KAPOLEI -- Oahu's newest attraction proved popular with local
families this summer. The $14 million Hawaiian Waters Adventure
Park opened on Memorial Day weekend, in time for the summer's
Within two weeks of opening, on one Sunday the 25-acre water-theme
amusement park had an attendance of 4,700, close to the 5,000
Residents flocked here despite an admission fee of $29.99 for
adults (children $19.99), which is hefty compared with prices for
competing attractions and activities, not to mention all the free
beaches available on the island.
The more adventurous rode the Cliffhanger, which is composed of
two 65-foot free-fall slides. Individual rides have such names as
the Waianae Coaster, comprising four double-tube slides in which
two can ride down cliffs together from a height of more than four
stories, and the Big Kahuna, composed of two massive water slides
where three can ride together.
Hurricane Bay is a pool as big as a football field with waves of
up to four feet for body surfing and tube riding.
To relax, visitors can float down a 1,000-foot "river" in a
tube. For families, the 20,000-square-foot, multilevel Waterworld
has a range of slides; for toddlers, there is Keiki Love, with
plenty of water games.
Besides the water activity areas for adults, teens and children,
the park has volleyball, a stage area for concerts and picnic
areas. It also features a restaurant with buffet meals, a fast-food
outlet, a gift shop, showers and lockers.
Although the park made quite a splash with locals this summer,
it will have to depend more on vacationers now that kids are back
"Everything went well with the opening, and by July 1 we were
completed and ready for tourists," said Dave Busch, president of
Sacramento, Calif.-based Horizon Amusement Group, the park's
developer and operator.
By then the restaurant had opened and finishing touches,
including landscaping, were completed.
Busch expects to attract 400,000 visitors in the first year,
with tourists accounting for 40% of attendance and residents
accounting for 60%. He is also counting on group business,
including mainland and international corporate and incentives
business as well as local functions.
In June, its first full month, park attendance reached almost
70,000. By mid-August, 203,000 had visited the park.
The park, 20 minutes west of Honolulu Airport off the H1
freeway, is owned by Waters of Kapolei LLC, a partnership of
individuals who have been involved in other water theme-park
With the opening, Oahu joined such cities as Sacramento and
Concord, Calif.; Phoenix, and Kansas City, Mo., in boasting a water
park. In fact, there are more than 30 of them on the mainland, but
Oahu's is in the top 10 in size, according to Busch.
And being the newest, the park's construction took advantage of
the latest in water-park design and technology, said Busch, who
also doubles as the park's general manager. Busch noted that fewer
than five parks have an attraction to rival the Big Kahuna water
The Cliffhanger has less vibration and is more comfortable to
ride than earlier versions built elsewhere, he said. Busch should
know. His company, formed in 1986, built and operated six of the
mainland water parks and other amusement parks before selling them
two years ago.
Hawaiian Waters was built on three levels into the side of a
cliff, with the designs of the rides taking advantage of the
terrain, Busch said. The mainland parks he is familiar with are on
flat land, he said.
In March, 5,000 people applied for the park's 350 jobs. Of the
positions, 175 are lifeguards, or "ride attendants," as they are
Busch said safety is paramount; ride attendants are trained
above American Red Cross standards, and training includes CPR.
Rules prohibit food, drinks and glass containers from being brought
into the park; bags can be checked at the gate. For major rides,
participants must be at least 48 inches tall.
The park is located on the dry Leeward Coast, overlooking the
Kapolei business district. Kapolei is Oahu's "second city," planned
by the state to disperse population growth from crowded
Honolulu.Attraction offers packages for individuals,
KAPOLEI -- Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park offers packages for
visitors that include transportation from Waikiki.
It can also develop theme parties for corporate, incentive and
other exclusive groups.
The admission price of $29.99 (children $19.99) includes
unlimited use of the rides and activities as well as equipment,
such as tubes, floats and life jackets. Parking is free; lockers
can be rented for a nominal fee.
Two of the packages, which include roundtrip transfers from
Waikiki hotels, are:The standard package, which also includes admission,
instruction and equipment, for $44.99 (children ages 4 to 11,
$28.99).The deluxe package, with standard package inclusions plus a
barbecue buffet lunch and a gift on arrival, for $60 (children
Hotel pickups are made between 9:15 a.m. and 10 a.m., returning
to Waikiki between 3:30 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.
According to Jerry Pupillo, director of sales, the park had more
than 50,000 people take part in the packages, including school,
civic and community groups.
Almost all are local groups, but some bookings have come from
the mainland and abroad. The largest booking was a Hawaiian
Airlines group of 5,000 (taking over the whole park) for employees
to celebrate the carrier's 70th anniversary.
The attraction will provide a private area for groups with a
minimum of 50 people. Group areas include seven pavilions with
picnic tables; banquets for up to 2,500 (outdoors) and 1,500
(covered) can be handled.
Games, customized for theme parties, include limbo, Hula-Hoop,
volleyball, a water-balloon-tossing contest and an executive dunk
The park, on Farrington Highway, is open 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
daily and evenings for exclusive groups. To get to the park, take
the Campbell Industrial Park exit on H1.
Phone: (808) 674-9283
Fax: (808) 674-9444