We first told you about the dune buggy adventure park coming about a year ago. We followed up a couple weeks ago to find that it was opening last Friday. Well, now it’s open – at least the dune buggy part. The rest opens in phases over the next 8 weeks.
So I’m sure you’re dying to know all about my driving adventure, right?
The dune buggies.
Your mode of adventure is aboard a two seater 17hp dune buggy with netting windows, a plexi windshield and open-wheel knobby tires. The suspension is cushy enough to absorb the shock of you coming down hard at the bottom of the dips and padding your landing if you catch a little bit of air when you come over the table-top. The top speed of these babies is about 40 mpg, although these particular machines have been tuned down to about 20 mph to keep them safe for the public. I was told that “the state wants the public to be able to go full throttle without having to worry about needing to slow down at any point around the track.” Makes sense. Given the safety requirements, I have to say I really couldn’t have asked for anything more. The ride was fantastic.
As a dad who has driven my kids around every go-cart track in Panama City Beach I have to say this track was a welcome addition to my portfolio of recreational racing. In the monopolization and standardization of go-cart racing, a general lack of creativity has been present in tracks of new and old in this area. This track is original in concept and execution. Combining smooth turns with tight turns, and mixing in some few straight aways and killer hills this track forces a smile and a few “holy-craps” as you make the laps. Losing your stomach on the dips and catching a little air on the table-top makes this attraction a must see when you’re down here and definitely worth the $18 a ride.
There was a lot of speculation on the costs of this attraction. I’m not sure why some thought this would be prohibitively expensive or what would have caused any negativity of this new venue, but I think the cost is definitely competitive. At $18 a ride, you’d be hard pressed to find another activity on the beach that offers as much fun for the money. Here’s the entire breakdown.
- $18 to drive
- $2 to ride (16 and older)
- Free to ride under 16
In order to drive you have to be at least 15 years old with a learner’s permit.
This is a great place to play. The dune buggy is what I would consider the main attraction. But, when they get the ropes course open, many will come for that. When they get the zip line open, many will come for that. All around, though, this will be a true land of adventure. I had a blast there, and as my kids get older, they’ll have a blast there as well.
From a business perspective, I think they’ll do great. I think they will be a very positive asset to our community as we starve for interesting and fun things to do. I told the owner, “this is another great idea on Panama City Beach that someone came up with before I had a chance to.” I wish the owners luck and many years of success.