When I was little, living in suburban Chicago, I visited my aunt and uncle in Tampa every summer and my vacations always included a trip to Adventure Island. I looked forward to the many huge water slides, the wild wave pool and tubing down the lazy river. I’ve always been a thrill seeker, as well as a water fanatic, so I was even more excited to hit Adventure Island than the Florida Gulf beaches! Now I have the opportunity to bring my own kids to this fun water park!
10001 N McKinley Drive
Tampa, FL 33612
Open daily until Labor Day from 9am-7pm
After Labor Day, the park will be open on weekends until October 14
Distance from SRQ: 1 hour via I-75
Time spent at the park: 5+ hours
Level of family satisfaction: A+ satisfaction for all ages!
Admission prices: Children under 3 are free; Ages 3 and up: $49.99 online, $59.99 at the gate. Active Duty Military personnel and up to 3 of their dependents receive one complimentary admission per year. They also offer memberships.
Adventure Island often has promotions, and prices may change. Adventure Island is affiliated with Busch Gardens in Tampa, as well as Sea World and Aquatica in Orlando. Discounted rates are offered if purchased in combination with these other parks. More information on pricing, hotel packages and upgrades can be found here.
Parking: $20 General Parking; $26 Preferred Parking; $13 General Parking for Annual Passholders. Parking is located directly in front of the park.
Water slides: With 10 large water slide attractions, some which include multiple slides, we couldn’t make it through all in one day! If you are brave enough, try the newest attraction, Vanish Point. The floor literally falls out from under you in a skybox and drops you 70 feet through a twisting and turning tube water slide. The anticipation alone was a thrill to me!
If you like inner tubes and prefer a more subtle water slide experience, try the Key West Rapids. It was a favorite of mine when I was a teenager and I still really enjoy the easy-going flow. The line is never very long, either, which is a plus!
For the littlest waterslide enthusiasts, make sure to hit Runaway Rapids, five easy-going waterslides that are perfect for beginners. The two smaller slides have no height restrictions and allow a parent to ride with a small child.
Rambling Bayou: With kiddos, I don’t know that you can really call this a “lazy” river, but it certainly has the potential for relaxation! Grab an inner tube and float around the park with multiple spots to enter or exit. You can cool off taking the longer route with a waterfall and misters or take the shorter, drier route.
Endless Surf: This 17,000 square-foot zer0-entry pool has huge, wild waves every ten minutes! For those who aren’t strong swimmers, make sure to grab one of the free life vests offered next to the pool.
Just for kids:
Fabian’s Fun Port: Sprinkling palm trees, giant mushrooms cascading with water and a jungle gym provide a child-friendly splash area for little ones of all ages!
Splash Attack: Kids can climb this wet and wild tree house filled with water toys and four small water slides. My little ones could stay here all day and never get bored. Watch out! If you get caught standing under the giant barrel when it tips you’ll get soaked!
Know before you go:
Arrive early! We last went on a Sunday and the park filled to capacity that day. When that happens they won’t allow people in until others leave. We arrived 20 minutes after opening and we had difficulty finding any chairs or loungers. All of the big areas were already taken. Move toward the back of the park, and also way over, past Vanish Point and Calypso Curl, where spots are plentiful. From now on, I plan to be there a half hour before the park opens!
Food: Adventure Island does not allow outside food or beverages. A picnic area is located just outside the park. They have multiple restaurants, a food truck and snack stations located throughout the park. Consider the all-day dining deal if you’re planning to eat at least two meals in the park. It offers a TON of food, unlimited soft drinks and bottled water, as well as BOGO on snacks and alcoholic drinks. Lines can get very long. Mango Joe’s opens at 11:30, where we had luck getting lunch pretty quickly.
Attire: Proper swim attire is required for water attractions. One word of advice from me: BRING WATER SHOES! All waterpark surfaces are rough for safety reasons, but in my opinion, Adventure Island’s is particularly rough and hot in many areas. Craig and I did not wear water shoes and our feet were very sore by the end of the day.
Upgrades: The park offers various upgrades to enhance your experience including lounge chair or cabana rentals and armbands to skip the lines at water slides. Prices change depending on which days you’re attending the park.