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Popular Central Texas waterpark sets some time aside to meet some special needs

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 3:16 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) – Waco’s Hawaiian Falls waterpark whose season last summer was one of the casualties of the new coronavirus, which put the brakes on the rollout of millions of dollars of upgrades and additions, is setting some time aside this weekend to meet some special needs.

From 9 a.m. to 10 am. Saturday, special needs residents and their families will have the waterpark to themselves.

Admission is free for those with special needs and caregivers can buy an all-day ticket for $10.

Jason Martin, area director of Hawaiian Falls, says he hopes the community understands that Hawaiian Falls, while offering a lot of entertainment, strives to be about more than fun in the sun.

“We just want to be part of the community, and as the community grows, we want to grow with it,” Martin said.

The City of Waco owns the park and the land on which it sits but in 2018 ProParks Management Company became the operator and began to pump more than $1 million into improvements.

In 2019, the park added Hula Island, which includes more than an acre of white sand beach, a mini golf course, hammocks, shade trees, a kids play area and cabanas.

“If you love to build sandcastles and you can’t get to the beach, at Hawaiian Falls in Waco you can definitely do that,” Martin said.

In 2020, Hawaiian Falls Waco embarked on its biggest expansion to date with Kona Bay.

Kona Bay has 10 new slides and more than 20 water features including buckets and water guns.

Only a few visitors were able to check it out during the few weeks Hawaiian Falls was open in 2020.

“This ride opened last year and not many of guests came to actually see it so they’re getting to get a taste of our new Kona Bay ride that we put in last year,” he said.

Martin said the park is focused on being a part of the greater Waco community and it’s showing its dedication in several ways.

This summer Hawaiian Falls is offering $5 season passes for all K-12 teachers in McLennan, Limestone, Hill, Bosque, Falls and Freestone counties, discounts to church groups, and a buy-one-get-one-free season pass for healthcare workers and first responders.

“We just want Waco to know that we’re their community waterpark,” he said.

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