This week we are so excited to be sharing with you one of the coolest and most unique parks we've been to. We've been holding on to this gem for a little bit now, and we're so happy to be finally blogging about it! The park is called Wild Adventures Theme Park and is located in Valdosta, GA.
Wild Adventures is such a neat park because it's basically three parks in one. It's a theme park complete with thrill rides and roller coasters, an animal park featuring hundreds of exotic animals, and a water park with several slides and a wave pool! All of these things are included with your standard admission to Wild Adventures, so needless to say, you could easily spend an entire day in the park and still not get to see everything.
During our visit to Wild Adventures we got the opportunity to meet with the Director of Public Relations and the Food and Beverage Director to talk about some of the park's highlights and future plans! They were some of the nicest people we've encountered in the industry and they welcomed us into the park and made us feel right at home. We'll share some of what they shared with us in this post as well as our reviews of the park. So follow along with us through a trip report of our wild time at Wild Adventures!
There is no shortage of food offerings in Wild Adventures! Whether you're in the mood for gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, Philly cheesesteaks, pizza, or BBQ, you're sure to find a restaurant or food stand serving up something delicious at every corner. We started our day in the park by meeting with the Directors near the park's signature Barbecue restaurant: Lonestar BBQ.
This recently refurbished restaurant offers smoked BBQ ribs, chicken, and pulled pork in a modern, Texas-style atmosphere. This place is definitely the pride and joy of the Food and Beverage department (and with good reason). The F&B director let us know that their team slow smokes the meat for hours to get that melt-in-your-mouth perfection. They also offer four unique hand-crafted barbecue sauces with your meal that are available for purchase if you feel so inclined. (You will.) We got all four- Original, Spicy, Mustard, and Vinegar- but I think our favorite was definitely the mustard.
Lonestar BBQ was an unexpected food victory and we highly recommend it. In a park with so many appealing offerings, we'd say this one is a can't miss.
We also ate at Congo Wings! It's rare that we pass up an opportunity to eat hand-tossed wings anywhere we go, so when we saw this place, we had to stop!
The wings were very good. The only downside to this place is the lack of variety. Currently, they only offer one wing flavor- buffalo- which is Brittany's favorite, but not Parker's. Adding a bbq, lemon pepper, or garlic flavor would really enhance the menu.
But overall, you can't be mad at wings and cheese fries. It's literally my ideal cheat meal (which is every meal on vacation if we're being honest). This restaurant seems to have the most potential to us. Even the employees choose to eat most of their meals here! We saw several of them and, of course, stopped to ask them where their favorite place to grab lunch was.
We ended with the most intriguing offering in the park, a Colossal Shake from Mayfield Creamery. This location offers sundaes, shakes, and several flavors of ice cream. Currently, they're showcasing two fun shakes to go along with seasonal theming in the park. One is a cute "Fun @ Heart" shake with sprinkles and lollipops. The other- not as cute. To highlight "Mega Bugs", a new interactive, life-size bug exhibit, the park is offering a real cricket shake!
It's actually not as intense as it sounds. It's a cookies and cream ice cream shake topped with gummy worms, and a real chocolate-covered cricket. Honestly, the cricket tasted like a chocolate-covered peanut, but there's still something about knowingly eating bugs that you can't get out of your head. This shake was awesome and such a fun idea! It's something that you should definitely try, we think you'll be pleasantly surprised! (Plus you'll get bonus points for being brave enough to eat a bug!)
For those unfamiliar with Wild Adventures' history, we encourage you to look into it. It opened originally as an animal park, and the rides followed. It was a family-owned park and, at one time, the fastest growing park in the country. For example, from 1998-2001, the park added seven rollercoasters. Most of these roller coasters are standard kid and family coasters, except for Cheetah.
Cheetah, a 90-ft wooden coaster, is the park's longest roller coaster and has an out and back design. While Cheetah is certainly a fun ride, it is definitely not the smoothest. It was pretty uncomfortable and VERY bumpy. If ever there was a roller coaster that deserved a revamp, whether it's re-tracking or an RMC makeover, Cheetah would be it.
In addition to the park's seven roller coasters, there are several other family-style rides and attractions scattered throughout the park. The highlight for us was the Jungle Safari. This train ride takes you through several animal exhibits, passes under the Cheetah roller coaster, and ends with a feature of the park's "celebrity" elephant, Shirley, who starred in the remake of the movie "The Jungle Book" in 1994.
Splash Island Waterpark
Wild Adventures' water park, Splash Island, is a colorful and fun family-style water park. The park offers a great selection of tube slides and body slides, a wave pool, a ProSlide Tornado, and a lazy river.
Splash Island's newest addition is Ohana Bay, a Hawaiian-themed family area featuring seven slides! Most of the slides in this area are designed for younger children with the exception of Uli Uli Twisters.
What makes Wild Adventures so unique, is that in addition to having great rides, food, and entertainment like any other theme park, they also offer zoo enclosures and animal shows.
The animal exhibits are featured throughout the park which gives guests the ability to see hundreds of different species throughout their visit.
The park features an award-winning tiger show: Tigers of India. The show highlights the agility of these large cats and will leave you entirely amazed.
They also feature an up-close and immersive alligator show which completely blew our minds. Not only were we terrified (in a good way), we were thoroughly entertained. "Gators!" left us peeking through our fingers in order to catch what was probably one of the best shows we've seen in a theme park.
Wild Adventures exceeded our expectations in every single way. We want to thank the Directors of PR and F&B for taking the time to talk with us about the park and what makes it so special. It was obvious after sitting down with them that they are truly passionate about Wild Adventures and all that the park has to offer and plans to offer in the future. We were told that
2019 looks like it'll be a year for the kids, but to expect a larger additions for 2020!
We've seen Herschend Family Entertainment invest a lot of money into Dollywood and Silver Dollar City recently and we can't wait to see what they have in store for this park!
Let your imagination run wild!
See you soon, Wild Adventures!
Parker and Brittany Ruhmel- Lovers of all things food and theme park related!