When life conspires to make extended summer travel plans unfeasible, well-chosen staycations are a great way to still have an adventurous and fun-filled summer vacation. Last week we scored some amazing holiday fun when I took my family to Wet N Wild water park in Brampton – it was a day trip that truly knocked it out of the ballpark (I mean, made a huge splash)!
Wet N Wild is the new incarnation of what was once Wild Water Kingdom, and the renovated, upgraded water park is a mecca for water park lovers, which my family totally is. It feels bright and fresh and clean, with loads of water activities to choose from. There are 33 slides!! Some of our favourites:
- Klondike Express Lying on your belly on mats, you kick yourself head-first to race through a 360º loop and stomach-lifting drop to racing lanes below.
- Polar Pipeline and Tropical Twister There were so many fun thrills in these rides that you and a partner with enjoy – sweeping, curving, dropping – it’s all there.
- Bermuda Triangle If water rides could be called sweet, these open air water slides are them. They’re still stomach-lifting at points, but not too wild. I could have gone on these over and over again.
- Cannonball Falls Short and sweet, my boys loved this steep slide that spits you out when it’s done with you.
- Oh Canada! – You stand in a capsule, wait (the waiting is an integral part of the experience), then the floor below you is gone and you’re freefalling straight down to your end (never was the fast and furious water slide loop that catches you so welcome). For those with nerves of steel.
- Caribbean Chaos This group ride is officially crazy. Sweeping and curving, and then you lift up to a wide-open almost-vertical slide that drops into a steep chute. It’s not clear to me why the raft couldn’t fly off the open slide, which I thought about a lot on in the queue. Someone, and in my case it was me, takes the ride backwards the whole way, which intensifies an experience that doesn’t need intensifying. So much fun!
I appreciated how many slides were accessible to my youngest (who is 5) – she could do the first half of the ones listed above and much more, as children over 42″ but under 48″ can ride with an adult. Some of these were scary for her (we had a couple of tears before a particularly tall one), but she overcame her fears and came out smiling and laughing after every single ride.There’s more to the water park than slides, too. There’s Bear Footin’ Bay, a huge structure featuring slides, sprayers, slides, and a giant tipping bucket. All of our kids played lots on this.
Having everything outdoors is also a beautiful thing – you can’t be shy with the sunscreen, but the whole experience is that much more invigorating in the fresh air. The Big Surf wave pool and the Muskoka Soakah lazy river is especially is lovely outside. There’s even a zip line, although we didn’t try this.
It’s also a great family destination for families with very little children, who have their own Wet N Wild Jr water structures and slides, specially designed for peeps 48″ and under.
There are many picnic tables and some shaded areas for eating and relaxing between rides. If you’re up for a splurge, Wet N Wild also offers cute cabanas offering private quarters for shade and relaxation for your crew. They offer a comfy couch and chairs, chaise lounges, and a table. Particularly nice is having waiters who will take your orders and bring your food and beverages to you (no waiting in the food lines in the hot sun!). And if you are with kids, the cabana can make for a good meeting place if you end up going separate ways (intentionally or not).
My eldest loved luxuriating in the cabana!
You can’t bring food into the park, but you can bring a reusable water bottle (no glass!), which you should totally do (stay hydrated!). You’ll find the usual amusement park food offerings at Wet N Wild – they offer meal deals that might work out well for some folks. Predictably it all tastes better after swimming and riding and eating outdoors.
We went mid-week, and if there is any way you can swing this, I’d really recommend it. There were still plenty of people at the park, but it didn’t feel crowded, just exciting. Parking was a cinch, there were lots of places to sit and eat, and we weren’t constantly in fear of losing each other. We never waited more than 20 minutes for a ride (and only a few times), and often waited less than 5 minutes. If you must go on a weekend, try to arrive right at 10:30 when it opens; the attendants told us the park gets considerably busier in the afternoon.
The changing rooms are clean, but we bypassed them altogether by arriving in our swimsuits and slipping on dry shirts and dresses over our suits when it was time to go (maximizing ride time!).
If you are worried about rain, don’t. Wet N Wild offers a summer weather guarantee. If attractions are closed for at least one hour due to bad weather, water park guests are offered a complimentary day pass to come back another day. If the rides re-open after the hour or more of bad weather, guests can still stay for the rest of that day, plus get the complimentary pass – the ultimate twofer!
Getting to Wet N Wild was really easy and quick – even though we live in downtown Toronto in the east end, it only took us 35 minutes by car to get to the water park.
The kids loved this place, and knowing I came through the blog, instructed me repeatedly to give it an excellent review. They also started talking about returning and season’s passes and birthday parties pretty much as soon as they got there. My husband and I usually shrug off their requests for More, but not this time. We will absolutely go again, probably this season. It was a perfect Toronto staycation, an amazing day trip that felt like a bona fide family vacation.
Huge (wet) thanks to Wet N Wild Toronto for our complimentary visit to the waterpark and to our onsite hosts who made us feel so welcome! Thank you also to Wet N Wild for the three photographs of water slides in this post. All opinions in this article are entirely my own.