Magic Springs and Crystal Falls - Hot Springs, Arkansas - combination family amusement park and water park

Magic Springs and Crystal Falls is a combination water park and amusement park located in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The facility is divided into two distinct parks - Magic Springs, with thrill rides, family rides and kids rides and Crystal Falls, with numerous water slides and other water attractions.

Magic Springs has a checkered financial history. Opened originally in 1978, the park was sold in the mid-1980s to businessman Melvin Bell. Bell was forced to close the park in 1995. The park was bought at auction in 1995, and reopened in 2000 as Magic Springs and Crystal Falls. Since its reopening in 2000, the park's attendance has wavered, but the expansion of park attractions and the addition of an amphitheater and concert series boosted attendance substantially since 2003. The park was sold again to PARC Management in 2008.

Magic Springs is an amusement park offering attractions and rides to appeal to all members of the family, from the daredevil to the most sedate mouse. One of its major attractions is the recently opened ride The Gauntlet, a steel roller coaster that reaches speeds of 60 miles per hour and features 5 inverted loops to keep the heart-stopping thrills high. Other thrill rides include Dr. Dean's Rocket Machine, which sends riders shooting up into the sky then dropping to earth in a terrifying freefall, and Big Bad John, a runaway mine train that careens through the Arkansas wilderness before plunging into a tunnel for a grand finale.

In addition to the thrill rides, Magic Springs features family rides that include a vintage carousel and a beginner roller coaster for "future thrill seekers''. Among the most popular of the family rides is the Old No 2 Logging Company Log Flume, a twisting water maze negotiated in open logs that eventually leads to a splashdown in the pool at the end of the river.

For kids, there are a number of rides designed just for the small fry under 48 inches tall. Young visitors can fly in miniature jets on the Fearless Flyers, or take a spin on the Bugga Booga Wheel, a bug-themed Ferris wheel. Little engineers can pilot their own train on the Kit `n' Kaboodle Express, and budding daredevils can leap into free fall at the Lil' Leapin' Lizards tower.

Admission to the Crystal Falls Water Park is included with admission to Magic Springs. The water park features the Crystal Cove Wave Pool and the Crystal Lagoon Wading Pool. For thrill-seekers, Crystal Falls offers the Rapid Falls Raceway and the High Sierra Tower, two very different water thrill rides. Other popular features at the water park include the Bear Cub Bend kiddie pool and the Kodiak River Adventure Ride.

Magic Springs is open for seasonal hours between April and November of each year. Summer hours are 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily. Outside the summer season, hours vary. Admission is expensive, but there are discounts and season passes available. For more information about hours and admission, as well as about events and concerts, contact Magic Springs and Crystal Falls at 501-624-0100.

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