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Saturday, September 18, 2021

More locals, residents of Central Florida share memories of Wild Waters

Multiple residents across Ocala and Marion County, as well as other parts of Central Florida, wrote in to Ocala-News.com to share their memories of Wild Waters and opinions about a new park in the future. 

“The state ruined most of that area. Back when it was privately owned, there were things to do at Silver Springs and all the local hotels and businesses were busy. Since they closed down, there’s nothing to do but pay to ride the glass bottom boat, and walk around an empty amusement park. Now the area is just full of starving businesses, and homeless people,” says Marion County resident Brett McFarlane. 

The park, which was built in the spring of 1978, was officially closed nearly five years ago in September 2016.

In a recent letter to the editor, an Ocala resident expressed her dissatisfaction with the park closure, which she said “meant something to the community,” and shared her experience of visiting the park for decades with her family. Hundreds wrote letters and comments to share similar sentiments.

“I live close to Silver Springs. I go by there most every time that I go into town. It sickens me to wait at that traffic light and look over and see nothing but an empty lot and trees where once it was filled with water rides and people” says Marion County resident Donald Hooper. 

“We need Wild Waters back. Everyone, especially kids, loved it there. Also, think about the tourists who come to Ocala, they’d like it also,” says Gina Chiodo. 

“I had so much joy with my kids at Wild Waters. The park was part of Ocala, bring it back” says Ozzie Ramo.

Outside of the area, the sentiment was similar. 

“I would love to have a water park in the Ocala area. It would bring a lot of income and fun for families. Bring back the old days,” says Linda Wells, a resident of Citra. 

“Wild Waters was part of Ocala and it was taken away. We all want it to come back,” says Anthony resident Angie Richardson through a Facebook comment. 

“Wild Waters was a great place for everyone. I spent a lot of summers there growing up and also taking my oldest there prior to them tearing it down,” says Calise Nicole of Lady Lake.

Would you like to share your opinions about water parks in Ocala and Marion County? Share your thoughts in a letter to the editor.