How could I have a blog about fun things to do in Hot Springs and not mention Magic Springs & Crystal Falls?! If you don’t know, Magic Springs & Crystal Falls is a popular amusement/water park located in Hot Springs, and is actually a pretty big deal. So, I decided that I should go and experience the fun for myself!
Magic Springs is a fairly large theme park with enough rides and entertainment to suit anyone’s needs. Yes, I found that between the thrill rides and family rides, all the way down to the kiddie rides, Magic Springs caters to every age venue. Between the variety of rides and entertainment in the theme park and all the different water rides and slides in Crystal Falls, I doubt anyone could not have a great time once they step through the entrance gates.
I’m not gonna lie, it had been a long time since I last rode an amusement park ride. On top of that, I had never been on a roller coaster that flipped upside down. So, you can sympathize with me when I felt a little apprehension at walking through the gates, down the sidewalk, and smack into a huge yellow iron beast, complete with loops, flips, twists, turns, and gut wrenching drops…named The Gauntlet. Right then and there, I vowed to ride the Gauntlet before I left the park…
My girlfriend and I decided to try out some of the water park stuff before we rode the coasters, and started out by taking a dip in the lazy river and wave pool. The lazy river was very cooling and refreshing with enough current to move you swiftly through the park. Having been to the water park in Little Rock (Wild River Country) recently, I feel I have the right to compare the two. Wild River Country’s lazy river was rather warm and slow-moving along with some of its other slides and rides, whereas with Crystal Falls, it is the opposite . The main thing that I think separates Crystal Falls from Wild River Country is the assortment of different water attractions that it offers. Not only do they have water rides that use one and two person tubes, but there are rides that use water mats and even boogie boards! Which brings me to the main new attraction at Crystal Falls, the Boogie Blast. Boogie Blast is a ride that lets people try their hand at catching some waves. The Boogie Blast generates a constant wave (big enough to make Bodhi from Point Break happy) that allows for a long, safe, and fun ride for beginners and experts, which makes it fun for everyone!
After cooling off in Crystal Falls, we changed our mindset and decided to work our way through the long list of Magic Springs’ attractions. We started off with some of the older and more classic rides such as Arkansas Twister (a great wooden coaster), Dr. Dean’s Rocket Machine (a rocket that shoots you skyward), and the Rum Runner Pirate Ship (a pendulum based ride). But, as we neared the end of our stay in the park, I knew the time had come…I had to face my fears and ride The Gauntlet. After boarding the coaster, with feet dangling, I was having some second thoughts, but luckily a 10-year-old girl who was in line right behind me encouraged me to stick with it, and succeeded in making me feel like much less of a man. Needless to say, I conquered my fear, rode the giant behemoth and actually loved it! All the loops and corkscrews were a lot of fun and made me want to ride it again and again.
Overall, Magic Springs & Crystal Falls is a great place to go for some fun, especially for young people! This amusement/water park has fair prices and many thrilling and entertaining rides. If you get a chance, you should also check out one of the many concerts that go on at Magic Springs every year. I would highly recommend Magic Springs & Crystal Falls to anyone in the area!
Contact: (501) 624-0100, www.magicsprings.com
Location: 1701 E. Grand Ave., 71901