Shipwreck Island Waterpark

Shipwreck Island Waterpark: Fun in Panama City Beach
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

There's no water park quite like Shipwreck Island with an impressive array of shipwreck-themed water features, some tame enough for children and others wild enough to satisfy the thrill-seeker(s) among you.

- The Local Expert Team

Shipwreck Island Waterpark first opened its gates in the summer of 1983. There is no doubt about the park’s theme, a theme they carry out with aplomb. Everything in the park is an homage to romanticized stories of shipwrecks.

Consisting of 20 fun-filled acres, Shipwreck Island Waterpark is surrounded by lush landscaping and features a highly trained aquatics staff. It’s built to entertain visitors of all ages and there are, indeed, activities for all skill levels.

Shipwreck Island was recently named the third-best waterpark in the United States, and with good reason. It is clean, aesthetically pleasing, and offers a surprisingly large variety of activities, foods, and souvenirs.

Here are some of our favorite Shipwreck Island features:

Tadpole Hole
Perfect for the small children in your group, Tadpole Hole is an extensive kiddy area that includes a fun elephant slide, pelican slide, ship slide, and frog slide. There’s also an “old” submarine affectionately referred to as “The Silly Sub.”

Ocean Motion Wave Pool
A 500,000-gallon pool provides three-foot waves every ten minutes, with plenty of smaller waves in between. It’s like playing in the ocean without having to worry about being bitten by an eel. The trick is to learn how to jump high or laugh with your mouth closed.

White Knuckle River
This ride is perfect for anyone old enough to hold on tight. Imagine tubes large enough to accommodate your entire party winding down a 660-foot long twisting, turning tube ride, finishing with an exciting splash into a large pool. Yes, it’s as fun as it sounds.

Tree Top Drop
A stomach-dropping free fall slide down a 65-foot tall platform, it’s enough to make you scream like a teenage girl.

The Raging Rapids
Not for the faint of heart, The Rapids offers riders more than 300 feet of “white water” rafting down a tube. There is plenty of reason to look forward to the final 50-foot splash down. No one will judge you if your hair stands on end for hours after.

The Great Shipwreck
An iconic replica of a 17th-century ship, The Great Shipwreck gives you the chance to zipline directly off the ship and into a stunning blue lagoon. The ship is so well-designed that it’s easy to believe it’s been around for hundreds of years.

The Lazy River
If you’re looking to relax, look no further than The Lazy River, more than 2,000 feet of slow-moving water, meandering down a manmade river. It’s the perfect place to take a break and renew your energy. The challenge is to stay awake as you float through the water.

Skull Island
Take the entire family along to Skull Island, a pool that includes a kiddy slide called Lickity Split, and an amazing racing slide. There’s also a fort with huge buckets that drop 700 gallons of water every three to four minutes. You can easily pass an hour or two (or three) at Skull Island.

No food or beverages from outside are allowed in Shipwreck Island Waterpark but you don’t have to leave in order to enjoy a meal. The seven restaurants and snack shacks at Shipwreck Island offer an array of food for purchase, including barbeque, wraps, nachos, chili-cheese fries, meatball subs, grilled chicken sandwiches, salads, hotdogs, pizza, burgers, funnel cakes, ice cream, and an assortment of frozen drinks.

You might want to bring your credit or debit card along to shop in The Pirate’s Plunder, a store filled with sun care products, sunglasses, and souvenirs. You never know when you’re going to need something emblazoned with Shipwreck Island’s logo.

Insider Tips:
-Arrive early if you want to score a seat under one of the shade trees surrounding the water features.
-If you enjoy yourself, ask about the second-day pass. It is normally offered at a heavily discounted price.