SoundWaves

The outdoor part of SoundWaves, which includes the wave pool, a multilevel playground, six outdoor slides and an adult pool, opens May 27 and will remain open through Labor Day.

If you are planning to go to the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center’s wet and wild SoundWaves water attraction, it is smart to wait until the outdoor slides and pools are open because they offer even more water and fun at this $90 million water wonder.

The indoor slides and pools are open year-round, but the outdoor SoundWaves, which includes the wave pool, a multilevel playground, six outdoor slides and an adult pool, opens May 27 and will remain open through Labor Day.

And even though the water features are designed for resort guests, the Gaylord Opryland folks encourage locals to enjoy the experience by offering room package discounts for Davidson County and Tennessee residents.

Now, be forewarned that this is NOT a typical water park where you can just show up, buy a ticket and dive in.

Here, you either have to be a hotel overnight guest choosing a SoundWaves Experience Package, or you have to get up a group of eight to 30 friends and family and purchase a SoundWaves party room package that includes wristbands for the water attraction, pizza and parking.

This is the offer: With the SoundWaves Experience Package, which includes a room and up to five SoundWaves wristbands, there is an up to 40% discount for Davidson County residents and up to 25% off for Tennessee residents who are planning an overnight stay with SoundWaves privileges.

For the 2022 season, package rates start at $199 for a couple or $259 for a family of four with the Davidson County discount of up to 40% (code L9Z).

With the 25% Tennessee resident discount (code M16), the starting price for a couple is $279.

There is also a select date discount of 15% off for nonresidents using the P91 code.

With the discount packages, the prices vary by date and, of course, the number of people in the room. And prices don’t include sales tax or resort fees or parking, and there are some blackout dates. Self-parking at the resort is $33, and valet parking is $45 per day.

“SoundWaves has been Gaylord Opryland Resort’s signature year-round attraction since opening in December 2018,” said SoundWaves General Manager Donny Wensinger. “Taking advantage of our SoundWaves Experience Package discount for Davidson County residents is a great way to experience the water attraction at a lower rate. In 2021, over 100,000 Nashville residents visited SoundWaves, and we look forward to welcoming more of our neighbors this summer.”

A big advantage of the room package is that you get two days’ worth of SoundWaves fun since you could enjoy the attraction on the day you check in and through the checkout time the next day. Gaylord Opryland officials recommend checking in early and packing a smaller bag with bathing suits and a change of clothes and storing the rest of your luggage with Bell Services.

If you don’t want to spend a night, the other option for locals who want to enjoy SoundWaves is to rent one of the three party rooms that are available for eight to 30 guests. Locals can get up a group and enjoy a full day of SoundWaves fun. Reservations start at $45 per person Monday through Friday and $65 on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The price also includes two self-parking passes and two hours in the party room with pizza and soft drinks. Tax and gratuity are not included.

In addition to SoundWaves, Gaylord Opryland has just launched its “Summer of More” event, which offers lots of other options throughout the summer for families at the hotel resort.

Free events include:

• Animal Encounters at noon and 1 p.m. on Saturdays in the Delta Atrium, where all ages can interact with and learn about a variety of creatures (lizards, possums, snakes) and their unique characteristics and personalities.

• The Delta Atrium Light and Fountain Shows, which take place at 7, 9 and 10 nightly, are a year-round draw with choreographed water, music and lights.

• There is a “Horticulture Trek” self-guided tour via your smartphone of the indoor gardens in the atriums of the resort.

The resort also has ticketed events, including pirate- and princess-themed craft activities ($10), a Lost Treasure Flatboat Voyage ($17), the Battle for the Blue Diamond Boat Ride, where blimey pirates and sword mistresses invade the Delta River ($22.99), and a Shiny Stash Scavenger Hunt throughout the resort ($13.99).

About SoundWaves

• SoundWaves is a 4-acre indoor/outdoor water resort that was added to the Gaylord Opryland complex in 2018.

• SoundWaves includes a wave pool with a giant LED movie screen, a 45-foot slide, a kids pool, rock climbing, indoor surfing, a lazy river, 11 water slides (including two thriller slides), an indoor toddler play area and two adult-only pools.

• Wristbands are not required for children 3 and under.

• The temperature inside SoundWaves is maintained at 84 degrees.

• Life jackets are available and recommended for children under 48 inches and for weak or non-swimmers.

• Towels are provided, but you might want to take your own since the hotel towels must remain inside SoundWaves.

• Don’t miss the “human dryer” near the exit where guests can walk in and get instantly warm and dry before leaving the water areas and entering the air-conditioned hotel. (It is fun and effective.)

• There are 11 water slides (five indoor and six outdoor), including thriller slides Beat Drop, where the floor drops out from under you, plunging you into the water, and the Bass Drop, which is described as a “body ride” that includes a 6-story free fall.

• There is a 37-foot-wide LED screen at the wave pool showing music videos.

• No outside food or drinks is allowed. Guests can bring one unopened plastic water bottle (20 ounces or smaller) per person. Personal drink containers or tumblers (e.g., Tervis, Yeti, etc.) must be emptied before entering SoundWaves.

• Children 14 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

• Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center is celebrating 45 years in business and now has almost 3,000 rooms and 9 acres of indoor gardens in addition to SoundWaves. It remains the largest non-casino hotel in the continental United States.

• For reservations, go to www.soundwavesgo.com and use the local codes to get the discounts. To find out more about the attraction, see https://www.soundwavesgo.com/plan-visit-faqs.

Mary Hance, who has four decades of journalism experience in the Nashville area, writes a weekly Ms. Cheap column. She also appears on Thursdays on “Talk of the Town” on NewsChannel 5. Reach her at mscheap@mainstreetmediatn.com and follow her on Facebook at Facebook.com/mscheap.

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