Two king size waterparks splash down in time for summer

Two major Florida resorts, one in Miami and one in Orlando, have opened high-tech, on-property waterparks just in time for the summer season. The JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa opened Tidal Cove, and the Margaritaville Resort Orlando will open Island H2O Live the first week of June.

Tidal Cove at JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa

The Aventura hotel is now home to this five-acre, state-of-the-art waterpark with 11 waterslides, a 4,000-square-foot kids pool and the first FlowRider Trip surf simulator pool. There’s also a VIP pool area exclusively for adults. The park is available free of charge for resort guests and country club members; day guests can purchase a resort membership for $75 Mondays through Thursdays and $105 Fridays through Sundays, which includes access to Tidal Cove.

The FlowRider Trip is exclusive to Tidal Cove and is the first in the nation to feature three surfing areas so families can try the experience together in groups. The FlowRider incorporates elements of surfing, bodyboarding, skateboarding, skim-boarding, snowboarding and wake-boarding into one comprehensive “extreme sports experience.” Private lessons on the FlowRider are also available for guests who wish to hone their skills.

The 60-foot waterslide tower’s seven slides range in length from a 558-foot raft ride called the Constrictor to the 266-foot race slide for single riders on a mat. There are also two Aqua Drop body slides, one at 348 feet and one at 286 feet.

Tidal Cove is part of the hotel’s major expansion project, which includes a new 16-story tower with 325 guestrooms, upgrades to the main building, lobby and front drive as well as a number of new amenities and food-and beverage options in the resort.

Island H2O Live at Margaritaville Resort Orlando

Many smartphones are water resistant these days, but taking one on a waterslide still isn’t recommended, so taking and then posting a pic of your family just about to head down a tube flume hasn’t always been the best idea. Island H2O Live wants to change that.

The “Live” part of the waterpark’s name is a clue to its connectedness and interactivity as a major theme. The slide names and attraction areas reflect social media elements — like Hashtag Heights, Follow Me Falls, Retweet Racers and the upscale adults-only pool, Private Domain.

It’s not just in the names, though. Island H2O Live has integrated “Be Live” video recording booths throughout the park that enable guests to share real-time videos on social media through the booth. A new RFID wristband system will enable guests to personalize their music and light experiences on select rides, capture photos, win points and share via social media. Guests can download an app prior to visiting the park or once they arrive and choose their custom settings. Once they hop on a ride, the scanner will read their wristband and apply their selections to their ride experience. The wristbands can also be used to purchase food and merchandise and control a streaming playlist. The park will also host live social media streaming events in which guests can participate through the app.

Island H2O Live will run open with a series of preview days from June 5 through 20 when guests can enter for reduced rate of $69.99. Prices increase to $89.99 after that.

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