Geauga Lake's Wild Water Kingdom... Closing?

I've been hearing rumors this may be the last season...

Man. You got ALL the bad news today.

Raven-Phile's avatar

Awesome, so we'll get to see conspiracy theories flying all around again. Really, this makes me sad, if it's true, but I can't say I'm surprised.

rollergator's avatar

They only closed the rides park so no one would complain when the water park closed...

LJEdge's avatar

Buying this property was one of the worst decisions the company made. The biggest expansion a year or two ago was a little tykes playground, right? That's as bad as "New for 2007 at Geauga Lake: Cornhole!" regarding "expansion" plans.

I see commercials for WWK on TV all the time. Although, I haven't set foot on the property since the final day of operation in 2007. The waterpark isn't worth it, imo. I'm surprised it stayed open this long.

New for 2015 at Dorney, Tornado and/or the water play structure.

WWK has that huge, really tall, multi slide complex that was moved over from the old GL waterpark site. I don't know what kind of condition it's in, but it would make a nice addition to any park.

What, I'm predicting relocation possibilities based on a Screamscape rumor? I think I'll stop now... Maybe find something to do...

Jeff's avatar

They could sell it back to SeaWorld Parks, and it would all come full circle. Although "Aquatica Cleveland" does not roll off the tongue.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

Fun's avatar

Hasn't there been a rumor of the park closing every year since 2007?

Tommytheduck's avatar

4 or 5 years ago, I don't remember, we were there on the last operating day of the season. There were 2 or 3 helicopters hovering over the park. I speculated that they were news copters getting aerial footage for a possible news story in case the park announced its closure. Obviously it didn't happen then, but they must have been anticipating something.

(I think I've told this story to CB already, forgive me if I"m repeating myself, but it felt relevant.)

While WWK is just an OK waterpark, I still love having it as an option. It's where we go in July and August when CP gets too crowded. And the crowds are always light. Both a blessing and a curse, I suppose.

mlnem4s's avatar

WWK has the potential to be an awesome waterpark with proper investment, unfortunately it is mostly treated as a community swimming hole by locals rather than being supported by the region which is what needed to happen for it to have any chance of growing.

One problem I personally have dealt with producing events in Northeast Ohio is there is a mentality by those who live within the 271-480 loop around the city of Cleveland is that Aurora is out in "redneck country" and that it is such a far drive to get to; if it isn't a 5 minute drive then they don't make the effort. Conversely, it is nothing for us out here in Aurora to drive downtown for a night out, a dinner, to go to a museum on University Circle, see and Indians game, etc. I don't know how you overcome resistance/in-grained behavior that is part of the culture/habits of Clevelanders that don't see the importance of supporting tourist attractions like WWK. (The same can be said for the Rock Hall downtown, ask anyone from Northeast Ohio if they have been there and 9 times out of 10 the answer is no.)

The other issue that has been a long on-going struggle is the lack of support from Aurora and Bainbridge elected officials over decades. Aurora has never been a big fan of having any of the parks in their backyard making this a tourist town, they would rather have more McMansions and ritzy golf communities. Now that it is too late to do anything to change the situation I think many people are realizing what a HUGE loss this has been to the economy here in Aurora, not to mention all of Northeast Ohio. Just tonight I drove by several hotels that maybe had 1/4 full parking lots, back in the days of Geauga Lake/SeaWorld they would be full turning people away. Thousands of jobs, whether full-time or part-time/seasonal, were here because of the parks, those too are now all gone impacting the economics of the region. Is it any wonder so many have left for places where there are jobs, growth, and communities that actually support culture and recreation?

Sadly, with all the stand-alone Cedar Fair water parks having been sold off recently I suspect the same fate awaits WWK. As sad as it is to see the entire property in the state it is today, many of us will have great memories of fun summers at the parks when we were kids and great jobs that resulted in life-long friendships because of those parks. That's something that can never be taken from us.

We go to WWK really often, about once a week (or more). I live fairly close (25mins) and the park is always beautiful, well maintained and a great place to go relax.

I would hate to see it go the way of the ride side. I am surprised how many people have yet to go there, even those who live close. While I understand not everyone likes waterparks, it is those who do and don't go that surprise me.

The park is often very busy on nice days. It is not uncommon at all for the park to have a completely full queues on some of the slides. I never once thought the crowds were too light to sustain the park... It tends to have very healthy attendance in my opinion, given the small size of the park.

I suppose time will tell...

Last edited by SteveWoA,

From what I have read, the towns are trying to rezone the property. They couldn't make a go of it with industrial zoning, so now they are trying with the entertainment, retail, ect. I guess no one had interest considering a waterpark was on the other side. Maybe this new zoning will be a different story?

I am referring to the closed ride side.

Last edited by Chitown,
jkpark's avatar

Yeah, I thought there was now some lifestyle center idea like Legacy Village and Crocker Park.

LostKause's avatar

The people in that part of Ohio are lucky. That park is much better than no water park at all.

jkpark's avatar

I visited the park yesterday, and had a pleasant time. Crowds were light, with the weather mostly cloudy. I guess if CF is still turning a profit with the short operating season, along with a solid staff, then it will be around for years to come. If that lifestyle center gets constructed on the other side of the lake, it would only help WWK.

OhioStater's avatar

We're going tomorrow with our 2 daughters. We live in Louisville, which is about a 40 minute drive, and we typically visit 4 - 5 times a summer.

I always love the walk into the park. The entrance is beautiful and well-maintained, and I always like that small curvy walk from the parking lot to the entrance. The big slide complex (the name escapes me) is really fun, and my wife and I typically take turns heading over there one by one while the other plays with the girls in rest of the park.

I always get the impression that for what it is, it's turning a nice little profit.

It's a beautiful little water-park.

Last edited by OhioStater,

The Sea World side of the lake was always "most beautiful". I never once went to Sea World until the park was changed to include both sides, and I was shocked at how pretty it was over there. If the water park has the same atmosphere I'm not surprised, but it's no fault of Cedar Fair.

Jeff's avatar

The gate area hasn't changed much since the SeaWorld days. That was a really beautiful park, consistent with the others (and all of what used to be the Busch parks). I still think it's pretty nice, and much better after they tore down the ski stadium. The problem is that putting in large areas like wave pools and splash areas meant taking out a lot of trees and green space, but they seem to have been fairly careful about the way they did it. The park isn't Aquatica nice, but it's still better than most water parks.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

jkpark's avatar

I too was thinking about the atmosphere yesterday while lounging by the wave pool. There may not be a lot of shade, but it's the perfect area simulating the beach. Despite the lake itself, just about everywhere you walk in the park, not much of the outside is visible. After turning into the main entrance from RT 43, it's like the park was carved out back in the woods.

OhioStater said:

We're going tomorrow with our 2 daughters. We live in Louisville, which is about a 40 minute drive, and we typically visit 4 - 5 times a summer.

I'm about the same distance from Canfield, and will probably visit at least a couple more times this season. Didn't really care if I visited the park at all this year, but this was a spontaneous trip and really enjoyed just relaxing and little swimming yesterday. And with a Platinum Pass why not?

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