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Ready for splashdown

By Staff | Feb 28, 2012

As Sun Splash Family Waterpark reopens Saturday for its 20th year, park officials are planning a season of surprises to mark the milestone.

The park will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It features 14 acres of pools and water slides, from the relaxing Main Stream River Ride to faster ones like Cape Fear, Fun-L-Tunnel and Zoom Flume.

Three speed slides – the Thunder Bump, Terror Tube and X-celerator – cater to thrillseekers by offering a free fall five and a half stories up.

For the little ones, the Tot Spot provides fun and entertainment.

“We will have 20 events going on throughout the year to commemorate our 20th anniversary,” Sandie Greiner, the park manager at Sun Splash, said.

“Twenty events to celebrate the 20th anniversary,” she said.

Officials are trying to secure radio stations for remote broadcasts during spring break, as well as schedule a visit from Nickelodeon’s Sponge Bob – a huge hit last year. A birthday party at the park, with cake, is in the works.

Greiner said other activities include a Super Sunday, where visitors will get vouchers for free ice cream, and the “EGGstravaganza” Easter weekend. On opening day, she hopes to give the first 20 people a souvenir park mug.

Also on the list is free admission for mothers on Mother’s Day, fathers on Father’s Day and veterans and service members on Armed Forces Day. For the first time, grandparents will get in free Sept. 11 – Grandparent’s Day.

“I’ve got lots of things planned,” Greiner said.

Visitors can buy season passes or general admission tickets at the door.

General admission for Cape Coral residents is $14.95 for adults and $12.95 for children ages 2 to 12 and seniors, age 60 and older. For non-residents, the cost for entry is $17.95 for adults and $15.95 for children and seniors.

On special promotional nights, like Aqua Theatre Nights and Family Fun Nights, there are discounted admission prices available after 2 p.m.

“Prices went up slightly this year, but not much,” she said.

Residents will pay an extra $2, while non-residents will pay an extra $1.

“First time in four years,” Greiner said.

Early bird season passes currently are available for purchase until April 8. The cost for Cape residents is $64 for adults and $54 for children and seniors; non-residents pay $79 for adults and $69 for children and seniors.

After April 8, the prices for all season passes will increase by $20.

Because the early bird passes are available before spring break – due to the school district pushing back the dates – more are selling early this year.

“That’s the one thing I’ve seen this year that I haven’t seen the last few years,” she said. “I have parents that are actually saying, ‘I’m going to drop my kids off there during spring break’ – we’re just beginning to see it.”

New this year is the park’s ability to reactivate season passes.

“We’re trying to make it easier for people to renew,” Greiner said.

Other notable changes to the park are to the kitchen and tiki hut.

Greiner explained that visitors can pay individually for items, like a burger, fries and drink. Now, the park also will offer combo meals starting at $3.50 for a children’s meal on up to $6.75 in an effort to provide some savings.

While tacos and one of the salads have been taken off the menu, a chicken caesar wrap was added. Snowcones – a big hit last year – will return. Also, new menu displays were installed at the Ice Cream Shop and Calypso Cafe.

“I’m trying to modernize the park a bit so we’re going to digital displays,” she said.

Sun Splash will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays until May 24, except during spring break and Easter break. From March 9-18 and April 6-9, the park will be open daily for the holiday breaks from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

After May 24, Sun Splash will be open daily throughout the summer.

On Aug. 8, the park returns to weekends only until the last day, Sept. 30.

“The city of Cape Coral does a great job in their parks,” Greiner said. “Each of them offers something different.”

“I think 20 years of having a waterpark owned and operated by the city is a big deal,” she added. “It’s evolved, and it keeps getting better.”

Sun Splash Family Waterpark is at 400 Santa Barbara Blvd.

Parking is $5 per day or $2 for season pass holders. An unlimited parking sticker is available for purchase to season pass holders for $19.95.

Pass holders also receive discounts on food and merchandise at the park.

For more information, call (239) 574-0558 or visit the website at: www.SunSplashWaterpark.com. To follow the water park online, visit: www.facebook.com/sunsplashcc or www.twitter.com/sunsplashcc.