Hawaiian Falls gives special needs families exclusive access to the water parks

Story and photos by David Alvey.

Hawaiian Falls gives special needs families exclusive access to the water parks

Caleb Kirkwood (L), Lisa Kirkwood (Mom-center) and Frankie Kirkwood (R) enjoy the wavepool at Hawaiian Falls The Colony for Champions Day Tuesday, August 4.


DALLAS, TX.  (August 5, 2015) Hawaiian Falls hosted Champions Day at all five of its North Texas water parks for children and adults with special needs or medical issues. The “Champions” (individuals with special needs) were admitted free. Family members and caregiver were offered discounted tickets.

Lisa Kirkwood of The Colony commented that her special needs daughter Frankie, 30,  wouldn’t be there on a regular operating day because the normal hustle and bustle would be overly stimulating. Mrs. Kirkwood said Frankie came rushing over after riding the first slide and said she’d already made a new friend. Read More»

Hawaiian Falls Makes a Splash with Special Needs Children


By Jocelyn Lockwood

Watch the NBCDFW video here.

Hawaiian Falls Water Parks opened all seven locations to children with special needs and their families Saturday.

From 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. thousands of people took advantage of the opportunity to play in a more relaxed atmosphere. Hawaiian Falls added additional staff and turned down the music to help accommodate the kids specific needs.

This is the sixth year Hawaiian Falls hosted what they call Champion’s Day, and they hoped to draw between 2,000 and 3,000 people.

It was the first time at Champion’s Day for Donnie Vacanti and his son Tony. “This has just been fantastic,” Vacanti said. “The staff has been unbelievable, the rides have been great and the kids have been great.”

Vacanti and others praised Hawaiian Falls for make the effort to help every child enjoy some summer fun.

“Sometimes we can be a little impatient here, waiting in lines,” said Kevin Smiley whose son suffers from Down syndrome. “They are able to put on an event like this, and it makes it much easier for us.”

“They have a heart, that says it all, they have a heart,” said Vacanti. “They’re willing to do what they can for these kids and give them extra time so they get to enjoy it just like everybody else.”

Hawaiian Falls says they have had such success with Champion’s Day, the plan to add an additional event in August.

Summer officially starts tomorrow, but the real heat has yet to come



On the day before summer, guests use the lazy river at the Hawaiian Falls Waterpark in The Colony, Texas Friday on June 20, 2014. (Andy Jacobsohn/ staff photographer)

Saturday may be the start of summer. It officially begins at 5:51 a.m.

But if you think it’s sizzling now, just wait a few more weeks.

“Our peak temperatures start several weeks after the official beginning of summer,” said Jesse Moore, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

Moore said there are going to be above-normal temperatures this summer. He couldn’t say just how much hotter, though.

The high temperature is expected to hit 94 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area Saturday, with a low of 76.

Long-range meteorologists said this summer could be as much as three degrees warmer than normal, bringing high temperatures in the last week of July and the first half of August to 100 degrees.

But we won’t be reaching 100 degrees next week. The highs will be in the lower to mid-90s, with a chance of rain by the middle of the week.

Hawaiian Falls Attempts Record-Breaking Swim Lesson


North Texas could break a Guinness World Record — all in the name of safety.

At all five Dallas-Fort Worth locations, Hawaiian Falls water parks will try to help set a new world record for the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson.

Hundreds of people are expected to swim in The Colony, Mansfield, Garland, White Settlement and Roanoke.

“The World Waterpark Association created theWorld’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ in 2010 as a platform to help aquatic facilities communicate the fundamental importance of teaching children to swim. Now in its fifth year, this global event, scheduled for June 20, 2014, has reached more than 50,000 participants and spread the word that Swimming Lessons Save Lives™ to more than 100 million children and adults around the world,” officials with the parks said in a news release.

The swim lesson begins at 10 a.m. sharp. Those who want to take part will need to register by 9:45 a.m. and then meet at the park’s wave pool.  Participants will have to pay to get into the park — admission is $19.99.

All ages are invited to participate and the lesson runs about 30 minutes from start to finish.

Hawaiian Falls promotes two North Texas men

By David Alvey
Mar 15, 2014
Clint Hill, left, and Evan Barnett have been promoted to senior management positions.

Hawaiian Falls is currently building new adventure park – water park combination parks and Aloha Event Centers in Pflugerville (north of Austin) and White Settlement (northwest of Fort Worth), both of which will open Memorial Day weekend 2014. Hawaiian Falls has doubled its year-round staff over the past two years and will employ more than 1,750 seasonal workers at its seven regional parks this summer. Read more»

Hawaiian Falls donates Coke products to local food bank

NeighborsGo – Garland Mesquite

By David Alvey

Hawaiian Falls Garland recently donated more than 16 cases of Coca-Cola products to the Wylie Community Christian Care Center. The waterpark collected the products during its Summer 2013 promotion where guests could get up to three discounted kids’ tickets when they bought a full-priced Big Kahuna (adult) ticket with any Coca-Cola product, empty or full. Many guests brought full cans, so the parks collected them and have donated to a range of local charities.

Left to right: Wylie Community Christian Care Center board member Joe Overman with Hawaiian Falls team members Teresa Boardman, Sales Manager; Clint Hill, Regional Operations Manager; Jason Martin, Operations Manager; and Chad Luckow, Food & Beverage Supervisor.

Left to right: Wylie Community Christian Care Center board member Joe Overman with Hawaiian Falls team members Teresa Boardman, Sales Manager; Clint Hill, Regional Operations Manager; Jason Martin, Operations Manager; and Chad Luckow, Food & Beverage Supervisor.

Celebrating 10 years of bringing families closer together, Hawaiian Falls operates waterparks in Garland, The Colony, Mansfield, Roanoke and Waco, and will break ground in September on the state’s first joint waterpark and adventure park in Pflugerville, Texas, just north of the state’s capitol.

Splash for Hope, sponsored by Stream Energy, was held at Hawaiian Falls Garland July 9

Neighbors-Go Garland-Mesquite

By David Alvey

Stream Energy, one of the largest direct selling companies in the world, partnered with Captain Hope’s Kids to host more than 300 homeless children and their families for a day at Hawaiian Falls waterpark in Garland on July 9. Now they’re planning to take the successful event to Hawaiian Falls Mansfield July 23, The Colony August 6; and Roanoke August 20.

“We strive to be leaders in the energy industry and in the local communities we service. Partnering with Captain Hope’s Kids has really helped us dive into meeting the needs of our surrounding neighborhoods, and most importantly we’ve been able to help meet the needs of homeless children all over North Texas,” says Matt McGaughey, Stream Energy Chief Marketing Officer. “By combining our efforts with Hawaiian Falls and Captain Hope’s Kids, we’re able to give more than just a day of fun at the water park. With the help of Hawaiian Falls, we hope to be able to raise awareness and support for Captain Hope’s Kids throughout the summer, and create an experience to provide some fantastic memories for children that would otherwise not have an opportunity like this.”

Captain Hope’s Kids is dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless children by partnering with a network of shelters and social services organizations. Over the past two years, Captain Hope’s Kids has raised and donated more than $1.3 million in clothes, diapers, school supplies and more to the homeless children of North Texas. More information is available at captainhope.org. Read More »