Located in the heart of Pensacola is Sam’s Fun City. It is both an amusement park year round and a waterpark in the warmer months. In this review I will discuss both the pros and cons of this park. I recommend reading this article before deciding whether or not you really wish to visit it.
Sam’s Fun City is best known as a waterpark, so let’s start with that. It’s the only waterpark located in Pensacola, with the closest one after that being Waterville USA in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Sam’s Fun City has four main water slides. These slides are blue, yellow, purple, and pink. The purple and pink slides are the type that drops you straight down into the water, while the blue and yellow slides are tunnels that you ride down in tubes. The yellow slide only allows one person per-tube, while the blue slide allows two people to ride down together.
You can see pictures of these slides and the rest of the park here.
As far as the main slides go, they are very basic. The two tunnel slides are pretty much the exact same, with the only difference being whether you go down alone or with a friend. The purple and pink slides are the same. They are placed right next to each other so you and a friend can race down if you would like. While this can be some fun if you have a friend with you, what it really comes down to is that Sam’s Fun City only has two main slides.
Besides the big slides, Sam’s Fun City also has a toddler area and a children section. The toddler area has several smaller slides for children between the ages of one to four. The slides are very cute and easy to climb up. Most of the toddler slides are in the shape of animals, which adds extra fun for young children. You may climb up an alligator back and slide out of his mouth. The toddler area also has railing on the steps, which helps younger children who are new to walking.
In the same area as these slides, Sam’s Fun City also have a water activity area. Here toddlers can press buttons and pull different levers, which will cause water to squirt out from above them. All the buttons and levers are big enough for small children to play on them without any problem. The water here is also very shallow, so you will not have to worry too much about your child getting hurt.
The other kid section is designed for older kids who aren’t quite ready to go on the four big slides. In this area of Sam’s Fun City, there is a lifeguard station which you can climb up and play on. The lifeguard area has several water guns attached to it, which allows you to squirt your friends. There are also four bigger slides for kids to go down. These aren’t nearly as big as the main slides, but they are very fun for children between the ages of five to ten. I’ve even seen several older kids go on them, as well as parents with their babies.
While you are waiting to go down these slide, there is a huge bucket above you that is filling with water. Every few minutes the bucket will pour water onto the entire kid section, getting everyone soaked. The children all seem to love this. If you are a parent who doesn’t want to have water poured on you, don’t worry. Sam’s Fun City has several lawn chairs around the kids section just out of reach of the huge bucket. This allows you to keep an eye on your child without getting wet.
Between the toddler area and the kid section, there is a very wide blue slide. It’s small enough to be used by toddlers, but also large enough for older kids too. This is perfect for kids who want to race down, but are too scared to go on the two bigger slides.
If you get bored of the slides, Sam’s Fun City also has a lazy river you can float down. It’s not very long, but it does go around the entire waterpark. There are also slippery platforms in the water that you can try to walk across. There are many lifeguards watching the water, making sure no one gets hurt.
To end the review of the waterpark, I would say that it’s a very good place to go if you have young children. However, if you are looking for a waterpark that will keep a teenager or adult entertained, this is not it.
Sam’s Fun City also has an amusement park open year round. It is very disappointing in comparison to the waterpark. There are many different rides, but there is never anyone operating them. When I went to the amusement park at Sam’s Fun City, they only had one employee working there. This meant that if one group of kids wanted to ride the Ferris wheel, you had to wait for them to be done before you could ride anything else.
They do have a lot of rides, but they are very small and poorly made. For example, they have a ride similar to the Yo-Yo fair ride. You sit in a hot air balloon and it spins you around, but because of the angle of how you are seated, this tends to make people dizzy and nauseous. They also have a small train that you can ride, but the track is so bumpy that it often hurts children’s backs. I also witnessed several rides break down while kids were riding them, which makes me question their safety.
One feature that Sam’s Fun City advertises most on TV is their water bumper crafts. This is also in the amusement park section. While it does look like fun on their commercials, when I was at the park, the pool of water was completely green. It looked as if they had not cleaned it in months, yet they were still allowing children to ride and splash one another with the water. This makes me wonder just how clean the waterpark area really was.
If the dirty water was not bad enough, I also heard several kids complaining that the water crafts do not have proper steering. It looks as if you merely drift in the water till someone slams into you.
If you would like to take a break from the amusement park, Sam’s Fun City also has an arcade inside as well as an area that lets you build your own stuffed animal. It’s very similar to Build-A-Bear, but you can choice different animals. This of course costs extra.
Speaking of costs, they do have a small restaurant inside, but their food is expensive and not very good. While I was at Sam’s Fun City, I waited at the counter for ten minutes before someone came to see what I wanted. It then took another 15 minutes before they got around to getting my food.
They serve chips, hot dogs, pizza, and several other types of party food at their restaurant, but I would recommend eating before you come. That is, unless you plan on going to the amusement park. The rides make you so dizzy that you may want to avoid riding them on a full stomach.
Sam’s Fun City also doesn’t offer rain checks, so be sure to check the weather before hand. At the first sign of lightning, they close down all the rides. They will reopen them as soon as the weather clears up though.
When you arrive at the park, you have the choice of buying a pass for the waterpark, amusement park, or both. If you have young children and are looking for some water fun, the waterpark is great. I would not waste your time on the amusement park though. Between the poorly constructed rides, the lack of maintenance, and the risk of them breaking down, it’s best to just avoid it.