For a good old wet, wild-western time in Columbus, Ohio, there is no better destination than the Fort Rapids Water park. Part of a hotel/conference center resort, the water park offers 60,000 square feet of aquatic fun, along with other amusing attractions for guests who prefer to stay dry. "What a great place to bring the family!" Said one enthused reviewer on Yelp.
Wet Attractions at Fort Rapids
The indoor water park is the main attraction at this wild-west themed resort. From water slides to river rides, there are a number of ways to make a splash when you visit.
At the top of the park's 40 foot slide tower, there are four slides located side-by-side.
- Ambush Alley is a tube slide for children 48" that and dip forty foot into the pool below.
- Raging Bull is another tube slide that runs alongside Ambush Alley. The two slides are very similar; one customer stated that her children use Raging Bull to race friends going down Ambush Alley at the same time.
- On the Shoot Out Racer, children 42" and over can slide down on a mat straight into the pool below. With four slides next to each other, this slide provides a great chance to race your friends.
- Black Out Pass is for children 48" and over. It curls round and round like a snake wrapped around a pole. "My thrill-seeking kids shrieked and squealed their way through the black tube into the big black bowl, swirled around in that a few times before shooting down a tube and into the lazy river below," said one impressed parent.
Other Water Features
Slides are not the only options for wet entertainment at this park.
- Cowboy Creek: This fun inner tube river ride has two distinct routes, one featuring small tipping buckets and the other splashing riders through the crazy rapids. Both sections converge at a wave area at the end of the river.
- Rascal Round Up: Young guests and teens will love this 40-foot-tall interactive play structure with its junior water slides, water cannons, and a thousand-gallon tipping bucket that ensures everyone nearby gets a good splash. One TripAdvisor review states, "My kids adored the 1000-gallon tipping bucket, and dragged me underneath it oodles of times right as it tipped onto us. So fun!"
- Kiddie Korral: This small section just for the youngest guests features an easy zero-depth entry and small slides, as well as a pint-sized play structure.
- Activity areas: In addition to the large features described above, the water park also has an oversized adults-only hot tub, water basketball courts and other active areas to enjoy.
If you worried about leaving older kids on their own, you'll be glad to know that customers see safety as one of the park's strongest features. "The life guards were always busy looking and watching all the activity and I felt there were enough life guards in all the areas." Stated one reviewer.
In the changing area that include showers, a drying machine for your swimsuits and a rest room, you can rent a small locker for $5 and a large locker for $8. Complimentary towels area available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Guests who prefer to stay dry or who want more entertainment while they dry off after their water park fun can enjoy a variety of themed attractions near the water park area. Water park admission is not required to experience any of the dry attractions.
Popular options include:
- Old Tyme Photography with various wild west and similar period costumes
- A mining chute where guests can pan for gems and fossils
- 5,000 square foot Gold Rush arcade, with prize redemption games and classics such as air hockey
- Trading Post gift shop featuring western themed souvenirs and practical sundries
A great respite from the water park, these attractions come highly recommended. As one TripAdvisor review states, "The arcade was a lot of fun - it had a very nice assortment of games. The mining area where the kids can sluice for gems and fossils is located right next to it. Everything is so conveniently placed!"
You and your family can sit down for a proper family meal at one of the park's four dining options, which are D.B.'s Sidewinder Café, Koo Seafood Buffet and Grill, Cooper Star Saloon and Canyon Cafe. As one visitor stated, "there was a good selection on the buffet and the prices were good.."
Calendar and Hours
The Fort Rapids Indoor Water park Resort is open year-round, though water park hours vary depending on the season and the exact day of the week, with shorter hours being held mid-week and the longest hours on the weekends. The water park is periodically closed for maintenance, so prospective guests should check the online calendar for exact hours.
The park opens at 10 a.m. for overnight guests only, and they don't a decide how many more guests they will let in until 11 a.m. If you are just going for the day it is wise to phone beforehand.
Guests of the hotel receive free water park passes for the duration of their stay, but day passes are also available as space permits. Day pass prices vary, and as of December 2013 their rates are:
- $29.95 Friday-Sunday and all holidays.
- $23.95 Monday-Thursday.
- $21.95 evening passes (after 4 p.m.)
- $9.95 spectator pass
Guests interested in day passes should note that the availability of these passes is limited and can vary based on hotel occupancy. No day passes are sold in advance. There are also no refunds.
Check the park's website for any current discounts and special offers. Special rates for groups greater than 20 guests are available, and the resort offers a wide range of special packages that may feature discounted accommodations, special amenities, and reduced or free tickets to other local attractions.
Hotel and Resort
For water park guests who prefer to stay where they play, this hotel offers more than 270 guest rooms. Accommodations include family-friendly layouts and more than 50 luxury suites. Prices vary based on room type and dates of stay. Additional resort features include conference and meeting space perfect for business groups, weddings, family reunions, and other special events, as well as a fitness center.
For More Information
Guests interested in the Fort Rapids water park in Columbus can visit the official website for current information and ongoing deals, or call 1-877-33-SPLASH (1-877-337-7527) for more information, brochure requests and reservations. With so much to offer, there is no better place in Ohio to round up the gang and enjoy a wild west getaway!