Tourism Rebound

For the first time since the 2001 terrorist attacks, attendance at North America's 50 most popular theme parks has jumped by more than four percent. The folks at Wild Adventures couldn't be happier about the rebound.

One group of kids couldn't wait to get on a ride at Wild Adventures, and they didn't have too.

"You get to ride all the rides and you don't have to sit out because the lines are too long," said Wild Adventures visitor, Robby Ward.

And that's one of the biggest perks for folks visiting Wild Adventures. Thanks to a rebounding economy and the recent purchase of Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven, Florida, all signs point to success for both the theme park and south Georgia's economy.

"The Passport 2005 is good at both parks, so we'll be able to do a lot of cross promotion and be able to bring folks up from central Florida who may not have been to south Georgia before and also send some folks down to Cypress Gardens," said Sara Summer of Wild Adventures.

But some Floridians couldn't wait for the new year to leave the mouse behind and start their own wild adventure.

"I'm from Orlando and I actually came here to get away from the Disney and Universal deal. It's sort of like if you live there, you really want to do something different," said Orlando resident, Kay Stelling.

Park officials expect more than 1.5 million people have visited Wild Adventures this year. Wild Adventures officials say the park is a very popular regional destination for many folks in south Georgia and north Florida.