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“Love, with a few drawbacks”

Wild Waves Theme & Water Park
Ranked #5 of 19 things to do in Federal Way
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Two GREAT Parks. One LOW Price! Wild Waves, Washington’s only combination theme and water park, offers classic thrill rides for the entire family plus the region’s best outdoor water park. Home to the giant Timberhawk Ride of Prey wooden coaster, Wild Waves Theme & Water Park is open seasonally from May to December, including Fright Fest and Holiday With Lights.
Reviewed September 9, 2013

I guess I expect some drawbacks to parks like this. What keeps this from getting 5 stars is:

Crazy expensive food, that is just okay, when you are not allowed to bring your own in.
Pop from machine cost $3.50 and it took me 30 tries to get my dollar bills to go through.
No umbrellas on the tables in the food area in the amusement area.
No way to purchase anything without having to go get your wallet out of locker if you are doing water rides.
A couple rather steep areas in the park.

With that said, we love this place! We have been 3 times and are starting to figure out what works, and what doesn't.

Like others have said, you can go to your car to eat. Make sure and get your hand stamped. We set up "home base" in the grass with our towels, as we had teens that ran around separate from us. You must have a plan, as you will not have your cell phones, wallet, camera, etc. if you are all doing the water rides.

We get a locker for valuables, and decided on this last trip to carry a few items that we could live without if had to put down for a ride and it got stolen.

We wear flip-flops and either take them off at the ride, or hold them in our hands on the water ride. Have yet to loose a flip-flop on a ride. But, I would have an extra pair, just in case. Plus, the amusement rides want you to at least be wearing flip-flops on the rides.

We love all of the water rides and rode the coasters several times. Compared to the rides at the Oregon State Fair, this is 10 times better and worth every penny. (underline and bold if I could here)

To anyone in management reading this: A way to scan a bracelet to make purchases would make a huge difference. You don't allow food in, and our teens have no way to carry money. And getting a separate locker just to stash some cash and maybe a phone is ridiculous. There must be a better way. You have a great park, but a few tweaks would make a huge difference.

4  Thank TripChick403
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 5, 2013

I purchased tickets on line which shaved a few bucks off the price. We visited on a Tuesday in later July 2013 and arrived at 1pm with the park opening at 11am that day. Yes we paid for parking. I met a season pass holder while there and she states you have to get there early, 8:30 am, for the 11am opening if you want a lounge chair. This particular day the weather was perfect and although the park was busy it wasn't overly crowded. This park reminds me a bit of Oaks Park in Sellwood or Enchanted Forest in Salem, which are both in Oregon. Meaning the park has a home grown, mom and pop feel to it. A little old and a little worn but still a good time can be had.

The good:
Great slides
10yo child loved the lazy river and the wave pool
It's outdoors (opposed to indoor water parks, which I don't like as much)

The Bad
Bathrooms are a little grungy
The paved asphalt ground hurts bare feet (you can not wear shoes on the slides)
Food in the park, avoid it.
The entrance wasn't well marked for parking
There is one water fountain that is not well located.

Tailgate in the parking lot. Many families bring coolers and chairs and have lunch at their cars. You can get a hand stamp to get in and out of the park as much as you want.
If you don't want to bring your own food, west of the park there is a shopping area with lots of restaurant choices which you can drive to (not walking distance). We had a much better dinner there for less money than what we had for lunch in the park.
It appeared that you can bring you own chairs into the park. So bring chairs as the chance of getting a lounge chair are very slim.
Check Costco for tickets during high summer. After my trip I discovered they had two tickets for 52 dollars which is at least 10 dollars off the website ticket price.
Wear river shoes or water socks. I saw people wear these on the slides. Looks like the tight fitting soft sock type foot covers are allowed. NOT sandals, crocks, or flip-flops. This will protect feet from the sharp asphalt surface.

I Shelled out a good bit of money on a locker and really bad food. If you can figure out how to avoid a locker and food, a family of four would spend about $140 for four tickets and parking for a day trip. If you plan to visit more than once a year a season pass might make more sense (I think you can put your day ticket cost toward a season pass while you are there). We traveled from Portland, Oregon arrived at 11am and stayed till closing at 7pm than spent the night in the local area. I guess you could try make it a day trip from Portland but it would be a lot of driving. This place fit the bill for filling a summer day with fun. We would go again.

4  Thank rockydurga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

This is a great place to go. Especially if you spring for the annual pass or get in on a discounted day. There are many water rides and dry rides, and the park is pretty clean overall.

1  Thank MEAGAN R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2013 via mobile

I took my kiddo here for the first time this year. We went to see what the amusement park side is like and to see if a season pass would be worth it next year. The amusement park side is really 2nd to the water park - basic rides but not all that much for little kids. They take your kids height seriously, all are measured and out of luck if too short OR tall so check how many things they can ride before you go. A few decent roller coasters, log ride, bumper cars and fun rides I've not seen before like a glider you lay down on to fly around and nuce downhill inner tube. Go when it opens if doing rides, we did everything we wanted due to short lines within 2 hours. If you have anyone in your group with trouble walking, wheel chair, cane etc this is a tough park to go to as it is super hilly. It is not worth one day cost for amusement side alone, but probably a good buy for the waterpark plus rides. A season pass is a good deal if you will really use it. Workers were excellent, super helpful and paying close attention to guests and riders.

1  Thank marytraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2013 via mobile

Took the family to the water park for the weekend. The gate prices were way overpriced. The park overall was in pretty sad shape. There were numerous items in desperate need of repair. The lockerooms were especially revolting. To say that they were filthy, would be a major understatement. Over half of the toilets were out of order, the floor was littered in trash, and an unidentifyable order permiated the air.
They do have some fun fair rides with lines that move at a steady pace.
The wave pool is a blast. However,They allow guests to save a chair all day while they wonder the rest of the park, leaving no seating for the folks actually using the wave pool.

1  Thank Methiffany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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