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Splish, splash: The Best US Waterparks to Visit Summer 2020

Splish, splash: The Best US Waterparks to Visit Summer 2020

TripBlog
Aug 21, 20204474

Summertime in America is normally filled with time-honored rituals. Barbeques, ball games, parades, fireworks, the family vacation. These are all classic examples of our fun-loving American culture. Unfortunately, events in 2020 have put a damper on things. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced all of us to adjust in profound ways. Nevertheless, in an effort to responsibly salvage what remains of summer and to look ahead to brighter times, we’re profiling outstanding US waterparks. These are places where adults and kids alike can romp and frolic in the wave pools, race down enormous waterslides, and generally find any excuse imaginable to practice their cannonballs. If you’re still looking for a place to go this year or already planning for next, here are our picks for the best US waterparks.

Table of Contents

Schlitterbahn Waterpark, New Barunfels, Texas
Jay Peak Pump House, Jay, Vermont (Indoor Waterpark)
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, Orlando, Florida
Cedar Point Shores, Sandusky, Ohio
Noah's Ark, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, Santa Claus, Indiana
Water World, Federal Heights, Colorado
Avalanche Bay, Boyne Falls, Michigan (Indoor Waterpark)

Schlitterbahn Waterpark, New Barunfels, Texas

In Texas, the stars at night are big and bright, and so are the waterparks. Schlitterbahn currently operates two parks in Texas, one in Galveston and their flagship location in New Braunfels just outside San Antonio. Nestled along the Comal River, Schlitterbahn is better thought of as two separate parks connected by the river. As the name suggests, there’s a distinct German and Bavarian flavor permeating the park and alpine themes predominate. Within Schlitterbahn’s eastern sections, you’ll find several lodging and accommodation options including the Treehaus Luxury Suites, the Condos at Boogie Bay, and Wasser Haus Lodge. Arguably, Schlitterbahn’s prime attraction is the six story Master Blaster water coaster. With numerous loops, tunnels, and plunges, this thrilling ride certainly gets the blood moving. There’s also the Black Knight and Wolfpack Race Slide to enjoy. Kids can play on Blastenhoff Beach or along the Kiddie Coast. Practice your moves on the Boogie Bahn Surfing ride or just relax in the Dragon’s Lair Heated Pool. Schlitterbahn’s ticketing prices currently range between $34.99 and $42.99 for single-day tickets depending on whether you go during the week or on the weekend. Visitors planning to come should book online in order to utilize Schlitterbahn’s new reservation system and online health screening. You’ll also find tips on how to stay safe and make the most of your visit during the ongoing pandemic.

Splish, splash: The Best US Waterparks to Visit Summer 2020

Photo by tuberides@Instagram

Jay Peak Pump House, Jay, Vermont (Indoor Waterpark)

Best known for its wintertime skiing, Jay Peak also features a delightful indoor water park. Tucked way up by the Canadian border, this place is remote…and an ideal destination to enjoy some stunning countryside without the hassle of crowds. The best way to arrive is via I-93 out of Boston, I-91 from Springfield, or I-89 running north out of Burlington. No matter how you come though, to get to Jay you’ll need to transfer onto the backgrounds and make your way to Vermont Route 242. After arriving, be sure to enjoy the thrill of La Chute, a seemingly death-defying plunge down 65 feet where you’ll reach speeds nearing 45 mph and go through a full 360° rotation. Kids can enjoy themselves in the Mill Pond with water cannons and a large tipping bucket that deluges all below at regular intervals. Indoor and outdoor hot tubs are great for relaxing, as is the Pump House’s lazy river. The surf’s up at the Double Barrel Flowrider, where you can practice carving through the rushing waters. The Pump House is open weekends through the fall and tickets cost $31 for kids up to 14 and $41 for anyone 15 and over. It is recommended to book in advance to ensure you don’t miss out. A few things to keep in mind include that Vermont has implemented quarantine requirements for persons traveling from certain counties. There is also a statewide mask mandate for all indoor and public places.

Splish, splash: The Best US Waterparks to Visit Summer 2020

Photo by africanbeachbum@Instagram

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, Orlando, Florida

When it comes to theme parks, Disney’s motto might as well be “go big or go home.” That ethos thoroughly infuses the currents at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, part of the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida. As one of the resort’s two waterparks, Typhoon Lagoon boasts one of the world’s largest outdoor wave pools. The pool dominates the park and is ringed by a large lazy river known as Castaway Creek, the perfect place to just float along without a care in the world. Experience the thrill of the Crush ‘n’ Gusher, a water coaster that zips you up, along, and around on one of three slides ranging from 410 to 420 feet each. Basically using an enormous amount of moving water, the Crush ‘n’ Gusher recreates a roller coaster experience on a water slide. Families can enjoy Gang Plank Falls, where they will ride together on inner tubes past a series of waterfalls. For the daredevils, there’s Humunga Kowabunga, a speed slide that sends riders hurtling down at what seem like ludicrous speeds. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon is normally open year-round, however, with the ongoing pandemic the park has had to close temporarily. As of the time of writing, Disney has not announced a date for reopening, though they are bringing other areas in Walt Disney World Resort back online with improved health protocols. Ticket options vary depending on whether you choose to also purchase additional park passes and combinations.

Splish, splash: The Best US Waterparks to Visit Summer 2020

Photo by disneystyphoonlagoon@Instagram

Cedar Point Shores, Sandusky, Ohio

Apologies to fans of Six Flags, but Cedar Point is the home of roller coasters! Dubbing itself America’s Roller Coast, Cedar Point is loads of fun and has a terrific water park to boot. Cedar Point Shores sits directly adjacent to the main park and is actually bisected by the famous Magnum XL-200, once the world’s tallest, fastest, and steepest roller coaster. Within the waterpark itself, you’ll find numerous slides, a water coaster, wave pool, kid’s areas, and more. Ride the Portside Plunge and dip down at thrilling speeds into a waiting pool below. Or ride the loops, curls, and drops on Point Plummet. Kids can enjoy themselves in Lemmy’s Lagoon while speed demons will want to make for Riptide Raceway. If you get tired, float along the Renegade River or enjoy the waves in the Breakers Bay wave pool. With its setting directly on the shores of Lake Erie, Cedar Point shores also affords lovely beach access. Spread yourself out along the nearly mile-long sands. For those coming in from out of state, the park has some camper and RV access along with a few hotel / motel options. Additional accommodations are readily available in Sandusky itself. At the time of writing, Cedar Point Shores is scheduled to remain closed for the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Expect specials and ticket discounts in 2021 as the park looks to draw back visitors.

Splish, splash: The Best US Waterparks to Visit Summer 2020

Photo by jensosam@Instagram

Noah's Ark, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Noah’s Ark likes to boast that it’s the “best and largest” waterpark in Wisconsin Dells. It certainly lays claim to having the biggest wave pool in Wisconsin Dells. However, this is something of a humble brag though, because Noah’s Ark is actually, depending on your measure, the largest waterpark in the US. Spread out across some 70 acres in Central Wisconsin, the place is one of those quintessential resort locations seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Wisconsin Dells is roughly an hour north of Madison and about two hours west-northwest of Milwaukee. The town itself comprises a quaint downtown area and a forested natural area to the north, the Dells of the Wisconsin River. The sandstone formations around the Dells offer excellent places to hike. At Noah’s Ark, you’ll have your pick of several thrilling rides including Raja, with its innovative slide design that features speeds up to 32 mph, numerous twists and turns, and a heart-stopping final plunge straight into the mouth of a king cobra! Feel the wind on your face as you ride the Black Anaconda, a quarter mile long water coaster with plenty of ups and downs. There’s also the Point of No Return, a truly exhilarating, nearly vertical drop that will have you screaming. For a tamer adventure, visit one of the park’s wave pools, or lounge in the Adventure River. There’s also mini golf and plenty of places for the kids. Noah’s Ark is scheduled to remain closed for the rest of 2020, but should return to its place as the premiere waterpark in Wisconsin Dells sometime in 2021.

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, Santa Claus, Indiana

Southern Indiana might not be the place you expect to find a Christmas wonderland, but that’s exactly what you get in Santa Claus, Indiana. At Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari you basically have the entire year covered. Located roughly an hour west of Louisville, Santa Claus is a bit off the beaten path. Surrounded by nothing by farmland, the quaint Midwestern countryside is an idyllic place for a summertime adventure. At Splashin' Safari there’s lots to choose from including the Cheetah Chase, a brand new ride for 2020. This water coaster zips riders up and around with the same speed and ferocity as its namesake from the animal kingdom. It’s not just water coasters at Splashin’ Safari either, there are also traditional steel rollercoasters like the Thunderbird and the Crow’s Nest. The park’s large wave pool is fun for the family and there are loads of kid’s rides and dedicated areas. Speed down the Jungle Racer or tube through Otorongo. Splashin' Safari is open this season and adult tickets cost $42.99. These can be booked online in order to secure a suitable reservation slot. Season passes and military discounts are also available. There are some accommodations on location or you can scout around in Santa Claus. Make it a summer-winter combo and experience Christmas a bit early in rural Indiana.

Water World, Federal Heights, Colorado

Located in the Northern Denver suburb of Federal Heights, Water World has been in the business of summer fun for over 40 years. This is a great stop if you’re passing through the Denver area. Be sure to get your adrenalin going on the Mile High Flyer, a family-friendly side where you ride down together on an inflatable raft. The Wave is a flow rider adventure that will let you practice your surfing skills. There’s also the Skyline Speed Slides where you can rocket down and claim bragging rights against your competition. Kids can enjoy the Caribbean Family Adventure play area, the Warming Pool, or Wally World with its coves and gentle slides. Take a ride on the park’s gondola or just float along one of the lazy rivers. Water World is divided into several zones, each with lots to offer so don’t worry about running out of things to do here. No matter if you’re riding waves in North Shore or catching a swell at South Beach, there is something for everyone in Water World. Tickets are available in two-flavors. Single-date tickets start at $24.99 for adults and $19.99 for kids with the early season discount. Flexible tickets that allow access anytime start at $41.99 for adults and $36.99 for kids. Water World will remain closed for the rest of 2020 but is planning a big comeback extravaganza in 2021. Stay tuned and keep this one in mind.

Avalanche Bay, Boyne Falls, Michigan (Indoor Waterpark)

Northern Lower Michigan is a spectacular summertime getaway. With loads of scenic towns, small lakes, great lakes, and epic sand dunes, there’s just buckets and buckets of fun to experience. Boyne Falls is located not far from the small town of Charlevoix, easily accessible if you’re traveling north along I-75 towards Mackinaw or along US-131. Tucked between the summer destinations of Petoskey, Charlevoix, and Traverse City, Boyne Falls is a popular wintertime ski destination. Avalanche Bay is the region’s large, indoor waterpark. Packed with slides like the Big Couloir, the Downhill Mat Racer, and the Super-G, the ski-themed waterpark is a fitting addition to the outdoor attractions. Avalanche Bay sports a Lazy River Adventure as well as a number of pools and hot tubs. Day passes start out at $28 dollars and are available in several hour blocks for the morning, afternoon, and evening. During summer, the nearby Adventure Center runs guided hiking tours around the various slopes and provides a fun set of family-friendly outdoor activities. Avalanche Bay is open this season. Just remember that the State of Michigan requires masks to be worn in all indoor public venues to help combat the spread of COVID-19. If you’re thinking about a road trip this year, it’s hard to do better than Northern Lower Michigan.

2020 is certainly one of those years. Without trying to minimize the real challenges many are facing, we hope this short guide will help brighten your day. A family trip to the waterpark has long been a favored activity all across the US. If you’re still thinking about things to do for 2020 or determined to make up for lost ground in 2021, the fantastic parks we’ve profiled will give you plenty of food for thought. Remember to stay safe and always consult the latest information regarding COVID-19 safety precautions and policies before making major travel decisions. Let’s all do our part and come out of this stronger and better than ever!

Disclaimer: This article has been used directly from the Qingqi Qiu Platform, the copyright belongs to the original author. If there is any discrepancy with the copyright please contact us directly and we will immediately delete the content.Index for Network Information Infringement Protection
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