On June 30, I was able to make a visit to Splash Adventure water park in Bessemer, Alabama, with a college group I was with. While there, I also recorded POV videos of the water slides with prior permission from park management to do so. They even threw in an escort to get me through the lines quicker (and to let lifeguards know what I was doing). This allowed me to ride every slide at least once within an hour, and eventually leave me plenty of time to take photos.
Splash Adventure water park was previously known as Alabama Adventure amusement park which included not only the water park (which was known as Splash Beach at the time), but also a few roller coasters and other flat rides placed nearby. Management recently decided to close the amusement park side. Today, the amusement park side still stands with the towering Rampage wooden roller coaster standing off in the distance on the side of a hill, an S&S Space Shot closer to the park entrance, a Vekoma boomerang sitting at the side, and many more rides that are available for sale to other parks that may be interested in buying them.
Splash Beach (now known as Splash Adventure water park) is a nice medium-sized water park with a few water slides. It’s sizeable enough for a group to spend at least 4 hours within the park to experience enough of it (depending upon crowds). The collection of water slides at the park isn’t big, but it’s enough to have a fun time. There are two standalone body slides, four inner-tube slides, one WhiteWater West Boomerang slide, a water playground with two body slides, and a kids splash area. The park also has a wave pool near the entrance and a lazy river that circles the Salamander Bay kids area.
The first water slide I rode was Upsurge. This was a WhiteWater West Boomerango water slide that sits past the wave pool on top of a hill, and it the first water slide you see when you are in the parking lot entering the park. It starts with an easy figure eight curve before dropping you towards the quarter-pipe wall and sending you and your partner backwards, up over a hill, and through a powerful water curtain. It doesn’t pull as much action as does half-pipe slides like ProSlide tornadoes do, but it is a pretty exciting slide for what it does.
This slide was also the most popular due to how it had the longest line in the water park during my visit.
The second slide to ride was Acapulco Drop, which was the park’s tallest water slide. Acapulco Drop is a standard freefall body speed slide, but this slide is much different due to it’s wider than usual sliding surface, the sharp downward turn into the drop making it feel like you are sliding off of a cliff-side, and the spectacularly abrupt end in the shut-down lane at the end. The slide is a great thrill, but can leave you a little sore after a few re-rides on it.
The water slide below it, and the third slide I rode, was the Splashdown body bowl slide. This slide starts with an easy and quick bank to the left as you plunge into the darkness of the tunnel. After that, you bank down even further and pick up speed, before giving a sudden right turn and shooting out into the bowl section where you swirl a few times before falling through the hole in the middle and into the 8ft deep splash pool.
It was a very enjoyable slide. The surface was a little rough on my back, but that didn’t keep me from re-riding it.
The next, and last slides were the Neptune’s Plunge water slides. These were four dark tunneled inner tube slides that wound around each other after beginning in the same station platform. They would complete a series of left and right banks and helixes before splashing into a pool at the end. This slide is a great choice for those who were too scared to ride any of the other thrilling slides in the park. Keep in mind though that the line for it may take a while. During my visit, the park only had one lifeguard sending riders for all four tunnels down one at a time, which seemed to lower the capacity the slide could have had.
Those were the only slides I experienced at the park, and were the only major rides in the water park aside from the water playground. The park also had dual zip lines and a brand new (and first of its kind in the world) water maze course, but I didn’t find the time to try either
The Aqua Maze course did look like fun though, and something I should try should I return here. It consisted of elevated bright blue and green walls that were placed so patrons would try to find their way through it. During the course, You would be handed a voucher that they would need to stamp at four separate locations within the maze so it would spell out “MAZE” once completed. While traversing through, guests would be bombed with water buckets from above their heads, and sprayed by watching patrons standing on the viewing platform, making this maze that much more worth trying out!
Splash Adventure, as a whole, does seem like a park where a group could spend a few hours relaxing, splashing on the slides, and trying out other water attractions. It is a nice clean park with nice park staff and a good collection of rides and attractions. For running it’s first year as a water park only, it does have plenty of potential to be come better.
I can only hope that the park puts in a new water slide someday, and I can highly suggest a family raft slide. Those slides are very popular with family and groups in other water parks, and would fit in greatly in this park.
Acapulco Drop: 8/10
Neptune’s Plunge (4): 7/10
Overall Water Park Rating: 7/10