America’s Wildest, Waviest Water Parks
America’s Wildest, Waviest Water Parks, One spot drops you from 13 stories into the drink, while another invites you to snorkel with sharks. If you think that the most exciting rides in a water park still involve a log flume or mat slide, then you, my friend, are all wet. Water-swishing half-pipes, free-fall slides dropping riders from close to ten stories high, and near-vertical looping slides that shoot riders like cannonballs at 40 mph are just a few samples of how today’s parks are making a splash.
The 70-acre Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, Texas, lands on our list with its brand-new star of the show-the Falls, billed as “the World’s Longest Waterpark Ride” and offering 3,600 feet of waves, rapids and waterfalls for tubers. And overlooking the Falls are new, cool-looking Treehaus accommodations and suites.
Grownup kids aren’t the only ones being catered to by the coolest water parks. Actual little ones, obvious fans of wet and wild fun, are getting some serious upgrades this season.
“Parks that want to attract younger children have been introducing highly themed, interactive play structures that function like water playgrounds,” notes Aleatha Ezra, of the World Waterpark Association, a trade organization for water parks and their suppliers. “They now feature hundreds of interactive spray guns, buckets and showers, and might have multiple slides coming off them, as well as climbing structures and dump buckets.”