I was 15 when Island Waterpark opened, just over a mile from where I grew up. I applied to work in the gift shop, but was called back a few days too late, as I’d already accepted my first job with Carl’s Jr. on Shaw and 99. My husband’s first job was life guarding at Island, and sometimes I wonder if we would have liked each other back when we were so young, had I taken that gift shop job!
When the park first opened, it was exciting and new and especially attractive to those of us from the West part of Fresno, as Wild Water Adventures felt as far as as Egypt from where we lived. However, a chief complaint about Island was a lack of shade, due to its newness and sapling trees. This past Friday, I was very excited to take my son to The Island with me, on a fun Friday off of work and I was so happy to see how much things had changed in the way of shade at Island. What was once a shiny, new, yet scorching concrete water playground is now a lush, tree-lined water park filled with picnic tables and seating areas, all carefully and smartly shaded by either tall, full trees or carefully planned awnings or lanais.
I love that Island allows you to bring in your own food (no glass or outside alcohol) because it helps keep costs down from families, and Season Passes (especially when purchased off-season, like around Christmas time) can be an affordable gift that offers a whole summer of fun for the kids and some relief for adults, struggling to think of activity 36 to entertain their kids with on only the 2nd week of summer vacation. (Hehe – don’t worry – we’re not judging!)
My son and I, along with friends, were able to enjoy the park’s brand new family water attraction, “Ohana Bay,” which just opened in mid-June. Embracing the true meaning of the Hawaiian word “Ohana” meaning “family”, Island Waterpark has introduced this unique, multilevel family attraction featuring four new slides, a giant rainforest-themed water playground with over 100 interactive features and more, perfect for kids and parents. “Ohana Bay” a perfect spot for parties, special events or just a great destination to beat the summer heat, plus it’s surrounded by shaded picnic tables and seating, making it ideal for parents of little ones to be able to relax while still keeping a watchful eye on the kids.
The park offers slides, attractions & water fun for everyone, from ‘Little Splashers’ to ‘Big Dippers’, including a sand beach to play or soak up the sun in and the Valley’s only Lazy River. Within our group, we had two adults and four children, ranging in age from 6-9, and the favorite attractions were the Lazy River, Ohana Bay, the wave pool and the big red slide in which up to four people can share one raft and careen downward. (Easy enough even for little ones, so long as they meet the height requirement.)
If you’ve stayed away from Island in recent years, I highly encourage you to rethink that and make this the summer you go and take it in. We had such a great day there, we took advantage of a special offer before we left, too. For just $10 each, we were able to purchase return tickets, so we could come another day this summer for less than half the price. (A great option for anyone who didn’t buy the discounted season passes earlier!)
Here are the other vital details you should know:
2016 ONLINE* Admission Prices (Buy online! In-person tickets are a few dollars more):
General Admission: $29.99
Junior Admission: $21.99
Standard Season Pass: $89.99
Children 2 & Under: Free Admission
*Discounts are available at participating Subway and Denny’s locations & on Island Waterpark’s Facebook page from time to time
Island Waterpark is located at 6099 W Barstow Ave, Fresno, CA 93723