TribLIVE

| News

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Idlewild Park unveils Wowabunga Family Wave Pool

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Richard Robbins
Thursday, June 9, 2011
 

A wave pool and new circus acts have been added to Idlewild and SoakZone -- features that are expected to keep the amusement park ranked as one of the top summer attractions in the country, park officials said.

About 500,000 visitors are expected this year at Idlewild, which opened full time for the season on Wednesday.

Park spokesman Jeff Croushore said the Wowabunga Family Wave Pool replaces the pool that had been used continually since 1931. The park opened in 1878.

"(The pool) served us well for many decades, but it was expensive to maintain," Croushore said. "(The wave pool) is new and exciting."

The 182-foot-long pool delivers seven minutes of waves for every 10 minutes of calm water, Croushore said.

While the park was in the pre-season-operating mode for the past several weekends, park officials experimented with the size and intensity of the waves, he said. The waves are strong enough that they are white-capped, but "not too intense that little kids can't enjoy" the experience.

Before entering the pool, children under 48 inches in height are outfitted with free life jackets.

The pool represents "the single-largest capital improvement project in Idlewild's history" and costs in the "multimillion-dollar" range, Croushore said.

As for the name, Wowabunga started out as "cowabunga" from 1950s "Gidget" surfing movies, Croushore said.

"We were going to couple (cowabunga) with some other descriptive word," he explained. "For instance, Cape Cowabunga or Cowabunga Cove, but with a little more research we realized at least one other water park had an attraction with a similar name, so we tweaked it a little."

The live performance Cirque Extreme Under The Big Top features a high-wire act, an aerial act, limbo dancers, trained dogs and cats, and a contortionist who manages to fit into a small box.

Amusement Today magazine recently named Idlewild the "best kids' park in the world." The National Amusement Park Historical Association Survey rated Idlewild the "best park for families," beating out Disney World in Orlando, Fla., among others, Croushore said.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Westmoreland

  1. Girl, 10, forced to strip in Sewickley Township home invasion
  2. Derry man gets 19-year prison sentence for recording sex assaults of girl
  3. Convicted home invader from Monessen wants new lawyer
  4. Contract talks progress in Derry
  5. Kecksburg celebrates its UFO history with annual festival
  6. Hempfield cyclist to cool wheels in jail during appeal
  7. Unity zoning hearing board OKs addition to Adelphoi home
  8. Latrobe police to host National Night Out
  9. Westmoreland torture-slaying convict Smyrnes says death row isolation too cruel
  10. Hempfield murderer serving life sentence promises restitution when he’s released
  11. Music on way to Westmoreland’s Twin Lakes Park