Located at 6566 N. Military Trail, Riviera Beach, FL 33407. On Military between 45th St. and Blue Heron Blvd. www.rapidswaterpark.com. Phone: (561)842-8756.
We love amusement parks and I have a special affinity for water parks. Luckily, we have a rather inexpensive and very close park that we thoroughly enjoy. My favorite thing about Rapids is that a majority of their slides require a tube of some sort. I’ve lost some of my adventurous side, which used to enjoy a good tubeless throttle down a curvy tunnel. Rapids still delivers the thrills, but with more comfort and a sense of security. I much prefer being on a tube these days. And quite frankly, some of their rides could be described as terrifying. For example, Big/Black Thunder, two sister slides that reside on opposite sides of the park. The only difference, as I’ve been told, is that Black Thunder is completely in the dark. However, I’ve only given Big Thunder a go. I’m not sure I’d be a huge fan of the belly dropping plunge into darkness and the feeling that you may just tip over at any moment. Here’s a video from Big Thunder’s observation deck, just make sure your volume is quite low…someone’s a screamer:
This is my new favorite ride in the park, which is saying a lot considering how many awesome slides they have there. They also have the usual standards including a lazy river and a wave pool. The lazy river is a great way to travel from one side of the park to the other or just for a nice leisurely float break. Rapids has everything a water park fan could ever need.
We do LOVE going to theme parks. Disney, Universal, Lake Compounce in CT, but Rapids has a lot going for it. First, it’s only twenty minutes from our house. Second, it’s reasonably priced at $39 per person during the week and $42 on the weekend. PLUS, we’ve gone the last two years and each time they’ve given us “buy one get one free” coupons for our next visit. So, your second trip Monday-Friday is only $19 a piece. And the cherry on the sundae is the place is a blast! We took Ethan and his buddy Madian last time, and the boys love the place too. Many of the rides have tubes that fit four, so we all could go together. I absolutely agree with Maria, Big Thunder is my favorite; watch the video and you’ll see why. Raging Rapids and Riptide Raftin’ are also four person thrillers. We also enjoy Tubin Tornadoes, another set of sister slides that accommodates two people per tube, we call them “the twins.” The boys went on Pirates Plunge, another pair of slides that are for one person, no tubes. Like Rapids Racer, which I have been on, these rides are for smaller bodies than mine. But it sure was fun seeing the transformation of Ethan from fairly meek last year to daredevil this year.
What a difference! Last year I was begging him to go on some of the milder slides, such as ‘Big Red’ & this year he’s hopping from Pirates Plunge to Big Thunder like an old pro. He and Madian even gave the newest ride, Flow Rider, a try and I had to join them. The line was quite substantial, but it was too enticing to me and my 9 year old escorts. Flow Rider has a ‘continuous, simulated wave system’ – which is a fancy way of saying the wave lasts forever. Although, most participants don’t last the full two minutes, which is the allotted time. In fact, if you get caught in the 35 mph wave sideways, even for a split second, your body disappears over the upper crest. When I rode, I took extra care to ride the wave and then exit to the left where the wave settles. I was not going to have a disastrous wipeout, but many riders including E’s pal Madian took some serious diggers toward the back. Of course, there were a few experts including a young boy or girl (?) who sat up on the body board and performed some yoga poses. All four of us were confused about the gender, I thought it was a girl, but the expert body boarder reigned supreme either way. Rapids is great fun for all ages and they have some excellent areas for smaller children as well. My best advice if you’re planning a visit is 1.) Get a locker; 2.) Bring dry clothes to change into and even an extra suit; 3.) If you don’t like fast food-esque fare, pack some snacks and lunch; and lastly 4.) Get there early for parking and to leave yourself ample time to fully experience the park.
Oh man that young girl/boy was a body boarding savant! We were literally split down the middle on gender, two votes male and female each, but she/he was a pleasure to watch. We truly have a great day every time we go to the Rapids. Open to close is a perfect amount of time to get to everything you want to do, as many times as you want to do it. The only damper on our last trip was Ethan slipped and took a pretty nasty header on some stairs. I was right next to him and it was like a terrifying, slow motion, daytime nightmare. The park employees were quick to come to our aid, and fortunately he came out of it just bruised up and scraped, but I would advise some caution when travelling from one side of the park to the other and on the multitude of stairs you’ll be climbing throughout the day. Wet ground, wet feet lead to some slippery surfaces. Other than that, go to the Rapids before the summer is over, preferably during the week. You’ll have fun, the kids will be smiling all day, and you’ll get a nice stair workout too.
Maria’s Rating: 4.5 Water Slides out of 5.
Ross’ Rating: 4.75 Water Slides.