When asked to describe Hawaiian Falls in Roanoke, Ron McKenzie, ProParks chief marketing officer, started with intangibles using words like, “Island vibe” and “Enjoy-the-day mentality.” He then shifted gears to explain the tangible experience.

“The great thing about our Hawaiian Falls parks is there’s a level of water thrill or experience for everybody,” McKenzie said. “You’ll see slides high in the air, which are a little more scary for thrill-seeking audiences. Then there’s the lazy river, which was voted one of the best lazy rivers in Texas last year.”

The specifics

ProParks Attractions Group, which is an Orlando-based attractions management company, operates three Hawaiian Falls water parks in Texas. The other two locations are in Mansfield and Waco. The company also operates a water park in Florida called Sunsplash.

What’s happening

During the off-season, the water park, which opened in 2011, has been busy fulfilling guests’ wish lists for another attraction and more shade structures. Wahoo Wave and Oahanu Hall will debut this season.

Wahoo Wave is a ride that is accessible for young kids.

“It's an entry-level thrill experience,” McKenzie said. “It introduces kids and families to the possibilities that you cannot only get wet and refreshed, you can also have a little thrill associated with it as well.”

Oahanu Hall is a 4,500 square-foot outdoor shaded food and beverage facility. This structure will be a place for families and friends to gather for food, refreshing drinks or adult beverages.

“We want to create pleasant dining experiences for our guests so by attaching it to the restaurant and bar you don’t have to carry your food all the way back to where you’re sitting,” McKenzie said. “We have a wide variety of special events we’re doing and some of them we’ll stage in there from a DJ to hula dancers to maybe some live music every once in a while.”

The water park is also introducing an adult-only event called Sunset at Hawaiian Falls this summer.

What to expect

Hawaiian Falls will be open to the public from May 11 through mid-September.

“We are about providing a very family oriented experience,” McKenzie said. “We want to create safe, family memories. Get the kids out of the house, get that Vitamin D, cool off, refresh and enjoy a day together.”