Cool down this summer at a US water park
Want an easy way to kiss the winter blues away? Visit one of America’s top water parks for a day of splish-splash fun in the sun. Outdoor water parks across the country are beginning to open for the spring and summer season. Here are ten of our favorites:
Disney’s Blizzard Beach – Orlando, Florida: Freak snow storm hits Florida? That’s what Disney wants you to believe at its ski resort turned water park, Blizzard Beach. Beyond the excellent theming, Blizzard Beach brings the thrills with one of the world's tallest and fastest free-falling waterslides. Other attractions include Melt-Away Bay, Cross County Creek and Slush Gusher.Now Open.
Adventure Island – Tampa, Florida: Located right next to Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Adventure Island is 30 acres of fun. The park gives off a Key West vibe with its tranquil surroundings, but the real excitement begins when you’re racing down one of the park’s many corkscrews. On select evenings in the summer, Adventure Island heats up with Island Nights, a party-like atmosphere with live music, entertainment and family-friendly beach activities.Now Open.
Aquatica – Orlando, Florida: It should be no surprise that Sea World’s water park would blend marine life with water fun. At Aquatica, you can zip past black & white Commerson's Dolphins while taking the Dolphin Plunge or join the family for a 6-story maze of twist and tunnels down Walhalla Wave.The children’s play area is so big (and so much fun) that you won’t mind spending the day watching the little ones in the kiddie zone. Now Open.
Typhoon Lagoon – Orlando, Florida: The second of Disney’s water parks, Typhoon Lagoon is perfect for families with children of all ages. Teens love the Surf Pool, Shark Reef and Crush 'n' Gusher, while Ketchakiddee Creek offers big time water fun for the tiniest tots.Now Open.
Schlitterbahn – New Braunfels, Texas: Possibly the most well-known water park chain in the U.S., Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, Texas is the original. The park has expanded so much since its 1979 opening that it is divided into three sections, which are connected by trams. The German themed waterpark has 17 slides, 7 children’s water play areas and the world’s first surfing machine.Opening day is April 30.
Splashin' Safari – Santa Claus, Indiana: Spashin’ Safari is part of the holiday themed theme park, Holiday World. The whole park caters to families with free sunscreen, soft drinks and inner tube use. The water park features multiple slides, 2 wave pools, 2 lazy rivers, a children’s splash area and the world’s longest water coaster. Opening day is May 13.
Raging Waters – San Dimas, California: California’s largest waterpark is set on 50 acres with 36 slides and attractions, with a sand beach. The flowrider is super popular among teen guests, while younger children adore Kids' Kingdom and Splash Island. For the truly brave, check out Dr. Von Dark'sTunnel of Terror. Opening Day is May 14
Water Country USA – Williamsburg, Virginia: Featuring a 1950s and ‘60s surf theme, Water Country USA is the mid-Atlantic’s largest waterpark with over 30 water rides, shows and attractions.Water Country USA is just down the street from Busch Gardens Williamsburg.Opening day is May 21.
Noah’s Ark – Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin: Of all the waterparks in the United States, Noah’s Ark is the largest. Situated on 70 acres in the heart of the Wisconsin Dells – the Waterpark Capital of the World – there’s 49 waterslides, 4 children’s areas and 2 giant wave pools.Opening day is May 28.
Water World – Denver, Colorado: Just a 15 minute trip from Denver, Colorado, Water World features more family tube rides than any park in America. With 46 attractions in all, there’s something for everyone in the family.Opening Day is May 28.
Photo: lolly mares