In the quest to ensure that our CDR guests have the best information available when visiting the Outer Banks, we stopped by the just opened H2OBX in Powells Point to try some of the rides and make sure they meet our high standards of fun!
H2OBX is geared toward families, and just about every design feature favors kids of all ages. This is definitely a great place for everyone in your group!
Plan on spending a good part of your day here. The kids will probably want to ride everything three or four times (at least). That’s alright…they’re supposed to! There are a couple of places to get something to snack on, there’s even beer for mom and dad, and there are plenty of places to sit.
The initial plans call for limiting daily attendance to 5000, so if possible try to get there close to the 10 a.m. opening time.
The following were some of our favorite rides:
Paradise Plunge and The Plank (described below) are very similar, but Paradise Plunge gets the nod because there area a couple of twists and turns that seem to almost create a feeling of negative gravity.
The concept: climb to the top of a 90’ tower—take a moment to enjoy the view…it’s spectacular. Standing upright, you climb into a clear plastic receptacle. There is a round trapdoor-style floor to stand on. After crossing your arms and feet, there is a 3-2-1 countdown, and with an explosive hiss, the trapdoor falls away, immediately plunging you into a rapid flow of water that forces the body through the tubes. The tubes twist, they turn, and they fall away depositing the rider in a narrow pool of water at the end.
The whole ride probably only lasts about 30 seconds, but it sure is fun.
The Plank is almost identical to Paradise Plunge (described below), but does not have the twists and turns. It seems to be a faster slide as the water runoff at the end is longer.
Rip Tide is a tube ride, which are so fun, but usually less heart stopping than body slides. However, the Rip Tide has a couple of features that really sets it apart.
Coming down the water tube, there is a split where it’s unclear which tunnel will be used. There is a brief moment of uncertainty if either tunnel will be reached. Coming out of the tunnel, the tube shoots to a lip that lifts straight into the sky and for a moment there is a thought that maybe the tube is going too fast and will either make it to the top or flip over! It does neither, of course, but there is a shot of adrenaline wondering.
A constant wave machine, the Flow Rider is the perfect wave for boogie boarders. The flow is strong, creating a continuous wave. A nice touch that we noticed—park employees were coaching kids at the bottom of the ride, teaching them how to get the most out of the flow.
For some people this is sure to be a favorite!
Teach’s Tide Adventure River
Teach’s Tide is a leisurely, relaxing way to just float around the park, lazy river style. After everyone has experienced the thrill rides three or four times, this is a nice way to regenerate and get ready for the next round.
Rogue Wave and Queen Anne’s Revenge
These are similar rides, so we’re going to group them together. As a family activity, they’re perfect. A large tube will seat up to six, and the tubes shoot down water chutes. It’s a fun thing to do for the whole family.
For the really young vacationers, there is a small child/toddler island that had 15 waterslides of varying complexity and length, with a wading pool that circled it. The whole concept seems very well thought out and got high marks from us.
Some last pieces of advice: once in the park, shoes or sandals are not necessary and may get in the way. However, the parking lot is asphalt and it gets warm. Wear sandals but have a plan when footwear is no longer needed. Lockers are available.