Letting it Slide
Want to get wet? Two new additions to Atlanta’s water attraction scene are worthy spots to dip your toes (and a whole lot more!) Atlanta Parent slid over to Six Flags Over Georgia and Malibu Grand Prix to get the scoop.
Summer fun at Six Flags Over Georgia can get H-O-T but Hurricane Harbor is the right place to cool off. The new water park addition features four new attractions.
On the day we visited younger children were having a wild time at Paradise Island, a water playground that includes slides, water blasters, pumps, sprayers, and more get-wet activities. The smaller water slides here were particularly popular for beginning swimmers just getting the hang of sliding in bathing suits.
We heard teens and more adventurous swimmers scream with delight in Tsunami Surge, the first hybrid zero-gravity slide. Riders feel a moment of weightlessness while being shot down an enclosed slide out to a whirlpool bowl with 360 degree curves. The area also includes an impressive three-pipeline slide that sits atop a 41-foot tower as well as a 38,000 square foot wave pool where swimmers can ride 4-foot waves in eight different wave patterns. The Calypso Bay Wave Pool attracted plenty of kids and parents who rocked on their tubes or rafts, or rode the waves freestyle. No restrictions are placed on height for swimmers in this area.
Certified lifeguards are on duty throughout Hurricane Harbor to make sure safety rules are followed. Rental life vests of all sizes and tubes are also available for less confident swimmers. For all that extra stuff parents have to carry to the park, lockers are available to rent (with minimal fees) throughout the water area.
The adjacent Tidal Wave Café serves up burgers, nachos, chicken tenders, and more snack choices, and restroom facilities, complete with changing rooms and showers, are located close by the water park. Plentiful seating dots the main area and there are 11 cabanas available for rent. We found that guests of all ages were particularly fond of the cabanas and their amenities. These cabanas include food service, a mini fridge, and trunk to store your belongings.
Insider Tip: The park’s website will soon allow guests to reserve a cabana in advance. Height requirements for the slides and attractions are as follows: Bonzai Pipelines: 42 inches. Paradise Island: 36 inches to play alone. Tsunami Surge: 48 inches.
Monica Scott and Lindsey Wesloski
If You Go
Six Flags Over Georgia
275 Riverside Pkwy. SW, Austell. 770-739-3400; sixflags.com/overgeorgia
Hours: Daily, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. through Aug. 10.
Cost: Water Park included with General Admission. Adults, $61.99; children under 48 inches, $41.99; children 2 and younger, free.
I haven’t been on a water slide since I was 12 years old, but I experienced the thrill once more when our family visited Buccaneer Cove, the newest attraction at Malibu Grand Prix. Once my 8-year old son and his friend completed their first ride and yelled, “That was awesome!,” I had to try it for myself. There are several slides in the water play area.
The Yellow Slide is the tallest and longest slide – 380 feet from start to finish. It was our favorite.
The Blue Slide is curvy and dark. The boys said it was scary the first time they went through it, but they rode it at least a dozen times after that!
The Red Slide is fast, but it’s the shortest.
The Orange Slide is non-enclosed, making it best for beginners.
We found the platforms simple for the kids to maneuver, and we enjoyed the smooth ride (meaning no “rub factor”) as we swooshed through the fiberglass slides. Each one comes to a gradual end where you can climb out rather than falling into a big pool. In fact, there aren’t any swimming pools here, but there is a fantastic spray ground.
As a mom, I was relieved to see so many attendants working the slides. I loved their dispatch system which notified the employee at the top of the slide when it was safe for the next person to push off. I didn’t have to worry about an adult landing on my kid’s head, nor did I have to be concerned about my child bumping into smaller children. Only one person is allowed on the slide at a time.
For the younger-than-teen set, this is a great pick for their summer fun to-do list. My son and his friend played on the slides for almost four hours!
Insider Tips: Wear bathing suits and swim T-shirts. (No water shoes are permitted on the slides.) Children have to be at least 36 inches tall to ride on slides, but smaller children can use the Kiddie Slide, with parent supervision. There isn’t any shade in Buccaneer Cove, but there are plenty of lounge chairs. (A few cabanas are available for rent.) Lockers are not available. You’ll want to wear plenty of sunscreen and a visor or hat, and there’s a video game arcade and snack bar close by if you want to take a break from the sun.
– Kim Friedman
If You Go
Malibu Grand Prix
5400 Brook Hollow Pkwy., Norcross
Hours: During summer, Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Cost: Single-day Pass: Online, $17.99; at park, $19.99. Chaperone Pass, $5.
Champ Pass: for all attractions including go karts, mini-golf and Buccaneer Cove, $22.99. (Special pricing through July)