Looking for something to beat the heat this summer? Well, this summer at Adventure Island, when the sun goes down, the fun heats up during Island Nights. From June 10 to Aug. 14, it’s a vacation from the everyday as Busch Gardens’ water park transforms into a celebration of island life with live music, authentic entertainment and inspiring cuisine. And new in 2010, Island Nights has been extended to a three-day weekly celebration, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from 5 to 9 p.m.
When we went for a sneak peek we were greeted with exotic birds, a larger-than-life stiltwalker, and enjoyed music and Polynesian dancing. A family-friendly DJ lead the party with games and music on the beach, and dancers encouraged guests of all ages to learn their new moves. There is even a skilled fire performer!
On Mango Joe’s deck, there was a live band performing a variety of music, from Latin to beach party music. And there was a sampling of food, like coconut shrimp and conch fritters. My husband and I only enjoyed the fresh fruit, though, because of our diet. But, the other guests were really chowing down!
Island Nights is designed to be a fun night-time escape for all ages and admission is included with any daily park admission or Adventure Island Pass. With an Adventure Island Weekday Pass you pay for a day and you can come back any weekday – that’s any Thursday or Friday of Island Nights – all season long. Visit AdventureIsland.com for more information.
Adventure Island is located right across the street from Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Adventure Island has 30 acres of water-drenched fun featuring high-speed thrills and tranquil surroundings for guests of all ages. Thrilling slides and tube rides include Riptide, Wahoo Run, Key West Rapids, Runaway Rapids, Everglides, Calypso Coaster, Aruba Tuba, Caribbean Corkscrew, Water Moccasin and Gulf Scream. Guests can also stretch out on the beach or in the 17,000-square-foot wave pool, play on professional sand volleyball courts, breeze through tropical gift shops or let the current sweep them through a half-mile of “river” on the Rambling Bayou.
To really enjoy the water-filled experience you will probably want to rent a locker to protect valuables, cameras, wallets and your change of clothes. We rented a locker for $12, which is for “all day”. You can lock and unlock as needed. When you return your locker key you receive a $3 card to use at the park at a later time.
Now, you know the Mom Buzz has shorties, so it was easiest to stick to attractions meant for their size. Definitely check out the size requirements in advance, since sometimes there is a minimum height, other times little ones are allowed to ride with a parent, and other times little ones have to ride with a parent and wear a life vest. My family enjoyed the Rambling Bayou, where you either tube or swim through the shade. But the kids loved spending an hour of playtime at Fabian’s Fun Port. It’s a fun zone of splashing and getting soaked with water sprayers, buckets, a wade pool and lots of ways to have water sprayed and splashed. I do suggest parents keep an eye on their kids, since older ones can get carried away with younger kids.
For the ultimate Island Nights experience, your family can enjoy an exclusive cabana. Each of the 15 VIP cabanas includes four chaise lounges, a locker, a mini-fridge with assorted drinks and four souvenir towels. Daily rental prices range from $149.99 to $179.99, based on the time of year.
Overall, Island Nights are bound to be a fun way to stay cool this summer! I suggest Island Nights for tweens, teens and college kids – and for anyone else who wants to cool off in 90+ degree weather.