The WaterPark, which opens May 26, has made over $250,000 in capital improvements

GRAFTON, ILL., May 3, 2012... With temperatures rising and summer quickly approaching, Raging Rivers WaterPark in Grafton, Ill., has been busy preparing for the upcoming 2012 season by making several upgrades to the 28-acre waterpark. With the goal of creating an even more memorable experience for those looking to entertain their families this summer, Raging Rivers has invested more than $250,000 in various capital improvements, including building a new pavilion for future events and upgrading an existing attraction and other amenities. The final touches are currently being made, and Raging Rivers will be showcasing the improvements when the waterpark opens for its 23rd season on Saturday, May 26, at 10:30 a.m.

One of the most exciting upgrades that thrill seekers will notice is the smoother and faster 500-foot dual Cascade Body Flumes. The slides are now seamless, giving riders even more of a rush as they speed, twist and turn down the natural hills and contours of the park. The slides are also getting a fresh coat of paint in anticipation of the busy summer season. Another big change for this season is a new 28-foot x 70-foot wood-structure pavilion, which can accommodate large events, including wedding receptions. The Pavilion is situated by the Swirlpools in the south end of the park and will be available for a nominal rental fee. When the waterpark opens, guests will see that improvements have also been made to the concession areas. The main food service area now has a canopy with a ceiling that provides shade to those looking to stay cool while enjoying a bite to eat. Additionally, the Riverside Grill is now completely covered by a shade structure, providing guests with a cabana feel and relief from the heat on hot summer days.

Behind the scenes, Donna Smith, who helped open Raging Rivers back in 1990 with her husband Larry and who has been serving as office manager for more than two decades, has taken over the reins as president and general manager of the waterpark in the wake of Larry's passing last summer. She has helped Raging Rivers, with its attractions and breathtaking views, evolve into one of the St. Louis area's favorite summertime hotspots.

"We have been very busy prepping for our 2012 season, and we are excited to once again provide a place where area residents can either relax and soak up the sun or have fun experiencing any of our attractions," noted Smith. "The upgrades we've made will allow kids and adults alike to have an even more enjoyable experience when they visit Raging Rivers this summer."

Raging Rivers offers innovative entertainment that individuals of all ages can appreciate. Aside from the newly improved Cascade Body Flumes, thrill seekers will enjoy the Runaway Rafts, a 600-foot long adventure through swift water and wild rapids to three pools; the Shark Slide flume, which floats riders down a 45-foot tunnel flume into a catch pool and the one-of-a-kind Swirlpool. The two-bowl attraction takes riders down a tunnel flume, then swiftly into a giant vortex and ends by dropping the guest into a deep pool of water, incorporating three rides into one.

For guests looking for a more relaxing experience, the park also features a 700-foot-long Endless River of cool, clear water that lets riders float along at a tranquil 2 ½ mile per hour pace in a continuous loop; the 18,000-square-foot Breaker Beach Wavepool, which allows swimmers to relax when the waves are "off" and "ride the tide" when the four-foot waves start to roll, and the "just for kids" Itty Bitty Surf City that features a pint-sized waterslide, splash pool, rain tree and tunnel area. Tree House Harbor is another great interactive play area, featuring a crawl tunnel, overhead rope pulls, tunnel slides and the ever-popular bucket that randomly spills 1,000 gallons of water.

Raging Rivers will be open Memorial Day weekend, May 26 - 28, from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The waterpark will be open daily starting June 2. Through June 8th, Raging Rivers will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Beginning Saturday, June 9th, the park will be open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. through Saturday, August 5th. From August 6th through August 26th, Raging Rivers will return to its 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. schedule. The park reopens for one last blast of summer on Labor Day weekend, September 1st, 2nd and 3rd, from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission is $17.95 for children under 48 inches tall and senior citizens ages 60 and older, $20.95 for adults over 48 inches tall and FREE for children under the age of two. Guests arriving after 3:00 p.m. will save $5 on the price of each ticket. Individual Season Passes are available for $70 each, and family passes are $65 each when buying three or more. Season Passes include FREE parking, one FREE ticket for a friend and a 10 percent discount on all concession and gift shop purchases.

For more information regarding operating hours, attractions, specials, directions and more, call Raging Rivers at (618) 786-2345 or log on to The water park is located at 100 Palisades Parkway off the Great River Road in Grafton, Ill. Raging Rivers WaterPark offers group and party packages that include special reserved group areas, onsite catering, food service and special group rates.

Raging Rivers first opened its gates in the summer of 1990 and made its mark as the first water park in the Greater St. Louis area. It has since evolved into a 28-acre, multi-million dollar attraction that has catered to millions of visitors over the years.

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