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White sand beaches and clear turquoise waters attract thousands of families to the Alabama coast each year. Because of the area’s popularity, OWA, a Gulf Coast Amusement Park and entertainment destination, opened just miles from the beach. Gulf Coast SheBuysTravel has the scoop on all of the OWA Amusement Park rides, and more in 5 Reasons to Visit OWA Amusement Park this Summer.
5 Reasons to Visit OWA Amusement Park this Summer
You’re probably wondering what OWA stands for. No, its not an acronym. The name OWA means “Big Water” in the Muscogee Creek language, the language spoken by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians who developed the park. OWA Amusement Park and entertainment district, opened in July 2017 in Foley, Alabama. This world-class family destination features a theme park, a shopping and dining district, and on-site lodging. I’m fortunate enough to live less than 20 miles from the park so my family visits frequently.
Where is OWA Amusement Park?
Located just north of the beautiful beaches in Baldwin County, Alabama. OWA is the place to shop, dine, play and stay on the Gulf Coast. If you’re anywhere along the Gulf Coast simply put the address in your GPS and head off for a day of fun! The physical address is – 1501 South OWA Boulevard, Foley, AL 36535.
1. OWA Amusement Park Rides
First of all, The Park at OWA features 21 exciting attractions. With seven thrill rides, six kiddie rides, and eight family-friendly attractions, what’s not to love? Here is a link to a downloadable map of The Park at OWA.
Thrill Rides at OWA Amusement Park
This new Alabama amusement park is home to the Rollin’ Thunder coaster, a 125-foot-tall looping coaster cloned after the Thunderbolt at New York’s Coney Island. It was designed with daredevils in mind, so you must be at least 51″ to ride. Additional regulations may apply.
I’ll be honest and admit I was terrified the first time I rode Rollin’ Thunder. All it took was one ride and I was hooked. If you like roller coasters, you’re going to love this one.
Another thrill ride not to be missed at OWA is the Alabama Wham’a. This crazy “ferris wheel” is guaranteed to have you screaming at the top of your lungs. Also, don’t miss the Twister, which spins 360 degrees in multiple directions.
Additional thrill rides include Air Racer, Freedom Flyer, Wave Rider, and Crazy Mouse. If you’re a Disney fan like me, you’ll love Crazy Mouse as it is very similar to the Primeval Whirl attraction in Animal Kingdom. My kids and I spent a solid hour on our last visit to OWA riding the Crazy Mouse.
If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, take a spin on Tea Time, the family-friendly tea cups. Keep in mind while this ride is “low-key,” if you’re prone to motion sickness you should probably skip this one.
Due to my weak stomach, I prefer to glide through the air and relax on the Flying Carousel. Always dreamed of riding in a hot air ballon? Take flight on the Sky Balloons as you fly high above the park.
Other high-flying family friendly rides include Flutter By, AeroZoom, and the Flying Tigers. Scared of heights? No problem. Take off on a whitewater boat without the fear of getting wet on the Rockin’ Raft.
Because so many are unable to ride the Rollin’ Thunder due to height restrictions, the much milder coaster Southern Express is fun for everyone.
Many families visiting OWA will have smaller children in tow. As a result, the park offers six kiddie rides suitable for children of young ages. Children can fly in an airplane aboard the Flying Aces, bounce atop frogs on Leap Frog, and race classic hot rods on the Zip Zap Race.
In addition, other kid friendly rides include Swinging Fun, Gully Washer, and Happy Haulers.
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2. Affordable Tickets
Tickets to The Park at OWA are $34.99 for general admission. Children 42 inches and under are $27.99, and ages three (3) and under are free. Tickets for Seniors (60 years and up) and active military are only $27.99. If you would like to purchase your tickets in advance you can do so by ordering them online. Always make sure to check for special promo codes and evening hour discounts before purchasing. Good news, parking is free
Want to enjoy the fun year-round? Annual passes are available for $89.99. While many of the other area attractions are seasonal, you can visit the theme park 12 months out of the year. In addition, The Park offers seasonal events such as the OWA 4th of July Celebration, Labor Day Car Show, and Halloween Town of Terror.
OWA Amusement Park Hours
Park hours are flexible and subject to change. Up to date hours of operation are posted on the website. During the off-season months The Park at OWA is closed during the week and open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only.
3. Family Friendly Activities & Shows
This Summer OWA is hosting a wide variety of daily activities throughout the Park. Make sure to visit before August 12th to participate in these super fun activities.
- Hula Fridays
- Shaky Saturdays
- Beach Break Sundays
- Mystery Mondays
- Crafty Tuesdays
- Water Wednesdays
- Throwback Thursdays
If you’re visiting the park on Tuesday -Thursday you can enjoy live shows such as The Skippers, Cool Vibrations: The OWA Party Band, and the Splash Squad.
Planning to visit Downtown OWA and not enter the park? You can still get in on the fun with GLOWA, the nighttime block party with disco music and dancing every Tuesday through Thursday.
4. Downtown OWA – Shopping & Dining
Downtown OWA is the place to be if you’re looking for great food or shopping. This shopping and entertainment district at OWA is a destination in itself. The best part about it is that you don’t need a park ticket to enter.
If you’re in the mood for fun, I recommend dining at the Groovy Goat. This restaurant features an arcade along with the largest screens for sports viewing in the area. Now, if you’re looking for some seriously good food you must eat at Wahlburgers. If you haven’t ever had one of their burgers you are truly missing out.
Other places to grab a snack include Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, Hershey’s Ice Cream Parlor, and the brand new Crazy Donuts.
Downtown OWA is opening in stages so many more restaurants are on the way, including Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen.
5. On-Site Lodging at OWA
Want to stay on-site? The Marriott TownePlace Suites Foley at OWA is located just steps from The Park. This extended-stay hotel features a free, hot breakfast buffet each morning, free wi-fi, kitchens and kitchenettes, and is pet friendly.
If you want to stay somewhere a little closer to the beach, check out The Wharf at Orange Beach
So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to visit OWA – Gulf Coast Amusement Park today. And, while you’re in the area, I highly recommend spending some time in the beautiful port city of Mobile and the quaint bayside town of Fairhope.