When Louisvilleâ€™s own Kentucky Kingdom reopened in 2014, it brought with it a host of new and exciting additions to the park, which had laid dormant for nearly five years. Although the thrilling coasters and engaging family attractions were welcomed with open arms by the community that had been undeniably supportive of the parkâ€™s resurgence for years, it was the massive overhaul of Kentucky Kingdomâ€™s waterpark counterpart, Hurricane Bay, that has continued season after season to really keep guests cool all summer long.
Located deep within Kentucky Kingdom, Hurricane Bay is a destination all of its own. Admission to the waterpark is included with that of Kentucky Kingdom, and guests of all ages are sure to have an unforgettable summertime experience within Hurricane Bay thanks to its rides, slides and scenic atmosphere.
Kentucky Kingdom renovations saw Hurricane Bay more than double in size, and when exploring, the park feels every bit as big as advertised. A large wave pool called Big Surf, which features even larger waves during the thrice daily â€œThe Big Kahuna,â€ welcomes guests at the main entrance â€“ and it only gets better from there.
As far as thrills are concerned, the parkâ€™s new Deep Water Dive, Americaâ€™s tallest body slide that features a 12-story drop thatâ€™s 377 feet long at a 70-degree angle, is preeminent. The slide towers over the park at an unnerving height â€“ letâ€™s just say this: you can see the downtown Louisville skyline from the put-in of the slide. Though terrifying to behold, the rush of going down Deep Water Dive is literally unparalleled and is an absolute must-do when visiting Hurricane Bay.
A tamer though still exhilarating slide known as Wave Runner is a part of the Deep Water Dive complex. And while the latter may feature a hair-raising drop, the formerâ€™s thrill lies with its riders often getting airborne while going down. Itâ€™s a drop of 66 feet with three â€œbumpsâ€ along the way â€“ by the third, riders have picked up such speed that they more fly over the final ridge rather than slide down it.
For those looking for the more mild attractions, Tornado is a surefire crowd-pleaser. Riders can experience it in groups of two to four aboard a multi-person tube. To gain a little speed, you slide down a short but steep dark tunnel before spinning out into an expansive blue-and-yellow checkered cone, where you slide up the sides with more speed than you might imagine.
Hurricane Bay also features the Family Wave Lagoon, which allows the kids plenty of shallow water to splash in with ample deck space for the adults to sunbathe and supervise. The lagoon is also near the shady and relaxing Hurricane Bay Beach Club, which offers beer, frozen drinks and snacks in a refreshing out-of-the-sun setting. Taco Tequila is also nearby, beckoning guests with hand-crafted tacos and tempting tequila cocktails.
Thereâ€™s absolutely no shortage of fun to be had at Hurricane Bay, for thereâ€™s truly a multitude of offerings for all ages. And Louisville knows it â€“ the park has continually seen an enthusiastic response from the community. â€œWeâ€™ve sold a lot of season passes this year, which is great for our local market,â€ says Kentucky Kingdom Director of Operations Lesly Birkner. This strong support in Louisville has actually allowed the company to branch out and concentrate its marketing on other cities in order to motivate out-of-towners to make the trip to Louisville and visit Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay.
â€œWe are currently focused on reaching out to our outer markets, principally the Nashville and Indianapolis markets,â€ Birkner relates. â€œWith our current out-of-state promotion, we are bringing in 10,000-plus visitors a week from those markets. As visitors will see, the park is bigger and better than it has ever been!â€
With the oppressive heat of summer in full-effect, thereâ€™s no better time to visit Hurricane Bay and see why Kentucky Kingdom is enjoying one of its busiest seasons yet. From Deep Water Dive to the Family Wave Lagoon, you can rest assured that there will certainly be something at Hurricane Bay to really give your summer a splash. VT
Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay will be open all summer with various hours dependent on the day. For more information, call 502.813.8200 or visit kentuckykingdom.com.