A Fun Visit to the Epic Waters' Waterpark in Grand PrairieWe were babysitting the grand kids in Dallas and asked them "what would you guys like to do?" One of them quickly answered, "can we go to that new indoor waterpark in Grand Prairie that has gotten some excellent reviews?" Since it was 95 degrees outside, a waterpark sounded pretty good. So we set off for the new indoor waterpark in Grand Prairie - and we all had a blast!
Epic Waters is the first of its kind in Dallas-Fort Worth - an 80,000 square foot indoor/outdoor facility that's open year round and loads of fun for everyone from 3 to 93. The roof is really cool - it's a beautiful curved open air retractable roof that is 160 feet wide by 384 feet long and reaches up to 83 feet high, which is just tall enough to cover the park's water slide tower. Under the roof are a variety of waterslides, surfing on the Flow Rider, a long lazy river, beautiful landscaping, funky blue umbrellas, and lots more. Epic Waters has a capacity of 1500 and there is lots of room to spread out and plenty of chairs, tables, and umbrellas so that even when the park is at capacity you don't feel like a sardine.
We visited on a Wednesday morning shortly after the park opened and we were 4 of what seemed like only 100 other guests, which was fantastic because none of the slides and other features had a line, and it was like that the rest of the day - unlike some other parks we've been to where the wait seems like it's up to 30 minutes or more.
What also sets Epic Waters apart from the other water parks is that their goal is "to make each and every guest smile on the way into and out of the park." The staff to guest ratio seems very high and all of the life guards and Team Members are friendly, courteous, and helpful and committed to make sure your visit is fun and safe. A good example to demonstrate the commitment to service to the visitors is when I asked the food service person if I could have my burger medium rare, she said I think, let me check with the chef." When I've asked for that before at other places, I've always gotten a blank stare and a "can't do that!" Not the case at Epic Waters, the answer was "yes, we can!". Better yet, the chef actually brought the burger to the counter and asked me if it looks like what I wanted - that's what I call service. And the burger and fries and everything else we tasted were very good.
Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark is one part of a multiyear, 170-acre development that combines park space, recreation facilities, entertainment and more. Epic Waters is frequently referred to as a "cruise ship on land" because of the long, narrow shape of the building and the striking glass walls that cover and encompass three of the four facility walls.
The Rides at Epic Waters
As soon as the grand kids woke up and got out of the car, they both uttered "wow, that's a cool looking cruise ship - but what's it doing here and where is the waterpark?" Once we got inside, we got another "wow" and one grand kid said "I'm going on the Flow Rider" and the other said "I'm heading to the yellow slide - see you later." I knew they would find us when they got hungry which was on our fourth lap in the lazy river named the Rio Grand. They surprised me by swimming under my tube and startled me with a push into the lazy river - I think I'd been snoozing.
As they stuffed down two hot dogs, fries, and some nachos at the Hungry Wave Cafe they told us all about each of the rides and how much fun they were. They used very descriptive words like "man that Flow Rider was gnarly, the Texas Twist took us out side the building and it was awesome, and I about had my swimsuit wrapped around my belly when I went down the steep and fast Prairie Plunge!!!" Twenty five minutes later they were off again. We went down several of their favorite rides with them and had a blast - I won all but one race down the 4 side-by-side mat e-Racer slide which may have been due to the extra weight from that delicious hamburger, some fries, a couple bites of a hot dog, and some nachos.
Once they thought that we were qualified and thoroughly tested on most of the slides, they said "you're now ready for the Prairie Plunge" - which is an enclosed body slide hiding a 50 foot drop into the run out pool below. I took a good hard look at it (the slide reached the ceiling and then went straight down) and I couldn't stop my heart from beating very fast, nor my legs from shaking.
I politely declined and immediately headed to the bar and had a Waterslide - rum, pineapple juice, something blue, and more - excellent and much more relaxing then the Prairie Plunge, where I heard my wife's screams!
I had a hard time leaving the bar but when I saw them making another lap around the lazy river, I ran (the life guard embarrassed me with a loud whistle and a "no running sir") and grabbed a tube, surprised the grand kids from the back, and tipped both of them into the river - feels good to get even.
Two hours later they were still enjoying the lazy river and several more times down each of the slides. We needed to get home and I don't think they would have ever wanted to leave so I bribed them by saying "change out of your swim suits and we'll get some ice cream and spend 20 minutes in the arcade." An hour and 20 minutes later we walked through the well-stocked gift shop to buy some T-shirts and headed to the car. On the way to the car all I heard was "awesome, rad, totally cool, that was fun, loved it - and thanks, when can we go again?" Once inside the car, within 5 minutes everyone but me was fast asleep! Can't wait to go back again and next time let someone else drive!
Here's just some of the things that we got to enjoy during our visit:
- a 4000 square foot arcade jam packed with fun games
- the FlowRider (a double-wide model which allows for larger surfing moves) is a fun way to learn to boogie board or show off your surfing skills on a boogie board or a stand up FlowBoard
- the Lasso Loop which is the tallest indoor Aqualoop in the US
the 659 foot long and winding Rio Grand lazy river which is the longest indoor lazy river in Texas - a wave machine generates waves that pulse through the river periodically and lap up on the zero-depth entry access
the Swimming Hole which is a shallow activity pool for wading or playing water basketball with friends
the fast Aquanaut is a two-seater inner tube slide that incorporates two AquaSphere elements and is North America’s very first 2-person inner tube AquaSphere - as a raft enters each sphere it slides back and forth before exiting out one end, although riders often are spun around and continue through the course backwards
the Yellowjacket Drop is a two-seater inner tube slide - Yellowjacket Drop is the first fusion inner tube slide that combines the Boomerango slide with a Constrictor element which is a tight-radius turn that adds speed into a twisting drop, and the Boomerango provides a moment of weightlessness as the raft goes up and then back down a giant, angled wall - talk about fun.
- the two traditional body slides, one enclosed that circles around outside the building (Texas Twist) and a steep drop slide from the tower’s highest point called the Prairie Plunge
- the e-Racers is a four side-by-side mat slide for racing your buddies (or grandparents) to the bottom
Altogether there are 11 watersides - a first of it's kind within the waterpark industry.
Some of the other things that make Epic Waters fun for all ages include:
there are lots of Cabanas you can reserve and it includes wait staff cabana side service and a private space to relax and unwind or there are hundreds of tables, chairs, and umbrellas that are strategically placed around the waterpark and are available on a first come, first serve basis
the children's area (Rascal's Round-up) is for splashing, playing, sliding, and getting doused with the massive tipping bucket, which will drop 300 gallons of water every couple of minutes
the very clean restrooms and changing rooms include a chair and shower and the combination locker storage area provides easy in and out access for your valuables
the second level overlooking the park holds three party rooms that can be divided or combined to fit nearly any size group
"Main Street" is home to ice cream Mini Melts, a hot dog stand, the Hungry Wave (serving sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers, salads, pizza, nachos, and lots more at reasonable prices) plus the restrooms, first aid station, and the combination locker storage area
- there is usually some type of activity going one like arcade competitions, pool Putt-Putt, line dancing, and more
- the bar serves soft drinks, mixed drinks, margaritas, daiquiris, and more
A huge outdoor wave pool that adjoins the indoor waterpark was under construction when we visited in May 2018. The Epic Waters facility also joins The Summit, an older adults’ recreation center which will soon be joined by The Epic - a 120,000 square foot indoor lifestyle and recreation center expected to open in late 2018. And coming soon after that is PlayGrand Adventures, an accessible outdoor playground designed for people of all abilities and it's s planned to open shortly after The Epic.
With all of that plus a friendly and courteous staff, it's not surprising that Epic Waters was named to the Travel Channel’s “Eight of the Most Incredible Indoor Waterparks” lists. What are you waiting for - get your swimsuit and head over to Epic Waters any time of the year. Imagine how much fun you could have on a rainy or cold winter day (it's 85 inside the waterpark) or a blistering summer afternoon. We had a great time.