Thursday May 23rd, 2024 2:20AM

Fins Up! Falls at Lanier Islands to unveil Georgia's first waterslide coaster

By Lawson Smith / Video by Seth Chapman
Several area officials gathered Wednesday to perform a steel-signing ceremony in commemoration of the first–ever waterslide coaster in Georgia at Lanier Islands.
 
Construction of the Apocalypso waterslide complex located at the newly rebranded Fins Up! Falls at Lanier Islands began in early February 2024 and is expected to open for the water park’s 2024 spring/summer season.  
 
A waterslide coaster is distinguished from a typical waterslide in that it includes multiple intense drops and turns, a higher speed, and sends riders upwards, rather than directly downwards.  Apocalypso will span 418 feet once completed and have the most significant drop of its kind in the United States. 
 
During the event, the officials signed their names to a ceremonial steel beam, which symbolizes “good luck” on construction projects. 
 
Charles Burton, Executive Director of Lanier Islands Developmental Authority, expressed his enthusiasm for the construction of the attraction.
 
“I can't think of a more appropriate thing, with the 62 years of history at this lake, to add Georgia's largest water complex on Georgia's largest lake,” Burton said. “It's a great opportunity.”
 
Alongside the soon-to-open Apocalypso will be three additional water slides attached to the same tower, each varying in intensity to appeal to waterslide lovers of all ages. Among them will be Serpentine Storm, which will combine the high-banking rotations of a bowl with the quick fall of a downward-spiraling flume, Dreamsicle Dive, which will feature a closed and open tube experience for a high-intensity thrill, and the Mango Mania, an aqua tube water slide featuring varying slopes and slide paths for guests who favor lower-intensity slides. 
 
“Our core purpose is to create happy places that make smiling faces,” Dale Kaetzel, President of Go Outdoors said. “And I can't think of any better place to do that than right here at Lake Lanier Islands.” 
 
Kaetzel also shared that in addition to the new attractions, the resort will see other changes coming its way in the spring of 2024, including additions to the water park’s floating obstacle course. 
 
“This is going to be an incredible summer, an incredible fall and an incredible winter here at Fins Up! Waterpark,” he said. “Our all-new aquatic adventure is going to double in size... It will virtually triple our capacity of guests that will be able to experience it. And most importantly, it'll allow more guests to get into the lake in a safe, safety vested environment.”
 
Additionally, the park will introduce a new floating lakeside-buffer that will allow guests to get into the lake every day. 
 
Kaetzel also announced Lanier Islands will introduce a new cabana program that will allow guests to register for a cabana on both sides of the wave pool and the beach. Port of Indecision Marina Members will also be granted direct access for the first time to the LandShark Bar and Grill on the property. 
 
The park will also expand its Summer 2024 operating calendar. 
 
“We're going to be open every day, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, for the first time in years,” Kaetzel said. “In August, the hours will be a little different because of the school calendars. However, it will support our hotel property, it will support Camp Margaritaville, and allow our season pass holders to enjoy the park many, many more days.” 
 
Fins Up! Falls, formally known as The Water Park at Lanier Islands, consists of 11 waterslides and aquatic attractions, including LandShark Landing, Camp Margaritaville and License to Chill Snow Island.
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