Wet 'n' Wild Rides Again: Family Entertainment Makes a Comeback in Vegas

In Christine on The Scene by Christine McKellar

The Tide is High for Vegas Theme Park

Las Vegas has gone through more cosmetic changes since I moved here in 1980 than wet n wildcertain notable headliners have had facelifts. Change came in waves; from the iconic romantic era of The Rat Pack, to the Elvis era, and on to the inclusion and promotion of family fun ala Circus Circus and the Excalibur.

The millennium saw a major shift in the Las Vegas entertainment market. The focus on rock concerts, nightclub and “gentlemen’s” club venues sunk family entertainment such as Scandia Family Fun Center and Wet n Wild as swiftly and effectively as an iceberg sank the Titanic.  

Due to the foresight, ownership and management of SPB Partners and majority-owner Village Roadshow Theme Parks (VRTP), and with the participation of Andre Agassi, Dr. Steven and Karen Thomas (Thomas & Mack Companies), members of the Binion family, and other local, long-term investors, Wet ‘n’ Wild opened again in Las Vegas over the Memorial Day weekend.

The original Wet ‘n’ Wild, once located on the corner of Sahara Ave and Las Vegas Blvd., is a memory in the mist to me: Although countless hours were spent there, and at Scandia, when the children were growing up.

The new and improved Wet ‘n’ Wild, just off I-215 on Fort Apache Road between Sunset Road and W. Warm Springs Road, is a well-planned, multi-million-dollar family theme park with over 25 slides and attractions.

There’s plenty of action for the whole family from the extreme Rattler, the first slide of its kind in North America and the Constrictor, voted a Top 5 water slide by the Travel Channel’s Extreme Water Parks program; to Splash Island, the interactive children’s area with kid friendly slides and a giant dumping bucket. There’s the ever-popular Colorado Cooler, a 1,000-foot lazy river; and the Red Rock Bay wave pool. (Here’s a pleasant switch: Adults must be accompanied by a child under 12 to enter Splash Island.)

In keeping with modern technology, radio frequency Xpress bands can be rented at the ticket window that allow users to select their ride from self-service kiosks throughout the park. Users will be notified via the wristband of the wait and return times for the ride, and are also qualified to use a separate VIP entrance to the ride.

Wet ‘n Wild has bar-coded lockers, tents and cabanas available for rent. Tubes are provided to guests for free for all slides that require the use of tubes. Life jackets arewater park rides also provided to guests free of charge and may be required for certain guests on attractions. A variety of food options are available throughout the Park. No outside food or beverages are allowed, except for factory sealed plastic water bottles.

The 41-acre park has two parking lots and room for expansion. According to a Wet ‘n’ Wild representative; the park uses less water than a golf course. Evaporation is minimal as most of the water, except for the wall pool and lazy river water, is stored underground at night. The park also uses state-of-the-art environmentally friendly filtration systems by Neptune Benson to keep the water sanitary.

VRTP has theme parks in Kapolei, HI (20 minutes North of Honolulu), Phoenix, AZ, and Wet ‘n’ Wild Water Word in Queensland, Australia. In Nevada, where record breaking temperatures continue to be the norm, the family-friendly attraction should have a good long ride in Las Vegas.

For tickets, rides and attractions information, group events, and the 2013 Operating Calendar, please visit: or call (702) 979-1600