We spent Pioneer Day this year at Cowabunga Bay in Draper. It was our first visit here, and we weren’t sure what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised and had a great time!
Cowabunga Bay is located just off of I-15 in Draper, and can bee seen from the freeway. From a distance, Cowabunga Bay looks like it’s all giant slides and rides for older kids. Because my kids are still young, and not too fond of waterslides, we have steered clear. I was glad to be given the chance to review Cowabunga Bay, because we couldn’t have been more wrong! It was a lot more kid-friendly than we were expecting, and there are activities and attractions for all ages of water park visitors! We look forward to going back and spending another day there!
Lockers: One thing to be aware of is that on the website, it says that lockers are $5. We only carry what cash we need, so we brought $5. What the website doesn’t tell you is that you have to pay $10, then you get $5 back after returning your key. Luckily for us they accept debit/credit cards for locker rentals as well, or else we would have been stuck without a locker. The staff was friendly and apologetic, and it wasn’t a big deal; just something to prepare for.
I read on their website that tubes and life vests are free, but what surprised me was how organized and easy it was to get them. We are used to waiting in a line and having to pay or give collateral for our tube. At Cowabunga Bay, they are just laying around the Lazy River. If you want a tube, you grab one that’s sitting there. When you are done with it, you just lay it back on the side. It was great not having to worry about keeping track of “your tube” the entire time at the water park.
For the life vests, they are organized on a hook system by the lockers and bathrooms. If you need one, grab one and use it. When you are done, hang it back up on the hooks. Super easy, and no waiting in line! Of course, they are first come first served, but when we went there were plenty hanging there. My kids usually use a life vest just as extra precaution, but the water park was shallow enough that they didn’t need it. The deepest part of the pool was around three feet.
Food and drink: We didn’t purchase any food, but it looked like they had an organized system for getting food out to the person who ordered it. Cowabunga Bay doesn’t allow any outside food or drinks, but there are plenty of food options to choose from. We didn’t see the free water, but heard from others that water is always free, which is great for spending a day in the hot sun without the worry of getting dehydrated!
Fun for all ages: As I said above, we were a little bit nervous about taking our kids to Cowabunga Bay, and if it was something they would like. They are 9 and 7, but do not like water slides. By the end of the day, they were going down a few slides by themselves! This is something we have never been able to get them to do, but because of the “non-threatening” layout of the slides (and that they don’t exit into a pool of water!), my kids were much more willing to try them out!
Cowabunga Bay has a kid area that is like a mini splash pad, and with a smaller water slide. Young kids just learning how to walk can even have fun in this area.
The Lazy River and shallow pool was a favorite attraction for our kids. They loved floating around, and being able to touch the bottom the entire time and not have to use a life jacket. The Lazy River also has an option to empty into the pool, which was fun for when we were finished in the River. Instead of getting out and walking over to the pool, we just exited out of the River and into the pool, while staying in the water. Around the pool area are plenty of lounge chairs for parents that need a place to sit. Most other water parks have a few chairs here and there, but at Cowabunga Bay there are rows and rows of chairs.
You pay for the time you spend there:
One thing we noticed at Cowabunga Bay is that if you don’t want to spend all day there, you can pay for a four hour time slot instead. This is great for parents with younger kids that need to go home and take naps, and don’t really have the option to spend all day at a water park. For those of us who can make a day of it, all-day passes are available. Prices are listed on their website.
For those wanting to stay all day, or book a birthday party or family party, cabanas are available to rent. More information can be found on the Cowabunga Bay website.
A few things that we loved that set Cowabunga Bay apart from other water parks:
- FREE parking, and plenty of it.
- The slides do not exit into a pool of water at the end; instead, there is a “runway track” that slows you down with the water you traveled down the slide on. Because of this, you don’t walk away with the bruises and sore muscles like many other water parks. You don’t feel like you are hitting a “brick wall of standing water” at the end of the slide. It’s also a lot safer, especially for those who are not great swimmers. Many people who don’t know how to swim steer clear of water slides; at Cowabunga Bay, they don’t have to!
- Because my husband and I own a DJ business, music is one of the first things I notice when at a water park. I never understood why other water parks play random music. It could be so much more fun and beachy with summer-type music. We loved the music that Cowabunga Bay had playing, and it put us in even more of a summer mood!
- Colorful atmosphere: The pictures in this post were taken on a cloudy day, and don’t do the park justice! The bright atmosphere of Cowabunga Bay sets it apart from other water parks. Bright colors always make the adventure more fun and inviting!
Deals and Discounts:
Discounts and specials can be found on the Cowabunga Bay website. Below are specials they are currently running for the 2013 season. Please verify through the Cowabunga Bay website that the discounts listed below are still active. Discounts are subject to change without my notice, and we will not be held responsible for deals that have ended.
- Enter discount code ejucowa at online checkout to receive $7 off an adult ticket.
- 2’s Tuesdays: Two admissions for $22.22
- Thursdays $9.99 after 3pm
- Group sales
- Season Passes
- Gift Cards
I asked a few people what they thought about Cowabunga Bay, and these are some of their responses:
“My kids love the purple slide! I love that the slides stay slides all the way to the end and even inexperienced swimmers can ride them. Cowabunga is our favorite summer hang out! Fries are good too!” – Stacey
“We have been season pass holders since the first year….we love that the food is affordable, the yearly mug is nice, its $1 to fill it with soda the whole season and water is free, they will even fill past seasons mugs with the awesome dot ice and water. Water in the slides is now heated (it wasn’t the first 2 seasons), the new kiddy area is great for smaller kids!” – Suzzi
“Love the lazy rivers and you don’t have to worry about tubes, you just grab and use as you go. Water slides are a great variety for the kids.” – Amber
“We went on Tuesday and it was so much fun! We went for the 2 for $22 discount day on Tuesdays which was nice because then it wasn’t so pricey. They had a few big rides and a lot that kids could do. I liked the fact that there was a good variety (lazy river, little pool for kids, and lots of kid friendly slides). We had a hard time getting a tube sometimes, but it worked out fine. The staff were friendly and helpful also. We had an odd number of people, so we were worried that they would charge us more for an extra person, but they worked it out so we just had to pay $11 for everyone. I think for thrill seekers it may not be the best park, but for everyday family fun, with a little thrill seeking it was great!! Perfect for my family and if I lived in salt lake I would definitely have a season pass there!:)” – Kristy
I was provided with four all-day passes for myself to experience Cowabunga Bay with my family and write the review, and four all-day passes for a giveaway. I was not compensated financially for my review, nor was I required or persuaded to write any specific type of review. The opinions and views expressed in this review are all my own.