LanierWorld is the beach and waterpark of Lanier Islands, a 1,500-acre resort in Buford, Georgia. It’s just 45 minutes from downtown Atlanta. We had the opportunity to visit LanierWorld with four-complimentary passes, including the fast-pass and the Thunderbolt Triple Zip ziplines.
On the day we planned to visit, the forecast was 67% – 92% chance of thunderstorms for nine out of 13 hours. Since LanierWorld does not offer refunds or rain checks for inclement weather we decided to try to wait it out.
With the incessant rain in the upcoming weeks, we felt like we’d be constantly postponing our visit. On the day we finally bit the bullet, scattered thunderstorms were forecast for the late afternoon. It was overcast most of the day. I thought that would bum me out, but while we were there I realized an overcast day is a great day to visit. Of course, with the fast pass, even if it’s a gorgeous day and LanierWorld is packed you can skip the long lines.
In addition to admission, there is a gate fee for daily parking, but it goes to the upkeep of Lanier Island’s roads and sidewalks. I must say, Lanier Islands is kept up very well. You definitely get the resort style feeling from the moment you enter the Lanier Islands area and throughout every inch of LanierWorld.
With the LanierWorld Summer Adventure Pass and the Islands Club add-on, your membership pays for itself after just a few visits. We’re about to tell you why!
LanierWorld has four districts: Family Fun Park, Big Beach, Boardwalk and Sunset Cove. I can’t really pick a favorite. There’s not a single thing we didn’t enjoy during our visit. I prefer water parks over amusement parks and even the Intimidator and Triple Threat don’t phase me, despite my fear of heights.
We started out in the Boardwalk district so we could check out Cat4. We hadn’t been to LanierWorld in a long time, so it’s new to us, even though it was added in 2015. I now totally understand why it’s still so popular. Just looking at the description on the website, I knew I wanted to try Cat4 first.
After experiencing the backwards (only) launch on a tube, foam and descending into Lake Lanier, Cat4 was all it was cracked up to be and more. Word on the street was that there was a 45 minute wait, but we had fast passes and were able to ride Cat4 four times!
You must be 48″ tall to ride the Cat4.
Intimidator & Triple Threat
The Intimidator and Triple Threat waterslides are the two most thrilling rides at LanierWorld. There’s a chance of getting slightly airborne so both rides have a height requirement of 42″. I can’t explain why in the world I am much more at ease on these two rides than any roller coaster. However, riding each one just once during a visit is enough for me.
Thunderbolt Triple Zips
The Thunderbolt Triple Zips is a three lane zip line that crosses over Lake Lanier. The Mister was looking forward to it, but again I’m afraid of heights (or something). I got suited up and strapped, made it halfway up the final set of stairs and turned around. The Mister continued and I met him on the other side of the park.
Unfortunately, a good portion of our still photos and a few videos were lost due to a corrupt video card. In those lost files was the Mister’s first zipline ride ever. All that was left was a video of us watching zipliners and me claiming I was up for the challenge.
Twister & Typhoon
Don’t confuse the Typhoon waterslide with Blackout. The Blackout waterslide is on the other side of the park near where the Thunderbolt Triple Zip ends and right near the Spectacular Screen in the Big Beach district.
The Typhoon is Blackout’s groovy counterpart, in my opinion. The first tunnel you go through is kind of spacey and psychedelic to me.
Family Fun Park
WildWaves Wave Pool
Raging River is not as raging as it sounds. It reminds me of floating down the Chattahoochee River in Helen, but with a few more bumps and gushes of water. Alright, maybe it’s a bit faster, but it was just the right amount of thrill after all the rush we experienced in the Boardwalk district of LanierWorld.
After Raging River, we hit the lockers then headed to Sunset Cove to check it out. We were hungry! So we grabbed a snack to share at Sunset Cove Beach Cafe and Club, drinks and chilled out for a while for hitting the action again.
We had the Sunset Chips and Queso with House Made Chili and the Sunset Quesadillas with Shrimp. Both were delicious.
Sunset Cove also has a beach volleyball area and up the hill is the Lakeside Links mini golf. We didn’t have time to hit either of those, but we did get to check out the energy watersports and the Fundunker Drop.
I have to say, the Fundunker is one of my faves! It’s not just a kids playhouse. Adults can have fun in the Fundunker Playhouse area and even more fun on the Fundunker Drop waterslide. Unfortunately, we lost our in-ride video of the Fundunker Drop.
Wibit – Big Beach Aquatic Adventure
Wibit is a floating obstacle course on Lake Lanier. I wanted to attempt it, but by the time we decided to the line had gotten pretty long. There is a fastpass option, but we really wanted to ride the Cat4 again and again and again!
The Mister and I both love everything Summer and everything beaches. We wish we could have shared all of the photos and videos we took, but one of our memory cards went kaput including the Misters first ever zip line ride on the Thunderbolt triple zip.
Before I met the Mister, I had a season pass, just one year, to LanierWorld. Sadly, it was about ten years ago. I can’t believe I had forgotten how much I enjoyed having a beach right in my backyard versus driving for hours to get there; not to mention a beach plus a water park.
We had thrills, chills, good food, drinks, entertainment with the Spectacular Screen and the hit music that played throughout the park. Best of all, we got to feel the sand in our toes. We don’t plan to miss out anymore than we already have, so we’re getting season passes next year.
Summer Isn’t Over
7000 Lanier Islands Parkway Buford, GA 30518
Melissa Miller, author of Meet The Vines, is a local of Atlanta. She loves to share her day-to-day from cooking to entertainment, health and fitness to cars, as well as her journey towards marriage, buying a first home and expanding her family.