Adventure Island Castaway Falls

Dive into Fun this Summer at Adventure Island!

It’s summer in Florida, which means the heat is ON! What better way to cool off than by splashing around at a water park? One of our favorite ways to keep cool when the weather is hot is to spend the day at Adventure Island, Tampa’s island paradise. The park is chock full of thrilling waterslides, refreshing pools and family-friendly activities, and now they’ve added even more fun with the NEW Castaway Falls!

Castaway Falls is part of the water park’s largest expansion in over four decades. The new expansion includes a park-wide modernized theme, the recently opened Shaka-Laka Shores, Rapids Racer and Wahoo Remix water slides, the renovation of Captain Pete’s, popular full-service Hang Ten Tiki Bar, and new lounging chairs and cabanas.

Castaway Falls at Adventure Island

Make a Splash at Castaway Falls!

The all-new Castaway Falls is the reimagined area of the previous Splash Attack and includes over 100 interactive play elements. This tropical-themed play area truly gives off an island vibe with its bright colors and plastic palm tree structures. It’s also a great spot for all ages to enjoy and particularly perfect for younger ones who aren’t quite yet ready for the bigger slides.

Like Splash Attack, Castaway Falls is multi-level with an array of activities to keep little ones busy. Additions include four new slides that are perfect for even the youngest thrill-seekers, several soakers to plan that perfect sneak attack, flow pipes, hose and spray jets, water curtains and tipping trough. There are also three giant tipping buckets that dump out over 1,300 gallons of water combined!

One of our favorite things about Castaway Falls is that it’s the perfect spot to park and play. The area is surrounded by tons of lounge chairs so parents can sit back and relax while little ones splash around and get their energy out. Castaway Falls is located toward the very back of the park, away from the busier, high-traffic areas and is close to a snack bar and bathrooms. But we advise going early since chairs can get claimed fast!

Castaway Falls at Adventure Island

More Family-Friendly Summer Fun at Adventure Island

For even tinier water lovers, Shaka Laka Shores features twenty-five play elements and is geared toward the park’s youngest guests. What makes this area perfect for little ones is that it’s zero depth. There are a variety of interactive components and several shaded sections.

Paradise Lagoon is another favorite spot of ours for kids who are too big for Shaka Laka Shores but want something a little more challenging than Castaway Falls. Here, they can test their skills balancing on giant lily pads using a fun net climb to help them cross the pool. The bravest of thrill-seekers can splash from cliff jumps into 9,000 square feet of tropical blue water.

Of course, what would a visit to Adventure Island be without taking the plunge on one of their ten amazing water slides? Rapids Racer and Wahoo! Remix are the park’s newest slides and can accommodate younger sliders. Hop into a two-person raft on Rapids Racer to see who can splash into the finish line first! Feel the rush of competition during this side-by-side experience through nearly 600 feet of slide (minimum height 42 inches).

Wahoo! Remix features synchronized light and sound elements. This family raft ride experience gives off the ultimate party vibes as you slide through tunnels filled with bright, glowing lights and pulse-pounding music. Anyone can ride, though sliders less than 42 inches tall are required to ride with a life fest and companion who is at least 48 inches tall.

Castaway Falls at Adventure Island

Here’s a list of other slides at the park and their minimum height requirement:

  • Aruba Tuba – 42 inches
  • Solar Vortex – 42 inches
  • Vanish Point – 48 inches
  • Colossal Curl – 48 inches
  • Calypso Coaster – 42 inches
  • Caribbean Corkscrew – 48 inches
  • Riptide – 42 inches
  • Water Moccasin – 48 inches

After a long day of sliding and splashing our way around, we love relaxing in the Rambling Bayou, the lazy river. Grab a raft and float down this half-mile trip around the park.

Coming Soon! Part of Adventure Island’s expansion includes a total revamp of Endless Surf, the 17,000-square-foot wave pool. The pool will have a fresh, new look along with exciting enhancements!

Though some areas don’t require flotation devices, we definitely recommend weak or non-swimmers to wear life vests, which can be borrowed in various sizes around the park at no additional cost.

Summer fun at Adventure Island's Castaway Falls

Where to Grab some Grub

Playing in the water all day can definitely make you work up an appetite. Fortunately, Adventure Island has plenty of spots to grab a bite or cool off with an ice-cold drink.

Surfside Café and Mango Joes are two of our favorite spots to grab burgers, salads, barbecue and sandwiches. Snag a variety of empanadas at the Island Truck or fuel up with an afternoon snack from Colossal Snacks or Captain Pete’s.

The Hang Ten Tiki Bar is Adventure Island’s first full-service bar and one of our favorite spots to unwind. The menu features hand-crafted cocktails, local brews and a regional and international rum selection. It’s a great place for parents to kick back with a tropical cocktail while kiddos nosh on the giant Tiki Pretzel.

Splash All Day and Into the Night with Island Nights!

Now through July 26, you can stay until 8 p.m. every Friday during Island Nights! Snap fun selfies with a 360 camera, party with festive stilt performers, and get your groove on with music from dynamic DJs during family-friendly dance parties.

RELATED: Make a Splash at Adventure Island’s Island Nights!


Enjoy Summer Fun at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens, located next door to Adventure Island, is another favorite place to spend the day in Tampa Bay. While the park is known for thrilling rides (including the NEW family-friendly Phoenix Rising coaster), did you know that Busch Gardens is also one of North America’s largest zoos?

The park is home to more than 200 species, including several that are critically endangered. They’re part of fewer than two dozen facilities in the United States that have earned the Humane Certified seal from American Humane, the world’s largest certification of animal welfare. Next time you’re there, check out the 270-gallon aquarium located in the Nairobi area of the park, which helps support aquaculture research for Rising Tide Conservation.

Get Up Close to Some of the Park’s Amazing Animals with the Animal Ambassador Insider Tour

One of the best ways to learn more about the animals that call Busch Gardens home is with their Animal Ambassador Insider Tours. The Animal Ambassador Insider Tour is a fan-favorite among the park’s lineup of immersive tours and experiences. Featuring the lowest age requirement, The Animal Ambassador Insider Tour invites guests to explore how Busch Gardens Tampa Bay takes care of its renowned Animal Ambassadors with an exclusive 30-minute walking tour led by expert Animal Care Specialists.

During the tour, you’ll meet and learn about various ambassador species, discovering their unique adaptations. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with one or more animals, providing a memorable hands-on experience.

Go behind the scenes to learn how keepers train and work with elephants, swing over to Jungala for an insider’s view of orangutans, hop over to Kangaloom to meet some of Australia’s most iconic marsupials, the kangaroos, or visit Mayombe Reserve to participate in enrichment activities with the gorillas.

Love big cats? Find out what goes into taking care of the fastest animals in the world, the cheetahs, or learn how to care for Asia’s top predator, the tiger. Other exciting Insider Tours feature giraffes, flamingos, sloths, hippos, Aldabras (tortoises) and penguins.

Another reason we love the Animal Ambassador Insider Tours is because they’re an affordable way to upgrade your day! Prices range from $19.99 to $69.99 and can be booked online at

Certain tours will include animal interaction while some do require the use of masks to cover the face and nose, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. Make sure to visit the website for complete details before booking your tour.

Experience Even More Fun at Busch Gardens All Year Long

Stay and play longer this summer during Busch Gardens’ Summer Nights! Through Aug. 11, the park is open later with entertainment and fireworks on select nights. Cool off inside with the park’s new ice-skating show, Rhythm of Nature, and grab an Annual Pass or Fun Card to come back for annual events such as Halloween Harvest Sept. 7 through Nov. 3, followed by Christmas Town from Nov. 15 through Jan. 5, 2025.

Visit for tickets and info.

*Presented by Busch Gardens | Originally published in the July 2024 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.