Wet ‘n’ Wild
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Pictures: Wet ‘n Wild Orlando through the years

Wet ‘n Wild on International Drive in Orlando opened in 1977. Universal Orlando, which owns the park, announced it will be closing it in 2016. Universal is opening its own water park, Volcano Bay. This aerial view is from 2005.

 (Handout)

The sun sets during Wet ‘n Wild’s final week before its Dec. 31 closing date.

 (Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel)

From atop the Wet n’ Wild ride The Surge, George Millay founder of Wet ‘n Wild and SeaWorld talks about his life, it is the subject of a new book by Tim O’Brien, Orlando, Friday, November 19, 2004. 

 (Roberto Gonzalez / Orlando Sentinel)
A construction worker pours concrete on a slide at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on March 29, 1977. (Tom Kennedy, Orlando Sentinel) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)
People enjoy the Lazy River at Wet ‘n Wild on April 16, 1987. (Judy Watson Tracy, Orlando Sentinel) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)
Ride goers walk up the stairwell of the newly revamped Black Hole. (Sara A. Fajardo, Orlando Sentinel)
Construction is uderway on the $1.5 million children’s water playground at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on March 4, 1991. (Wet ‘n Wild) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)
The new $1.5 million children’s water playground opens at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on July 26, 1991. (Wet ‘n Wild) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)
Navy sailors enjoys a ride down the Bubba Tub at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on July 27, 1992. (Gary Bogdon, Orlando Sentinel) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)

Wet ‘n Wild on International Drive in Orlando opened in 1977. Universal Orlando, which owns the park, announced it will be closing it in 2016. Universal is opening its own water park, Volcano Bay.

 (Joe Burbank, Orlando Sentinel)

Mach 5 at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando. Riders must be able to control the mat.

 ()
Construction workers take a break and enjoy the view atop a new flume ride at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Jan. 3, 1986. (Judy Borich, Orlando Sentinel) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)
Orlando, Fl - Rafael Gonzalez - Orlando Fl, dances along with friends as the music starts up at the 4th annual Fiesta San Juan. Wet ‘N Wild hosts its 4th annual Fiesta San Juan Saturday June 28, 2003. Activities Include food, live music, dancing and contests. The park will continue the festivities till 1 A.M. so that guests can honor the tradition of “The Night of San Juan” by taking a big splash in the water at midnight for good luck. (Larry L. Lopez / Orlando Sentinel)

Black Hole at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando. Visitors must be at least 48 inches tall to ride.

 (Sara A. Fajardo, Orlando Sentinel)
A mountain rises in Orlando as Wet ‘n Wild takes shape along the east side of International Drive on Sept. 7, 1976. (Tom Kennedy, Orlando Sentinel) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)

Orlando, June 12, 2006-Wrist band and scanner. Wet N’ Wild is the first water park in the country to adopt the GO technology, which puts credit card info on a waterproof bracelet. (using Radio Frequency technology, like what you’d find in the automatic toll pass). It lets park patrons pay for anything by scanning their bracelet. Company says it boosts sales and customers are finding it very convenient. 

 (George Skene / Orlando Sentinel)
A $2 million expansion project nears completion at Wet ‘n Wild on International Drive in Orlando on Feb. 8, 1988. (Wet ‘n WIld) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)
Tourists cool off in the wave pool at Wet ‘n Wild on Spet. 21, 1990. (Gary Bogdon, Orlando Sentinel) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)

Wet ‘n Wild on International Drive in Orlando opened in 1977. Universal Orlando, which owns the park, announced it will be closing it in 2016. Universal is opening its own water park, Volcano Bay.

 (Orlando Sentinel)
A patron rides Aqua Drag Racer, a new ride at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando, Fla. Monday, June 23, 2014. (Ryan Jones, Orlando Sentinel)
Kamikaze super slide is under construction at Wet ‘n Wild on Jan. 18, 1979. (Gordon Williamson, Orlando Sentinel) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)

Dutch tourists splash around Tuesday, Nov. 30 in the main pool at Wet ‘n Wild. Despite the cool weather, the tourists loved their time at the attraction. 

 (Frank Rivera / Orlando Sentinel)
Patrons exit the tubes at Aqua Drag Racer, a new ride at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando, Fla. Monday, June 23, 2014.  (Ryan Jones, Orlando Sentinel)

A game of tug of war during Summer Nights at the Wet ‘n Wild water attraction park on International Drive in Orlando. 

 (Wet ‘n Wild)

Aqua Drag Racer at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando. Visitors must be at least 42 inches tall to ride. 

 ()
Wet ‘n Wild under construction on April 6, 1984. (Orlando Sentinel file) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)
A youngster plunges down the Bomb Bay ride at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on May 14, 1993. (Orlando Sentinel file) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)
Visitors float in a pool at Wet N’ Wild in Orlando ORG XMIT: HO (WET N’ WILD)
Park-goers enjoy the lazy river at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando in November 1985. (Orlando Sentinel file) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)
A lifeguard stands at the bottom of Aqua Drag Racer, a new ride at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando, Fla. Monday, June 23, 2014. (Ryan Jones, Orlando Sentinel)
Patrons carry mats for Aqua Drag Racer, a new ride at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando, Fla. Monday, June 23, 2014.  (Ryan Jones, Orlando Sentinel)
Participants in the 11th Annual Cardboard Boat Race paddle furiously during the competition at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando. 2 of 2. ORG XMIT: 9704270-4A (FRANK RIVERA / ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Wet ‘n Wild, a water park on International Drive in Orlando, will add the Aqua Drag Racer slide. It is expected to open summer 2014.  (Wet ‘n Wild)
Park-goers enjoy a night-time float on the lazy river at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Aug. 14, 1992. (Orlando Sentinel file) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)

Brain Wash at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando. Visitors must be at least 48 inches tall to ride. 

 (www.wetnwildorlando.com)

Guests gather around the pool at Wet N’ Wild water park. 

 (Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel)
Kids play in the water at Blastaway Beach at Wet ‘n Wild, a new child-friendly area that opened in June 2012 at the Orlando water park. (Jacob Langston, Orlando Sentinel)

Wet ‘n Wild revamped the Hydra Fighter ride. The changes include regulated flow of the water cannons and streamlined chairs to make it easier for riders to propel. 

 (Phelan M. Ebenhack / Orlando Sentinel)
On June 2, 2012, Wet Ôn Wild Orlando celebrated the grand opening of its newest attraction, Blastaway Beach - a family-friendly, sandcastle-themed water playground. It is the largest water playground of its kind in Florida and Wet Ôn WildÕs first new attraction in over four years. Built around a sandcastle rising 60-feet high, Blastaway Beach spans an acre and features 15 slides and expands across two pools with 160 soakers, jets, waterfalls and water cannons. (Courtesy Universal Studios)
On June 2, 2012, Wet Ôn Wild Orlando celebrated the grand opening of its newest attraction, Blastaway Beach - a family-friendly, sandcastle-themed water playground. It is the largest water playground of its kind in Florida and Wet Ôn WildÕs first new attraction in over four years. Built around a sandcastle rising 60-feet high, Blastaway Beach spans an acre and features 15 slides and expands across two pools with 160 soakers, jets, waterfalls and water cannons. (Courtesy Universal Studios)

The Storm at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando. Visitors must be at least 48 inches tall and a strong swimmer to ride. 

 (www.wetnwildorlando.com)
On June 2, 2012, Wet Ôn Wild Orlando celebrated the grand opening of its newest attraction, Blastaway Beach - a family-friendly, sandcastle-themed water playground. It is the largest water playground of its kind in Florida and Wet Ôn WildÕs first new attraction in over four years. Built around a sandcastle rising 60-feet high, Blastaway Beach spans an acre and features 15 slides and expands across two pools with 160 soakers, jets, waterfalls and water cannons. Photo Wet ‘n Wild Orlando (Courtesy Universal Studios)
Families play in the water at Blastaway Beach at Wet ‘n Wild, a new child-friendly area that opened in June 2012 at the Orlando water park. (Jacob Langston, Orlando Sentinel)
Publicity - Wet ‘n Wild Blastaway Beach060112.Grand Opening.wet ‘n wild.water.splash.blastaway beach.sunny (Courtesy Universal Studios)
Wet ‘n Wild attraction under construction in Orlando on Feb. 22, 1977. (Bill Phillips, Orlando Sentinel) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)
Kids play in the water at Blastaway Beach at Wet ‘n Wild, a new child-friendly area that opened in June 2012 at the Orlando water park. (Jacob Langston, Orlando Sentinel)
Guests ham it up for the camera in the water at Blastaway Beach at Wet ‘n Wild, a new child-friendly area that opened in June 2012 at the Orlando water park. (Jacob Langston, Orlando Sentinel)
A patron rides Aqua Drag Racer, a new ride at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando, Fla. Monday, June 23, 2014. (Ryan Jones, Orlando Sentinel)

Wet ‘n Wild has seen great crowds so far this year, partly attributable to big doings at other attractions. 

 (Angela Peterson / Orlando Sentinel)
Frank Bermudez and his daughter Alexia, 3, play in the water at Blastaway Beach at Wet ‘n Wild, a new child-friendly area that opened in June 2012 at the Orlando water park. (Jacob Langston, Orlando Sentinel)
Families play in the water at Blastaway Beach at Wet ‘n Wild, a new child-friendly area that opened in June 2012 at the Orlando water park. (Jacob Langston, Orlando Sentinel)

Wet ‘N Wild visitors carry their floating tubes to the top of a ride at Wet ‘N Wild.

 (Frank Rivera / Orlando Sentinel)
Families play in the water at Blastaway Beach at Wet ‘n Wild, a new child-friendly area that opened in June 2012 at the Orlando water park. (Jacob Langston, Orlando Sentinel)

Wet ‘n Wild theme park on International Drive now owned by Universal Studios.

 (ANGELA PETERSON / ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Families play in the water at Blastaway Beach at Wet ‘n Wild, a new child-friendly area that opened in June 2012 at the Orlando water park. (Jacob Langston, Orlando Sentinel)

Bomb Bay and Der Stuka at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando. Visitors must be at least 48 inches tall to ride. 

 (wetnwildorlando.com)
Blastaway Beach at Wet ‘n Wild is a new child-friendly area that opened in June 2012 at the Orlando water park. (Jacob Langston, Orlando Sentinel)
Families play in the water at Blastaway Beach at Wet ‘n Wild, a new child-friendly area that opened in June 2012 at the Orlando water park. (Jacob Langston, Orlando Sentinel)
Colorful umbrellas line a sitting area at Blastaway Beach at Wet ‘n Wild, a new child-friendly area that opened in June 2012 at the Orlando water park. (Jacob Langston, Orlando Sentinel)
Guests ham it up for the camera in the water at Blastaway Beach at Wet ‘n Wild, a new child-friendly area that opened in June 2012 at the Orlando water park. (Jacob Langston, Orlando Sentinel)
Families play in the water at Blastaway Beach at Wet ‘n Wild, a new child-friendly area that opened in June 2012 at the Orlando water park. (Jacob Langston, Orlando Sentinel)
Wet ‘n Wild water park on International Drive (Wet ‘n Wild)
Wet ‘n Wild water park on International Drive (Wet ‘n Wild)
Beach Club at Wet ‘n Wild. (Wet ‘n Wild)
A two or four-person tube ride down a six-story, 53-foot vertical drop into a 65-foot funnel. Riders must be 48 inches tall. (Wet ‘N Wild)
A two or four-person tube ride down a six-story, 53-foot vertical drop into a 65-foot funnel. Riders must be 48 inches tall. (Wet ‘n Wild)
Riders emerge through a waterfall to run a gauntlet of water jets. The ride sends guests along a series of “pipes” and slides as they are propelled by constant streams of water. (JIM CARCHIDI, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
One of Wet ‘n Wild’s new rides The Black Hole (Wet ‘n Wild)

An addition to Wet ‘n Wild’s thrill-ride lineup: the Hydra Fighter now open. 

 (ROBERTO GONZALEZ / ORLANDO SENTINEL)
A spiraling, swirling ride that shoots riders out into a giant bowl. (Wet ‘n Wild)
A 450-foot long, four-person toboggan water ride (Wet ‘n Wild)
A four-person tube ride through groovy music and lights. Riders must be 48 inches tall or 36 inches with an adult. (Wet ‘n Wild)
A four-person tube ride through groovy music and lights. Riders must be 48 inches tall or 36 inches with an adult. (Wet ‘n Wild)
A six-story speed slide that sends riders down a 250-foot, almost completely vertical drop (Wet ‘n Wild)
A ride with three different courses, falling over 1700 feet. (Wet ‘n Wild)
Take a long, relaxing float along the lazy river (Wet ‘n Wild)
A vertical slide with a 76-foot drop. (x, Wet ‘n Wild)
A tubing fun water slide for everyone that closed in 2014 to make way for the park’s new Aqua Drag Racer. (Wet ‘n Wild)
A huge bubble for children to climb, jump and slide into three feet of water. Kids must be between 42" and 64" tall. (Wet ‘n Wild)
Oliver Davy, 14, visiting from Ireland, enjoys the Aqua Drag Racer ride at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Monday, December 19, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel) (Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel)
Swimmers enjoy the Lazy River at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Monday, December 19, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel) (Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel)
The Disco H20 ride is pictured at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Monday, December 19, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel) (Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel)
Wet ’n Wild has remained one of the top 10 most visited water parks in the world. (Stephen M. Dowell/staff photographer)
Swimmers enjoy the Lazy River at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Monday, December 19, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel) (Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel)
The sprawling attraction is pictured from above at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Monday, December 19, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel) (Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel)
The Aqua Drag Racer ride is pictured at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Monday, December 19, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel) (Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel)
The sprawling attraction is pictured from above at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Monday, December 19, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel) (Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel)
Oliver Davy, 14, visiting from Ireland, enjoys the Aqua Drag Racer ride at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Monday, December 19, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel) (Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel)
Surf Lagoon wave pool is pictured from above at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Monday, December 19, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel) (Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel)
Tubers enjoy the Lazy River at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Monday, December 19, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel) (Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel)
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