OWA Amusement Park, Foley, Alabama
(OWA means “Big Water” in the Muscogee Creek language)
You hear excited screams as you approach the entrance gate of The Park and the source of those screams is the Rolling Thunder roller coaster which dominates the Park. The brainchild of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians as their first non-gaming development for the tribe opened in July, 2017 at County Road 20 and the Beach Express in Foley, Alabama. The two-hundred forty million dollar complex contains The Park, future retail store space, multiple restaurant spaces and the first hotel on site, a one-hundred fifty room Townplace Suites Hotel by Marriott. The hotel features comfortable family rooms with a galley style kitchen which will make longer stays more economical and enjoyable. The hotel has an indoor pool, fire pit and barbeque area that overlooks the lagoon. Breakfast is provided as well as happy hour in the evening for the guests. http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/pnstf-towneplace-suites-foley-at-owa/
Adjoining The Park is the Foley sports complex which will provide for all types of athletic events.
Presently, the Park has twenty-one rides which are separated by Rolling Thunder. The thrill of being taken straight up, straight down and looped around upside down is exciting and the screams of the Thunder’s passengers attest to it. One guest told me she had ridden it multiple times in a row. She was made of braver stuff than I. Rolling Thunder bisects the park with the tamer rides on the right side as you enter the park. The thrill seekers will bear left to test their will.
The Park’s newness has not worn off, it is well maintained and the employees are friendly and helpful. Marvin Hodge, a local retiree and former radio host from Atlanta, runs the arcade games. His best advice was to enjoy the thrill rides in the park. “We’re here to provide you with a good time and to make you smile,” he told me. “Face painting is complimentary in the Park,” Katherine, a talented young artist is one of the several face painters. told me during a lull between customers.
Food is plentiful in the Park, hot dogs, drinks and other yummy treats are served at the Shady Arbor and the Veranda. Just outside the entrance gate is Wahlburgers and the Groovy Goat. Both provide guests with extensive menus and full-service bars. (Be sure to get your hand stamp for re-entry to the Park after refueling) http://visitowa.com/explore/shop-dine/groovy-goat/ http://visitowa.com/explore/shop-dine/wahlburgers/
Poarch Creek is creating a vacation destination and the master plan calls for an additional five hotels, RV park and water park. The rumor is the water park will be up and running by 2019. With the speed that the Park was completed, the 2019 date seems doable for the tribe.
Ticket prices: General Admission is $34.99; Junior Admission (42’ and under)and Senior Admission (60 and older) and military admission $27.99; 3 and under are free. Annual park passes are $89.99. Admission includes unlimited rides as well as face painting. The arcade games have a graduated cost from $3-$5 dollars.
The Park is a screaming, fun-filled family destination. Come get your pass and hold on tight, for a wild ride on Rolling Thunder. OWA’s future is bright and big!