Our plan: See if Oceans of Fun was as kid-friendly as Worlds of Fun.
Our analysis: Most definitely.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored through a partnership with Blog Meets Brand and Cedar Fair, I was compensated for this post. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.
I admit to being reluctant taking two beginner swimmers to a water park the size of Oceans of Fun. But when Cedar Fair invited my family to visit for the first time, I decided it was time to see for myself if they can handle it. (Boy, could they handle it!)
Tip for other nervous parents: There are free life jackets near most major pool areas.
If you haven’t been to the Kansas City area, please check out some of my guides, including family-fun in North Kansas City (where this water park is), a hotel recommendation near Oceans of Fun, a hotel recommendation downtown, and one of my family’s favorite KC attractions, Science City.
Kid-friendly Oceans of Fun
If you are bringing school aged or older children to Oceans of Fun, the many water slides will be a bigger attraction to you than the kiddie stuff. Our trip was decidedly less thrill and more splash. Here’s what my 5- and 7-year-old loved:
The biggest hits were Coconut Cove and Aruba Tuba.
Coconut Cove is the pool of every kid’s dreams. Mini slides, rope walk, animals to climb on, and no waves to knock you over.
Aruba Tuba was, hands down, my kids’ favorite slide in the park. You need to be 42 inches to ride. It was quick enough to feel thrilling, but no scares. Both kids did well going down on their own and in a two-person tube.
The area for really little kids, Captain Kidd’s pirate ship and Crocodile Isle (as well as Splash Island), were fun and a friendly way to ease into the water park experience. After a little while, though, my bigger kids were ready to move on.
Surprisingly, my kids didn’t like Paradise Falls as much as I expected them to. It’s an awe-inspiring play area. I think the 1,000-gallon bucket of water dumping out every so often was a too much for them. I walked through it myself; it was a lot for the senses to take in.
We also had a fun time at the Surf City Wave Pool. Nab one of the free tubes to make playing in that pool extra fun. If your family is feeling brave, and everyone is tall enough (46 inches), Hurricane Falls is near the wave pool, and being a four-person tube ride, it’s a fun one to take the family on.
Slides and other water attractions we skipped were many, partly because my kids had their favorite areas and simply wouldn’t leave…and if I’m honest, partly because I didn’t want to go down any really big slides. Hurricane Falls was enough for me.
Best slides for kids at Oceans of Fun
Aruba Tube, the two-person and single tube ride, was the biggest hit with my kids, who are 5 and 7. It had the perfect combo of just-enough speed and dips in the slide to please, but not scare, every thrill seeker in our group.
Hurricane Falls was the lone thrill ride we did at Oceans of Fun. It’s a four-person tube flume, and you should expect a wait to get on it. My younger child enjoyed it, which surprised me. As for myself, it was a bit too much going backwards and fearing the worst. I’m a big baby, it turns out.
My Oceans of Fun Tips
– If the idea of your little ones in a big water park makes you nervous (it did for me), you can get a life jacket for them free-of-charge.
– Parents in the know arrive early, nab a spot in the shade before anything else, and leave a towel there before exploring.
– You can rent a locker all day, since they’re digital now. We felt comfortable leaving our bags nearby and going to play.
– My kids wore water shoes, but that wasn’t the norm. It made sense, to me at least, to wear them, since the cement does get hot and slides get slippery.
How to get into Worlds of Fun
Oceans of Fun and Worlds of Fun are one park now, which means you buy one ticket and can get into both. Super deal, if you ask me.
Can you do both in one day with small kids?
The way I see it, you have two routes to go if you’re trying to fit it in all in one day. If your kids are past the nap time age, I recommend hitting Worlds of Fun first and then cooling off at the end of the day at Oceans of Fun.
My kids needed a break (OK, I needed one). Since we were staying at a cabin on site, we went to Oceans of Fun right when it opened, took a midday break in the cabin, and then in the evening, rode a few rides at Worlds of Fun. The water park was great early in the day: Short lines, plenty of room in the pools, loungers galore. After noon, it warmed up more and the crowds arrived.
If you go
Worlds of Fun & Oceans of Fun
Where: 4545 Worlds of Fun Ave., Kansas City, Mo.
When: Open through Labor Day 2017; hours and days open vary so see calendar before going. You can time your visit to coincide with one of these fun events at Worlds of Fun.
Tickets: Buy online here
Cost: Buy online ahead of time for the best deal. You can get one-day passes for as low as $39.99. Two-day tickets are an even better deal: $59. Mom Saves Money shared more deals for 2017; check those out here.
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