Zoombezi Bay Water Park and More in Columbus, Ohio

picture of Zoombezi Bay Roaring Rapids and Cyclone

Zoombezi Bay is a 22.7 acre water park located in the Columbus Zoo. Both are part of the Roar and Explore Adventure Getaway in Columbus, Ohio that my family recently had the chance to experience.

All you have to say is “Water Park” and my kids squeal with delight! Zoombezi Bay was a huge family hit! It has so much to offer including 17 water slides, not-so-lazy river, wave pool, tree house with barrel dump, kiddie play areas, and more.

picture of Zoombezi Bay Water Park in Columbus, Ohio Entrance
Zoombezi Bay Water Park in Columbus, Ohio Entrance

Zoombezi Bay Water Park Review

What surprised me when entering Zoombezi Bay is that with your Zoombezi Bay ticket, you can also get into the Columbus Zoo for Free! Plus, on the way into the water park, there are great rides for kids and adults at Jungle Jack’s Landing.

Zoombezi Bay Wild Tides Wave Pool

After getting a locker rental, the first thing we did was head for the wave pool, Wild Tides is one of the larges wave pools that I’ve been to.

picture of Zoombezi Bay Wild Tides Wave Pool
Zoombezi Bay Wild Tides Wave Pool

It is 544,500-gallons of pure excitement! Head out to the max depth of 6 feet for waves that reach up to 4 feet high or stay by the shore to experience the crashing waves. It is the closet thing to the ocean as you are going to get in Ohio, minus the threat of sharks and jelly fish. ;)

Zoombezi Bay Roaring Rapids “Lazy River” and Cyclone

There is nothing lazy about the Roaring Rapids river at Zoombezi Bay. There are water sprays, dumps, and waterfalls around every turn in this 570,000 gallon ride. It is one of the largest lazy river type rides I’ve seen at 1,500 feet long and 17 feet wide. There are certainly plenty of time to relax on this lazy river but don’t get too comfortable or the roaring rapids and water features will get ya. You can use a tube or swim in the river. This was perfect for my family because Elijah, my 6 year old always wants to swim with the tide and many places require you to be in a tube.

picture of Zoombezi Bay Roaring Rapids and Cyclone
Zoombezi Bay Roaring Rapids and Cyclone

We were not able to ride the Cyclone. Elijah is tall enough but it’s a pretty intimidating ride for a6 year old. Although it looks exciting, I’m sure that I would be second guessing my decision to go on it once I hit the top of the steps too! It drops your 4-person raft 55 feet right from the beginning giving you speeds of 20mph! The climax is when you come rushing out of  largest enclosed reducing -radius tunnel in the world. We had a fun time watching people on this ride but it will be at least another year or two before we can try it!

Zoombezi Bay Barracuda Bay

Zoombezi Bay Barracuda Bay is where we spent most of our time with a 4 and 6 year old. It is a 4-1/2 foot story tree houses with tons of gadgets to squirt and dump water on people.

[slickr-flickr tag=Barracuda] Plus, there are about a 1/2 dozen slides to go down, rope ladders to climb, and the awesome 500 gallon water barrel to get dumped on!

Barracuda Bay is a large, zero-depth entry area with lots to do. My kids enjoyed climbing on the floating structures, sliding climbing into the pirate ship, crossing the water on floating barrels while holding onto the rope ladder overhead, getting dumped on by the dumping bucket, and so much more. This is a very impressive part of Zoombezi Bay!

I’ve been to many waterparks and have found many of the water features at other waterparks were broken. Zoombezi Bay offered the most options to squirt people, etc that were not broken. Good job, Zoombezi Bay for keeping up on maintenance!

Zoombezi Bay Waterslides

My kids went on waterslide after waterslide in Barracuda Bay. Elijah was tall enough and brave enough to conquer the Dolphin Dash too. Dolphin Dash is for people 42 inches and taller. It stands 49 feet high and runs 310 feet long – longer than a football field. You go down this waterslide head first on a mat, racing up to 5 other people. Elijah went down it first with his daddy.

picture of Zoombezi Bay Dolphin Dash
Zoombezi Bay Dolphin Dash

Elijah was so proud of himself for conquering Dolphin Dash, we were too. It’s a big scary slide for a 6 year old, in fact, it is kinda scary for a 35 year old mama too. Elijah talked me into going down it with him after he went a couple more times with Daddy. He promised that I wouldn’t get a drop of water in my eyes, so silly that he knew I was a little worried. What am I going to do next year when he wants to take on the huge Zoombezi Bay waterslides?! ha ha

picture of Elijah conquered Dolphin Dash
Elijah conquered Dolphin Dash

There are many more thrilling waterslides at Zoombezi Bay that my family has to wait another year or two to ride, but maybe yours doesn’t!

Big Boa Falls is only 1 of 6 in the country. It whips you around so fast that you feel weightless as you go over a zero-gravity hill before splashing down into a pool of water.

Python Plunge is your chance to ride a waterslide uphill! You are accelerated with jetted water uphill and then shot out into a 70 foot long landing pool.

Croctail Creek is for people 21 years old and up, it is a relaxing lazy river of 203,000 gallons of water, 850 feet in length, and about 32 inches deep. You won’t have to worry about my kids splashing you here!

Slippery Seals – No need for a raft on these three body slides! Starting from a 63 foot tall tower, guests slide thru the 310 foot slide containing portions that are enclosed in darkness. Guests must be 48 inches tall to ride.

Sea Snakes offers both a 1-person or 2-person raft slides that plunge down 51 feet high in bowl shaped slides. People slide around the bowl slides in a circular motion on rafts. I like that 2 people can be on a raft, perfect for introducing the bigger slides to kids that want to go but not by themselves.

Sea Tubes is a partially enclosed dark slide that can be for 1 or 2 people on a raft. Another great 2 person option.

Tahitian Twister allows up to 5 people to climb on board the raft that will speed you through total darkness through drops, vortex loops, curve after curve and a 360 degree turn before landing in the pool.

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Zoombezi Bay Kiddie Area Katoomba Lagoon

Sadly, this was the first year that my kids didn’t go to the kiddie area, it was no interest to them as they are now big 4 and 6 year olds. Katoomba Lagoon is a really cute 4,000 sq ft water playground for the little ones. There are 12 marine animal play structures and slides to romp on, squirting and falling water all in 12-14 inch max depth.

picture of Zoombezi Bay Kiddie Area Katoomba Lagoon
Zoombezi Bay Kiddie Area Katoomba Lagoon

Rides and Animal Interaction

After spending the day at the water park, we let our kids ride a few rides at Jungle Jack’s Landing. They had a great time. The tickets are $ each.

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Throughout the day, there are 2-3 different animals that you can interact with (for free). This was such a neat experience. The zoo personnel were so friendly and talked with us about the animals. They answered the zillion questions that my kids asked with pleasure. That says a lot about the Columbus Zoo! There were several snakes, owl, blue tongued skink, and lizards.

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Visit Zoombezi Bay

Zoombezi Bay Operating Hours:

Now through August 20, 2011 10:30 am – 8 pm. Click here for other dates.

Zoombezi Bay Admission:

Kids 2-9 $24.99, Ages 10-59 $32.99, 60+ $24.99. Season pass is $79.99 or for teh Gold pass which includes zoo membership and free zoo rides for $99.99 each.

This was not a paid post. My own opinions were used based on my perceptions and experience. Thank you to Zoombezi Bay who supplied the tickets for Roar and Explore  Adventure Getaway review.

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Founder and Lead Blogger at Akron Ohio Moms
Cindy is the top Akron Blogger with her own take on awesome brands for families, where to vacation for families, a beat on local activities and family fun, a knack for getting moms to share , and a house that is always 2 weeks away from a complete remodel!
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