The 20 Most Popular Water Parks to Visit in North America [2020]

Universal's Volcano Bay

Full Disclosure: We may receive financial compensation when you click on links and are approved for credit card products from our advertising partners. Opinions and product recommendations on this site are ours alone, and have not been influenced, reviewed or approved by the issuer. See our Advertiser Disclosure for more details. We appreciate your support!

Update: In light of the spread of COVID-19, parks may be closed, partially closed, or have reduced availability. There may also be procedures in place for visiting the parks. To plan your visit, please check with official park websites for more details.

When the weather gets hot, the best place to be is splashing around in the water. North America is home to some of the biggest and most exciting water parks in the world, and they certainly know how to keep your family cool when the mercury rises.

Here are the top water parks in North America — we’ve ranked them by 2019 visitor numbers, which is the latest available data.

20. Cedar Point Shores (Sandusky, Ohio)

Cedar Point Shores Sandusky OH
Image Credit: Cedar Point

2019 Visitors: 424,000

First opened in 1988 with only 10 waterslides, Cedar Point Shores has grown dramatically over the years, and now offers over 18,000 acres of watery fun for families to enjoy.

How to Get There

Located in Sandusky, Ohio, the park is accessible via several transport options and is easy to get to.

By Plane:

The 2 closest airports to the park are the regional Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE), or the more local Toledo Express Airport (TOL) that receives flights from across the U.S. and is just 20 minutes from the park gates.

Both airports offer car rental, public transport, and taxi services for your journey.

By Road:

From the Toledo Express — Travel east on I-80/I-90 to exit 110 (Sandusky), then turn left onto OH 4. You will then easily be able to find the park entrance by following the signs to Cedar Point.

By Public Transport:

Greyhound buses run services to Cedar Point from nearly anywhere in the U.S. Visit its website for timetables and prices.

Alternatively, Amtrak operates train services to Sandusky from everywhere except Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

Attractions, Rides, and Slides

This water park is designed with families in mind — little ones will love Lakeslide Landing, where pint-sized slides, geysers, and fountains will bring a smile to their faces. On the park’s very own mythical Lake Erie, monster Lemmy is ready to play with you at Lemmy’s Lagoon.

For bigger kids and thrill-seeking grownups, the 4 capsule drop slide Point Plummet offers 6 stories of extreme sliding, while the Storm Surge is a flume and raft ride for the very brave.

Lakeslide Landing and Lily Pad Walk are perfect for relaxing with the whole family in a cabana you can reserve before you get there.

Seasonal Events

While the water park does not offer any seasonal events or special shows of its own, the adjoining theme park at Cedar Point has a full program of shows, including Halloween-themed adventures, music festivals, and special events throughout the summer.

Where to Stay

Sleep in style close to the water park entrance in these top family-focused hotels:

Cedar Point’s Castaway Bay — Located just a short drive away from the park, this hotel comes complete with its very own indoor water park and is incredibly family-friendly.

Cedar Point’s Express Hotel — This is a smart and comfortable budget-friendly accommodation for families looking to make their money go further, all just a short drive from the park entrance.

Cedar Point Hotel Breakers — Try this classic beachside resort hotel with its own beach, as well as a TGI Friday’s restaurant.

Where to Eat

If spending all day in the water makes you hungry, there are plenty of eateries to choose from here. Go all-American with burgers, fries, and shakes at Coasters Diner, or grab a burrito at Buckaroos. Alternatively, Famous Dave’s offers fantastic BBQ fare like St. Louis-style ribs, chicken, and much, much more.

There are lots of other places to eat, too, or you can stop for a drink in the water park and outside at the marina.

Ticket Info

Ticket prices vary depending on the day of your visit. Discounts can be had by booking online in advance or taking advantage of special offers. Fast lane tickets and other promotions are available for additional costs.

  • 1-day adult tickets start from $39
  • 1-day junior tickets start from $26

Multi-park tickets can offer considerable savings over single attraction prices. You can find out more about the best deals available at the Cedar Point Shores website.

19. Dollywood’s Splash Country (Pigeon Forge, Tennessee)

Dollywoods Splash Country
Image Credit: Dollywood

2019 Visitors: 433,000

Adjacent to Dolly Parton’s world-famous Dollywood resort, Splash Country offers plenty of rides and slides deep in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. First opened in 2001, the park features a 25,000-square-foot wave pool and is great fun for the whole family.

How to Get There

The Smoky Mountain town of Pigeon Forge is a little remote, but it is still accessible from all over the state of Tennessee and beyond if you allow extra time for your journey.

By Plane:

McGhee-Tyson Airport (TYS) in Knoxville is the closest domestic airport. Anyone arriving from outside the U.S. would need to catch a flight from either Memphis (MEM) or Nashville (BNA) international airports.

McGhee-Tyson Airport offers taxis and rental cars for your journey to the park.

By Road:

From I-40 — Take exit 407 toward Sevierville/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg. Then follow TN Highway 66 South, which becomes US 441. At Traffic Light #8 in Pigeon Forge, turn left and follow the signs to Dollywood.

By Public Transport:

Public transport outside the city of Knoxville is limited, but the FunTime Trolley does run shuttle service from Pigeon Forge to the gates of Dollywood and Splash Country. You can find out more about the services offered on its website.

Attractions, Rides, and Slides

Family groups will love the Downbound Float Trip, while Little Creek Falls and The Cascades offer watery fun for children of all ages.

For those looking for something a little more exciting, Fire Tower Falls is the tallest and fastest water slide in the park, while Mountain Scream and The Butterfly will send you flying down winding corkscrew tunnels and plunging down 55-foot-long extreme slides.

If you want to cool down as a family in the Smoky Mountains sunshine, the Big Bear Plunge is a great raft trip.

Seasonal Events

The water park itself doesn’t offer individual shows or specific events, but the adjoining Dollywood park has plenty to offer. It hosts celebration dinners and show nights at the Stampede, as well as special events for Independence Day, Harvest Festival, Halloween, and a Smoky Mountain Christmas.

Where to Stay

The park and the nearby town of Pigeon Forge have plenty of comfortable accommodations for you and your family to enjoy, including:

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa — A large-scale, upmarket hotel complex with pools, leisure facilities, and a spa.

Country Cascades Waterpark Resort — A family-friendly hotel complete with its very own water park complex, just 2 miles from the park entrance.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins — For the ultimate experience, stay in one of the onsite cabins full of rustic charm and modern amenities.

Where to Eat

Hungry visitors can enjoy Smoky Mountain-style burgers at the Campsite Grill, tacos and nachos at Trailhead Tacos, or chow down on fries and jumbo hot dogs at Dogs-n-Taters. There is also the Mountain Waves Slush Factory to help you keep cool or the Beavertails patisserie for freshly baked sweet treats.

Ticket Info

Discounts are available when booking online, and multi-day passes are a better value than single-day tickets.

  • A single-day adult ticket starts at $49.95 but Sunday to Thursday online tickets are $29.95

To find out more about ticket prices and the promotional discounts available, visit the Dollywood website.

18. Camelbeach Mountain Water Park (Tannersville, Pennsylvania)

Camelbeach Tannersville PA
Image Credit: Camelbeach Mountain Water Park

2019 Visitors: 439,000

Camelbeach Mountain Water Park is located high up in the Pocono Mountains in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, and is part of the popular Big Pocono State Park. First opened in 1998, it operates as a water park during the summer months and a ski and snowboard center in the winter.

How to Get There

Camelbeach Mountain Water Park is easily accessible from many cities throughout the Northeast.

By Plane:

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport (AVP) is the closest international airport to the park. The airport offers taxis, rental cars, and access to public transportation.

By Road:

From the Lehigh Valley — Take Route 33 North to I-80 West, then take exit 299 to Tannersville and follow the signs to Camelback Resort.

From Scranton — Take I-380 South to I-80 East, then take exit 299 to Tannersville and follow the signs to Camelback Resort.

From Philadelphia —– Take I-476 (N.E. extension of the P.A. Turnpike) north to Lehigh Valley exit 56, Route 22 East to Route 33 North to I-80 West. Then take exit 299 to Tannersville and follow the signs to Camelback Resort.

From New Jersey and New York — Travel I-80 West and take exit 299 to Tannersville, then follow the signs to Camelback Resort.

By Public Transport:

Greyhound buses run from all over the country to Tannersville, and local company Martz Trailways also runs services close to the park itself.

Attractions, Rides, and Slides

The youngest visitors to the park can get splashing in Kahuna Cove with its sprinklers and water spouts, or ride the waters of the Blue Nile Adventure. The Mummy’s Oasis is a newer attraction that’s a water play park for all ages.

If you want to experience something a little more thrilling, the park offers tandem tunnels on the Sand Storm ride, the 6-story tall Vipers Venom slide, and the giant bowl slides of the Vortex.

More gentle rides for all the family include the Spin Cycle rubber ring ride and the bouncing slides of the Checkered Flag Challenge.

The park is also home to Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark, which is open year-round and protected from the elements.

Seasonal Events

The park offers a limited program of seasonal events, including regular evening fireworks, and DJs are on-site most weekends playing modern dance music or Latin vibes.

Where to Stay

The park is close to the town of Tannersville, where you will find a varied range of accommodation, including:

The Camelback Lodge — As one of the most sought-after resorts in the Poconos, this onsite hotel offers mountain lodge decor, spacious suites, and easy access to the park entrance.

Days Inn by Wyndham Tannersville — Simple, affordable accommodations with an outdoor pool, just a short drive from the park itself.

Where to Eat

There are plenty of places to refuel at Camelbeach that serve up freshly grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, and a variety of summer picnic fare that will have your mouth watering. Unlike many of the other water parks in America, Camelbeach also allows you to bring your own food on-site, although it can only be consumed in the picnic area.

Ticket Info

Discounts can be found when booking online, and multi-day passes are a better value than single-day tickets.

  • A single-day adult’s ticket starts at $44
  • Family Four4Fun tickets are available online only for $145

To find out more about ticket prices and promotional discounts available, visit the Camelbeach Mountain Park website.

17. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix (Glendale, Arizona)

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix Glendale AZ
Image Credit: Six Flags

2019 Visitors: 441,000

As a new addition to the highly successful Six Flags group, Hurricane Harbor is located in North Phoenix and offers 35 acres of watery fun, making it the largest theme park in the state of Arizona.

The park is home to more than 30 award-winning slides, rides, and attractions, including North America’s first gravity-defying dueling water coaster that blasts riders uphill.

How to Get There

Located in Maricopa County near Phoenix and Glendale’s border, the park can be reached easily by several transport options:

By Plane:

The closest international airport is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), that is just over 25 miles away from the park entrance. The airport also offers taxi, Uber, and car rental services for your onward journey.

Deer Valley Airport (DVT) is a smaller, domestic airport that offers limited services but is located just over 5 miles from Six Flags Hurricane Harbor.

By Road:

From Central Phoenix/Glendale — Take I-17 North and then exit at 217 Pinnacle Peak Road to enter the park.

From Scottsdale/Mesa/Tempe/Peoria/Sun City — Take the 101 North to I-17 North, then exit at 217 Pinnacle Peak Road to enter the park.

From Flagstaff — Take I-17 South and exit at 217 Pinnacle Peak Road to enter the park.

From California — Take I-10 East toward Phoenix to 101 North, before joining the I-17 North. Exit at 217 Pinnacle Peak Road for the entrance to the park.

By Public Transport:

By BusValley Metro bus lines 16, 19, 35, 138 and 154 will take you to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix.

By Train — You can catch the Valley Metro train number to 19th Avenue/Dunlap and take a bus from there to the park entrance. For journeys from further away, Maricopa is the closest Amtrak station, with limited services only running 3 days a week.

By Taxi or Shuttle — Some local hotels offer shuttle services to and from the park entrance, or you can book through SuperShuttle. There are various taxi companies in the area that will take you there.

Attractions, Rides, and Slides

Packed full of hydro-powered thrills, Hurricane Harbor Phoenix has some of the craziest water rides in the country, including the Tornado that shoots you from a height of 75 feet down a 132-foot tunnel at 35 feet per second, and the unique Bahama Blaster, an intense watery rollercoaster ride.

For more relaxed fun and frolics, the Adventure River offers family-friendly fun in the form of wave pools, tipping buckets, waterfalls, and fast-flowing water, while the Wahoo Racers ride offers side-by-side excitement in an enclosed tube adventure.

Even the youngest of visitors can have a wild time at Hurricane Harbor while enjoying the rides and splash pools at Coconut Bay, Splash Island, and Splashwater Beach. Hurricane Bay also offers family-friendly fun and gentle waves for everyone to enjoy.

Seasonal Events

Throughout the year, the park offers a range of fun events for visitors to enjoy. These include Friday night fun nights, Dive ‘n’ Movie events at Hurricane Bay, and members-only events. The park is also used for camps, clubs, scouts and cubs events throughout the year.

Where to Stay

Located close to Phoenix’s city, there are lots of hotels within easy reach of the water park. These include:

Days Inn by Wyndham Phoenix North — This budget hotel offers comfortable and clean accommodations just 2 miles from the entrance to Hurricane Harbor. Visitors love the good size family rooms, outdoor swimming pool, and free on-site parking.

Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix North Happy Valley — Offering spacious and comfortable family rooms, this modern hotel features an outdoor courtyard with a pool, hot tub, and a fire pit. It is also home to the Garden Grille & Bar and a full-service Pavilion Lounge Bar and is located less than 2 miles from the water park.

Bluegreen Vacations Cibola Vista Resort and Spa, an Ascend Resort — Offering courtyards, fountains, exotic gardens, a lagoon-style swimming pool with a 3-story waterslide, and an on-site spa, this hotel is one of the best in the area. There is also a full evening entertainment program, and horseback riding is available for an authentic taste of Arizona.

Where to Eat

There are 3 different dining options in the park itself. These include the Tidal Wave Café that serves up hamburgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, chicken, and pizzas and the Beachside Grill that offers a quick bite to fuel up on the go. There is also a Country Fried Chicken that serves up hot and tasty chicken, made just the way they like it in the desert state.

Ticket Info

There are lots of good deals to be found on the Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix website. You can find discounted ticket prices, seasonal passes, and extra features like free parking all available at different points throughout the season.

As a rough guide tickets prices start at around:

  • $44.99 for a single day adult ticket
  • $36.99 for a single day ticket for children under 48 inches, while children 2 years of age and younger go free
  • Season passes start from as little as $59.99, or you can purchase a Combo Season Pass for $149.99 that includes entrance to other Six Flags parks and attractions

To find out more about ticket prices and promotional discounts available, opening dates and seasonal events, take a peek at the Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix website.

16. Zoombezi Bay (Powell, Ohio)

Zoombezi Bay Powell OH
Image Credit: Zoombezi Bay

2019 Visitors: 466,000

Offering 22.7 acres of watery delights, Zoombezi Bay is part of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Powell, Ohio.

Packed full of thrilling water slides, roaring rapids, lazy rivers, wave pools, and so much more, the park is a great day out for visitors of all ages. Zoombezi Bay is also home to a brand new adults-only experience complete with in-water seating and a swim-up bar.

How to Get There

By Plane:

The nearest international airport to the water park is the John Glenn Columbus Airport (CMH), approximately 22 miles from the park entrance. As a major international airport, taxis, Uber, and car rentals can be found here for your onward journey.

By Car:

From Dublin, Ohio — Head on out on to the OH-257 North/Dublin-Prospect Road/Riverside Drive, and turn right onto OH-750 E. Head left for 800 feet and the entrance to the zoo and waterpark will be on your right.

From Downtown Columbus — Get on to I-71 N from E. Long Street and Elijah Pierce Avenue and keep left at the fork, following signs for I-71 N/Cleveland. Merge onto I-71 N and then on to I-270 before taking exit 20 to merge onto I-270 W. Follow Sawmill Road and signs to the zoo and water park.

From John Glenn Columbus Airport — Take I-270 N to Sawmill Road in Columbus until exit 20, then keep right at the fork to merge onto I-270 N. Use the right lane to take Hard Road and OH-257 N/Riverside Drive to take you to the entrance of the zoo and waterpark.

By Public Transport:

The Central Ohio Transport Authority (COTA) runs a dedicated zoo bus that runs from the city to the zoo and waterpark entrance. The service operates 5 times a day, and advanced tickets are subject to discounted fare prices.

For out of state visitors, Columbus can be reached by Greyhound buses into E. Town Street where you can cross the city to catch the zoo bus or other COTA lines. Sadly, Columbus is one of only a few cities in the U.S. to not access an Amtrak mainline station.

Attractions, Rides, and Slides

With 16 life-size baboon figurines, a multi-level play structure, and 10 exciting water slides, the Baboon Lagoon is Zoombezi Bay’s best-loved, family-friendly attraction. It also offers a challenging net climb, activity pool, and the crowd-pleasing 1,000-gallon tipping water bucket.

For those looking to ramp up the adrenaline, the Python Plunge is Ohio’s only water coaster that actually blasts riders uphill before plunging them down at exhilarating speeds, while the Slippery Seals Body Slides offer 310 feet of enclosed slides that see riders achieve speeds of up to 20 miles per hour before reaching the bottom.

The 2020 season also sees the Sandpiper Splash Drop Slides opening, which let the rider free fall from 4 to 6 feet, offering a whole new level of wet and wild adventures.

For a more laid back experience, adult guests can relax and unwind at the all-new Croctail Creek and The Sandbar, with its heated lounge pool and swim-up bar.

Seasonal Events

On certain Friday nights in the summer, the water park offers Family Nights that allow visitors to enjoy music, animals, character ambassadors, and Dive-in Movies until 11:00 p.m., while the wave pools also open until late for Summer Nights events. There are also special events held for season holders thought the season.

Where to Stay

Being located just under 20 miles from downtown Columbus, there are lots of different accommodation options close to both the city and the water park. Here are 3 of the best:

Cloverleaf Suites Columbus – Dublin — Located just over 3 miles from the park entrance, this hotel offers comfortable suites that come complete with fully-equipped kitchens and fireplaces. The hotel also has an outdoor pool, hot tub, and a DVD library for guests to use.

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Columbus Dublin — Offering modern accommodations just over 3 miles from Zoombezi Bay, guests here can enjoy a relaxing stay with access to the indoor swimming pool, fitness center, and free daily breakfast.

AC Hotel Columbus Dublin — This 4-star hotel offers well-appointed bedrooms and a touch of luxury just under 4 miles from the park entrance. Guests can also enjoy a daily continental breakfast and access to the fitness center.

Where to Eat

There is a wide variety of dining options at Zoombezi Bay, including the Big Island Grill and The Surfside Bar for burgers, Blue Pelican and Harbor Pizza and Wings for sandwiches and lighter bites, and Otters Street Tacos for authentic Mexican cuisine.

There are also 2 cocktail bars for visitors over 21 and Hurricane Heather’s Ice Cream Shack for sweet treats for all the family.

Ticket Info

There are a variety of ticket options for visiting Zoombezi Bay.

  • A single adult day ticket can be purchased for $29.99
  • A junior ticket for children aged 3 to 9 or adults over 60 can be purchased for $23.99, while children under 2 go free
  • Late day entrance tickets (after 3:00 p.m.) can be purchased for $12.99
  • Season passes start from $49.99 for adults

To find out more about ticket prices and promotional discounts available, opening dates, and seasonal events, information is available on the Zoombezi Bay website.

15. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown (Spring, Texas)

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown Spring TX
Image Credit: Six Flags

2019 Visitors: 475,000

Built on the home of the former Hanna-Barbera Land, Hurricane Harbor Splashtown is one of the newest members of the Six Flags family. Offering 40-acres and more than 2 million gallons of summer fun, this park promises to be packed full of adrenaline-filled watery adventures for all ages.

How To Get There

Located just north of Houston, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown can be found in the metropolitan area of Spring.

By Plane:

The closest airports to the water park are George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), which is some 15 miles away, or the smaller, domestic William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), which is just under 40 miles away. Both airports offer access to taxis, Uber, and rental cars for your onward journey.

By Road:

From Houston — Take I-45 N to North Freeway Service Road, then take exit 70A from I-45 N towards FM 2920/Tomball. Continue on North Freeway Service Road until you reach Splash Town Drive in Spring.

From Waco and the West — Take Highway 6 S to join I-45 S in Leon County. Then follow I-45 S to North Freeway Service Road in Harris County to exit 68, before taking the North Freeway Service Road to Splash Town Drive in Spring.

From Dallas and the North — Take 1-45 S as far down as exit 68, then join the North Freeway Service Road to Splash Town Drive in Spring.

From Shreveport and the East — Take US-259 S, I-69, and TX-99 to Grand Parkway in Spring. Then take the exit towards I-45/Houston/Dallas, and turn onto the North Freeway Service Road to Splash Town Drive in Spring.

By Public Transport:

Bus — The Metro line 209 runs from Travis Street in Houston to the gates of Splashtown in Spring.

Trains — There are no local train services, but Amtrak runs 79 services into Houston every day.

Taxis and Shuttles — There are currently no dedicated shuttle buses to and from the water park, but local hotels may offer their own services. There are a wide variety of cab companies in Houston that will take you there.

Attractions, Rides, and Slides

If you are looking for a slice of serious water park action, why not test your nerve on the unique, funnel-shaped waterslide of the Big Spin, or plummet down 7 stories of heart-pounding, free-falling excitement on the Paradise Plunge.

The Tornado starts 75 feet in the air and sends you down a 132-foot long tunnel, while the Vortex lets 2-person tubes speed through dark tunnels before being delivered into massive saucers of water.

For more sedate adventures, Paradise River lets you relax and catch some rays as you float along the lazy river, and Hurricane Bay is a huge man-made wave pool for all the family to enjoy.

Even little ones can join in the fun at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown, with Coconut Bay offering an interactive children’s’ area and the Tree House area that offers net ladders, slippery slides, and bucket blasters.

Seasonal Events

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown offers a variety of events throughout the season, including events for season pass holders and members, Texas Fest, and a Labor Day Luau.

Where to Stay

Being so close to the city of Houston, there are lots of places to stay close to the water park.

La Quinta by Wyndham Houston North-Spring — This modern hotel offers comfortable and convenient accommodations just 3 miles from the park entrance. Bedrooms are bright and spacious, and guests can enjoy the use of the indoor swimming pool, business center, and hotel bar.

Houston CityPlace Marriott at Springwoods Village — This lavish high-rise hotel is just over 3 miles from the water park and offers luxury touches throughout. Amenities include a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, and an on-site bar in a fantastic central location.

Hilton Garden Inn North Houston Spring — Located just 4.3 miles from Splashtown, this hotel offers large family rooms, as well as a daily buffet and American-style breakfast to set you up for a busy day. There is also a shared lounge and an on-site restaurant.

Where to Eat

Visitors to the park can enjoy chicken tenders, footlong chili cheese dogs, pizza, burgers, and fries at the Tidal Wave Cafe, or stop for a refreshing frozen beverage or an ice-cold beer at the Hula Bar.

There is also a selection of soft drinks and ice-cold treats available at the Icee Mix It Up, as well as alcoholic beverages, beers, and wines at Sharky’s Bar.

Ticket Info

There are lots of deals on entrance prices to be found on the website.

As a general rule, entrance to Hurricane Harbor Splashtown costs:

  • $39.99 for a single adult day ticket
  • $35.99 for a junior ticket for children aged under 48 inches, while children under 2 go free
  • Groups of 10 or more can enjoy discounted daily rates of $27.99 per person
  • Season passes start from $65.99 per person

To find out more about ticket prices and promotional discounts available, opening dates, and seasonal events, more information is available on the Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown website.

14. Typhoon Texas (Katy, Texas)

Typhoon Texas
Image Credit: Typhoon Texas

2019 Visitors: 478,000

One of the newest water parks in the U.S., Typhoon Texas offers family-oriented water fun just west of Houston. The park is relatively small compared to some of the other great water parks in the U.S., but there is still plenty to enjoy for children of all ages.

How to Get There

Texas is one of the largest and most accessible regions in the U.S., so getting to the park shouldn’t be a problem no matter where you’re coming from.

By Plane:

The 2 closest airports to the park are George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in north Houston and the smaller William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) to the southeast. Both airports are around a 30-minute drive from the park, and they both offer car rentals, public transportation, and taxi services.

By Road:

From Houston — Take exit 742 from I-10 W. Continue on the I-10 Frontage Road and follow signs for Typhoon Texas.

By Public Transport:

There is very little public transport outside the city of Houston that runs as far out as the water park. Visitors should consider car rental, taxi, or Uber instead.

Attractions, Rides, and Slides

For younger family members, the Buckaroo Bayou has plenty of mini slides and splash pads for the tiniest of Typhooners to enjoy. Families wanting to spend time in the water together can enjoy the crazy waves at Tidal Wave Bay, or rent a cabana to enjoy watching the world go by.

TheGully Washer features an 800-gallon water bucket and a play structure standing more than 4 stories tall, which is designed for children between 3 and 10 years old.

For bigger riders and sliders, the Typhoon will send you and 5 others crashing into a boomerang bend in a raft, while the Twister combines the thrills of a spiral flume with white water rafting.

If you just want to kick back and relax, the Lazy T river will let you float between the beaches and attractions throughout the park.

Seasonal Events

The water park holds a series of events throughout the summer, including weekly film nights, a summer concert series, and even a popular week-long “Christmas in July” event that features snow at the wave pool and amazing holiday-themed rides and celebrations.

Where to Stay

There are plenty of excellent locations for families to stay just a short distance from the park itself.

Residence Inn by Marriott Katy Mills — Offers fully equipped suites complete with their own kitchenette facilities that are perfect for families looking to visit Typhoon Texas.

Courtyard by Marriott I-10 / Park Row — A brand new hotel offering comfortable accommodations complete with an on-site bistro, an outdoor pool, and a patio area.

Wyndham Houston West Energy Corridor — An upmarket, contemporary lifestyle hotel complete with an indoor swimming pool and fitness center.

Where to Eat

Hungry visitors can enjoy the all-American fare at The River Grill, snack on pizza or gelato at Ray’s Pizzeria & Italian Icehouse, or enjoy traditional Texas BBQ at the Smoke House. Those with a sweet tooth can stop to cool down and eat ice cream at Mini Melts, while the E’ZEE Ice House has plenty of cold beers on tap for thirsty grownups.

Ticket Info

Prices vary depending on the day of the week and time of day that you visit.

  • Season passes are $44.99 per person

You can find out more on the Typhoon Texas website.

13. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor (Jackson, New Jersey)

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor New Jersey 2
Image Credit: Six Flags

2019 Visitors: 482,000

As part of the world-famous Six Flags group of amusements park, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor originally opened as Paradise Island in 1997 and was rebranded in 2007. Since then, it has continued to grow and is now one of the biggest water parks in the country.

How to Get There

Located in New Jersey, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor is easily accessible from anywhere in the country.

By Plane:

Both Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) are about 60 miles away from Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. You can find car rentals, public transport, and taxis available at both airports.

By Road:

From Within New Jersey – Take the N.J. Turnpike to exit 74, I-195 East to exit 16A, or Garden State Parkway to exit 98, then travel for 1 mile west of Route 537 to Six Flags.

From PhiladelphiaTake the Ben Franklin Bridge to Route 38 East, then the N.J. Turnpike to exit 7A, or Route 295 to I-195 East, and follow Route 537 to the park.

From New York — Take the George Washington Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel, or Holland Tunnel to the N.J. Turnpike South to exit 7A, then proceed to exit 16A on I-195 to Route 537 and the Six Flags exit.

From the Jersey ShoreTake Route 138 West or Garden State Parkway exit 98 to I-195 West to exit 16, then continue 1 mile west on Route 537 to Six Flags.

By Public Transport:

New Jersey has a vast network of public buses that will take you right to the gates of Hurricane Harbor. For details of times and routes, visit the NJ TRANSIT website.

Attractions, Rides, and Slides

There are plenty of family-friendly rides available at Hurricane Harbor. Ride family-sized rafts down Big Bamboo and Reef Runner, or enjoy the 696,000-gallon wave pool at the Blue Lagoon.

For tiny visitors, the Taak It Eez Ee Creek offers a scenic raft cruise down the lazy river, while Discovery Bay has mini pools and slides in its own shallow water playground.

For bigger kids of all ages, Big Wave Racer offers multiple lanes of slides with several steep drops, while adrenaline seekers should check out Cannonball, Wahini, and Geronimo Falls for fearsome 75-foot drops.

Seasonal Events

The park offers a varied program of seasonal events that usually coincide with national holidays and celebrations like Labor Day weekend or Fourth of July. Exhibitions by sculptors are also on offer at Hurricane Harbor.

Where to Stay

The park’s New Jersey location is easy to find, and the surrounding areas offer plenty of places to stay, including:

Days Inn East Windsor — A pet- and family-friendly hotel with its own outdoor pool and an onsite bar and grill.

Radisson Hotel Freehold — An upscale, contemporary hotel with a fitness center and seasonal pool, as well its own restaurant and lounge bar.

DoubleTree by Hilton Tinton Falls – Eatontown — Luxury accommodations just 25 minutes from the waterpark and 15 minutes from the beautiful Monmouth Beach resort and village.

Where to Eat

Visitors to the park can enjoy hearty steaks at the Boardwalk Steak & Fries, burgers and chicken sandwiches at Paradise Pizza & Grill, and a fabulous choice of meats at the Hurricane BBQ. The Poolside Bar and Grill has cold beers and jerk chicken, while Rita’s has frozen custard and cold drinks.

Ticket Info

Booking your tickets online in advance can help you save money, and multi-day passes usually offer better value than single-day tickets.

  • A single-day adult’s ticket starts at $24.99
  • 2-park season passes start at $95.99

To find out more about ticket prices and discounts available, visit the Six Flags Hurricane Harbor website.

12. Six Flags White Water (Marietta, Georgia)

Six Flags White Water
Image Credit: Six Flags

2019 Visitors: 526,000

Located just north of Atlanta, Six Flags White Water offers 69 acres of water fun that regularly sees over half a million visitors a year.

How to Get There

Located in the heart of Cobb County, the park is easy to get to from neighboring Atlanta and further afield.

By Plane:

The nearest airport to the Six Flags White Water park is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL). Here you will be able to find taxis, car rentals, and public transport for your journey to the park.

By Road:

From Atlanta — Take I-75 N/I-85 N and exit onto the I-75 N/I-85 N access road. Follow I-75 N to North Marietta Parkway NE in Marietta. Take exit 265 from I-75 N, then continue on North Marietta Parkway NE to the park entrance.

From Birmingham — Take I-20 E to I-285 N to I-75 N. Take exit 265 and follow the signs.

From Montgomery, Alabama — Head east on I-85 to Georgia. Go Northeast on I-85 to I-285 N. Continue on I-285 N to I-75 N. Take exit 265 and follow the signs.

From Greenville, South Carolina — Go southwest on I-185 to I-85 SW to Georgia. Go southwest on I-85 to I-285 West. Take I-75 N to exit 265 and follow the signs.

From Augusta — Go west on I-20 to I-75/85 N to I-75 N. Take exit 265 and follow the signs. You may also choose to bypass downtown traffic by continuing past I-75/85 to I-285 N. Follow I-285 to I-75 N. Take exit 265 and follow the signs.

By Public Transport:

MARTA trains operate services to the nearby Hamilton E. Holmes station, where you would then need to board the 201 bus to the park. Schedules, time, and prices can be found on the MARTA website.

Attractions, Rides, and Slides

For younger visitors, Buccaneer Bay is the perfect interactive splash park for little ones, as well as the Skull Island soaking zone and the Activity Pool. For families looking to play together, try the Atlanta Ocean Wave Pool, or work together to control your giant raft at the Bahama Bob Slide.

For bigger thrill-seekers, Black River Falls sends you on a journey through a 400-foot twisting descent into total liquid darkness, and the Gulf Coast Screamer is a very fast, very slippery, high-walled open course that starts with an epic airborne launch.

Seasonal Events

The water park runs a series of events throughout the summer, including Dive-In Movie nights, where you can float on the Atlanta Ocean Wave Pool while watching your favorite film. It also offers regular music events.

Where to Stay

Atlanta is a vibrant city with lots of great accommodations close to the park, including:

Days Inn by Wyndham Marietta White Water — Budget-friendly, modern, and clean accommodations with a pool, located just 700 meters from the entrance to the Six Flags White Water attractions.

Days Inn by Wyndham Marietta-Atlanta-Delk Road — More wallet-busting, this is a top-quality accommodation close to the park entrance with its own outdoor pool and fitness center.

Stanley House Inn — An 1895-era bed and breakfast with sumptuous interiors. Perfect for those who want to experience Marietta and visit White Water which is less than 2 miles away.

Where to Eat

As with all of the Six Flags water parks, there are plenty of places to eat. Chicken tenders, footlong corn dogs, and chili cheese dogs can all be found at Seaside Fries, while Sternwheeler Hamburgers serves up turkey legs, burgers, and grilled chicken sandwiches. For a healthier option, head to Beachside Smoothies or grab a filling bowl of pasta at Primo’s Pizzeria.

Ticket Info

Booking your tickets online in advance can help you save money, and there are discounts for multi-park tickets and 2- or 3-day passes.

  • A single adult day ticket starts at $22.49
  • 2-park season passes start at $75

To find out more information about ticket prices and the promotional discounts available, visit the Six Flags White Water website.

11. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor (Arlington, Texas)

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Arlington TX
Image Credit: Six Flags

2019 Visitors: 538,000

As one of the biggest attractions in Texas, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Arlington offers a ton of body slides, speed slides, tube slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and shopping areas. First opened in 1995, it has gone on to become one of the best water parks in the country.

How to Get There

Situated between Dallas and Fort Worth, there are plenty of ways to access the park.

By Plane:

The nearest airport is Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). Visitors can continue their onward journey using taxis, rental cars, and even public transport.

By Road:

From West Texas — Travel east on I-20 toward Dallas-Fort Worth until you reach the exit for DFW Airport (S.H. 360 N). Travel north on 360 for approximately 6 miles and take the Lamar Boulevard exit on your right. Follow the signs to the park.

From East Texas/Shreveport — Travel west on I-20 toward Dallas-Fort Worth until you reach the exit for DFW Airport (S.H. 360 N). Travel north on 360 for approximately 6 miles and take the Lamar Boulevard exit on your right. Follow the signs to the park.

From Huntsville/Houston — Travel north on I-45 until you reach I-20. Travel west on I-20 toward Dallas-Fort Worth until you reach the exit for DFW Airport (S.H. 360 N). Travel north on 360 for approximately 6 miles and take the Lamar Boulevard exit on your right. Follow the signs to the park.

From Waco/Austin/San Antonio — Travel north on I-35. When you get to the city of Hillsboro, I-35 will split. Take I-35 W north until you reach I-20. Travel east on I-20 toward Dallas-Fort Worth until you reach the exit for DFW Airport (S.H. 360 N). Travel north on 360 for approximately 6 miles and take the Lamar Boulevard exit on your right. Follow the signs to the park.

By Public Transport:

Greyhound buses operate services that run to the park from all over Texas. You can find out more about routes, timetables, and prices on the Greyhound website.

Attractions, Rides, and Slides

Kids of all ages will love Surf Lagoon with its million-gallon wave pool, Hook’s Ship with its tiny slides, water sprayers, and shallow pools, and the massive interactive water playground at Splashwater Beach. For family time, the Lazy River offers a relaxing scenic raft cruise past all of the coolest harbors in the neighborhood.

Thrill-seekers will certainly not be left wanting here either. The Dive Bomber is a 7-story free-fall ride, the Tornado will send you 132 feet down a tunnel into the mouth of a gigantic funnel, and the Geronimo goes from a horizontal start to a dramatic 6-story slide into open water.

Seasonal Events

Throughout the summer, the park offers regular Dive-In Movie nights. Relax and float while you watch your favorite family movie on a giant screen next to the iconic wave pool. The park also hosts end-of-season swimming celebrations.

Where to Stay

Being close to both Dallas and Fort Worth, there is a huge selection of accommodations that offer easy access to the park, including:

Hilton Garden Inn Dallas Arlington — A family-friendly upscale hotel that offers flexible sleeping accommodations, as well as an outdoor pool and a fitness center.

Four Points by Sheraton Dallas Arlington Entertainment District — At the heart of the entertainment district in Arlington, this smart but laid-back hotel is close to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor and other attractions.

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Arlington/DFW South — Suite-based accommodations close to the water park, complete with an outdoor pool and communal grilling areas.

Where to Eat

There are plenty of great places to eat at Hurricane Harbor. At the Beachside Grill, you can enjoy a hamburger or hot dog, while Peg Leg Pete’s serves up steaming hot pizza and pasta dishes. Healthy salads can be found at Pedro’s Pier, while your sweet tooth will fall in love with the goodies on offer at Dippin’ Dots Sundae Shop.

Ticket Info

Booking your tickets online and in advance can help you save money. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor is also near Six Flags Over Texas, so you may want to look at multi-park passes if you want to experience everything on offer.

  • A single adult day ticket starts from $22.49
  • 2-park season passes start at $89.99

To find out more information about ticket prices and promotional discounts available, visit the Six Flags Hurricane Harbor website.

10. Splish Splash (Calverton, New York)

Splish Splash Calverton
Image Credit: Splish Splash

2019 Visitors: 542,000

Splish Splash is a 96-acre water park in Calverton, New York. It is open from May until September and offers over 30 rides and slides for families to enjoy.

How to Get There

Being just 60 miles north of New York City, there are many ways to reach the water park from anywhere in the country.

By Plane:

The nearest airport is John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), which offers car rentals, taxis, and public transportation.

By Road:

From NYC, Nassau, or Western Suffolk — Take the Long Island Expressway Eastbound to exit 72 west. Take the west ramp and turn left at the first traffic light onto Splish Splash Drive.

From the Hamptons — Take Sunrise Highway (Route 27) westbound to Route 24 North to the traffic circle. Follow the signs for Main Street or Route 25 West. Take Route 25 West approximately 4 miles. Cross over the Long Island Expressway and turn left at the first traffic light onto Splish Splash Drive.

By Public Transport:

The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) offers a shuttle bus to the water park from various destinations in New York state. Information about times, prices, and routes can be found on the LIRR website.

Attractions, Rides, and Slides

The park has its very own children’s play areas, complete with cabana rental so you can sit back and relax while they play. Monsoon Lagoon is an interactive shipwreck with climbing ropes, water cannons, and slides, while the Octopus Pool lets little ones play on the arms of a giant octopus.

Older visitors may want to get their kicks on some of the more adrenaline-fueled slides and rides, including the Riptide Racer for super-fast sliding, Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror for 40-foot drops and 360-degree spins all in complete darkness, or the Giant Twister that weaves through the treetops.

Seasonal Events

The water park offers seasonal shows and attractions during the summer months. The 4 shows hosted daily by International Parrot Trainer Weldon Middlebrooks are particularly popular and fit with the pirate theme found throughout the attractions.

Where to Stay

Long Island has plenty of hotels, motels, and lodges all located close to the water park, including:

Hilton Garden Inn Riverhead — An upmarket hotel that offers spacious bedrooms, a fitness center, a heated indoor pool, and an outdoor holistic spa just 1 mile from the park entrance.

Hotel Indigo Long Island – East End — A classic Hamptons hotel that offers fine dining and upmarket accommodations for the more discerning family travelers, just 2 miles from the water park.

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites East End — A well-presented modern hotel with a fitness center and an outdoor swimming pool located 2 miles from the park entrance and close to local amenities.

Where to Eat

There is a good choice of eateries available throughout the park. For burgers and hot dogs, check out Johnny Rockets, or for first-class pizza pop into Tony’s Italian Feast. For sweet treats and ice cream, the Plaza Ice Cream shop has you covered.

The Snack Shack also offers organic food for little ones, and the Last Chance Grill has BBQ and cold beers.

Ticket Info

Booking your tickets online can save you money, and Splish Splash has discounts for off-peak visits and group bookings.

  • A single adult day ticket starts at $44.99
  • A single child day ticket starts at $34.99
  • Group tickets offer further discounts, and annual passes are available from $72.99

To find out more about ticket prices and promotional discounts available, visit the Splish Splash website.

9. Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston (Galveston, Texas)

Schlitterbahn Galveston TX
Image Credit: Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston

2019 Visitors: 567,000

Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston is an American family-owned water park in the coastal island of Galveston in Texas. First opened in 1979, the park offers over 26 acres of fabulous, family-friendly fun for everyone.

How to Get There

Based close to the popular holiday destination of Galveston, the park is easily accessible from all over the country.

By Plane:

William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) is the closest regional airport to the park itself, and the next closest is George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston. Both airports offer taxis, car rental services, and access to public transport for your onward journey to the park.

By Road:

From Houston — Take I-45 S toward Galveston and exit at 61st Street. Then turn right on 61st Street, right on Seawall, right on 81st Street, and left to 2109 Lockheed St.

From San Antonio — Take I-10 E toward Houston, then I-45 S toward Galveston. Exit at 61st Street, then turn right on 61st Street, right on Seawall, right on 81st Street, and left to 2109 Lockheed St.

From Dallas/Fort Worth — Take I-45 S toward Galveston and exit at 61st Street. Then turn right on 61st Street, right on Seawall, right on 81st Street, and left to 2109 Lockheed St.

By Public Transport:

The public transportation system in Galveston is very good, and there are a variety of buses that stop close to the entrance to the park. You can find out more about timetables, routes, and ticket prices on the Island Transport website.

Attractions, Rides, and Slides

Younger visitors will love their time at Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston. Kristle Bay, with its man-made beach, huge pool, and access to the lazy river ride, is a great place to relax as a family. Tiki Tikes is a dedicated kids area complete with 2 kid-sized slides, water sprays, a frog slide, a waterdrop shower, and a shallow-water pool.

If you want to ramp up the thrill factor, the park is also home to the Faust and Furious waterslides, the Soaring Eagle zip lines, and the Massive Monster Blaster, certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Tallest Water Coaster.

Seasonal Events

The water park offers a range of charitable events and promotional days throughout the year. During the winter, it opens its indoor water park on weekends and holidays, where you can enjoy indoor rides, slides, and even beaches.

Where to Stay

There are plenty of wonderful places to stay close to Galveston and Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston, including:

Hilton Galveston Island Resort — An upscale resort hotel with outdoor pools and beach access, just 2 miles away from the entrance to the park.

The Inn at the Waterpark — A convenient and economical option for families looking to stay close to the park, this hotel offers comfortable and modern accommodations with a pool and outdoor play area.

Moody Gardens Hotel — Spoil yourselves at this luxury hotel right on the doorstep of the water park and other local attractions. Facilities include a living rainforest, a massive aquarium, and a lagoon with cascading waterfalls.

Where to Eat

The park has lots of places to stop and refuel, where you can enjoy delicious cheeseburgers, crispy chicken strips, chili cheese dogs, hand-made pizzas, and more. You can also find excellent Texas BBQ — brisket, peppered sausage, and smoked turkey legs — as well as funnel cakes and exclusive Dippin’ Dots flavors.

Ticket Info

Booking your tickets online and in advance can help you save money, and there are discounts for multi-park tickets and 2- or 3- day passes.

  • A single adult day ticket starts at $39.99
  • Season passes are also available from $94.99

To find out more information about ticket prices and the promotional discounts available, visit the Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston website.

8. Aquatica San Antonio (San Antonio, Texas)

Aquatica San Antonio TX
Image Credit: Aquatica San Antonio

2019 Visitors: 651,000

Aquatica San Antonio is a family-friendly, South Seas-inspired water park packed with thrill rides, pleasant beaches, and its very own underwater grotto, complete with tropical fish. This water-based paradise is situated next to the world-famous SeaWorld San Antonio, and the park offers 18 acres of fun for visitors of all ages.

How to Get There

Aquatica San Antonio is located approximately 18 miles from downtown San Antonio and is easily accessible via several different modes of transport, including:

By Plane:

The nearest major airport is San Antonio International Airport (SAT), which is approximately 17 miles from the water park. The airport offers a wide variety of travel options for your onward journey, including regular access to taxis, car rental, and public transportation services.

By Road:

From San Antonio International Airport — Take Loop 410 W to SeaWorld exit, then take Highway 151 W to Westover Hills Boulevard and turn left. Westover Hills Boulevard will take you directly to SeaWorld’s entrance for access to the Aquatica water park.

From Downtown San Antonio — Take I-37 S to Highway 90 W and exit at Highway 151 W. Then take the Westover Hills Boulevard exit and turn left. Westover Hills Boulevard will take you directly to SeaWorld’s entrance for access to the Aquatica water park.

From Corpus Christi — Take I-37 N, then exit to Highway 90 W. Take Highway 151 W to Westover Hills Boulevard and turn left. Westover Hills Boulevard will take you directly to SeaWorld’s entrance and the water park.

From Austin or Dallas — Take I-35 S to Loop 410 W, then Highway 151 W to Westover Hills Boulevard. Turn left at Westover Hills Boulevard, which will take you directly to SeaWorld’s entrance and the water park.

By Public Transport

By Bus:

VIA Metropolitan Transport routes, 64, 501, 534, 606, 618, and 620 all stop close to the water park entrance.

By Train:

Amtrak offers over 20 scheduled services per day to and from San Antonio station. The VIA metro line 64 will take you to the entrance of SeaWorld and the water parks from the station.

By Shuttle:

Some local hotels offer their own shuttle services to the Aquatica resort, or shuttle rides can be booked direct using the Jayride service.

Attractions, Rides, and Slides

Come face to face with stingrays and tropical fish in the park’s main attraction, the Stingray Falls underwater grotto.

If a 4-seat raft ride under the water seems too tame for you and your fellow thrill-seekers, the all-new Tonga Twister is an enclosed water slide that offers over 400 feet of twists and turns accompanied by electrifying sight and sounds. The Hooroo Run and Tassie’s Twister also offer twists, turns, and terrifying drops in single or double tube runs.

Suppose you want to try something completely different. In that case, the Walhalla Wave is a one-of-a-kind family ride that sends guests soaring through the waves on clover-shaped tubes to the top of a zero-gravity wall, giving riders an amazing sense of weightlessness.

For younger members of the family, there are plenty of interactive outdoor funhouses and kids’ tropical activity pools. Cutback Cove, Slippity Dippity, and Kookaburra Cove also offer slides and wave pools for all the family to enjoy, and Walkabout Waters has 3 stories of watery fun for everyone to enjoy.

Seasonal Events

Aquatica is open on various days from May through to October. The park can be closed due to poor weather conditions, so always check before you travel.

There are currently no seasonal events planned at the park, but SeaWorld San Antonio is located just next door and runs a full program of events, including beer festivals, food festivals, and Halloween and Christmas events, as well as special member-only days.

Where to Stay

San Antonio is a vibrant city in South Central Texas. There are lots of options to choose from when staying in the area, but here are 3 of the most conveniently located hotels for a trip to Aquatica San Antonio:

Holiday Inn San Antonio Northwest- SeaWorld Area — This family-friendly hotel offers spacious rooms and suites, both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and an American-style restaurant. Located just 1.5 miles from the entrance of Aquatica San Antonio, this is an excellent base from which to explore some of the most famous attractions the area has to offer.

Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa — This upscale spa resort is situated just a mile from the Aquatica San Antonio water park and offers a touch of luxury during your stay. With a 27-hole championship golf course, a choice of 7 restaurants, a 4-acre water park with a lazy river, and 3 pools, this is a destination all on its own.

Staybridge Suites San Antonio Sea World — This budget-friendly hotel offers good size suites just over half a mile from the Aquatica San Antonio entrance. The hotel also offers a putting green, an on-site gym, and an outdoor swimming pool.

Where to Eat

There are 3 different eateries to choose from inside the water park itself. The Waterstone Grill offers burgers, pizzas, and sandwiches as well as ice-cold beers and soft drinks, while the Mango Market specializes in sandwiches, specialty wraps, and hot dogs, along with kid’s meals and delicious desserts. Big Surf Snacks also offers sandwiches, salads, and kid’s meals for a quick bite to eat on the go.

Ticket Info

Booking your tickets online can help you save money, and there are discounts for booking a specific date in advance.

  • A single-day ticket for adults starts at $44
  • A single-day ticket for children aged 3-9 starts at $38, children under 2 go free
  • 3-day multi-park (Aquatica San Antonio and SeaWorld San Antonio) passes available from $70.99 in advance
  • Seasonal passes start from $79 per person.

To find out more about ticket prices and promotional discounts available, visit the Aquatica San Antonio website.

7. Adventure Island (Tampa, Florida)

Adventure Island Tampa FL
Image Credit: Adventure Island

2019 Visitors: 656,000

Adventure Island is across the street from Busch Gardens and is part of the SeaWorld Entertainment group. With a pedigree like that, it’s no surprise that this park is one of the most popular in America.

How to Get There

Tampa is home to lots of fun family-focused attractions, and getting there shouldn’t be a problem.

By Plane:

The nearest airports to the park are Tampa International Airport (TPA) and Peter O. Knight Regional Airport (TPF). You can pick up taxis, rental cars, and shuttles from the main airport, or catch public transportation to continue on your journey.

By Road:

From Orlando — Travel west on I-4 to I-75. Go north on I-75 to the Fowler Avenue exit 265. This is also the exit for the University of South Florida. Bear left on the exit ramp, and it will lead you directly onto Fowler Avenue. Proceed west on Fowler Avenue to McKinley Drive. McKinley Drive is the first light past the main entrance to the University.

Turn left on McKinley. Proceed south on McKinley to parking and the main entrance to the park. Adventure Island will be on the left side of McKinley when proceeding south.

From St.Petersburg — Travel north on I-275 to the Fowler Avenue exit. Turn east (right) onto Fowler Avenue and proceed 2.5 miles to McKinley Drive. Turn south (right) onto McKinley and proceed to the main parking lot entrance. Adventure Island will be on the left side of McKinley when proceeding south.

By Public Transport:

Some buses run from Tampa out to the attractions at Tampa Bay. You can find schedules, routes, and ticket prices on the Hart Bus Service website. Alternatively, some local hotels offer shuttle services to and from the water park as well as Busch Gardens.

Attractions, Rides, and Slides

Adventure Island is perfect for families with younger children, with Fabian’s Fun Port offering lots of bubbly springs and jumping jets as well as a water-friendly jungle gym. Everything in Fabian’s Fun Port is sized just right for smaller hands and kid-size courage. There is also the Splash Attack maze with a huge treehouse and more than 50 water toys.

Older (and braver) visitors will love the epic 70-foot free-fall excitement of Vanish Point, the high-speed twists and turns of the Caribbean Corkscrew, and the epic waterfalls of the Colossal Curl.

There are also rafting experiences for the whole family to enjoy along the Key West Rapids.

Seasonal Events

The park offers a limited program of events that are usually centered around local holidays and special occasions.

Where to Stay

As the attraction capital of the world, Tampa (and Florida as a whole) has plenty of fabulous resort hotels for you to stay in. Some of the closest to Adventure Island include:

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa – USF – Busch Gardens — Perfect for families of all sizes, this upscale hotel has good-size accommodations as well as a pool and fitness center.

Wingate by Wyndham Tampa/At USF — Straightforward but comfortable accommodations close to the park entrance and other attractions. Guests also have use of the pool and fitness center, and all rooms have their own kitchen facilities.

Baymont Inn & Suites Tampa near Busch Gardens / USF — Relaxed lodgings close to all the main Tampa attractions that offer an outdoor pool and a casual bar close to all of the local attractions.

Where to Eat

Adventure Island offers a wide range of eateries to suit all tastes and ages. Duval Street Barbecue serves up tasty ribs, dry rubs, and big portions, while the Surfside Cafe has burgers and fresh salads. Colossal Snacks will keep you cool with ice cream sundaes, while Beachside Craft Brews has cold beers for the grownups to enjoy.

Ticket Info

Booking your tickets online in advance can help you save money, and there are discounts for multi-park tickets and 2- or 3-day passes.

  • A single adult day ticket for guests over 3 years old starts at $60.99; a buy one, get 50 percent off deal is currently being offered

To find out more information about ticket prices and promotional discounts available, visit the Adventure Island website.

6. Water Country USA (Williamsburg, Virginia)

Water Country USA
Image Credit: Water Country USA

2019 Visitors: 736,000

As the Mid-Atlantic’s largest water park, Water Country USA offers a 700-foot lazy river and a wealth of water rides and attractions, all with a 1950s Americana theme.

How to Get There

Williamsburg is easily accessible from nearly everywhere in the country.

By Plane:

Richmond International Airport (RIC), Norfolk International Airport (ORF), and Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport (PHF) are all within a 45-minute drive of the water park.

Each of the 3 airports has taxis, car rentals, and access to public transport for your journey.

By road:

From Virginia Beach and Norfolk — Drive up I-64 W and take exit 242B to VA-199 E. Turn right onto Water Country Parkway and follow it until you reach the park entrance.

From Richmond — Get on I-64 E and take exit 242B to VA-199 E. Turn right onto Water Country Parkway and follow it until you reach the park entrance.

From Washington, D.C. — From I-95 S, take exit 84A for I-295 S. Take exit 28A for I-64 E toward Norfolk/V.A. Beach, then continue to exit 242B to VA-199 E. Turn right onto Water Country Parkway and follow it until you reach the park entrance.

By Public Transport:

Buses run from Williamsburg to the park entrance. You can find out more about timetables, routes, and pricing at the WATA website.

Attractions, Rides, and Slides

There are lots of kid-friendly rides, slides, and play parks at Water Country USA. The Cow-A-Bunga splash area is perfect for kids of all ages, while the H2O UFO is a space-themed play area with interactive slides and water fountains.

Older visitors can enjoy more thrilling rides and slides on the Colossal Curl mega slide, the twisting waterfall of darkness in the Aquazoid, and the 4-flume adventure of the Jet Stream.

There are also plenty of fun rafting experiences for the whole family on the Hubba Bubba Highway.

Seasonal Events

The park has a very limited program of events, but it does offer celebration days for its seasonal opening and closing, as well as some special additions for national holidays and celebrations.

Where to Stay

Williamsburg is a residential city in Virginia, and there are plenty of accommodation options close to both the city and the park.

Wyndham Garden Williamsburg Busch Gardens Area — Budget-friendly, clean, and comfortable chain accommodations with an outdoor pool and garden space, close to the entrance of the park.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Williamsburg — This modern hotel is close to the highway and offers easy access to both the water park and downtown Williamsburg.

King’s Creek Plantation — Set in a gated community, these homely cottages offer an alternative to hotels and have access to private decks, an outdoor pool, and an indoor aquatic center.

Where to Eat

When it’s time to take a break from the waves and the waterslides, there are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat in the park. The Boardwalk Southwest Grill serves up burritos and nachos with a Mexican flair, while the LaunchPad Express Cafe offers subs, paninis, and wraps.

If you fancy a burger, the Catalina Grille Diner has plenty on offer, and Coolsville has lots of different ice cream flavors to choose from.

Ticket Info

Booking your tickets online can help you save money, and there are discounts for 2- or 3-day passes.

  • A single-day ticket for visitors over 3 years old starts at $45.99
  • Group tickets offer further discounts, and there are often online flash sales if you book through the website

To find out more information about ticket prices and promotional discounts available, visit the Water Country USA website.

5. Schlitterbahn Waterpark New Braunfels (New Braunfels, Texas)

Schlitterbahn New Braunfels TX
Image Credit: Schlitterbahn Waterpark New Braunfels

2019 Visitors: 996,000

Schlitterbahn Waterpark New Braunfels is a family-owned water park located deep in the heart of central Texas. With more than 51 attractions spread across 70 acres, this is the flagship water park for the Schlitterbahn brand.

How to Get There

New Braunfels is a resort town in the Texas Hill Country, and it’s fairly easy to reach using various forms of transportation.

By Plane:

The nearest major airport is San Antonio International Airport (SAT). This airport is approximately 30 miles from the water park, and visitors can pick up a taxi, rental car, or public transportation there.

By Road:

From the North on I-35 — Take exit 190A on the north side of New Braunfels. Go approximately 1 mile south on Business 35 to Highway 46/Loop 337. Turn right on Highway 46/Loop 337 to Common Street. Turn left on Common Street and go straight. To enter Schlitterbahn, stay on Common Street until you reach Liberty Street. Turn right on Liberty Street to the Castle Entrance.

From the South on I-35 — Take exit 184 on the south side of New Braunfels. Turn left on Rueckle Road/Loop 337. Stay on Loop 337 approximately 8 miles to Common Street. Turn right on Common Street. To enter Schlitterbahn, stay on Common Street until you reach Liberty Street. Turn right on Liberty Street to the Castle Entrance.

By Public Transport:

There is no direct link to the park from the nearest large city of San Antonio. However, you can use the Greyhound bus service to San Marcos or the VIA Metropolitan Transport Bus to Kitty Hawk Road and then take a taxi to complete your journey.

Local company Bella Luna Shuttles also operates a shuttle bus that links the park with other local attractions in San Antonio.

Attractions, Rides, and Slides

Schlitterbahn Waterpark New Braunfels is divided into 2 distinctly different sections. Kristal Cove has a large warm pool, and its manmade beach is perfect for spending time with the family. Blastenhoff Beach has a wave pool suitable for all ages, and the Tadpole Kiddie pool has slides, jets, and water blasters for the little ones to enjoy.

When it comes to higher-octane activities, Schlitterbahn Waterpark New Braunfels has some of the most thrilling water rides and slides in the country. The Master Blaster Uphill Water Coaster combines the thrills of a roller coaster with a high-speed water slide that’s over 6 stories tall and 1,000 feet long, while the Black Knight sends you down totally enclosed flumes in complete darkness.

Whether you want to relax in the Texas sunshine or spend the day screaming with delight and fear, there is plenty for the family to enjoy.

Seasonal Events

Throughout the summer, the park offers several musical events. Every Saturday night, visitors can enjoy live music around the lagoon as part of the Rock the Bahn program. Entrance to the concerts is free with admission.

Where to Stay

New Braunfels is a tourist destination in the Texas Hill Country, so there’s no shortage of good hotels available, including:

The Schlitterbahn Resort — Located in the park itself, this resort offers a variety of accommodation types, including Treehuas Luxury Suites, Riverbend Cabins, and traditional hotel rooms and studios.

Hilton Garden Inn New Braunfels — Family-friendly accommodations in a sophisticated hotel, complete with its own outdoor pool and American-style restaurant.

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott New Braunfels — A bright and modern hotel with an indoor pool and fitness center located close to the water park’s main entrance.

Where to Eat

There are plenty of food outlets available across both sections of the park. From smoked BBQ, half-pound foot-long chili cheese dogs, or the park’s very own Bahn Burgers, you and your family will never go hungry here! Sweet lovers will also enjoy the park’s funnel cakes, hand-scooped ice creams, and Dippin’ Dots. There is also a designated picnic area if you wish to bring your own food.

Ticket Info

Booking your tickets online can help you save money, and there are discounts for booking a specific date in advance.

  • A single-day ticket for adults starts at $34.99
  • Groups of 15 more are eligible for further discounts, and season passes start at $94.99

To find out more about ticket prices and promotional discounts available, visit the Schlitterbahn Waterpark New Braunfels website.

4. Aquatica Orlando (Orlando, Florida)

Aquatica Orlando FL
Image Credit: Aquatica Orlando

2019 Visitors: 1,533,000

Aquatica Orlando is owned by the SeaWorld Entertainment group and offers 59 acres of the fabulous fun and attractions you’d expect from one of the world’s biggest theme park brands. Catering to visitors of all ages, you and your family will find plenty of ways to keep cool at Aquatica Orlando.

How to Get There

As part of the attractions and resorts in Orlando, you should have no problem getting to Aquatica Orlando.

By Plane:

The nearest airport to the park is Orlando International Airport (MCO), which also services most of the other big attractions in the area. The airport offers plenty of taxis, rental cars, shuttle services, and public transport for your onward journey.

By Road:

From Tampa or Highway I-92 — Jump on I-4 eastbound, then get off at exit 71 (SeaWorld exit). Take a right off the ramp onto Central Florida Parkway (follow signs toward SeaWorld), then turn left onto Sea Harbor Drive. Aquatica is just past SeaWorld across International Drive.

From Downtown Orlando — Jump on I-4 westbound, then get off on exit 72 (Highway 528/Beachline Expressway). Get off on International Drive (exit 1), then take a left at the bottom of the ramp (follow signs toward SeaWorld). Aquatica is just across the street from SeaWorld on International Drive.

By Public Transport:

Because of the sheer volume of attractions in the Orlando area, there are many ways to reach the water park using the free or low-cost shuttle buses that carry visitors around the resorts. 2 of the best companies to use are Lynx Buses Public Transportation or the iRide Trolley, as well as numerous shuttle services operated by local hotels.

Attractions, Rides, and Slides

For the youngest members of your party, Kata’s Kookaburra Cove has beginner’s body slides, water spouts, and pools, while the Walkabout Waters offer junior slides, splash pools, and squirting water. If you’re looking for a lazy day on the beach, there are plenty of white sandy beach areas and wading pools for you to sit back and relax in.

If you want something more thrilling, Ihu’s Breakaway Falls is the steepest capsule drop water ride in Orlando, and the Taumata Racer is a high-speed competitive mat ride where 8 racers rip headfirst down a staggeringly steep hill. Most of the rides at Aquatica Orlando are designed with families in mind and are suitable for riders of all ages.

Seasonal Events

Because this park is part of the SeaWorld group, most shows and events can be found within SeaWorld Orlando. You can check the Aquatica Orlando website before you visit or call them to see if the park itself has any additional entertainment or celebrations planned during your visit.

Where to Stay

Orlando is home to some of the finest family-friendly resort hotels in the world, so whatever your budget, you won’t struggle to find somewhere to stay.

Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld — Large family hotel situated just a mile from the park itself. With 2 pool areas and plenty of other facilities, this is a great base from which to explore the Orlando attractions.

TownePlace Suites by Marriott Orlando at SeaWorld — Suite-based accommodations with large rooms and separate kitchens close to Aquatica Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando. The hotel also offers an outdoor swimming pool and an onsite gym.

Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld — An upscale hotel perfectly situated for exploring the water park and other local attractions, as well as offering an enormous pool area, restaurant, and bar.

Where to Eat

The park’s main eatery, The Waterstone Grill, serves up succulent sandwiches, juicy hamburgers, specialty wraps, salads, kids meals, and delicious desserts. Banana Beach Cookout offers BBQ chicken, pulled pork, and a selection of sausages. If you want something quick and easy, the Mango Market has sandwiches, salads, fruit, desserts, snacks, and sweet treats.

Ticket Info

Booking your tickets online can help you save money, and there are discounts for booking multi-park tickets (which is usually the preferred option in Orlando).

  • A single adult day ticket for guests over 3 years old starts at $71.99; a buy one, get 50 percent off deal is currently being offered

To find out more about ticket prices and discounts available, visit the Aquatica Orlando website.

3. Universal’s Volcano Bay (Orlando, Florida)

Universals Volcano Bay
Image Credit: Universal

2019 Visitors: 1,811,000

Universal’s Volcano Bay is a themed water park at the world-famous Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida. The park is based around an amazing 200-foot tall human-made volcano called Krakatau. Opened in May 2017, Volcano Bay is already one of the most popular water parks in all the U.S.

How to Get There

Getting to and from the attractions at the Universal Orlando Resort is easy, and there are plenty of ways to do so.

By Plane:

The nearest airport to the park is Orlando International Airport (MCO), which also services most of the other big attractions in the area. The airport offers plenty of taxis, rental cars, shuttle services, and public transport options.

By road:

From Orlando International Airport — Take SR-528 W 11 miles to I-4 E, then continue for 2 miles to exit 75A. Follow the signs to Universal Orlando Resort’s main parking garage or any of the 3 main attractions.

From I-4 Eastbound (Disney/Lake Buena Vista/Kissimmee) — Take I-4 E to exit 75A, then follow the signs to Universal Orlando Resort’s main parking garage or to one of the attractions.

From I-4 Westbound (Downtown Orlando) — Take I-4 W to exit 74B, then follow the signs to Universal Orlando Resort’s main parking garage or to one of the 3 resort hotels.

By Public Transport:

Because of the sheer volume of attractions in the Orlando area, there are many ways to reach the water park using the free or low-cost shuttle buses that carry visitors around the resort.

2 of the best companies to use are Lynx Buses Public Transportation and the iRide Trolley, as well as any of the numerous shuttle services operated by local hotels. Some shuttles run between Universal Studios and Volcano Bay.

Attractions, Rides, and Slides

The park offers a ton of watery fun for everyone. At the forefront of theme park technology, it also offers the Tapu Tapu wearables that let you wait in virtual lines, pay for your food, and play in the water without getting your wallet wet.

For the younger visitors in your family, Volcano Bay offers Waturi Beach with golden sands, lush landscapes, and a huge lagoon where you can all swim, splash, and relax in the warm waves. Tot Tiki Reef offers pint-sized slides and water play areas, and it’s carefully watched by lifeguards at all times.

More adventurous guests will enjoy the Krakatau Aqua Coaster, which sends you on a thrilling adventure through the belly of the volcano in 4-man canoes before plunging through a shimmering waterfall.

There is also the Ko’okiri Body Plunge, a near-vertical (70-degree drop) speed slide with a trap-door start that passes through the Krakatau volcano before falling 125 feet into a beautiful pool at its base.

Seasonal Events

There are no specific events held in the water park, but the neighboring Universal Orlando Resort has a full program of events and celebrations all year round, including Mardi Gras, Halloween nights, and Christmas holiday festivities, as well as concerts, live music, and daily shows.

Where to Stay

Orlando is home to plenty of family-friendly resorts and hotels, so whatever your budget, you shouldn’t struggle to find somewhere to stay.

Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites — Billed as one of the best value hotels in the Universal Resort, visitors get good-sized family accommodations as well as a large pool and easy access to both Universal and Volcano Bay.

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort — Retro-style accommodations and amazing architecture await at this signature Universal Resort hotel complete with 2 massive pools, a lazy winding river, a bowling alley, and much more.

Universal’s Loews Sapphire Falls Resort — The ultimate Orlando hotel, Loews, is a tropical paradise with a Caribbean-theme, numerous pools, and easy access to all of the resort attractions.

Where to Eat

There are plenty of fabulous eateries dotted throughout the water park, including The Feasting Frog for big burgers and plantain chips, Whakawaiwai Eats for BBQ pizza, and freshly made salads, or the Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club for pulled pork and edamame burgers. If you fancy a cocktail, the Kunuku Boat Bar offers specialty drinks and cold beers.

Ticket Info

Booking your tickets online can help save money, and there are discounts for booking multi-park tickets, which is usually the preferred option in Orlando.

  • A single-day ticket for guests 3 years and older starts at $67 in advance

To find out more information about ticket prices and promotional discounts available, visit Universal’s Volcano Bay website.

2. Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park (Bay Lake, Florida)

Blizzard Beach at Disney World Orlando FL
Image Credit: Walt Disney World

2019 Visitors: 1,983,000

Opened in 1995, Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park is a wonderful water park located at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. The park sees over 2 million visitors come through its gates every year to enjoy all of the rides, slides, and attractions centered around Mount Gushmore. The park is themed around a snowy “abandoned” ski resort.

How to Get There

Getting to and from the attractions at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando is easy, and most hotels in the area also offer their own shuttles to the resort.

By Plane:

The nearest airport to the park is Orlando International Airport (MCO), which also services most of the other big attractions in the area. The airport offers plenty of taxis, rental cars, shuttle services, and public transport options.

By road:

From I-95 — Take U.S. Highway 1 or travel southbound on Florida’s Turnpike, then take I-4 W to the Walt Disney World exits.

From I-75 S — Take Florida’s Turnpike South to I-4 W to the Walt Disney World Resort exits.

From Northbound on Florida’s Turnpike — Take Osceola Parkway, which connects with U.S. Highway 192 and the Walt Disney World Resort exits.

From the Daytona Area — Take I-4 W to Walt Disney World exits.

From the Tampa Area — Take I-4 E to Walt Disney World exits.

From Miami or Ft. Lauderdale — Take Florida’s Turnpike North to Osceola Parkway West (exit 249) to the Walt Disney World exits.

From Orlando International Airport — Take OIA South exit (F.L. 417S – Toll) to Osceola Parkway W (exit 3) to the Walt Disney World exits.

By Public Transport:

Because there are so many great attractions to enjoy in the Orlando area, there are many ways to reach the water park using the free or low-cost shuttle buses that carry visitors around the resort. Both Lynx Buses Public Transportation and the iRide Trolley offer low-cost services to the parks, as do the numerous shuttle services operated by local hotels to the Walt Disney World Resort.

Attractions, Rides, and Slides

As you would expect from a Walt Disney World Resort attraction, there is plenty here to entertain visitors of all ages. Tike’s Peak is the perfect kid-friendly water play park complete with miniature snow-banked slides, side-by-side downhill slides, a mini inner-tube ride, and mini chutes tunneling through the snow.

There is also a wading pool featuring “melting” snow sculptures, including Ice Gator with his leaky umbrella, and a snowman-manned igloo fortress with spouting pop-up jets.

Those looking for high-octane thrills will enjoy racing against their friends on the side-by-side waterslides of the Downhill Double Dipper, or the near-vertical drop on one of the tallest, fastest free-fall body slides in the world on the Summit Plummet.

Families can also join together to ride the waves on the Steamboat Springs or ride the rafts on the Runoff Rapids.

Seasonal Events

The water park does have some limited seasonal events that run separately to the main parades, celebrations, and shows at Walt Disney World Resort. The park holds DJ dance parties on weekends and select weekdays, as well as themed giveaways and duck races, obstacle courses, and scavenger hunts for kids.

Where to Stay

Walt Disney World Resort has a wealth of hotels that are close to all of the attractions:

Disney’s Pop Century Resort — A family-friendly hotel that celebrates fads from the 50s right up to the modern-day, including yo-yos, Play-Doh, Rubik’s Cube, and rollerblades, with good-sized rooms, the Hippy Dippy Pool, and onsite shops and restaurants.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge — A magnificent resort hotel that takes you deep into the heart of Africa. The hotel has access to exotic animals, a pool with a waterslide, and an award-winning children’s activity center.

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort — An enchanting resort hotel with a Southwest theme. Every room is unique, and the resort offers a pool with slides, a fitness center, and the Latino Grill.

Where to Eat

Park visitors can enjoy hot dogs, salads, and chips at the Avalunch, rice bowls and chicken strips at Lottawatta Lodge, or sandwiches at the Warming Hut. Those with a sweet tooth can fill their boots at I.C. Expeditions sundae bar, while grownups can relax with a cold beer at the Polar Pub.

Ticket Info

Booking your tickets online and in advance can help you save money, and there are discounts for booking multi-park tickets.

  • Tickets for guests 10 years and older start at $73.49 per day
  • Tickets for guests 3-9 years old start at $64.95

To find out more about ticket prices and promotional discounts available, visit the Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park website.

1. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park (Lake Buena Vista, Florida)

Typhoon Lagoon at Disney World Orlando FL
Image Credit: Walt Disney World

2019 Visitors: 2,248,000

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park opened on June 1, 1989, and is home to the largest wave pool in the U.S. The park is themed around the Disney legend of a typhoon that wreaked havoc on what was once a pristine tropical paradise. This is the most popular water theme park in the U.S., and it regularly records over 2 million visitors every year.

How to Get There

Getting to and from attractions at Walt Disney World Resort and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is easy, and there are plenty of ways to do so.

By Plane:

The nearest airport to the park is Orlando International Airport (MCO), which also services most of the other big attractions in the area. The airport offers plenty of taxis, rental cars, shuttle services, and public transport for your onward journey.

By Road:

From I-95 — Take U.S. Highway 1 or travel southbound on Florida’s Turnpike, then take I-4 W to the Walt Disney World exits.

From I-75 S — Take Florida’s Turnpike South to I-4 W to the Walt Disney World Resort exits.

From Northbound on Florida’s Turnpike — Take Osceola Parkway, which connects with U.S. Highway 192 and the Walt Disney World Resort exits.

From the Daytona Area — Take I-4 W to Walt Disney World exits.

From the Tampa Area — Take I-4 E to Walt Disney World exits.

From Miami or Ft. Lauderdale — Take Florida’s Turnpike North to Osceola Parkway West (exit 249) to the Walt Disney World exits.

From Orlando International Airport — Take OIA South exit (F.L. 417S – Toll) to Osceola Parkway W (exit 3) to the Walt Disney World exits.

By Public Transport:

You can reach the water park and other attractions at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando using the free or low-cost shuttle buses that run between attractions. There are also paid services, including Lynx Buses Public Transportation and the iRide Trolley, as well as any of the numerous shuttle services operated by local hotels to the Walt Disney World Resort.

Attractions, Rides, and Slides

Typhoon Lagoon has the largest wave pool in the U.S., but that’s just the start of the fun on offer here. For younger visitors, Ketchakiddee Creek has scaled-down slides that give big-kid-style thrills: side-by-side mini slides, mini inner-tube rapids rides, crawl chutes, and a cave with a waterfall.

There is also the Bay Slides near the wave pool, where kids under 5 can play on miniature versions of the thrilling Storm Slides.

Bigger kids of all ages can get carried away on the Miss Adventure Falls family raft ride, or enjoy the caverns and waterfalls of Keelhaul Falls.

If you’re looking for faster thrills and spills, Humunga Kowabunga zooms 214 feet downhill in the dark at a 60-degree angle, while the Mayday Falls is an intense raft ride that takes you on a solo inner tube ride.

Seasonal Events

From June until August, Typhoon Lagoon holds regular H20 Glow Nights in the water park. Join Rex and his Toy Story pals for a luminous event that is great fun for the whole family. The park also offers DJ dance parties on weekends as well as themed giveaways, duck races, obstacle courses, and scavenger hunts for the children.

Lilo and Stitch are also regular visitors to Typhoon Lagoon during the summer months.

Where to Stay

There are plenty of fabulous family-friendly hotels at Walt Disney World Resort, including:

Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel — A deluxe resort hotel offering first-class family accommodations as well as elaborate fountains, towering palm trees, an onsite spa, and a swimming pool with slides.

Walt Disney World Swan Hotel —– A gorgeous resort hotel that offers luxury rooms and suites, a large pool with waterslides, and a supervised children’s activity center.

Disneys All-Star Music Resort — Budget-friendly Disney accommodations with a musical theme throughout, which offers family suites, a guitar-shaped pool, and its very own Intermission Food Court.

Where to Eat

If a long day playing in the water has made you hungry, grab a burger from Leaning Palms, a wrap or sandwich from Lowtide Lou’s, or fried shrimp and BBQ pork from Typhoon Tilly’s. If you just fancy a quick ice cream or a cold beer, Happy Landings and The Snack Shack have you covered.

Ticket Info

Booking your tickets online can help you save money, and there are discounts for booking multi-park tickets.

  • Tickets for guests 10 years and older start at $73.49 per day
  • Tickets for guests 3-9 years old start at $67.10

To find out more information about ticket prices and promotional discounts available, visit Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park website.

Hot Tip: Travel-hacking Disney is certainly doable – check out our piece on how to visit Disney World for cheap by using points and miles

Final Thoughts

It will probably come as no surprise that the Walt Disney World Resort water parks are ruling the waves, with Universal Orlando Resort running close behind them.

These parks really are the crème de la crème of water attractions, offering once-in-a-lifetime vacation experiences for you and your family. But if you aren’t visiting Orlando (or want to try somewhere different), every one of these top 20 water parks will have you splashing about in no time.


Frequently asked questions

What is the largest water park in the U.S.?

Noah’s Ark Waterpark in Lake Delton, Wisconsin is the largest water park in the U.S. It spans 70 acres and has 51 water slides.

How many water parks are in the U.S.?

78 resorts have outdoor water parks, but there are a total of 1,175 water parks in the U.S.

What is the largest indoor water park in the U.S.?

The largest indoor water park in the U.S. is the Kalahari Water Park at Kalahari Resort. The indoor water park is in Sandusky, Ohio, and is 173,000 square feet.

Where is the largest wave pool in the United States?

The largest wave pool in the U.S. is in Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. It is the park’s signature attraction where you can experience 6-foot swells.

Amar Hussain

About Amar Hussain

Amar was born and raised in England, UK, embarked on an 11 country round the world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second which ended up being a 23 country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then Amar has endeavored to turn his gap year into a ‘gap life’ and has spent the last 10 years traveling the 7 continents.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

3 comments

  1. How is Wisconsin Dells not on this list?

    Reply

    • Great Question. The Dells has a few different water parks. Noahs Ark being the largest at 70 acres. Trip Advisor ranks Noahs Ark at #5 in the U.S. and #17 worldwide.

      Reply

Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written by experts who know these products inside out, and what we recommend is what we would (or already) use ourselves. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. Click here to see a list of advertisers that we work with.