Dean-O-Matic

Styx River Water World, Loxley, AL

with 32 comments

In Dec. 2002, while on the way to Palestinian Gardens in Mississippi, my brother, my niece, and I stopped at the remains of Styx River Water World in Loxley, Alabama. As near as I can tell, the water park opened in 1977 and closed in 1993. By the time we got there, it had been heavily vandalized, with many of the fiberglass statues that littered the park having been tagged, knocked over, or worse. I took a few slides, and we went on our way.

Styx River Water World, Loxley, AL, 2002 by Dean Jeffrey

Styx River Water World, Loxley, AL, 2002 by Dean Jeffrey

Styx River Water World, Loxley, AL, 2002 by Dean Jeffrey

Styx River Water World, Loxley, AL, 2002 by Dean Jeffrey

Years later I posted those images on Flickr, where they continue to get almost daily hits, usually from search engines, where people are (I guess) trying to see if there’s anything on the internet about Styx River. I did a little poking around on my own and found that (besides the tip that I sent to Roadside America) there’s surprisingly little info out there. I found a couple other pictures, and an Excel doc from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, showing elevated levels of coliform bacteria throughout the summer of 2001 (were they planning on reopening?) but that was about all.

There’s a Facebook group devoted to a 2009 employee reunion at the Loxley Civic Center, where I found this brochure page:

Water World Brochure

But after the 2009 reunion, that group seems to have gone dormant.

In 2010, I was back in that part of the states and revisited Styx River, coincidentally on the same day that the following post appeared on Roadside America:

Robertsdale, Alabama – Styx River Water World
Not worth stopping for. No visible statues and the area is totally overgrown. Bitter disappointment. [Corey, 12/21/2010]

I hadn’t seen the post before I left to go to Styx, but honestly, I wasn’t expecting to find anything. The ticket booth was still there, however, which had inexplicably somehow managed to survive. And for anyone willing to venture past the fence, there are a couple buildings and some other remnants that can be seen. Other than that, the weedy and overgrown parking lot is the only other trace of the water park.

Styx River Water World, Loxley, AL by Dean Jeffrey

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Written by Dean Jeffrey

May 31, 2011 at 12:45 am

32 Responses

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  1. Hi there,
    Not sure if you are interested but adamthewoo just uploaded an urban exploration video he did recently of the Styx River Water World site onto Youtube yesterday. There is not alot there now but he has a look around the entire area and there are some interesting things left behind at the site. On Youtube look up: “Styx River Water World – Desolate Florida Theme Park”.
    🙂

    Samantha

    November 4, 2011 at 11:27 am

    • Thank you! Adam’s video is great. Thanks for taking the time to tell me about it. And this is exactly what I had hoped would happen when I posted this—that someone else would come along with more info about Styx River.

      Dean Jeffrey

      November 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm

  2. Here’s a link to adamthewoo’s video:

    Dean Jeffrey

    November 9, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    • I cant belive I found this video crazy I live in mobile but never knew what happened to this place I was starting to think i was just mistaken and that waterville was the place I went as a kid but I knew it was a place by styx river thanks for sharing 🙂

      cassandra

      May 18, 2012 at 12:19 am

    • sorry to burst yo bubble, but its up and running now in 2015!

      k

      June 9, 2015 at 10:58 pm

      • well so i was told,havent went by yet, i miss this place…hope its open

        k

        June 9, 2015 at 11:11 pm

  3. Loved that place! Was a favorite place to go when we lived in Mobile. Now living in the backwoods of Kentuucky with our own little waterpark, SomerSplash. Nothing will ever compare to all the fond memories of WaterWorld though…. Great memories!

    Tony

    November 27, 2011 at 8:17 am

    • I am pretty sure they were at least open one summer in the early 2000’s….I went there with an old roommate and her daughter….it was really fun for kids….crazy how so much can happen in 10 years BUT we did have two major hurricanes blow through this area…Ivan in 2004 and Katrina in 2005, so I am sure that had something to do with the major closing of the park.

      Jamie

      August 5, 2012 at 5:53 pm

  4. I found your comments about the shotting range offensive. My family and I visit the shotting range often and we are not “red necks”. What would you call yourself, riding around from state to state trespassing on private property, video taping? I love Alabama and all the attractions, whether it be a shotting range and an empty water park. Don’t talk bad about the local citizens. You may need us and our guns one day.

    Granmomma

    December 7, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    • Granmomma, sorry you’ve taken offense at some of what was said in the video that I linked to, but perhaps you should put your comments about adamthewoo’s video in a place where adamthewoo might actually read them (like on his youtube channel) rather than here, where it’s extremely unlikely that he’ll ever see them.

      Dean Jeffrey

      December 7, 2011 at 9:52 pm

      • lol well, she’s a “Granmomma” and so likely not very ‘puter savvy. But yeah, she should tell Adam, especially in case he needs her guns…

        Scathe meic Beorh

        June 2, 2012 at 6:23 pm

  5. Hi. If anyone wants to know anything about the park please feel free to ask me anytime. My family were the ones who owned and lived at the waterpark from the early 90’s until it’s very last day. You can send me any questions you have direct to me and I try to answer them as soon as I can.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/Siee333

    If the above link doesn’t work you can also find my contact in the comments section of the above youtube video posted by adamthewoo

    siee

    March 26, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    • Why did it close?

      Nick

      September 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm

      • Hi. Sorry it’s taken so long for me to reply to any of these questions but I haven’t used this email forever and had forgotten about this page until today. Incase anyone isn’t sure who I am my family and I owned and lived on site at the water park until the day it closed (see the above comment I left under the name siee). A lot of people asked why it closed. The short answer is there were a lot of tax issues combined with sadly one incompetent court appointed individual who was “supposed” to help straighten things out. They eventually wound up making it to where the park had to be closed then sold. My family spent everything we could trying to keep it open but just couldn’t afford to after how badly that woman from the coiurt messed everything up. Even to this day we hate we couldn’t of done more and kept it open. I miss living there more than I could ever say. They were some of the best years. And I HATE how horrible it was treated after it was sold off (not by us). I’ve driven past it on the interstate a few times over the years, even stopped a few times, but to be honest its hard to look at anymore because of how bad off it is. I prefer to just remember it the way it was. I would suggest to anyone who ever loved the place and has good memories of it to hold on tight to those and to not go see how the place looks now.

        Siee

        July 12, 2014 at 7:38 am

      • Meaning some land developer wanted the property and found d lawer person in d court tax case for the park paid him off to lose and they lost it if somebody can fine those people and beat them sencesly because they did that 4 what nothing. Nothing hasn’t been built on that property I wish somebody with alot of money rebuild it just as it was so people can remember there child hood and show they kids

        bigwilliestile2007

        June 28, 2015 at 6:45 am

  6. this makes me so sad. i grew up in okaloosa county, fl and the summer rec program my sister and i were in would ride the bus all the way to mobile to go to styx river every summer. i got a busted lip swinging on one of the rope swing(being 7 years old, i chickened out halfway down the cable, didn’t let go, and the knot swung up and hit me in the mouth) but i still loved every minute of being there.

    jennifer

    April 16, 2012 at 8:33 pm

  7. I visited Stix River when I was a teenager. I didn’t know the park had closed until I was researching, making plans to take my granddaughter. I really wanted her to have the experience that I had. I loved that park and I couldn’t swim. My granddaughter swims like a fish. She would have loved Stix river. Do anyone know why the park closed. Would someone post the reason the park failed.

    Tangie

    March 11, 2014 at 10:34 pm

  8. was there a zip line that you held onto and fell into a pool?

    nancy

    July 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    • Yes it was!

      Cassie

      July 9, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      • where was it located in the park and how was it set up?

        nancy

        July 9, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    • I can’t really remember I know it was kind of on a hill. I was so young, my mom wouldn’t let me get on it, that’s what makes me remember it cause I wanted to get on it so bad.

      Cassie

      July 9, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      • The zip line started about half way up the main walkway up the hill in the middle of the park. The main walkway started from the ticket booth all the way up the hill to the food pavilion at the very top of the park. The start of the zip line was located between the middle of the tub ride (left) and the kiddie pool area (right). The bottom to zip line (where you fall into the pool part) was located at the bottom of the hill between the bottom of the mat slide pool (right) and the EMT station/snack stand (left). I hope that helps some.

        Siee

        July 12, 2014 at 7:45 am

  9. Hi Siee, thanks for stopping by. Appreciate your memories of Styx River.

    Dean Jeffrey

    July 13, 2014 at 8:34 pm

  10. I, too, am a grandma and was just telling grandkids about styx river water park! When my daughter was young, 5 or 6, our entire family would stay at the old malbis motor inn, tour the old plantation homes, visit the battleship in mobile, and we would always have a blast at the water park! We live in southeast Louisiana so the trip was rather close. Guess we older folks will have to preserve memories from the past, you know, the ones we had without cellphones, ipods, and computers! Thanks for update!

    cindy

    July 29, 2014 at 9:53 pm

  11. To Siee,
    I know it must be heartbreaking but have you ever thought to set up a page, Facebook page, or YouTube with old photos? I am sure many would be thrilled to see old photos of the place and the people who made the magic happen!

    When I was a teen Styx River was THE place to go for the summer.

    Our family went once and I’ve regretted (for decades) the parents (who were usually camera happy) didn’t think to bring a camera.

    Samantha

    August 3, 2014 at 10:24 pm

  12. They did have a rave there towards the end if not after the closing…it was called Aqua Funk if im not mistaken.

    Shane S

    July 15, 2015 at 8:42 am

    • Holy crap…Aqua Funk! I actually went to that! I was only about 18 and wasn’t into partying yet, but being there with all my friends and the music going on and going down water slides in the middle of the night was one of the best nights of my life! Haha. Really wish they would open it back up. There’s so many more people in the area now, I bet they would make a killing!

      Beachrat82

      July 22, 2015 at 8:26 pm

  13. My boyfriend and I were staying at the Riverside RV park and I wanted to take him for a walk and show him where I came every summer for fun with my family. It’s sad to see that Styx River Water Park is no longer there and even more depressing that all the statues have been vandalized and all are gone. We had so many great times there. We heard that Styx River Resort purchased the property and are adding on to their existing property with more cabins and campsites. The lake is still there with huge fish in it and is all that remains of the water park. It’s sad that our children will never get to visit truly one of the greatest water parks of time.

    Tammi white

    September 7, 2015 at 8:28 pm

  14. I went there as a child and loved it. My dad drove us four kids from Okaloosa county Florida to the water park. We went there every summer. It really is heartbreaking to see what it looks like now. It was a beautiful park and we all had great memories there. I am so sad to hear that it closed down. You are put a lot of effort and money to keep the park clean and going and I thank you for that.

    Julie Mitchell

    August 13, 2016 at 7:04 am

  15. Live in Pensacola and took the kids there at least 4 to 5 times a season — loved the rampage sled ride ( always a challenge to see if you could make it to the ramp at the end ) and the huge water slide — the paddle boats on the lake were fun but that could get mighty hot after a few minutes – the fact that you could go to the picnic tables with a picnic basket with food and drinks was awesome — most other parks try to force you to buy from their concessions — the kiddie section and rope bridges were great and the zip line / rope ride started at the top of the hill, you hung on to the rope over padded mats until you got down to the pool drop off area — the only things I didn’t like was the hot hot blacktop walkways ( you jumped grass to grass on the sides to keep from burning your feet ) and the super rough edge around the main pool ( many a scraped knee and leg climbing in and out ) the country bear animated show scared my little one first time in there but dad liked the air conditioning so he got used to it pretty quick — we drive by it a few times a year on I -10 , can still see the lake and camp grounds but don’t have the heart to bo back in there to see whats left – once it closed we started going to shipwreck Island in Panama City but that is such a long drive that it was only once a year — seems like all the good stuff keeps going away the older we get and the new stuff just isn’t the same –

    Walt Tallman

    October 6, 2016 at 6:58 am

  16. I used to go there as a child. It really is heartbreaking to see what it looks like now. It was a beautiful park and we all had great memories there. Hope it will be restored one day.

    John McLaughlin

    May 14, 2017 at 6:35 am

  17. The last time I went to SR Waterworld was in 1996 or 1997. Thanks for bloging about it.

    Steph Greenbean

    June 14, 2017 at 4:43 pm


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