Record growth brings millions in improvements, new jobs to North Texas waterparks

Hawaiian Falls plays Santa

Hawaiian Falls CEO David Busch and Roanoke Mayor Scooter Gierisch arrived at Hawaiian Falls Ronoake on a front-end loader to announce $6.3 million in additions to the four North Texas waterparks.

Coming off a record-breaking 2011 season, Hawaiian Falls unveiled plans for $6.3 million in expansions at its Roanoke, Garland, The Colony and Mansfield waterparks. The growth has already created 10 new permanent positions and will generate more than 50 seasonal jobs at its four North Texas waterparks.

All of this growth is in addition to the new $10 million waterpark currently under construction in Waco. All improvements and additions will be completed by Memorial Day 2012.

“Our mission is bringing families closer together,” said David Busch, president and CEO of Hawaiian Falls. “We’re always looking for ways to improve the guest experience and focus on attractions that mom, dad and the kids can play on together. We concentrate the rides within a small footprint so parents can engage their younger children while keeping up with their older kids at the same time.”

In Roanoke, Hawaiian Falls plans to build the Cyclone Fury, a new $1.6 million multi-slide complex. The six-story tower will feature four slides, including the Whirlwind, a two-person tube slide that curls around like a coiled snake before launching riders into a splash pool; two 60-foot tall speed slides, Wiki Waki Plunge and the Lava Flow; and the Hurricane, a family raft ride that will hold up to three guests per tube. The park is also adding more shade, additional food service options and other guest amenities, bringing the total new investment at Roanoke to more than
$2 million after only one season.

“Hawaiian Falls has been an excellent partner,” said Roanoke Mayor Carl E. “Scooter” Gierisch, Jr.  “In addition to providing safe, clean family fun for all of our residents, we’ve seen an increase in visitors, which benefits our hotels, restaurants and shops. The park employs nearly 200 area young people in the summer and the additional sales tax revenue is also an advantage.  We look forward to continuing our partnership and working together for the benefit of our community.”

Tiki Man was so popular at the Roanoke park that Hawaiian Falls plans to install similarly-themed Aqua Talkers at all of the parks for the 2012 season. The animated statue entices guests to come close then surprises them with a variety of spray features.

Hawaiian Falls recently announced a $3 million expansion at its Mansfield park. The park plans to add two major family water slides, including the Cliff Hanger, a three-person tube slide featuring a 40-foot drop; and the Boomerango, a two-person tube slide which will send riders down a huge drop, then catapult them up three-stories, then backwards for a spectacular finish. There will also be a new 10,000 square foot Splashwater Harbor water playground with activity areas for kids and adults, slides and lots of shade. In addition, the park is expanding the corporate picnic area and adding theming and shade throughout the park.

Plans are underway to spend $1 million at The Colony waterpark to add the Whirlwind, a new body slide with a twist. Two riders enter separate launchers at the top of the 60-foot tower. The floor drops and both riders are launched simultaneously, travelling opposite arcs around a large bowl at up to 40 mph. After several revolutions, they come to a gradual stop and climb out on a staircase in the middle of the bowl.

The Garland park is adding The Abyss, a two-person dark ride that uses state-of-the-art special effects to create a thrilling, multi-sensory experience with lights, sound and projections on a water wall to simulate sliding into a shark’s mouth, spinning blades, etc. The attraction will have the ability to change effects so the ride can offer multiple experiences. Garland’s Splashwater Harbor area is being updated and transformed into Keiki Kingdom, a special world of climbing, jumping, sliding and spraying with a floating obstacle course.


“All total, we’ll be spending $6.3 million in additions and improvements to our North Texas parks,” concluded Busch. “We’ve already added 10 new permanent positions this year to handle our growth. And we plan to hire an additional 50 seasonal employees this summer. We’re excited about all the new opportunities we’ll have to bring families closer together.”

Hawaiian Falls’ regular operating schedule is daily 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Individual season passes are on sale now for $69.99 each, or four or more at $64.99 each. There’s also an Early Bird Flex Pay plan with five easy payments of $14 each. Hawaiian Falls season passes are good for admission to all four North Texas waterparks plus the new park opening Memorial Day weekend in Waco.

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Story and photos by David Alvey.

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