I often have preconceived ideas about attractions and Wet ‘n’ Wild Sydney is one of those places. When the Wet ‘n’ Wild ads flash across my TV screen the images are usually of people enjoying the many rides, including the slides which have huge staircases to climb. It looked like it would be inaccessible so I was surprised last weekend when we visited to find that we stayed all day and left having had a great day of experiences. The smile never left BJ’s face and we found that wheelchair access was surprisingly good.
I’ll start off by saying the large slides are not wheelchair accessible but Wet ‘n’ Wild acknowledges this so they offer a discounted rate to people who –
- Use a wheelchair
- Have an intellectual, aural or visual disability
- Have a Disability Pension Card
A discounted admission rate is available for purchase at the box office located at the main gate only on the day of your visit. You need to present a State or Commonwealth issued Disability Pension Card. As I write this in January 2017 the price is $29 which I think is great value.
A guest with a disability who produces their Companion Card is entitled to 1 Free of Charge companion so that their companion can provide attendant care support during the visit.
It took us a while to find our groove at the park so I’m hoping my tips will help you make the most of your day.
As a park, Wet ‘n’ Wild has great wheelchair access throughout with wide concrete paths, ramping where needed and excellent stand-alone accessible restrooms. Moving around with a wheelchair is easy.
An Aqua Chair is available for accessing the water at The Beach and Dinosaur Lagoon. Both areas have a gradually sloping ramp entry into the water, ideal with the Aqua Chair. The chair is also great for tackling the water park’s splash zone in Nickelodeon Beach.
The Aqua Chair is free to borrow from the First Aid office near The Beach. We left BJ’s manual wheelchair with the staff at First Aid and used the Aqua Chair for the rest of the day around the park.
Nickelodeon Beach is a water splash park with a variety of ways to play and keep cool, including four junior water slides. Kids play happily through the water spouts, gleefully shoot each other with the water cannons and an eager crowd forms under the huge water bucket as it fills, eventually dumping water on the squealing group who bravely stand below. Kids who are fans of Dora, Spongebob and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pose beside their cartoon idols for snaps before running off to cool down again.
BJ waited a little way back from the crowd in great anticipation each time the big bucket was nearly full of water. As it dumped its contents BJ loved being a part of all the excitement, though happy not to be directly under the thunderous dump.
BJ and AJ wandered around the water park cooling off and having fun with the water cannons which conveniently kept wetting me! It’s definitely not a safe zone to be in with an expensive camera when your kids have it in for you.
Much of the splash zone is well shaded and there are chairs and tables in the shade for parents supervising.
The junior slides in this area have ramp access which made it possible for BJ to have a go. Hubby and BJ tried the gentlest of the slides to start off and found that it was so gentle they had to bum shuffle to get to the end. BJ thought it was hilarious. But there was no problem on the next slide they tried, as you’ll see from the photos below.
Hubby and AJ took BJ to the top of the slide with AJ returning with the Aqua Chair to the base. Staff helped Hubby steady the two-person inflatable ring which the boys used on the slide. One side of the ring has a hole and the other has a base which makes it ideal for littlies and good for BJ who is more comfortable with a solid inflatable base. BJ sat at the front holding on to the handles and Hubby at the back.
Hubby was impressed that the staff at the top signalled with a double whistle to the lifeguard helping in the pool below so she knew to be alert and that he may need assistance at the bottom with BJ.
The look on BJ’s face as he came down the slide was priceless. The first time he was a little tentative but on his second round it was pure joy. There are a few stairs to negotiate to get out of the pool at the end of the ride.
Lifesavers are everywhere and keep things in order if anyone gets over zealous.
Hubby and I were discussing what hot work it must be standing on the edge of the pools on the ridiculously hot days we’ve been having. It’s therefore lovely to see that the lifeguards still keep a sense of humour. Perfectly demonstrated by this cheery lifeguard who photobombed my photo of Dinosaur Lagoon.
Nine large interactive dinosaurs surround Dinosaur Lagoon making it a must-see attraction for any little palaeontologist wannabes. They provide a fun atmosphere and seemingly supervise those floating and relaxing on the inner tubes around the nearly half kilometre lazy river. This is my favourite area of Wet ‘n’ Wild and where I could have spent the entire day. Dinosaur Lagoon is the place to chill out and just be. My family found it hilarious watching me mastering getting into the inner tube but once I was in I could have quite happily floated away from them to enjoy the ride by myself. For the record, I stuck with them like a responsible parent.
BJ found not having a base in the inner tube difficult. He seemed concerned he would slip through but with a depth of only 0.9 metres all the way around he could actually stand. This is great for adults who don’t want to ride an inner tube but want to accompany a child around the river.
Some of the dinosaurs have press button displays allowing kids to make them move. Just be careful, the buttons are hot to touch on a hot summer’s day.
During the school holidays Rex the dinosaur comes out at three scheduled times during the day at Dinosaur Lagoon.
There is a short show where visitors have the opportunity to interact with Rex.
Kids absolutely loved this and lined the fence to have the opportunity to get up close with a T-Rex.
When we go to the beach BJ loves swimming in the surf so when the wave pool started to pump out waves he was delighted and keen to get in. The Beach at Wet ‘n’ Wild is Australia’s largest wave pool with over 6,800,000 litres of water.
We found a shady spot under one of the giant yellow and white beach umbrellas, left our gear and headed into the water.
The Aqua Chair has thin wheels so doesn’t cope well with the sand. We used the concrete path at the edge of the pool to avoid the sand and make our way to the ramp entry into the water.
We all enjoyed time in the waves and as Hubby pointed out, they are more gentle than ocean waves making it easier with BJ.
On Saturday nights stay for the evening and enjoy a movie with Cinema in the Sand. We were too tired from our day in the sun but the families in the know seemed to arrive mid-afternoon ready for a swim and the movie.
EATING AT WET ‘N’ WILD
Wet ‘n’ Wild has a variety of food outlets to satisfy hungry swimmers. There is the usual theme park fare including pizza, chips and burgers but the Village Bean cafe is where I recommend you stop to refuel. The cafe stocks sandwiches, wraps, delicious looking slices, coffee and chilled drinks. There are salads and fruit salad available here also providing some great healthy options.
The recently opened Club W private lounge is all kinds of bliss. On the nearly 40 degree day we were thrilled to beat the heat for a short while in the air-conditioned lounge. There are phone and power charging facilities, unlimited water, tea, coffee and snacks. This is definitely an experience for those who have a little more cash to spend on the day out as this costs an additional fee of $30 per person.
The Surf Club Restaurant has ramp access and is popular for private functions and birthday parties.
Little Fins Cafe, next to Nickelodeon Beach, is the place to grab a toasted sandwich, a churro or frozen coke.
Sweet Treats is where you’ll find lots of teens and sweet toothed adults. We didn’t indulge but I persuaded some giggling girls to let me take a photo of their afternoon indulgence of a bucket of frozen yogurt. Yep, that’s a whole bucket. Good to share I’m thinking.
ACCESSIBLE REST ROOM FACILITIES
The stand-alone unisex accessible bathrooms are spacious, have grab rails and lever taps.
They’re also equipped with large change tables.
There’s no hoist and I didn’t see a weight limit on the change table so for heavier children I’d suggest using the family bathroom facility with a wooden change bench.
There is an accessible shower facility near Nickelodeon Beach.
Plan for your day at Wet ‘n’ Wild by contacting Guest Services (email [email protected] or phone 88571044) to reserve the Aqua Chair if you will need this for the day. This is available free of charge to guests but there is only one and it’s first in best dressed.
A long row of disabled parking spaces is located near the main entrance. Parking is $10 but if you prepay this is reduced to $8.
There’s a wheelchair accessible ticket booth with a lowered counter top at the entry to the park.
Companion card is accepted.
A reduced entry price is available to visitors who
- Use a wheelchair
- Have an intellectual, aural or visual disability
- Have a Disability Pension Card
Prepay parking on arrival to avoid queues later in the day.
If you have valuables keep them safe by paying for a locker on arrival.
Visit guest services once you go through the gates. They will discuss with you the level of ability of the person with a disability and allocate a band which will let staff know which rides can be used safely.
I suggest heading to the right as you enter the park. Nickelodeon Beach, Dinosaur Lagoon and The Beach are the areas with best access for wheelchair users. Going in this direction saves lots of walking.
The toilet and locker block next to Dinosaur Lagoon’s my pick. They seem quieter than the ones in other areas and smack in the middle of the three accessible areas.
Check the Wet ‘n’ Wild website for more details here.
AJ’S TIP – Grab a frozen Fanta, it’s the best way to cool down on a hot day. BJ and I loved the chunky hot chips.
We had such a fun day at Wet ‘n’ Wild and my preconceived ideas were altered. I absolutely loved the look of joy on BJ’s face as he came down the slide and joined in the fun at the splash zone. A memorable day for all the right reasons.
We’d like to thank Wet ‘n’ Wild for inviting us to visit for the purposes of writing a review. We had a lovely day and as always our opinions are our own.