Wonderful Water Park Sensations
A Review of Water Parks around the U.S.
When it comes down to it, my husband and I are pretty much complete opposites, but there IS one thing that we enjoy together...water parks! When we begin discussing water parks with others, they are usually surprised how much we know about parks in various locations, so I have compiled a list of them for you (I have visited each one of them personally), as well as reviewed them.
After watching an episode of the "Top 10 Water Parks" on the Travel Channel (in 2003 or 2004), my now husband and I decided to go to Schlitterbahn in South Padre Island, Texas, for our honeymoon, as it was a water park, AND right along the beach. The uniqueness of this water park is that the LINES to most of the slides are actually IN THE LAZY RIVER. There is simply a divider wall within the river, and when you are ready, you go to the side of the wall that has the line. You then get into the tube (that you are already in anyway), and the incline takes you to the top of the slide, and then you progress down! It is SO much fun! In addition to the South Padre Island, there is a Schlitterbahn in each of the following locations:
- Galveston Island, Texas
- Corpus Christi, Texas
- New Braunfels, Texas
- Kansas City, Kansas
Therefore, if you live in, or will be in Texas or Kansas this summer, make sure you don't mis the Schlitterbahn Water Park!
Noah's Ark Water Park
If you have heard about "The Dells," you know there are over 20 water parks in the city of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, but the one that stands out the most is the outdoor Noah's Ark Water Park, known as the "America's #1 Largest Water Park." My favorite aspect of this park was that you could do almost every slide together (and when I say "together," I mean, tubes for up to four people)! This made for such a great time with my husband, and would definitely work well for a family with adventurous kids. Additionally, almost every slide was a large, wide, enclosed tube slide, but pitch black! You had no idea where the slides would take you next. Therefore, the slides were thrilling, yet fun. There was also a log ride, with a bridge for onlookers, and one of the shops had the BEST caramel apples we have ever tasted (we talk about this every year before our anniversary, and I have yet to call to see if they can be shipped)! If I remember correctly, these apples were so special because they were made with green Granny Smith apples! Yum!
When we visited The Dells in Wisconsin, we chose to reside at the Chula Vista Resort. While Chula Vista's own outdoor water park was small, we were extremely impressed with its indoor water park. The slides were fun, most able to be done with double-tubes, and although enclosed, some slides began inside the building but are built through the walls, so extra light reaches in for part of the slide (because that part of the slide is outside). This indoor park was so fun that when we would come back from nearby outdoor parks, we would head straight into this one. We were on these slides so much that the only other attraction that I remember is a water coaster. If you go to The Dells, we strongly suggest staying at the Chula Vista resort (there is even a shallow wave pool outside for kids; not really adequate for adults though).
Disney Water Parks
Walt Disney World sports two water parks: Typhoon Lagoon, and Blizzard Beach. Both are truly unique. Although I have not been to these water parks in over 12 years, they were quite memorable; probably a close tie to Noah's Ark Water Park in The Dells (WI). Below, you will see a description of each Disney water park.
1. Typhoon Lagoon- This water park makes you feel like you are part of a lagoon. When we visited, we were able to swim in a pond-type structure, with small sharks!
2. Blizzard Beach- This location has the look of a blizzard, with some awesome attractions. When we were at this location, we were stormed out, so we cannot wait for the chance to return one day.
Water Parks in Erie, PA
Erie, Pennsylvania, now sports two water parks: Waldameer Water World (and outdoor water park) and Splash Lagoon (an indoor water park). As Splash Lagoon did not exist when I was growing up, I was accustomed to going to Waldameer each summer, and even for school picnics. I remember it having a relaxing Lazy River, a few slower, enjoyable water slides, and a few speed slides. We ALWAYS had fun there, whether with friends, family, or the school. It currently has both a water park and an amusement park. A few years ago, I had the chance to visit Splash lagoon. I was disappointed in their slides (they were just not my taste, maybe a bit too fast with sharp turns), but my husband seemed to enjoy them. I must say, though, now that I have recently been able to visit Kalahari in Pocono Manor, PA, I have a new appreciation for Splash Lagoon, as this particular location of Kalahari did not have a wave pool, for which I was hoping. Splash Lagoon had a large wave pool. As you will see in my review of Kalahari, the Pocono location is currently under construction, as they are adding many more attractions. I have yet to visit other locations of Kalahari.
Wet N' Wild in Palm Springs, CA
Located in Palm Springs, California, we enjoyed this water park many years ago, but I remember that we all had a blast! It was well-kept, and had many fun attractions. The Pacific Spin slide was a little much for me, but it was nice because we could all ride it together, and everyone else in my group seemed to love it!
Kalahari in Pocono Manor, PA
After hearing all of the hype that Kalahari is supposedly "the largest indoor water park," we were disappointed at this locations smaller size, but our daughter thoroughly enjoyed the attractions. It had about five regular water slides, in addition to water slides in a "kiddie area," a water coaster, a three-foot deep pool, a Lazy River, a pool where kids could play basketball, and an adult bar. Lockers were also available for rent (at steep prices, but for all day), and there was an arcade right outside the entrance/exit to the park. I felt that the one major attraction that was missing was a wave pool, and that the Lazy River was kind of "boring," as there was no uniqueness to this ride. No worries, though, this location is currently under construction, as they are building many more attractions, including a wave pool!
All of the above water parks are worth a trip, but it is up to you if they are worth the price. I love water parks, and look forward to visiting new ones, as well as revisiting some of the above-mentioned ones, with an extra intention of taking photos. Unfortunately, I do not have many photos of these places, because it is difficult to carry a camera around when you are spending a day engrossed in water. If I come across some old photos, I will add them to this article, so for now, I hope this information was helpful in planning your water park destination!