Recently I have been to two water parks, Amana Waterpark and Splash Island. Both are water parks that are very popular and were mostly full of people throughout the summer.
This is aAmana water park, where we had our company outing. The water is blue and continuously being filtered. A nice thing to know because children will generally pee in the water, as some adults will also do the same.
This is the Balsa River of Splash Island. Photo has been borrowed from the Splash Island Facebook page.
People have a lot of fun in these water parks, but what the promotional photos do not show is the hassle. heat, expense and inconvenience that these water parks make their customers experience.
Because people want to cool down during weekends, it is expected that the designers and operators of these water parks expect a lot of people coming in on Saturdays and Sundays. Both water parks have their pros and cons so allow me to share with you my thoughts so that you are better prepared when coming to such places. First I will share my Amana experience.
The good. It is huge. This place is very huge to the point that you will not be able to see the whole place in one day. To its advantage, it dilutes the crowd, no matter how huge it is. So you will not feel claustrophobic when walking around. To me it is also an advantage that their pools are equally huge because it allows you to have a lot of elbow room if you want to swim around or laze by the poolside. The wavepool is fantastic though scary for small children. I’m 41 and I go scared. Good thing I have a lifesaver around me. I didn’t mind looking silly but for a man who doesn’t know how to swim and is struggling though 7-feet deep waters in huge waves, silly was OK.
The food was alright. Good thing about Amana is that you can bring in your own food, but not the water. Fair enough. With the huge amount of people coming in, restaurants might not be able cater to all the people in the water park. They rent out barbecue grills so you can make your own barbecue while laughing with your friends and family. There are so many cottages to rent out and there will be no shortage of air-conditioned cottages in case you come in late in the afternoon. Service is good and the staff are very attentive your needs. I highly recommend this water park to my readers. However, make sure you take care of your children because the wave pool can easily drown a small child if he/she is not assisted by a parent or guardian.
The bad. It’s too far! Traffic in NLEX can be hell on Saturdays and the heat can sometimes be unbearable. If you swim then perhaps you will not feel the scorching heat. However, for those who just want to have barbecue and beer and look after the towels and the flip flops, bearing the heat will be a challenge. Parking can be so far from the entrance that going back to the car to get something can be quite a chore.
Overall. I love Amana and I will return to this place. The entrance is P250 and the fun is how you make it. Learn more about their services by visiting their website http://www.amanawaterpark.ph/
The good. It is closer to Manila, just 30 minutes away on a weekend if you take the Skyway. This is all that’s good about it.
The bad. I do not know where to start. Let me make a list:
1. Facilities. Their shower facilities are not as clean. They hardly have staff clean the toilets because at 9.30 am it already reeks of human excrement. Somebody took a dump first thing he got there and didn’t flush. Then there was no one to clean it. Staff probably just prayed that someone would flush it.
2. Shortage of cottages, no more lockers. It seems to me that all this place cares about is making money, no matter if they already had the place reserved for company outings. Long lines of people in the showers and lockers are filled out easily, though there were a lot of lockers that were still available only they wouldn’t rent it out because there were no longer any pad locks. So instead they started renting out plastic boxes, which do not have locks too but are guaranteed looking after for a P300 fee. They don’t even issue receipts for these rentals.
3. Shortage of food. Yes, Splash Island management knows very well that they overbook the resort and yet they do not allow the people to bring their own food! I was trying to buy lunch and I was told that there was 45 minute-wait because management made a call to stop selling food since they ran out of rice. Their food is also stellarly priced. P400 for 4 cups of rice, 1 liempo, 4 sticks of barbecue, 1 grilled tilapia and mangga’t bagoong, 1 itlog na maalat, 1 lousy anemic tomato and 1 grilled aubergine. They will not sell you extra rice if you don’t buy another stick of barbecue with it! Unbelievable!
4. Hygiene. THIS IS A SERIOUS ISSUE. The waters are filthy, they actually stink. After a dunk in the Balsa River, I didn’t want to go into another pool. Tried to wash myself off at the Water Wahoo but there were so many people there that I just got more filthy than when I started out. The toilets stink, the shower rooms have long lines and there is mud all over the bathroom floors. Such a sharp contrast to the Amana’s constant mopping of the shower rooms and toilets. I can’t believe I spent P500 for entrance and P400 for food so I can go home with an rashly, itchy ass from all that dirty water.
5. Long lines at the rides. Terrible long lines that you will spend an entire day probably only riding one or two at most.
6. No waves in the wave pool. They never opened the wave making machine. The whole day people waited and they never opened the wave machine. I wonder how they can even call this a wave pool when there are no waves.
7. Lack of security. Their security people are mostly hunched inside their air-conditioned offices, not wanting to break a sweat. None of them tried to stop youths who were throwing things are people in the ziplines! Some of them were throwing water at the people in the ziplines while some of them still were throwing food and barbecue sticks!
Overall. So if you want a pleasant water park experience, I’d say Splash Island IS NOT the place for you and your kids.