FOLEY - OWA will celebrate its second anniversary in July, and since opening the destination has been working hard to achieve its dream through attracting retail, dining, attractions, and of course, …
FOLEY - OWA will celebrate its second anniversary in July, and since opening the destination has been working hard to achieve its dream through attracting retail, dining, attractions, and of course, families.
“We are so excited, we have so much going on here at OWA,” said General Manager Steve Honeycutt. “Millions and millions of dollars-worth of expansion and a lot of great plans are coming in the future. When we opened we always had intentions of having a phase two, if you will, to expand the property, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
OWA recently released numerous new expansion plans and future tenants as we go into Spring Break and the summer months. Sit back, and get ready to check out the highlights that are coming to OWA.
One of the biggest announcements doesn’t pertain to expansion or new business, but rather to a new ticket system that is in-place now at The Park at OWA. Following huge demand by guests, you can now get into The Park section of OWA for free if you do not plan on riding any rides.
“We really try to listen to what our guests say, guest feedback is really important to us, and we did a lot of studies on what we thought the upcoming projects should be,” said Director of Marketing and Public Relations Kristin Hellmich. “One of the biggest things they’ve said about The Park is they really wish they could come in with their family even if they don’t plan to ride. Maybe a grandparent who doesn’t want to ride the rides, or maybe mom has the kids and she really doesn’t want to get on a roller coaster, so what’s the option for those people?”
When The Park originally opened, everyone had to pay to enter, including those who were just bringing their kids or grandkids but had no intention of riding. This year, The Park is now offering Non-Rider tickets, which offers free entry into The Park and can be picked up at the admissions gate. Simply ask at the window for a Non-Rider ticket and accompany your friends or family into The Park without paying a cent. Those with Non-Rider tickets are welcome to shop, eat, or play games within The Park.
For those who are looking to partake in the rides, wristbands can now be purchased at the admissions gates in place of regular tickets. Guests with wristbands can ride all day long, as many rides as they want. A wristband must be worn in order to ride.
Guests with either type of ticket can exit and reenter The Park as many times as they like on the day of use.
Those who are looking for wristbands instead of Non-Rider tickets can get excited, as OWA has officially announced a new ride, Mystic Mansion, will be opening within The Park early summer 2019.
Mystic Mansion will be an indoor, air-conditioned ride, another large request made during guest feedback. It will be located beside Crazy Mouse and Alabama Wham’a, placing it on the Thrill Rides side of The Park.
“There will be a ride car with two passengers in front and two passengers in the back, and the passengers will be given ghost blasters,” said Hellmich. “They’ll go through the ride with their ghost blasters and try to hit different targets as they move throughout the ride, and at the end they compete to see who has the highest score. It’s kind of a 3D dark ride experience. It’s not totally 3D, but there’s a lot of blacklight painting that goes on inside.”
Downtown OWA, which is open seven days a week at 11 a.m. each day, and is always free to enter to everyone, has already begun rolling in some new attractions, with more planned throughout the summer.
At the beginning of 2019, Brandon Styles Live opened within Downtown, a live-action show where Styles performs impressions, comedy, magic, and ventriloquism. You can find showtimes and information on OWA’s website.
Beginning Memorial Day weekend, GLOWA will return for the summer, kicking off Friday, May 24, and running throughout the summer on Tuesday - Sunday at 5 p.m. each day. The show is located in Downtown OWA and is free for guests.
“It’s a big dance party, very high energy, a lot of glowing costumes, and glowing fans that come out and celebrate,” said Hellmich. “It’s a big investment for us because it’s live performers that are here, and they come from all over the United States to visit.”
A huge entertainment venue that will be opening early summer is Legends in Concert, which has celebrated 35 years of success in Las Vegas. The show features top tribute artists using their own voices and bands to bring to life some of the most famous faces in the world. The OWA venue will feature 400 seats as well as a private mezzanine.
“There’s a lot of great artists they’re looking to bring here,” said Hellmich. “We’ll release an artist schedule, ticket prices, and dates in a few weeks, but Legends’ home will be here at OWA, so they will be staying here as permanent residents, and we’ll be able to bring additional entertainment into that space.”
Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen is under construction with an expected opening date somewhere mid-summer, but earlier than that guests will be able to satisfy those sweet cravings at Sweet Tooth at OWA, which features a collective array of candy and sweet drink treats, said Hellmich.
Gamers will have something to look forward to at OWA as Level Up eSports Center is planning to open early summer, an indoor facility that will have PC and console gaming.
“Families can come and play different types of video games together, they can come in and compete in tournaments,” Hellmich said. “This is a huge trend in the market, and Baldwin County just allowed for eSports to be a varsity letter sport, with a lot of colleges doing eSports teams. So we’re excited to add this to our lineup this summer, and we feel it really pairs well with what we’re doing in Downtown to offer something for everyone.”
To learn more about OWA and its upcoming events, pricing, and details, check out their website at visitowa.com, or find them on Facebook.