Today we finally made it to Rolling Hills to check out the changes, especially the new slides.
The changes start as you arrive to the park. The traffic pattern to the water park parking lot has changed a bit. The paved lot is much larger so there should be no need to park on the grass when it is crowded. The new park entrance has 3 windows for payment (although only two were operational). Entry is no longer through the restrooms and they have outside lockers so a family can use one locker instead of a male and female locker. They have also added 4 family restrooms.
The new entrance is a bit disorienting to regulars like myself. Combined with the new slides, it has shifted the “focal point” of the park. The old slides now seem to be what is out of the way instead of the lazy river. The lunch counter also seems further away, probably because of where we setup our bags.
We tried all of the new slides and liked them. They have line designations down the stairs so you know which you are waiting for. However, my daughter didn’t like that she couldn’t wear goggles on the new slides. You can wrap them around your wrist if you make it to the top with them. Also be aware ahead of time that there is a 42″ height requirement for all three and no lap riders. They are all body slides. The blue is an open twisting slide. The yellow is a twisting chute for the first half followed by an open twist. The green is a straight, speed slide with a single hump.
We tested all of the slides (my husband and daughter did, I skipped the green speed slide). My daughter tested the new speed slide in the video below:
And here is her reaction:
And now the video of her second ride:
Predictably lines were long at the new slides, because they are new and also because they have a slower throughput. On the old slides, they do not wait for the previous rider to exit before sending a new rider. On the new slides not only do they wait for them to clear, but they have to wait for the landing chute to refill with water. Bigger riders=Bigger splash=longer refill time. Lines are shorter earlier in the day before the park gets crowded.
They do still need to work on drainage around these slides. There were puddles on the concrete and the surrounding grass that got worse as the day went on. By the end of the day it was muddy water on the grass and I have to imagine that eventually the grass will die from the quantity of water.
The restrooms are no longer open air and are larger. Instead of the three stalls in the old women’s room there are 8 stalls -a much needed expansion. There are 6 private showers with curtains and 5 separate changing rooms with doors. The changing area also has lockers setup in two different U’s. The layout provides much more privacy since it is not in the main walking path of the restroom let alone the main walking path in and out of the park as in the old changing room.
The snack bar seems unchanged and we all enjoyed our cheeseburgers for lunch. I didn’t notice any significant menu changes. The tube slide line was much shorter than in past years – probably because of the crowd at the new slide. On the downside, the old body slide was closed and the waterfall in the main pool area were broken.
One other thing that we noticed is that the new entrance building does not have a clock like the old one did. The only clock we saw was on the reverse side of the old slide tower, near the playground. We would appreciate having a clock added to the new main building since we often don’t have a watch or phone on us while we are in the pool.
Now we just have to return 2 times before the end of the year to get the value out of our annual vehicle pass. A vehicle pass is $25, daily vehicle admission is $5. We were sledding twice and have now visited the water park once.
Overall we were impressed with the additions. I hope they reopen the old body slide and repair the waterfall in the main pool area. Rolling Hills remains an excellent value in my opinion. We paid $24 in admission do our family of 3 and less than $15 for lunch…three cheeseburgers fresh off the grill, two bags of chips, and 2 drinks. So for $40, we had an all day outing (we arrived at 11:15a and left after 4:30p).