There are two decent-sized theme parks in Alabama, Owa and Alabama Splash Adventure (although the latter is more of a water park). If it is water slides and cool relief you are after, we have a rundown of Alabama's Water Parks. If you want more amusement park thrills and theme park fun, you could travel to nearby states. For example, Dollywood is among the theme parks in Tennessee, and Six Flags Over Georgia is the biggest theme park in Georgia. Alabama parks are listed in alphabetical order.
Alabama Splash Adventure
Bessemer (near Birmingham), Alabama
As its name implies, Alabama Splash Adventure is primarily a water park. In addition to its water slides, wave pool, lazy river, and other wet fun, the "dry" rides include a mini train, bumper boats, the Wacky Worm kiddie coaster, and its signature attraction, Rampage, a well-regarded wooden roller coaster. One price includes all attractions, and the park offers free parking, free sunscreen, and complimentary soft drinks.
Once Alabama's biggest amusement park, it has an interesting history. It opened in the late 1990s as a municipally owned facility known as VisionLand. It ran into financial difficulties not long after it debuted and filed for bankruptcy in 2002. Private owners purchased the park and operated it starting in 2003. In 2006, it was re-branded as Alabama Adventure and later, Alabama Adventure Water and Theme Park. In 2012, the park changed ownership again. The new operators renamed it Splash Adventure, closed most of the amusement park rides, and focused on the water park.
In 2014, some members of the family that had run Holiday World in Indiana purchased the park and changed its name once again (whew, this park has sure had a lot of names!) to Alabama Splash Adventure. It has been slowly reopening the amusement park rides such as Rampage (which means another name change may be coming). The new owners say that they have plans to expand the park.
In 2018, the park continued to expand its amusement park rides with five new attractions. It included the classic spinning rides, the Tilt-A-Whirl and the Scrambler, the Yo-Yo swing ride, and two rides for small children the Splash Express train and the Rockin’ Tug.
Opened in 2017, Owa is a destination development operated by the The Poarch Band of Creek Indians. (The name, “Owa,” means “big water” in the Muskogee Creek language.) Its centerpiece is an amusement park with a variety of rides. Highlights include Rollin’ Thunder, a 225-foot-tall steel coaster that hits 56 mph and includes four inversions, Crazy Mouse, a Wild Mouse-style coaster with spinning cars, and Freedom Flyer, a tall swing ride. There are also rides designed for little kids and medium-thrill rides such as Southern Express, a family roller coaster. In the fall, the park offers Town of Terror, a Halloween event.
In addition to the park, the resort offers Downtown Owa, a shopping, dining, and entertainment district with options such as Wahlburgers and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. Lodging is available at an on-property Marriott TownePlace Suites.
The family entertainment center is open year-round, although it is closed mid week in the off-season. Attractions include mini-golf, go-karts, bumper cars, batting cages, and carnival rides. Water slides and other water park rides are open in the warmer months.
The small park features a train, splash pad, carousel, and a kiddie coaster.
Gulf Shores, Alabama
Another Alabama park that is primarily a water park (it is called Waterville, after all). Among its featured attractions are a Flowrider surfing ride, a wave pool, a lazy river, and the Screamin' Demon speed slide. The dry rides include Cannonball Run, a wooden coaster that hits 50 mph, plus mini-golf, kiddie rides, go-karts, and a bungee trampoline.