would wait sometimes over an hour to go down our favorite slide! The pavement would burn our feet but it was so worth it. What was your favorite slide? Did you enjoy the corkscrew, cliff hanger, or lazy river? No matter how many hours you were at the park you could never get enough time on the slides.
Forget it if You Got Lost
If you got lost or separated from those that you were with, you’d just wander around aimlessly looking for each other. Eventually you would find your crew and get back in line. Or, maybe you just figured out that at some point you’d find each other and kept going on as many slides as possible. Many new friends were made waiting in line!
Costs for a season pass back then was about $50 or less. Though that still seemed like a lot of money in the 80’s, it was totally worth being able to go the Wild Waters everyday. Most of us packed a lunch, jumped on the bus, and would be gone until dinner time.
Sunscreen was optional. Pretty much everyone who went to the water park ended up with a sunburn because there wasn’t anyone applying sunscreen every hour like today. Some of us were made to put on Zinc Oxide before leaving the house for the water park. You’d roll the thick white cream on your nose, under your eyes, and maybe even on your cheeks. It was annoying to say the least, but boy aren’t we glad we did it now!
Don’t forget about jamming out to your favorite summer hits of the 80’s blasting throughout the park. This was especially fun while waiting in line at the snack bar. An ice cold Pepsi or Coke was the best to quench your thirst. Swimming made us really hungry and nothing was better than the snack bar hot dogs or pizza. The last thing you needed was an Icee (they would leave our tongues blue or red for hours!) and you could sit and listen to music while waiting to digest your lunch so you could jump back in a line.
A good day at the water park meant you were typically exhausted and hungry by the time you got home at the end of the day. Since there weren’t that many other attractions or entertainment venues in town, a day at the water park was like going to the amusement park. There was something for everyone both young and old, the water was refreshing on a hot day, and a good time could be had by all.