This Gulf Islands Waterpark review is a sponsored conversation. Opinions are my own.
For over five years, our family has made the short trip from Mobile, Alabama to an oasis of summer family fun tucked away at this Gulfport, Mississippi waterpark. We have visited on good days and not-so-good days so you can trust that our Gulf Islands Waterpark review is 100% honest.
Life on the Gulf Coast in the summer yields lots of opportunities for free and cheap things to do in Mobile, Alabama. But since we live so close to the Alabama/Mississippi state line, sometimes we like to investigate new places.
Related: Read more about fun family travel.
Several years ago, I was browsing Gulfport, Mississippi family attractions and discovered a hidden gem at Gulf Islands Waterpark.
Our first visit was… interesting… as a sudden thundershower popped up over us and decided to stay for a couple of hours. The park rules include vacating the water during severe storms and there are not a lot of places to seek shelter.
Also important to note, there are no refunds due to weather. You only receive a raincheck if the park intends to close for the rest of the day.
So, we left soggy and a little sad but determined to try again.
I am so glad that we didn’t let a little rain keep us away as we have grown to love our excursions across the state line and have become repeat Gulf Islands Waterpark season pass holders.
Gulf Islands Waterpark Safety
Like most amusement parks, Gulf Islands Waterpark has a bag check policy.
There are no firearms and no smoking allowed inside the waterpark. Outside food and drink are also prohibited.
If you would like to keep your gear in a locker, rentals are available through the Admissions office and Gully’s Gift shop. You will pay $7 a day plus a $5 deposit but receive your $5 deposit back if you return your key before you leave.
Life jackets and tubes are available at no charge.
As for lifeguards, expect to see one everywhere.
Lifeguards are constantly scanning the water and making sure participants are safe. Even as they switch shifts, the lifeguards synchronize their scans to keep their eyes on the water. It’s amazing to watch as they hand off equipment and rotate positions.
Gulf Island Waterpark Rides
The main reason we return to Gulf Islands Waterpark again and again is the #SoaknFun rides!
Inside the waterpark, you will find enough fun to keep the family busy all day.
- Riptide Racer – The starting line is 45 feet in the air and zooms downhill as you slide on a provided mat, trying to be the first to the finish line.
- Horn Island Blaster – If a rollercoaster and a water slide had a baby, this would be it.
- Camille Cutter – Named after a historic storm, you can load up to four people in a raft for this thrilling water ride.
- Deer Island Express – Which way will you go? You don’t know! Because this adventure keeps you in the dark.
- Cat Island Catapult – Grab a friend and a double tube or go on your own down this 155 feet water slide.
Wondering what my kids think about Gulf Islands Waterpark?
^^^ Watch their Gulf Islands Waterpark review video ^^^
- Splashpad – The newest area at Gulf Islands Waterpark is a splash area complete with water canons and dumping buckets. It’s perfect for your smaller children.
- Pelican Bay – Ten different ways to get wet are inside this area perfect for ages 2 and under (but wonderful for the older kids or those afraid of big water slides too). And did we mention the huge bucket that spills gallons of water every time the whistle blows?
- Ship Island Wreck – Two easy-going water slides for your younger kiddos. You can slide down together until they muster up the courage to go alone.
- Padscagoula – Our family calls this the Ninja Warrior area. Can you make it across the floating lily pads and log or will you get wet?
- Lazy Pearl River and Waveland Waves Pool – One of our favorite features at Gulf Islands Waterpark is the lazy river that acts like a highway throughout the park. Need to get from one slide to another but don’t want to walk? No problem. Just float.
Gulf Islands Waterpark Hours
Despite the long stretches of balmy temperatures in southern Mississippi, the waterpark is open seasonally when the temps become more predictable.
Typically, you can expect Gulf Islands Waterpark to begin opening on the weekends in May and then switch to being open daily towards the end of May through the beginning of August. The hours are exclusive to weekends from mid-August through Labor Day in September.
The exact hours of operation vary slightly based on the day of the week. Weekends tend to be 10 am until 7 pm with weekday hours between 10 am and 6 pm.
Season Pass Holder Tip: You can get into the park before the crowd on the weekends. So be there 15 minutes before the waterpark opens. Or, visit on a Monday after 1 pm and stay until the waterpark closes.
Be prepared for large crowds on “Bring a Friend” days as well as weekends. The busiest time is always about one hour after the waterpark opens.
Gulf Islands Waterpark Food
When your tummy tells you that it is time to eat, you can find several options for keeping the family fed inside Gulf Islands Waterpark.
Outside food, beverages and coolers are not allowed inside the waterpark. However, you can bring one water bottle per person and get free water at any concession stand.
The Gulf Islands Waterpark food is made fresh so there is a little wait involved while the guys on the grill work their magic. You can even watch while they cook your burger, chicken, or hot dog.
The prices are what you would expect for inside an amusement park, but we have never been disappointed by the flavor.
At Petit Bois Island Cafe, you can order hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken tenders, salads, and more. Looking for something lighter? They also offer fries and nachos.
Season Pass Holder Tip: If you want to save BIG on a souvenir cup, purchase it as a drink upgrade with your food combo. This makes it cheaper than purchasing it WITH a Premium Season Pass coupon.
Do you prefer tacos? The 2 Tacos Food Truck is available in the (not so) Long Beach area. Keep an eye out for deals on Tuesdays.
Want something sweeter? Polly’s Sweet Spot offers funnel cakes, cotton candy, and shaved ice. You can get buy one, get one free coupons inside the Premium Season Pass coupon book.
Concession carts are also available throughout the waterpark.
Gulf Islands Waterpark Coupons
If you plan to visit Gulf Islands Waterpark more than once during the season, your best value will be a season pass.
Skip the admission line and visit the Season Pass trailer to purchase the unlimited admission and receive a photo ID card. It’s a fabulous way to save on repeat visits all summer long.
However, if you are only planning to visit once, you can save by snagging special discounted tickets each day through the app or online. But be aware that this offer is limited. Only a certain number of discounted tickets are available each day and it’s first come, first to save.
If you are wondering about the Gulf Islands Waterpark coupon book, these are available to Premium Season Pass holders only and totally worth the investment. Inside you will find half-priced discounts on food, coupons to bring a friend for free (on certain days), and savings off in the gift shop and cabana rentals.
Season Passes are available for discounted prices as an early bird, around special holidays (like Black Friday), and late in the season.
You can also find special offers on food and admission shared to the Gulf Islands Waterpark Facebook page, so be sure to follow them!
Gulf Islands Waterpark Review
Our family loves visiting Gulf Islands Waterpark and we don’t mind the short drive from Mobile, Alabama… except for those days when the sudden afternoon thundershowers arrive. But, that’s a risk we take living on the beautiful Gulf Coast.
If we could recommend any improvements to the (super-friendly) staff at Gulf Islands Waterpark, we would certainly add more ceiling fans to the Petit Bois Island Cafe.
Also, on busy days when it is hard to find a float, it would be helpful to have someone available to pull abandoned floats from the Lazy Pearl River. As frequent guests, we know where to look but have overheard many people grumbling when they cannot find a float.
If you are looking for fun family attractions along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, do not miss Gulf Islands Waterpark.
Other related family fun:
- Waterpark in My Yard with Homemade Water Slide
- Family Night Ideas that Kids Love
- Staycation: 11+ Free or Cheap Things to Do on the Alabama Gulf Coast
- Alabama Road Trip Planner
- Summer Bucket List: Free & Cheap Boredom Busters
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