A few years ago, we were lucky enough to take a trip to OWA in Foley, Alabama to check out the newest attraction to the area. Our family fell in love with the theme park. So, when we found out that they were opening a state of the art, waterpark, we were thrilled to be invited back.
Tropic Falls Waterpark at OWA
The waterpark at OWA is 100,000 square feet indoor waterpark, with an outdoor wave pool and a surf simulator still under construction.
The same appeal of the outdoor portion of the park with the rides, carries over into the waterpark. Or at least it did for my family and I. The indoor waterpark was just as manageable for me, as the outdoor amusement park area was.
There was a lazy river, an area with slides and features for the smaller guests and 5 larger water slides. While that seems like a lot of area to cover in terms of being able to keep an eye on your kids, the space is maximized in such a way that it isn’t overwhelming.
There were tons of chairs, lounge chairs and tables around the waterpark, which is not always a reality in some waterparks. They work to keep the crowds to a manageable size so that it isn’t wall to wall people in the waterpark area all the time. As my older son put it, you could breathe in there.
The roof is retractable, so on sunny days they have the roof open and if the weather is bad, they close it.
While my kids are older now, we’ve recently had a medical diagnosis for my 11 year old that has changed a lot of how we typically do things. As a result of the diagnosis we have a medical action plan put in place by his team of doctors that say that he can’t be unattended while swimming, not that we’d ever leave him full unattended but a waterpark situation takes your kids out of your direct line of site while they are on the ride. For us, we depended very heavily on our older son to go on the waterslides with our younger boy. This won’t work for every situation but it worked for us. In addition to the buddy system (which isn’t a bad idea medical diagnosis or not) we had them check in with us after every ride. This served two purposes, the obvious being that we could lay eyes on them, proof of life if you will, and secondly, it slowed them down a bit, to take a break and I could determine if it made sense to let them go right ahead or need to have them sit for a second.
The waterpark has onsite food at Baja Grill, it was for sure a step above the typical ‘pool snack bar’ type food. With everything from pretzel bites to burgers and salads.
Ticket Cost for Topic Falls at OWA:
The Combo Ticket includes the theme park and the indoor waterpark.
Combo Ticket Cost: $63.00
There is also an option to purchase just the theme park ticket, but at this time you can only access the theme park and not the waterpark for the lower cost.
Theme Park Ticket Cost: $26.99
Gravity Island Watersports
I really didn’t think that I’d be saying this, but Gravity Island was the hands down winner in terms of the favorite thing to do while we were visiting OWA.
The Wake Park is a 2-tower cable system stretching across the lake, they give you a helmet with a microphone and speaker and the instructors talk you through the next steps and what you need to pay attention to and the little things that you can change to improve to make things going a little smoother for the person out on the water.
My 13 year old talked and talked about how much he loved it, and he very quickly became pretty good at wake boarding.
My 11 year old was pretty apprehensive about trying it and with his recent diagnosis we weren’t going to push him to try something that he didn’t feel comfortable with. Eventually, he decided that he wanted to give it a try. The instructors were so kind and patient with him, even swimming out to help him when he had a little bit of trouble. He was even able by the end of the time, get up on the wake board and ride across the lake a few times.
If you are wondering, yes, I tried too but this 30 something woman, tried it long enough to get the experience and gave up the remaining time to let the boys have the experience.
This is an experience that can be done without park tickets to OWA, as it is located outside of the amusement park and the waterpark.
Clash eSports & VR Experience
I haven’t laughed this much in a really long time and I have no photos from our time playing the games because, well, we running around with VR headsets on.
We ended up having the chance to try two different games, dodgeball which ended up being the family favorite and also swat type game where we had to find and shoot the bad guys.
We all enjoyed it so much that we’ve talked about finding a VR gaming place near us and go again as a family.
The pricing runs at $9.99 per person for VR games that are played as a group, with each game at a maximum of 6 players. The VR Escape room is $14.99 per person.
Brandon Styles Magic Show
Full disclosure, I had to practically bribe my boys to leave the hotel room and go to the show. Why you ask? To 11 and 13 year olds they associated a magic show with little kids.
It was a ton of fun, Brandon was incredibly entertaining and he did a really good job of getting the crowd involved. At one point both of the boys were called up on stage to assist and it was hysterical.
Brandon does a few different shows, the magic show, a variety show and the Outta Control comedy show. The magic show was so funny, I can’t imagine what the comedy shows would be like!
The shows lasts 1 hour and tickets start at $21 per person.
Paul Deen’s Family Kitchen
Paul is still cooking and she’s doing it up just as big as ever, and I can confirm, still with lots of butter.
The set up of this is a little bit different in that you order as a table, and the food comes out family style. Here’s the catch or perhaps the best part. All of the food comes with unlimited refills. Have starving people with you? No problem. Can’t get enough of the broccoli casserole? Get a refill.
The pricing structure is per person and it depends on how many main dishes you want to get two, three or four. All of the options come with four side dishes for the table to share but don’t worry when it comes time for dessert everyone can pick their own and don’t have to share.
Just a note, because of the unlimited nature of the food, they don’t offer to go boxes, which makes sense so don’t be mean to your waitress about it, yes we were told it happens!
Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant
We loved Lucy’s we sat outside and got to see the people who were wake boarding at Gravity Island, built in entertainment!
The menu has something for everyone on it with a wide variety of food and drinks to choose from that should make everyone in your group happy.
Our crew ordered a combo of different fresh fish options and a burger and of course, chips and queso for and appetizer.
OWA Fast Facts:
Marriott TownePlace Suites is the current onsite hotel choice and is the perfect home base. Everything was so close, that if you want to pop back to the hotel to change clothes or take a break it is close enough to do that.
There are lots of different shops located at OWA that offer a very wide variety of choices for the people in your group that need to shop on vacation!
Murder Creek distillery offers tasting of the entire moonshine menu, yes I said entire, for a really inexpensive price. In addition to just tasting the whiskey straight, they also mixed up a few samples of what the moonshine would taste like as a mixed drink.
No matter what you end up doing at OWA, I think you’ll love it as much as our family has!