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Money is tight, perhaps now more than ever, but you still want to go out and have fun once in a while. It can be hard to know what's worth spending your hard-earned cash on, but thankfully, there are a ton of not-too-expensive good times to be had in Florida. Take, for example, tubing on Rainbow River.
If you can't afford a day pass to Disney World's Typhoon Lagoon but you have the urge to float down a lazy river, you don't have to settle for spending the weekend in your kiddie pool at home just yet.
You can enjoy a relaxing two-to-four-hour expedition on one of Florida's most gorgeous natural springs for only $20 (or $2 if you go to the headspring, but it's usually pretty crowded.)
But the question remains: is it really worth $20 to tube down Rainbow River?
That depends on who you're asking, really. But if there's someone in your life who is a fan of swimming in clear spring water and lazy rivers, then this is a match made in heaven.
Let's argue semantics below.
While everyone has a different idea of what $20 is worth to them, reviews prove that most are in favor of the price for the experience.
Rainbow Springs State Park Tube Rentals has an average of 4.4 stars on Google reviews, and over 500 reviewers. "It's soooo beautiful! The water was crystal clear and the perfect temp. We tubed down the river with friends and had a great day! Highly recommended," one of the 5-star reviews read.
$20 not only pays for your tube rental, but it pays for the tram service that takes you to the river and picks you up at the end of the journey.
You can walk if you want to, but believe me, it's not a quick journey especially with large, cumbersome tubes involved, there's a reason there's a tram after all -- not to mention, the mosquitos around here are fierce, which brings me to my next point.
Now truthfully, I do have to mention that this trip isn't bug or creature-free, naturally. So anyone with an extreme phobia of any sort of Florida critters may be enduring a two-hour panic attack instead of a relaxing float.
Though unlikely, because this area of the spring is not enclosed, there is always the possibility of alligators being present in the water and along the banks, as well as venomous and nonvenomous snakes and bugs. No lifeguards are on duty along the way either, so you're kind of on your own as far as health and safety are concerned. There is a waiver you have to sign before the start of your journey.
Also notable, if you don't get to the park within a reasonable amount of time after opening, you can expect to wait in a long line before actually being able to partake in any water activities. This could absolutely be a mood-ruiner for some, so keep this in mind for those impatient people in your life!
All-in-all it really is a set of scales; are you willing to brave the Florida wilderness for a couple hours of fun in one of the state's most enchanting blue springs? Many say yes, while others say no.
As long as you go prepared, follow the rules, and keep a sharp eye on not only yourself but everyone around you, you would probably have a good time. Bug spray and sunscreen are an absolute must if you want to enjoy the experience to the fullest extent.
Personally I think it's a good deal for only $20, and I would happily go back again! Let me know in the comment section if you would go and why or why not.
If you want to learn more about tubing on Rainbow River including the hours and location, you can do so here.