Whether you know it as Wild Waves or Enchanted Village, the amusement and water park is a summer staple for many Seattle families. And while it has gone by different names over the years, all 70 acres of the park still serve as a source for summertime fun and adventure. If you’re ready to make a day of it at Wild Waves Theme & Water Park, we’ve got your insider’s guide to navigating the park. Scroll down for all the deets!

wild-waves-mountain-dew-slides

photo: Helen Walker Green

Know Before You Go

About the Park
Wild Waves Theme & Water Park is actually two parks in one. One half is an amusement park featuring 30 rides for everyone from little tots wanting a simple adventure to big kids (and adults!) wanting bigger thrills. The other half is a water park filled with all kinds of activities to keep families busy and cool during the summer. Some days are busier than others, some deals are better than others and some days feature special activities. We’ll go over all of them. Keep reading on!

Ticket Options
All tickets include admission to rides, slides and attractions with the exception of the Soaring Eagle Zip Line and the I-5 Skycoaster which are offered for an additional fee.

One Day Tickets
2019 season passes are currently on sale now for as low as $59.99 per person. View price options online.

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Note: Save $10-$20 per ticket when you purchase online. Save $3-$4 more if you purchase tickets three days before your visit!

Season Pass Tickets
If you plan to visit the park a lot this summer, the Season Pass is the way to go as the pass pays for itself after just two visits, and this year Wild Waves is sweetening the deal with some new offerings. First of all, you’ll save $10 right off the bat if you purchase your passes online instead of purchasing them at the park making them $69.99/person. Season passes are good from the day you receive them to December 30. And they include exclusive in-park discounts, admission to six “Dive In” movies, this fall’s Fright Fest and the Holiday with Lights event in December.

Good to Know: If you decide to go with season passes for you and your crew, you’ll probably want to purchase a Season Parking Pass for $45.45 as the everyday $10.91 parking charge can add up in a hurry.

Wild Hours
Wild Waves offers an additional discount each day after 4 p.m. Tickers are only available at the park on the day of your visit and must be purchased at the Front Gate ticket booths.

Military Discounts and AAA Memberships
Military Discounts are available at the park’s front gate ticket booth or at the JBLM MWR/ITT Rec location, for members of the military with a valid, proper ID. AAA Members receive the same discounts with a valid AAA ID Card. The dates for the discounts are as follows:

Spring Season, May 5-June 15, 2018; $17.99
Summer Season, June 16-Sept 3, 2018; $24.99
Fright Fest, Sept. 28-Oct. 28, 2018; $24.99
Holiday with Lights, Dec. 1-30, 2018; $14.99

Note: All ticket prices are plus 10% state tax, and a 5% city of Federal Way admissions tax. Online ticket prices are plus a $1.25 processing fee per ticket.

Best Time to Visit
The least busy times at Wild Waves are school days, chilly days and wet and windy days (but don’t rule out going when it’s chilly, our kid reviewers say the rides are just as fun and if there aren’t many people you can go on the coasters over and over again!). The busiest times are, as you may have guessed: long holiday weekends and summer days when school’s out. But even when the park is packed, you can still have a great time—just be sure to pack your patience. Psst…on a hot summer day, your best bet is to arrive right after the park opens to give your family a jump start before the “big” crowds arrive.

photo: Wild Waves Theme & Water Park

What to Wear
Of course, you’ll need a swimsuit for Wild Waves. Shoes are not allowed on water attractions, but they are required for the theme park rides. Easy slip on waterproof sandals work well—flip-flops are fine, but you’ll have to take them off on some rides like the Hang Glider and the Soaring Eagle or they may fall off! The park suggests that you wear shirts and pants or shorts on all attractions. And we couldn’t agree more! It’s not fair to other guests to go on the rides in your soggy swim gear (and it’s also not very comfortable).

What to Bring
We suggest you bring goggles, swimsuit cover-ups, swim diapers for your little ones, beach towels, a PFD if your kiddo needs a life jacket (it must be US Coast Guard approved or you can borrow one for free near the locker rentals—first come, first serve), and plastic bags to put your soggy swim gear in. For both sections of the park you’ll want to pack your sun hats or baseball caps, sunscreen, water bottles (non-glass) and your stroller. Psst…if you forget anything, you can buy swimsuits, beach towels, sunglasses, flip-flops and sunblock at the park, but it’s going to be a bit pricey!

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photo: Wild Waves Theme & Water Park

Money Matters
Season pass holders can add “stored value” to their membership that can be used anywhere inside the park. Cash and debit/credit cards are accepted everywhere (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Amex), but you must have ID with you. There are four ATM machines available: outside of the front gates, the Shoe Hut, Arcade and Candy Factory. Checks are not accepted.

First Aid and Safety
There are two EMT-staffed First Aid stations at the park near the Kong Slides and also near the Timber Axe ride. Psst…tell your kiddos to check-in with a staff member if they get lost.

Size Restrictions
Check the website to see how tall (or how small) you need to be to go on each ride. Psst…if you have a kiddo between 48″- 54″ tall they can go on everything —these lucky guys and gals are tall enough for the big rides, but not too tall to still enjoy the little kid rides!

photo: Wild Waves Theme & Water Park

Tips and Tricks
You may want to make a home base near the Wave Pool or one of the several grassy spots near the rides. Or even better yet… splurge and rent your own villa or bungalow. If you plan on carrying your valuables with you while riding the attractions, you’ll be happy to know that every ride has cubbies for purses and cell phones. Just drop them off as you get on and pick them up when you get off.

Locker Rentals
Renting a locker and keeping your valuables in there while playing in the water is the best way to keep items safe and secure. Lockers can be rented near the water slides and are available for $10 (standard), $20 (large) and $25 (jumbo).

Tube Rentals
Tubes are available for free at every slide, but if you want to skip the line you can choose to rent your own personal tube for $10 per single, $13 per double (plus a $2 refundable deposit). We’d only recommend purchasing a tube if it’s a super busy day, as we’ve never had to wait long.

Eats
Outside food isn’t allowed inside Wild Waves, but we’ve found that packing a few granola bars in your bag to keep everyone going is fine with staff at the entrance gate. You can bring your own non-glass water bottle (or buy an official Wild Waves cup) and refill it with ice water for free from any concession stand. There’s lots of food choices available — from burgers and fries and clam chowder, to tacos, ice cream, caramel apples and homemade fudge. But, like many theme parks, it’s expensive and not very nutritious. You may want to pack a cooler and leave it in your car. When everyone’s hungry, just head to the car for a quick bite to eat. Psst…be sure to get your hand stamped, so you can come back in.

photo: Wild Waves Theme & Water Park

Water Park Attractions

There’s plenty of fun-filled activities for everyone in your crew at Wild Waves’ water park. From the exhilaration of hurtling down a twisting water slide or catching the big one in the Wave Pool, to cruising down the Lazy River or relaxing in a warming tub.

Pirates Ahoy!
Avast there matey!  Young pirates can raid Hooks Lagoon (minimum height is 36″; maximum is 54”), paddle in the shallows, squirt mom with a water cannon and play in the waterfalls. Climb up to the tropical tree house and zip down no less than seven slides (minimum height for the slides is 42″). But look out below! Every 10 minutes the Cap’n’s bucket dumps 200 gallons of water onto little scallywags!

photo: Warren C. via Yelp

Wave Pool
Catch a wave in the Wave Pool—you can ride the swells with the tide or venture out to the “wilder” waves in the deep end. Tots will enjoy the gentle surf down at the beach and everyone will enjoy a relaxing dip in one of four giant warming tubs

Whoosh!
There are lots of slides to discover at the park. Some of the best are found at the Mountain Dew Triple Slide Complex—three outrageously fun twisters that will send you racing towards splashdown at high velocity (a slight exaggeration!). Other slides include the four serpentine Konga Slides, each one guaranteed to twist, wind and send you flying out of the tube! Ever wondered what it feels like to be flushed down a toilet? If so, the Riptide’s for you. After a steep drop, you’ll swirl around and around the bowl before being sucked down the drain. For an adventure the whole family will enjoy, try Zooma Falls. This giant slide allows up to four riders to experience large curves and turns before cruising under a waterfall. After a hair-raising go on the slides, take a relaxing trip down the Konga Lazy River as it winds its way under the slides. Both our big and little kid reviewers give it two thumbs up! Other wet fun can be found on the Raging River Ride.

photo: Wild Waves Theme & Water Park

Theme Park Rides

Other “waves” can be found across the way in the theme park area in the form of roller coasters. Wild Waves makes for a great family day out. Atop the hill, sits the Timberhawk Ride of Prey—the largest wooden roller coaster in Washington. The cars take a leisurely climb to the top with amazing views of the park, then whoosh you’re off, plummeting down drops, hurtling through twists and turns dare you not to duck as you go through the mine shaft.

Go Wild!
The Wild Thing with its loop-de-loop and two corkscrews is guaranteed to raise your heart rate. And as if one trip around isn’t enough…The Wild Thing goes around twice. Psst…when you go upside down, keep your eyes open and look straight ahead, so you don’t get dizzy. The Disk’O Flashback won’t remind you of John Travolta or the Bee Gees, but it may make you dizzy as it spins on its half-pipe track.

Up in the Air
You have to pay extra for these two special rides: The Soaring Eagle Zipline and the I-5 Dive Skycoaster. The Soaring Eagle zooms you high above the ground for terrific views of the park, before zipping back down again. For the real adrenaline addicts in your fam, the I-5 Dive Skycoaster is an exhilarating, high bungee drop that will give you a good view of the park if you dare to open your eyes.

On the High Seas
Hoist the Jolly Roger and board the Pirate Ship if ye dare — this galleon rocks back and forth until it’s almost vertical. According to one kid reviewer, “Each time you go up it feels like you’re touching the sky, but if you’re at the back of the ship it feels like you’re going to land on your face.” Younger ones may appreciate the similar yet gentler Coastal Clipper. The Ring of Fire, which our grownup reviewers voted the scariest ride in the park, receives stellar reviews from kids. It’s a 360-degree looping coaster that propels you back and forth up the sides of the track until it picks up momentum and spins you right around. Then, halfway through the ride you will reverse and go in the other direction! What’s not to love about that?

photo: Wild Waves Theme & Water Park

Lumberjack Falls
A big kid fave in the park is Lumberjack Falls—a log flume ride that’ll send you plunging 50 feet into the water. “It feels like a tsunami is washing over you,” says one big kid reviewer. Psst! You will get wet and so will the people standing on the bridge, if they’re not careful.

Klondike Gold Rusher
There are no precious metals to be found on the Klondike Gold Rusher, but it’s a fun ride. Warning: The ride is quite jarring and a bit scarier than it looks for little ones, but it’s a thrill if your kids are up for it. There’s sudden drops, sharp turns and your cart will seem about ready to fly off the tracks (don’t worry it won’t) that’s part of the thrill. The Timber Axe is another gravity-defying stomach churner that’ll flip you upside down.

The Hang Glider & Other Popular Rides
For a more leisurely pace there’s The Hang Glider, where you can take a gentle spin in the air and cool off on a hot summer day. Little pilots will enjoy buzzing grownups in Red Baron biplanes, while budding train drivers clatter down the tracks of the Enchanted Railway. Big kids can try the Dodge’ms Bumper Carssee if you really can dodge ’em, bet you can’t! There’s also the mild thrills of the twisting, turning Gambler and high-flying Paratrooper, great for breaking younger kids in for the scarier rides.

Pint-Sized Fun!
For the littlest members of your family, the Kiddie Combo and Ferris Wheel are a must. They were two of the first rides at the park and are still family favorites. On the Kiddie Combo, kids can pick their mode of transportation—a fire engine, moon buggy, antique car, dune buggy or sports car. The mini Ferris Wheel offers a gentle spin and cool views from a not-too-high vantage point.

photo: Kristina Moy

Bounce Until Your Heart’s Content
For kids who like to bounce (and who doesn’t?) there are two star attractions: the Frog Hopper and Kang-A-Bounce. After you bounce, take a gentle ride on the Kiddie Boats or take your tiny thrill-seeker for a go on the Kiddie Coaster (there’s no minimum height requirement). There’s also Safari Jeeps—watch out for giraffes and lions! And don’t forget to go for a spin in The Space Racer the and beautiful antique carousel. Wild Waves also has classic amusement park games, where you can win toys and stuffed animals (kiddos under 48” always win!).

Good to Know

Don’t leave the park without trying the Ultimate Elephant Ear (it’s so big, a family of four could share one). Topped with cinnamon, sugar, raspberry jam, whipped cream and a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, it’s pure decadence! Find them at the Snack Shop near the main gate, along with cotton candy and other treats. Psst…during October Fright Fest, the Ultimate Elephant Ear masquerades as an Infected Witch’s Ear. It may sound less appetizing, but it’s just as tasty.

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photo: Helen Walker Green

Dive In Movies
Friday nights are going to be even more fun at the park this summer as Wild Waves presents its “Dive In” movie theater located at the Wave Pool. Presented on Fridays from during the summer months, the Dive In Movies are free for both Season Pass ticket holders and those with a daily park admission ticket. Stay after the park closes, grab a tube, and hop in the Wave Pool to kick back with the latest release or flashback favorite!  Movies begin at dusk.

Wild Waves Theme & Water Park
36201 Enchanted Pkwy. S.
Federal Way, Wa 98003
253-661-8000
Online: wildwaves.com

Open: May 26 through December 31. Daily water park operation dates for 2019 TBD.
Hours: Vary depending on the time of year. Check their current schedule online.

Parking: $10.91 per car. A Parking Season Pass is $45.45. Parking is valid the entire day with in and out privileges. There are also guest drop off and pick up areas near the entrance gate; ADA parking is available.

—Jeffrey Totey & Helen Walker Green

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