East Texas' First Waterpark Opens

The wait is over. East Texas' first major waterpark is finally open. Construction on Splash Kingdom, a family waterpark in Canton, began more than a year ago. Owned and operated by a family from Van Zandt County, the park has five major water slides, a lazy river and a wave pool.  People lined up early this morning, hoping to be the first down one of the water slides.  Ninety-Six year old Judith Musgrave was one of the first people there this morning.

"I'm supposed to slide down the slide with my bikini, but I didn't bring it with me," said Musgrave.  Jim Hill and his 7-year-old son Reed liked the Express Water slide, which shoots you straight down.

"It's really impressive," said Jim Hill. "It definitely compares to anything you would find in the metroplex area. I mean there may he a few more slides up at Hurricane Harbor, but the slides here are just as big."

"It was fun," said Reed Hill.  "All you do is drop down and make a big splash."   Others liked the Royal Flush Body Bowl slide.

"You came down, and then you spin around in the little thing and then fell in the water," said Jessica Alexander, 10. It's a long hike up the stairs, but when you get there waterpark goers say it's worth it.   Johnny Blevins and his wife designed the waterpark.  Today Johnny got to see all his hard work pay off.

"That's why we did it," said Johnny Blevins, owner. "It's very nerve racking for us, just to make sure everything goes well. We want everyone to have a good time."   The weather, unfortunately, is something Johnny could not control this afternoon. After a storm came through, Johnny was forced to close the park.

"It started thundering, and they wouldn't let us on no rides, so I'm kind of disappointed," said Jimmy Sale, who had just got to park when storm started.

"When your ready to come to a waterpark and it rains out, you're going to have some sad faces, but hopefully the sun will pop out again and get those smiles turned around," said Johnny. With a waterpark in East Texas, the Blevins can count on plenty of sunny days, which will bring lots of smiling faces.

The park is located just I-20 in Canton. It'll be open seven days a week, 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. during the summer season. Day passes for the outdoor facility are $17.95, or $14.95 for kids 48 inches and under. Passes for the indoor facility are $7.00. Children five and under are $6.00. Children two and under are free. Parking is free.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com