Water parks are riding a wave of success in 2023 and appealing to a diverse demographic of travellers. Many of the trendiest water parks offer exclusive pool club vibes with cabanas, up-scale dining and premium amenities to attract high-end visitors.
Less ‘cookie cutter’ than old-school water parks, these modern aquatic playgrounds are all unique and feel like a luxe beach oasis.
Groups seeking bonding adventures also appreciate the team-building activities and laughs that water park options at resorts and hotels can provide.
And for the trendy traveller inspired by TikTok and Instagram, those pool club vibes hit the mark for exclusivity.
Here are 4 incredible water parks around the world to add to your travel bucket list.
Floating water park resorts
According to Antoinette Turner, GM of Flight Centre South Africa, you’ll find some of the most unbelievable water park experiences when sailing the high seas as cruise lines have hugely expanded their on-board water park offerings to attract more travellers.
She said that Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Prima, which debuted in 2022, has some of the fastest and wildest slides at sea.
“The Drop is the first free-fall dry slide where riders plunge 10 decks down, seated on a mat. The high-thrill Rush slide sends cruisers through exhilarating drops and a 360- degree loop,” she said.
Turner said that for travellers who prefer their water fun with less adrenalin, Norwegian Prima features stunning infinity pools, up-scale dining with ocean views, and glass walkways hovering above the ocean.
Launched in August 2023, the new Norwegian Viva vessel offers similar amenities. Guests can expect innovative and award-winning experiences on-board the Prima class of vessels, with something for every traveller.
An oasis in the desert
Turner revealed that Wild Wadi Water park provides a 30-acre oasis with over 30 rides and themed zones spread in front of the stunning Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai’s desert climate.
She said that Dubai is incredibly welcoming to kids and is a year-round best-seller with South African favourites.
“Adrenalin junkies can brave the floor-dropping Jumeirah Sceirah slide, while the kids will love the flowing currents of Juha’s Journey lazy river. This massive park features surf simulators, wave pools, and even an aquarium.
“Themed zones based on Arabian folklore add extra atmosphere. With temperatures often rising over 37 degrees Celsius in Dubai, it’s the perfect way to cool off,” said Turner.
Make a splash in the happiest place on earth
According to Turner, in the United States’s Sunshine State, Florida, families can enjoy some watery fun on their visit by spending some time at Disney 2 water parks.
“Blizzard Beach Water park provides a 30-acre oasis with over 25 rides and themed zones. Thrill- seekers can brave Summit Plummet, one of the world’s tallest and fastest body slides.
“Little ones will love the melting polar theme of Tike’s Peak play area. This massive park features wave pools, tubing rapids, and a sand beach area. Themed zones, like Cross Country Creek lazy river, add extra excitement,” she said.
Turner also revealed that Typhoon Lagoon is another world-famous water park on the iconic Walt Disney World property and that its water slides traverse surging waves and lush tropical settings for an adventurous ride.
“Daredevils flock to attractions like Humunga Kowabunga, Storm Slides, and Miss Adventure Falls. For a more relaxed vibe, drift down the 0.6-kilometre lazy river past waterfalls and rapids.
“This wet and wild playground also includes a surf pool, activity pools, and kids’ splash areas,” said Turner.
Bali’s watery wonderland
And finally, Turner said that Waterbom Bali offers a tropical water park getaway for those who want an added dose of water adventures away from the beaches in Indonesia.
“Set amid lush greenery with an ocean backdrop, it’s an island paradise for water lovers. Slides with names like Python, Twin Racers, and Super Bowl add to the excitement.
“Families flock to activity pools like Fun time and Happy Snappers. You can even relax in a hot tub fed by natural spring water,” she highlighted.
Turner said that with balmy temperatures year-round, Waterbom Bali offers outdoor fun at any time, and the park is listed as Asia’s most sustainable water park.
“No matter if you’re a family, couple, or solo adventure seeker, today’s water parks offer splash-tastic fun. So, next time you’re planning a vacation, be sure to check out these exciting water playgrounds making a splash.
“With new investments and innovations, the offerings will continue getting better,” said Turner.