An Enchanted Time at Water Safari – Old Forge’s Awesome Water Park
July 31, 2019
Last updated on August 11, 2021.
It’s no secret that the Adirondacks is one of my absolute favorite places on this planet. If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you’ll see it’s been full of mountain views lately! Every summer growing up my parents would take my brother and I camping up at Old Forge. Some of our favorite childhood memories were made in days at Enchanted Forest Water Safari exploring the storybook area with our best friends. In the evenings we’d return to our campsite to watch out for bears (no joke). Water Safari is not only the biggest water park in New York state, but it’s rated one of the best in the country. It’s also one of TripAdvisor’s top choices! Intrigued? I bet you are. Find out what makes Water Safari in Old Forge one of the best summer destinations.
This article was originally published in 2019. In 2021, Enchanted Forest Water Safari invited me to come back to check out the new water slides and update the article. Thanks, Water Safari!
How to Save Money at Water Safari in Old Forge
Purchase your ticket at a local business
By buying your ticket ahead of time, you’ll be able to save over $7 off your admission! You can find pre-sale tickets at local grocery stores like Price Chopper and Wegmans.
Get more than a day’s visit with the Siesta Pass
If you arrive at the park after 3pm (or 2pm on the days they close earlier), you can pay admission for the remainder of the day and get a FREE pass to return again the next day. Best. News. Ever. My recommendation? Arrive after that cut-off and enjoy all of the dry rides. Then, return in the morning to spend the day by the pools sunbathing and getting soaked on the wet rides! No worrying about changing your clothes or having enough time to fit it all in.
Book a Stay ‘N Play Package
The Water Safari Resort has two accommodations available. If you’re looking to spend a few days in Old Forge (which I highly recommend), check out their Stay ‘N Play Packages. Guests who stay at either of the properties receive discount tickets to the park.
First up is the Water’s Edge Inn across the street from the park. Guests receive free continental breakfast, have access to an indoor pool and sauna, and can relax on the lakefront property in the evening. Plus, you can actually walk across the street to the park – it’s super convenient!
A little down the road you’ll find Old Forge KOA, where I always camped as a kid. There are a variety of tent sites, cabins, and cottages to choose from depending on your style. The resort also offers a shuttle bus to take you to and from the park, so you don’t need to worry about parking.
Join the Paul Bunyan Club
While you’re at it, make sure to take your photo with Paul Bunyan. Yes, it may be cheesy. Yes, a group of us 30-somethings looked like a giddy bunch of children getting our photos taken. But I don’t regret it for one minute! As soon as you enter the park you’ll see the giant statue of Paul Bunyan, and it is the must-have photo opportunity of the park.
For an extra $4 with your first visit this year, you can join the Paul Bunyan Club. As a member, you’ll receive half-off your admission for the rest of the season. Half-price tickets must be purchased at the admission gate.
Get a season pass
If you plan on visiting on at least 3 different days during the summer, it’s worth it to get yourself a season pass. That will get you unlimited admission for the season and 10% off food and drinks in the park.
What Is There to Do at Water Safari in Old Forge?
Before you do anything at the park, get yourself a splash card. These new cards act like your cash inside the park, so you don’t have to worry about carrying around actual cash or a wallet. Plus, the cards are waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about them on the wet rides.
Second, if you want to take photos and videos on the water rides, grab a waterproof phone pouch from any of the gift shops in the park. They seriously work wonders!
Lastly, if you brought a bunch of stuff into the park with you – and chances are you’ve got at least a bag with a change of clothes and towels – get a locker. That way you can stash your stuff in a locker and go enjoy the rides.
The Dry Rides
My favorite? The classic Skyride – take the ride up and get relaxing views of the whole park! But you’ll also find the traditional ones like the bumper cars and tilt-o-whirl. The wet rides are what really shine! (Also why the siesta pass is a great option!)
The Wet Rides
This is where Water Safari does it best! Believe it or not, there are 33 heated water wides! The most popular is definitely “Curse of the Silverback”, a group ride where your tube circles around a giant funnel like a toilet bowl. And then – drop! For a relaxing day, you can choose from two different lazy rivers – the “Log Jammer” and “Safari River Expeditions”. Plus, there’s everything in between! Races, wave pools, single riders, partner and group tubes… Enough to fill your whole day!
While the park was closed in 2020, they built three new water rides. The lines may be long, but they are definitely worth it.
Serengeti Stampede replaced the old, basic racing slide. The new, colorful slides have bumps and turns to make them a lot more fun. And the new mats have handles, making them easier to hold onto.
Mamba Strike is a 285-foot drop water slide that loops around the Serengeti Stampede tubes. This slide has guests stand on a platform at the top of the slide that is dropped beneath them. An adrenaline rush for sure!
Killermanjaro is back and better than ever. The speed slide features one long 207-foot drop.
Relive your childhood with Storybook Lane
Another one of my favorite childhood memories is visiting all the nursery rhyme recreations! And you can bet that I did that again on my most recent visit. From Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage to Hansel & Gretel’s gingerbread house, they are over 20 stories recreated along a path through the woods in the park. Meant for the children to visit in awe, but reminiscent for the adults as you listen to the stories play.
Twice daily you can watch the circus show. From the standard jugglers and trapeze artists, you’ll also find more unique acts like performing dogs and the famous motorcycle cage rider. It’s a great chance to catch a break from all the adrenaline of the day. Grab a snack and find a seat while you enjoy the show.
Play with the animals
Are you an animal lover like me? Then check out Paul’s Barnyard to play with and feed the sheep, goats, pigs, and birds that are there. I recommend going in between some of the dry rides!
Where to Eat at Water Safari
Water Safari is one of the most lenient places when it comes to bringing in outside food and beverages. BUT, why worry about lugging around your cooler and finding a place to store it while you’re in the water? There are plenty of restaurants and snack stands throughout the park. So there are plenty of options to please any palate.
Options include pizza, nachos, burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads, and more. A staff favorite is the Bosco sticks at the pizza shack. Get two cheese-filled breadsticks served with marinara for just $3. New this year, you’ll find ice cream nachos, monster milkshakes, and hot honey chicken sandwiches.
And to answer your most burning question – yes, there are alcoholic drinks for adults!
Other Things to Do in Old Forge
While you’re visiting Old Forge, be sure to get the most out of your stay.
Enchanted Forest Water Safari claims it’s “Where the fun never stops!” And that’s true! Even outside the park, you can continue your adventure – next door at Calypso’s Cove. From mini golf and batting cages, to an arcade, go karts, and more, you’re sure to have a blast.
After a long day at the water park, you’re sure to be hungry! Luckily, there’s a hometown favorite restaurant across the street – Slickers. Their pizza and chicken wings are fantastic. Seriously. So. Darn. Good. Get yourself some garlic parm wings and you’ll be in heaven.
Adirondack Dog House
If you’re really pinching your pennies for this trip, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the Adirondack Dog House. Hot dogs with all sorts of toppings, french fries and onion rings? Delicious. Classic. And cheap. Score!
Fulton Chain Craft Brewery
What’s dinner without a beer? A visit to Fulton Chain Craft Brewery is a must. Adirondack-themed and dog-friendly, you won’t want to miss drinking their famous “Go Fluff Yourself” beer. Weird name? Yes. Delicious? Heck yes. It’s a peanut butter marshmallow beer that has become very popular in Central New York – for good reason!
The brewery was recently expanded to make a larger taproom. All of their brew tanks are named after the lakes in the Fulton Chain of Lakes throughout the Adirondacks. They also have pictures of the lakes on them, embracing their location.
Wisk Baking Co
You know I’m a sucker for a good coffee shop and bakery. Wisk isn’t that. Wisk Baking Co is an incredible coffee shop and bakery! Featuring a variety of delicious confections, the desserts are almost too beautiful to eat! Almost.
You’ll have a hard time choosing from the bagels, croissants, muffins, and more. Get yourself a slice of cake to go. I’d also recommend the “ADK Campfire” crepe, made with Nutella, Fluff, and graham crackers!
Have you visited Water Safari in Old Forge? I want to hear about it!