Amusement parks and theme parks, with their fancy roller coasters and bumper cars, are all well and good, but really, what’s the point if you can’t strip down to your swim trunks or bikini and get totally wet? For millions of people, when the summer heats up, there’s no better way to cool down and have a blast in the process, than at a waterpark.
OK, so lakes and oceans rule too – we’ll grant at least that – but most of them don’t come equipped with cool slides. And nobody has been stung by a jellyfish at a waterpark … as far as we know. Alas, like amusement parks however, not all waterparks were created equal. It’s time then to separate the kiddie pool from the wave pool and look at ten of the best waterparks in the world.
10. World Waterpark
From 1981 to 2004, the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, was the top dog on the planet. No other mall in the world came close in size, number of stores or attractions. Today, the mall sits at number five on the list and receives over 28 million annual visitors, many of whom come simply for the mall’s awesome World Waterpark.
With three massive waterparks in the state of Texas and one in Kansas City, Kansas, the name Schlitterbahn is a virtual synonym with wet and wild fun. The barrier island of South Padre, off the Gulf coast of the Lone Star State, was already a vacation and spring break playland before Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark came to town. Since 2001 however, the phenomenal waterpark has put South Padre on the map.
The Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia is a popular water sports destination and all about beach culture. What better place then, for a waterpark the size and scope of White Water World. In the suburb of Coomera, the park has a ton of high-octane rides and leisure areas.
Leave it to German engineers to devise one of the most unusual and ingenious waterparks on the planet. At over 710,000 square feet, Tropical Islands Resort, a mere 60 km from Berlin in Brandenburg, Germany, is a remarkable structural achievement by any measure. A veritable indoor fantasy world, the resort is open 24 hours a day and can hold up to 8,000 people.
With multi-story thrill rides, tidal wave pools and a river and cave system, Singapore’s Wild Wild Wet waterpark is indeed all that and much, much more.
The terrific capital of Ukraine is home to one of the best waterparks in Europe. Built on the Dnieper River as a virtual entertainment complex, Hidropark is a theme park and beach resort love child. On hot, humid summer days, the most popular place to be in Kiev.
When it comes to theme parks and leisure and entertainment in general, Dubai is out to corner the market and outdo the likes of Las Vegas, Orlando and Anaheim. Under the long shadow cast by the Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel, the Wild Wadi Water Park spares no expense or detail. A first-rate waterpark experience.
For theme park excellence, Orlando, Florida is still the world capital. Aquatica is a sister park to SeaWorld Orlando and features a slew of unique attractions, from the Dolphin Plunge to Roa’s Rapids and a pristine 80,000 square foot white sand beach.
In what may be the best amusement park of any type in Southeast Asia, Sunway Lagoon in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia delivers three theme parks in one, with scores of wet thrill rides and attractions to enjoy.
The Six Flags empire was built on fun and thrills and the New England incarnation of the theme park in Springfield, Massachusetts is no exception. The park is a behemoth, with one exceptional waterpark in the form of Hurricane Harbor.