Making a splash is infinitely more fun if done sliding off at a great speed from an equally great height, to the waiting waters below. So where’s a place that you can pull this off? Why, in a water park, of course. These recreational centers are popular during the summer months when the heat drives people to head to the pool for some cooling off and frolicking in the water. They’re a step up from conventional water resorts, which only draws are an interesting pool shape, a few diving boards, and a poolside lounge chair or two. The modern water park was born when some enterprising resorts added a slide and several other recreational water structures to their amenities.
Today, literally thousands of these recreational centers are found all over the world. In the US alone, there’s over one thousand, with dozens more opening every year. Some of their featured attractions include slides, splash pads, wave pools, and flow-boarding facilities. More great ideas are being incorporated in making water parks a premiere destination for vacationers, so it’s okay to visit your favorites every summer for possible new additions to their featured rides.
You might be interested to know which among the many iterations of this popular summer facility are the coolest in terms of fun factor, luxury, or size. You’re in luck: the following are the top 10 must-see water parks in the world, in alphabetical order, for your drooling pleasure:
Chime-long Water Park (Guangdong, China)
This is an ambitious project of the same enterprising folks that produced the largest amusement park in China. With a proposed one-million-plus square feet total area dedicated to water fun enjoyment, this colossal water resort is even more ambitious: completed, it will become the world’s biggest ever. And if you count such attractions as the Behemoth Bowl, Chime-long will soon be breaking other records as well.
Las Cascadas (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico)
This largest of its kind in the Carribean is also the first ever in the West Indies region. Enjoy a tranquil ride down its famed Lazy River while lying in a raft. This sure beats getting a poolside tan. When the mood suits you, you can up your activity tempo by participating in more brisk pursuits, such as the speed rides that are sure to get you exhilarated.
Noah’s Ark (Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin)
Any hardcore water park enthusiast will want to visit Wisconsin Dells, the famed “Water Parks Capital of the World”. With a current total of 18 indoor parks located in it, this Midwestern city also boasts of having the biggest US water park there is: Noah’s Ark. 60 water slides is an awful lot of slides for any single resort, for a single day’s visit, wouldn’t you agree? But then, if you’re the type, go bonkers trying them all in this 70-acre water wonderland.
Sandcastle (Blackpool, England)
If you consider that it has 18 indoor water slides, you’ll appreciate how immense this recreational facility is. The biggest indoor water park in the UK, in fact, and home to the famous Master Blaster: a thrilling roller-coaster type water slide which is the longest of its indoor kind in the world. Its fortress-like appearance is very apt for something this colossal.
Schlitterbahn (Texas, USA)
The first time you hear the name, you might think that it’s located in Germany. It’s not. It’s a water park chain with resorts in the US states of Texas (two places in the state, actually) and Kansas. The German name translates to “slippery road” in English, which speaks volumes about its many attractions; specifically, its intricate water slides.
Sunway Lagoon (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia)
Image by Q8e
This is the largest water park in the Southeast Asian country. The resort is subdivided into three distinct theme areas: Waters of Africa, Wild Wild West, and World of Adventure. There’s an artificial surfing facility that faithfully simulates a wave boarder’s paradise, down to the tropical palms and stretches of sand.
Water Country USA (York County, Virginia)
Are you pining for the nostalgic era when the Beach Boys reigned supreme in the music scene? Relive the 1950s and 1960s in this fun water theme resort, the largest in the Mid-Atlantic US. All of its amenities and rides are inspired by the beach experience of the said eras. Its expansive premises encompass several acres of thrilling water fun, with numerous different water rides and fun attractions for kids of all ages.
Wet N’ Wild (Orlando, Florida)
This destination holds the distinction of being the first water park of its size anywhere in the US. Operated by Universal, the resort features the infamous Brain Wash, which will have you screaming your lungs out with a 53-foot drop down inside a 65-foot funnel.
Wet N’ Wild Water World (Queensland, Australia)
Image by whitematter
The premiere Aussie water park is also ranked the eight in the world, after a guest attendance of more than a million back in 2009. Perhaps it’s because it’s open to the public all year round (during the winter, all the pools and water attractions are heated); or maybe because its home to the Tornado and the Black Hole, thrilling water slides that will leave guests gasping for air. They’re that fun.
World Waterpark (Alberta, Canada)
The world’s largest single-structure, indoor water park is World Waterpark in Edmonton, with an approximate size of six acres (part of the Edmonton Mall, actually). It’s capable of accommodating up to 40,000 guests at any given time, which is just dandy, since its waters never go cold even for the chilly Alberta air outside. They’re pleasantly heated to temperatures of 86-89 F, guaranteeing its popularity as an attraction all year round.
So there you have it: all ten of the most magnificent water parks in the world. If you can’t get enough of water slides and floating down lazy rivers, perhaps in the future you’d like to embark on a world tour if only to sample the watery man-made wonders that made it to this top 10 list. It’s the ultimate in water park enjoyment.