On Wednesday, it was revealed that Magic Waters has instituted a new policy for 2017 that would forbid patrons from bringing in their own food and beverages. You had questions, and now we have some answers.

From it's inception, Magic Waters has been one of the few amusement facilities to allow patron to bring in their own food and beverages (alcohol has always been prohibited).

When we reported the story on Wednesday, social media went ballistic with critical comments on the new policy.

To get answers, I contacted Rockford Park District Public Relations Manager Laura Gibbs Green for information.

I asked posed these questions, based on your feedback from the story we published on Wednesday

  • Was it a decision of the Rockford Park District Commission or Magic Water Staff (or both)?
  • Did a series of problems lead to the change in policy?
  • How was the policy formulated?
  • Was safety a reason?
  • Was revenue a concern (Food and beverage sales)?

Mrs. Green was kind enough to respond:

Many of you asked am thrilled to hear from you and happy that you are wanting more information in order to further your online story and help answer questions.

First off, here is the cooler policy as I wasn’t sure if you had it in its entirety??

Guests are not permitted to bring coolers, outside food, or beverages into Magic Waters Waterpark, with the exception of one (20-ounce or less) factory sealed non-alcoholic beverage per person. Exceptions will be made for guests with special dietary needs to include food allergies and baby food/formula. Please notify waterpark staff upon entry into the park for approval of special dietary foods.


Magic Waters Waterpark has a wide variety of fresh food items such as: hamburgers, pizza, chicken, hot dogs, and salmon. Food is served at five different locations throughout the park. Those who would like to bring their own food are welcome to enjoy our Luau Lane Picnic areas, located in the parking lots. Alcohol, glass containers, and BBQ grills are prohibited both within the park and in Luau Lanes.


The change in the cooler policy will increase safety and security measures, improve park cleanliness, and speed up entry into the waterpark. Park rules are reviewed and updated yearly by staff to stay in line with industry trends. Research indicates that it is best practice to prohibit coolers from being allowed inside a waterpark. Strengthening security procedures will help increase our guests’ safety, keeping unwanted objects out of the waterpark. In addition, the policy update will improve cleanliness of the park, allow for faster entry into the waterpark, and provide a better experience for all our guests. Everyone deserves a safe, clean, and enjoyable environment.


Those who would like to bring their own food/coolers are welcome to enjoy our Luau Lane Picnic areas, located in the parking lots. Guests are welcome to leave and re-enter the park as many times as needed throughout the day. Guests are also welcome to bring in empty beverage containers of any size and fill them at the many water fountains on-site. We are hoping to add water bottle filling stations in the future. However, if you would like to bring a beverage to the waterpark, it must be a factory sealed non-alcoholic beverage (20-ounce or less), limit one per person.

We are currently looking at expanding the variety of healthy food options available at the waterpark. These will be in addition to our current health conscious selections like grilled chicken, salmon, and smoothies, all made fresh on-site. Exceptions will be made for guests with special dietary needs to accommodate food allergies and baby food/formula. Please alert gate staff upon arrival of any special accommodations needed.


All of these changes are meant to increase guests safety so everyone can enjoy quality family time at an affordable waterpark.

A number of you asked who you contact at Magic Waters to provide input into the new food and beverage policy. Mrs. Green added:

If anyone has any additional questions please call Rockford Park District Customer Service at 815-987-8800 or they can email rpdmail@rockfordparkdistrict.org.

With the exception of the question of revenue aspect of the new policy, Ms Green was able to provide answers to ally my, and hopefully your questions.

Have a Spash-O-Rific Day!

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