Camelback’s Aquatopia: A Feast for the Explorer-Kind

So, your 18 year old daughter just returned from a bridge year as a Global Citizen Year Fellow. What do you do first as a family?

Go to Camelback’s new Aquatopia!

I was concerned it could be too much for her as she makes transitions and experiences “reverse culture shock” but I am happy to report Camelback was the responsive host. It was a perfect day for her and the ten year old brother who couldn’t wait to spend some time with his sister!

(Fair warnings, Matey – be prepared for many nautical references)

The transparent roof set the tone. It allowed for freedom for the spirit in such an open space along with the relaxing wave pool.

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The contrasts of Arctic Circle display (supported by snow showers outside) and beach furniture actually blended well.  “Flow Rider” became the ‘hook’ for us at what is hailed as the largest water park on the East Coast. I am sure the even older “kids” (ages 23 & 25) would have joined in the fun as we circled the ride, getting out of the water to jump back in line. The staff was a tremendous help- their positivity towards novice riders, encouragement and technique instruction helped the addiction along!

Our visit for the grand opening offered sufficient taste of what is aboard as it appeared half the attractions were not yet available to the public. The ‘Kartrite’s Quest’ theme played subtly and may present an opportunity to expand on what may be to many a remote reference (compared to say, Columbus or other renown world travelers).

Similarly, when we return perhaps they will have expanded on surprises referenced in signs along the ‘Lost River’- actually adding mechanical crocodiles or lizards.

 The ‘alley oop’ lagoon had but one basketball available for 3 hoops. May have been an oversight since the attendant we asked wondered about the deficiency as well.

 Mystic springs and the swim up bar are attractions my wife and I can return to explore as well as Neptune eatery.

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For lunch/brunch, the buffet offerings at Hemisphere’s were the diverse and generous. The desert table warranted repeat visits for us. The proximity of snack bars to the wave pool will be interesting to experience on a return visit, in terms of convenience and ability to come/go more easily from our cabana and attractions.

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We were able to manage the absence of credit card readers (yet to be attached) and lack of change for larger bills (referred to hotel registration) to enjoy the game room. The games and laser experience kept my children interested as ‘subject matter experts’.

That it snowed while we were there added icing to the cake day. The cold outside impacted our exploration of the zip lines advertised. All in all, the day was worth the 90 minute drive from home for the festivities.

If you want to go, plan your visit here.

 Post author: Michael Mannix

About the author: Mary Ellen Mannix

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