What’s better than a waterpark in summertime? Hot days definitely have us daydreaming about splashing down awesome water slides and floating on lazy rivers. So, naturally we decided to put together our ultimate wishlist of waterparks to visit in the U.S. If you live near any of these spectacular splash spots, spend a day there for us and tell us all about it. If you aren’t lucky enough to live nearby, then Pin it and keep handy when planning your next vacation. Oh, and don’t forget to pack up some of your favorite personalized beach towels and summer fun accessories.
1. Disney’s Blizzard Beach – Bay Lake, FL
The park opened on April 1, 1995 and was the third Walt Disney World water park. In 2014, the park hosted approximately 2,007,000 guests, ranking it the third-most visited water park in the world, behind its sister park, Typhoon Lagoon.
The majority of the major attractions at the park are hosted atop of Mount Gushmore, an artificial hill with an elevation of 90 feet. Mount Gushmore is split into three colored slopes to aid guests navigating around the park: Green, Red and Purple.
2. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon – Lake Buena Vista, FL
The park, which opened on June 1, 1989, is home to one of the world’s largest outdoor wave pools. The theme of the park is the “Disney legend” of a typhoon that wreaked havoc upon a formerly pristine tropical paradise. Ships, fishing gear and surfboards are strewn about where the storm flung them.
The centerpiece of the park is “Miss Tilly,” a shrimp boat impaled upon a mountain named “Mount Mayday” that erupts a 50-foot geyser of water every half hour, right before the bells of the watch sound on Miss Tilly. Typhoon Lagoon’s mascot is “Lagoona Gator,” and he is related to Blizzard Beach’s mascot Ice Gator.
3. Aquatica Seaworld – Orlando, FL
The park is themed to the southern Pacific, and features Australian and New Zealand based mascots. The park boasts a wide array of attractions for all ages and swimming abilities, some of which pass by or through animal habitats. Dolphin Plunge, the park’s signature attraction, features two enclosed tube slides that pass through a pool containing a pod of Commerson’s dolphins.
4. Schlitterbahn – New Braunfels, TX
Schlitterbahn is a family-owned and operated company based in New Braunfels, Texas. Schlitterbahn began its first park, Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, in 1979. Since then, Schlitterbahn has developed three waterparks located in Texas and one in Kansas City, Kansas.
The park was named Schlitterbahn, “slippery road” in German because of the local area’s German heritage. As of 2014, the park had won Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Award for 15 years straight.
5. Wet N’ Wild – Orlando, FL
Founded in 1977 by SeaWorld creator George Millay and is considered America’s first water park.
In 1998, Millay sold off his interests in his parks. The Orlando one was purchased by Universal Studios Recreation Group who continued to lease the land on which it is located. It was announced on June 17, 2015 that the park would permanently close on December 31, 2016.
6. Water Country USA – Williamsburg, VA
It is the Mid-Atlantic’s largest water park, and it offers live entertainment, shops and restaurants, water rides, and other attractions, all of which have a 1950s or 1960s surf theme. The park is just a few miles away from Busch Gardens Williamsburg, with which it shares clientele. Multi-park passes are available, and a parking pass at Water Country USA is valid for same-day entry to Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
7. Adventure Island – Tampa, FL
Located right across the street from Busch Gardens Tampa, Adventure Island’s 30 acres of water drenched fun in the sun feature the ultimate combination of high-speed thrills and tropical, tranquil surroundings for guests of all ages. Within a soothing Key West atmosphere awaits an unrivaled blend of slides, corkscrews, waterfalls, a wave pool, children’s water playground and other family attractions. Adventure Island also features outdoor cafes, picnic and sunbathing areas, a gift shop and a championship sand volleyball complex for hours of fun in the sun.
8. Noah’s Ark – Wisconsin Dell, WI
Located on 70 sprawling acres in the heart of Wisconsin Dells, the Waterpark Capital of the World, Noah’s Ark is recognized as both the Largest Water Park in America, and one of the best places to visit in Wisconsin Dells with kids.
9. Raging Waters – San Dimas, CA
The Raging Waters San Dimas is the West Coast’s largest water park with 50 beautifully landscaped acres of slides, attractions and their own sand beach. Grab a board and catch a gnarly wave on the Flowrider, or race for the win on the super-fast Ragin’ Racer. The Raging Waters San Dimas ranked #3 nationally by the Travel Channel in its Top 10 ranking of US Water Parks.
10. Six Flag White Water – Atlanta, GA
Originally opening in 1984 as White Water Atlanta, the park became part of the Six Flags family of parks in 1999. Today, it is marketed as a second gate to Six Flags Over Georgia, and the two parks often cross-promote each other. In 2012, the park hosted 505,000 visitors, ranking it #12 on the list of the top water parks in North America.
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon: FLICKR, RickPilot_2000
Aquatica SeaWorld: http://aquaticabyseaworld.com
Schlitterbahn: Heather Harrison Photography
Wet N’ Wild: Travel Channel
Water Country USA: WATER COUNTRY USA®
Adventure Island: Busch Entertainment Co.
Noah’s Ark: studenttravelplanningguide.com
Raging Waters: FLICKR, Don Debold
Six Flag White Water: Six Flags White Water