It was a Friday, and we had both taken off from work to visit family in Metairie, Louisiana. We had a little bit of an ulterior motive though, and that was to drive an hour west to Baton Rouge and check out what is supposed to be the biggest and best water park in the Southeast.
Blue Bayou has been a fixture in the capital city since it opened in 1989. It boasts more than 10 rides and slides and can entertain a family of all ages all day long… not even including the rides at the neighboring Dixie Landin’ park.
This is the Flyin’ Pirogue, one of the first rides you pass as you’re entering the park. Nothing super special about this one. It’s just a quick slide, but it would be good for smaller kids, like 8-12 years old… as opposed to bigger kids, like us.
Right next door is the Voodoo. This is actually the first thing we waited in line for… as we prayed for the thunder and lightning to stay away.
This is a tandem innertube slide that takes you around quick turns in the dark and spits you out into a pool about 20-30 seconds after you begin. It’s definitely worth riding, but it’s not something we wanted to ride more than once.
This purple and gold (LSU-inspired?) cone is the Azuka. This is the one that you’ll see on programs such as Travel Channel’s “Xtreme Waterparks.” It seems to be their unofficial signature ride.
You climb up about 60 feet of stairs and the ride drops you down into a couple of twists and turns and eventually into where you’re basically gliding up and down the wall of this cone-like, bowl-like structure. You could almost compare it to vert skateboarding. This was Nikki’s favorite.
(None of the pictures of the Azuka are ours by the way. I borrowed them from the Blue Bayou website.)
These are the Racers (left) and Lafitte’s Plunge (right). We didn’t do either, but I imagine they make for a heart-pounding, wedgie-inducing good time.
Eventually, of course, we got hungry and decided to hit one of the snack bars for some burgers and fries. Everything was actually pretty good… either that or we were just really hungry. We also saw a stand that was selling pizza if you’re more in the mood for that.
This is Hurricane Bay in the foreground and the Conja in the background. We didn’t get into Hurricane Bay, but it seemed to be a pretty standard wave pool. Conja is an innertube slide that we rode together. Those are always fun because you get to hear how the other person reacts to the ride. And this one is partially enclosed and partially open. I think I might’ve yelled something like “I think we’re going to bounce out!” once or twice just to make her a little more nervous.
This dual-headed beast is the Mad Moccasin. It’s a single-rider, non-innertube slide. I don’t think the picture does it justice. This was actually my favorite, mainly because all of the rides we rode, it was the fastest and most intense.
Around 3:00 it started to rain pretty heavily. We ended up spending about 20 minutes at the Chicken Coop, a chicken finger stand and one of the few covered areas of the park.
We were running out of steam at this point, but we didn’t want to leave without relaxing for a few minutes in the Lazy River. It was fun, but I kind of wish there weren’t so many obstacles to run into. If I’m in a lazy river, I just want to close my eyes and float for a while without having to worry about running under a waterfall or something.
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to ride anything at Dixie Landin’, which is the amusement park counterpart of Blue Bayou. A lot of the rides were wet, and we were just ready to start heading back to Metairie at this point.
If you visit Dixie Landin’ between May and August, keep in mind they offer a Summer Concert Series, free to anyone who has paid the admission into the park. I can’t say we’re big fans of any of these bands, but I wouldn’t mind ending the day by watching Cheap Trick for free.
We recommend Blue Bayou in Baton Rouge for a summertime cool-down. It is a little pricey ($36.99), but remember you can get $5 off if you bring an empty Coke can.
And although we highlighted mainly the crazy heart-pounding stuff, Blue Bayou does have a Pirate’s Cove area that is tailored to kids. Check the website for pictures and info.
Try to go on a day when it’s not going to be crowded and give yourself plenty of time to get your money’s worth. And if you hit Dixie Landin’ please let us know how your experience was!
BLUE BAYOU / DIXIE LANDIN’
18142 Perkin Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70810