There's still an exciting and refreshing Atlanta amusement park at Lanier Islands, but don't look for the name "LanierWorld" anymore. Starting with the 2018 season, the park is now Margaritaville at Lanier Islands.
A company co-owned by music icon Jimmy Buffett and Safe Harbor Development of Knoxville, Tenn.
Safe Harbor Development – in partnership with Margaritaville, the global lifestyle brand, have teamed up to develop and run operations of the 1,500 acre resort and entertainment complex, including the beach, water park and Blue Ridge and Shoal Creek campgrounds.
The marina, docks, boat rentals, sunset cruises, yacht charters and watersports have been rolled into the deal and are now part of the Margaritaville at Lanier Islands experience, too. Old favorites have been preserved, particularly at the water park, and new attractions have been added, from a margarita cruise to a new RV resort.
Margaritaville will continue to expand on its FIN-tastic amenities as the multi-million-dollar transformation of Lanier Islands unfolds over the next few years.
But as of early summer 2018, here are nine park features that are either completely new with the name change, or have been tweaked to reflect Margaritaville's "vacation state of mind" motto:
Free trams: The Water Park at Margaritaville Lanier Islands will be providing free tram service starting July 2018. A Margaritaville Tram will also transport visitors as they move between the campgrounds, lakefront attractions and the Legacy Lodge at Lanier Islands.
Margarita cruises. A natural place to add signature margaritas, the Lanier wine cruises will continue and margarita cruises have been added, both aboard 850-foot excursion yachts. The luxury crafts have been redesigned for the new season and have new names, too: the LandShark and the Margaritaville. Cruises include a couple of tasty cocktails, food tastings and a voyage around Lake Lanier to take in the scenery.
Boat docks. Margaritaville at Lanier Islands will offer boat slips at two sets of docks, both named in Buffett-style. LandShark Landing is near the heart of the party zone and the Paradise Beach dock is designed for more family-friendly access, close to the water park and Family Fun Zone. Dock space can be reserved ahead of time or through an affordable Port of Indecision annual docking pass. Another fresh feature for 2018: Boaters can opt for overnight parking (11 p.m. to 8 a.m.) for an additional charge.
The Landshark Bar & Grill. This hot spot will be open year round and includes a live entertainment stage, boat docks, beach volleyball and fire pits. A beachfront tiki bar is one part of the Landshark experience that's bound to draw the party crowd.
Delectable beach-theme foods.The LandShark Grill menu includes beachy items like a jerk chicken wrap, luau burgers, smoked mahi fish dip and, naturally, Key Lime pie. And where you'll really notice the Jimmy Buffett flair on the revamp is the drink menu. It's got Landshark Lager, souvenir blender cups, and an impressive array of margaritas (one of them with silver tequila named License to Chill) and a fruity tropical libation called the 5 O'Clock Somewhere. Non-drinkers and the under 21 set will enjoy Landshark Bar & Grill's watermelon lemonade.
Other Margaritaville spots serving beach foods waterside include the "barefoot friendly" Paradise Cantina with sangria, margaritas and hand food; Frank and Lola's Pizza to Go with pies and slices plain or piled high; and the Feeding Frenzy Fried Shack, the grab-and-go authority on conch fritters and shrimp baskets.
Music and more music. No Jimmy Buffett concerts cheduled yet, but Margaritaville will have a tradition of great concerts just like its fellow franchises, including a UGA Bands weekend in June and John Hightower at the Landshark Bar and Grill June 24.
A new RV resort. Opening in summer 2018 the RV hot spot promises to be a place to establish family vacation headquarters. Confirmed amenities include an in-ground pool, playground, cable and wifi.
Full moon mischief. A holdover from the LanierWorld days, but with a new name and some tweaks, Full Moon Parties are a mix of dancing under the stars and hanging out on the beach by the outdoor fire pits.
Fin Dunker Slide. Cool off in this waterspout pouring from a gigantic LandShark Lager bottle, while you enjoy a cold one at this multi-level water feature across from the new LandShark Bar & Grill. This one will turn up in a bunch of selfies.
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