Wild Adventures

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Wild Adventures
Wild Adventures logo.jpg
Location Valdosta, Georgia, United States
Coordinates 30°43′12″N 83°19′24″W / 30.72000°N 83.32333°W / 30.72000; -83.32333Coordinates: 30°43′12″N 83°19′24″W / 30.72000°N 83.32333°W / 30.72000; -83.32333
Owner Herschend Family Entertainment
Opened 1996
Operating season Mid-March through December
Area 166 acres (0.67 km2)
Rides
Total 59
Roller coasters 8
Water rides 7
Website www.wildadventures.com

Wild Adventures is located 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Valdosta, Georgia, United States. It is owned by Herschend Family Entertainment. The park features approximately 59 rides and attractions, including eight roller coasters, hundreds of exotic animals, shows, Splash Island water park and concerts from country, pop, rock, Christian, to oldies superstars. All of the rides and attractions (except for Go-Karts, Mini Golf, Skycoaster, and Skill Games), general seating concerts, daily shows, special events and the water park are included with park admission. Reserved seating for concerts can be purchased, park admission is still required to get in.

History[edit]

Kent Buescher, founder of Wild Adventures, started the park on a plot of farm land outside of Valdosta, Georgia in 1996 for around $10 million. Starting out as a small petting zoo (Liberty Farms) D&L, over the years, Wild Adventures has become one of the Top 50 Theme Parks in North America[citation needed] . The park is home to eight roller coasters and numerous flat rides. The rides were initially added to the park in 1998 and has since rapidly grown. Splash Island, the park's water park, opened in 2003 as the park's largest expansion which includes several water slides and attractions.

In 2004, Adventure Parks Group purchased Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven, Florida. The company was privately held by Buescher. Expansion died down for the park following the Cypress Gardens purchase.

In 2005, The Gauntlet was added, which is an S&S Power Screamin' Swing complex. For the park's 10th anniversary in 2006, the park announced their intent to add the Shaka Zula River Adventure log flume, relocated from the defunct Miracle Strip Amusement Park in Panama City Beach, Florida. The ride was delayed due to engineering problems, but never opened to the public.

In September 2006, Adventure Parks Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The park operated without interruption during the bankruptcy reorganization.

On September 25, 2007, Wild Adventures was sold because of bankruptcy requirements. Adventure Parks Group LLC, announced that Cypress Gardens Adventure Park in Winter Haven and Wild Adventures park in Valdosta, Ga., will be sold to the highest bidder in a private auction starting Sept. 25. The sale will fulfill requirements resulting from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing by Adventure Parks Group a year ago, but it does not mean the end of either theme park. The opening minimum bid for a package purchase of the parks is $53.25 million, Sumner said. An opening minimum bid for Cypress Gardens alone is $17.4 million and the opening minimum bid for Wild Adventures alone is $38.85 million. In September 2006, Adventure Parks Group filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors seeking payment for $25 million in debts. Much of the company's financial difficulties can be traced to 2004, when three hurricanes (Hurricane Charley, Hurricane Frances and Hurricane Jeanne) ravaged East Polk County, Florida and left a trail of destruction at Cypress Gardens.

On September 25, 2007, The Ledger reported that Herschend Family Entertainment had purchased Wild Adventures for $34.4 million.[1]

Upon Herschend taking over the park, they had the Gauntlet removed and indicated that they do not plan on opening the Shaka Zula River Adventure log flume ride. However, Herchend did bring in the new ride, The Rattler, the first new ride in three years, which opened March 21, 2008.[2] It is a Huss Frisbee type flat-ride manufactured by Moser Rides of Italy. Also, in 2008, the Tiger Terror rollercoaster was sold and moved to Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida and renamed "Tasmanian Tiger".

In February 2009, the American post-apocalyptic zombie comedy Zombieland amusement park scenes were filmed at Wild Adventures.

Before the 2010 season, the largest number of rides have been added and removed. The Gold Rush rollercoaster had been removed. The Mystery Maze had been removed. The Viking Voyage roller coaster had been added along with two new flat rides, Whirling Wildcats and Falcon Flyers. All three rides were from the now defunct Celebration City in Branson, Missouri. In 2010, The Bug Out rollercoaster was renamed "Go Bananas". The S&S Doubleshot was renamed "Firecracker".

Two new rides were added before the 2013 season; Tail Spin and Wacky Wheels.

Sections[edit]

The park is not currently separated into themes. Past themes included Base Camp, Australian Outback, Alapaha Preserve, The Lagoon, African Pridelands, and Wild West

Attractions[edit]

The Boomerang roller coaster
The Cheetah

Roller coasters[edit]

Ride Manufacturer Year Opened Description
Ant Farm Express Vekoma 2000 A family-friendly steel coaster.
Boomerang Vekoma 1998 A reverse shuttle coaster that sends you through a Cobra Roll and a Vertical Loop first forward, and then in reverse.
Cheetah CCI Custom Coasters International 2001 A custom, wooden roller coaster with steel supports (except for the figure eight which was rebuilt with wood when the entire coaster was retracted by GCI Great Coasters International in 2010. It is also the largest roller coaster at the park.
Go Bananas! Maurer Söhne 2000 A steel wild mouse roller coaster,formerly known as Bug Out from 2000-2010
Swamp Thing Vekoma 2003 A suspended family roller coaster that travels over the parks swamp as well as the park's 15 foot alligator, Twister
Twisted Typhoon Vekoma 1999 A suspended looping roller coaster that sends riders head over heels five times. Formerly known as Hangman from 1999-2011
Viking Voyage E&F Miler Industries 2010 A family steel roller coaster. Formerly known as Jack Rabbit from the now defunct Celebration City

Thrill rides[edit]

The Rattler

Aviator: A HUSS Aviator

Firecracker: A S&S Double shot tower.

Pharaoh's Fury: A HUSS Swinging ship

Rattler: A HUSS Frisbee.

Swingin' Safari: A HUSS Himalaya ride.

Tailspin: A Zamperla Disk'o coaster.

Family rides[edit]

The Falcon Flyer
The Whirling Wildcats
The Yo-Yo

Adventure Carousel: A Merry Go Round

Century Wheel: A Ferris Wheel

Falcon Flyer: A Chance scooter ride.

Kite Flyer: A Lie-Down Flat Ride.

Monkey Around: A Tilt-A-Whirl ride.

Safari Train: A Train ride

Sidewinder: A Chance Trabant.

Smash Attack: Bumper cars

Whirling Wildcats: An Eli Bridge Scrambler

Yo-Yo: A Chance Yo-Yo

Gallery[edit]

Splash Island water park[edit]

Splash Island entrance

Splash Island is a Polynesian themed water park and is free with admission into Wild Adventures. It takes up 27 acres (110,000 m2) of the 166-acre (670,000 m2) park with 7 rides, and 5 shops. Splash Island first opened in 2003 being Wild Adventures largest expansion since rides were introduced in 1999.

When Splash Island was opened it had no theming and looked more like a community pool center. In 2008, Wild Adventures announced that Splash Island would undergo a $4 million renovation turning the park into a Polynesian themed paradise. Wild Adventures also announced their intent to build a new ride, the Wahee Cyclone.

Rides[edit]

  • Bonzai Pipelines
3 Inter-twined slides featuring the tallest slides in Georgia built in 2004
  • Catch-a-wave bay
A large 25,000-square-foot (2,300 m2) wave pool built in 2004
  • Hakini Rapids
A 5-Story "Family Sized" water slide with unexpected turns and drops built in 2011
  • Kalani Blasters
2 Medium sized inter-twined slides built in 2003
  • Kona Cliffs
A giant, "Family Sized" speed slide with three drops built in 2011
  • Paradise River
A relaxing "lazy river" through the water park built in 2003
  • Polynesian Adventure
A giant 4 story water fortress built in 2003
  • Wahee Cyclone
A large 5 story water tornado built in 2009
  • Sea Turtle Cove
A small water play area for younger children built in 2006

Annual events [3][edit]

  • Boy Scouts Day
  • Girl Scouts Day
  • Home School Day
  • All American Weekend - Festival commemorating the spirit of America.
  • Kidzpalooza - Summer event with shows and events focused on the young and young at heart.
  • Terror In The Wild - Halloween themed event with several attractions.

References[edit]

External links[edit]