Top Water Ride Parks

After a season on the road checking out both amusement parks and water parks, sometimes combined, sometimes separately, we've come to the conclusion that some water parks are great for a collection of slides, lazy rivers and wave pools, but if you want actual rides, the top three in the Midwest are Holiday World Splashin Safari, Noah's Ark in the Dells, and Kings Island's Boomerang Bay, in that order. We think Holiday World's decade long investment in Proslide rides has given them a commanding position which Wildebeest clinched and Mammoth will increase. As a matter of fact, the only other park in the East that we would add to this list is Wet n Wild Emerald Point in Greensboro, NC. We would agree that there are parks out there with longer, more twisting and entertaining slides, either body or inner tube, and Disney's Typhoon Lagoon is the most spectacularly landscaped. But if we want to go to a park for exciting rides like we go to a dry park to ride roller coasters, these are our top three for the Midwest and four for the East. Does anybody out there have a park we're overlooking that they think beats one of these three or four?

I agree with your selection, but I wish one of these parks would add one of those Boomerangos, which are also called Sidewinders or Wedgies according to which companies make them. It's a water ride where you come down a slide, which usually winds around a little bit, into a sort of watery halfpipe like a skateboarder or snowboarder would have. You climb up one side, then the other, several times until finally levelling out and dropping down into a pool where you exit your raft. A lot of parks overseas have them, and some of the Western U.S. parks have them, but I don't know of any parks east of the Rockies which do.

LostKause's avatar

I really like Water Country U.S.A. in Williamsburg VA. They have a beautifully landscaped park and some really fun slides.

rollergator's avatar

Since Billy brought this thread back to my attention - I'm going to have to mention three items I didn't see previously in this thread that all MUST be noted in a waterpark thread of any kind...(granted, "Dells" came up, but there's really one thing *special* about the Dells area waterparks - other than the abundance).

Schlitterbahn, Waterworld Denver, and Poseidon's Rage

CoasterDemon's avatar

I have no clue as to good water parks (I'm not big into them these days, I'm too big in my swimsuit) but I was looking for funny water park vids and funny park vids in general.


CoasterDemon-nice video. That is from Seven Peaks water park in Provo, UT. I always catch crazy air on that thing, but the real kicker is from Raging Waters (now also Seven Peaks) up in Salt Lake City on their hidden gem the H2O Rollercoaster. Check out this video. It will blow your mind!

This one is on the same slide but a view from the bottom. UNREAL!!

Skip ahead to the 35 sec point in the second video to see the real action.

Do not skip these if you are ever in Salt Lake in the summer! I have never seen this slide anywhere else!

Last edited by S&SFAN,
CoasterDemon's avatar

^That looks insane! And fun.


But the initial point of the thread was water parks in the Midwest and I agree those three are the best. I think Black Anaconda is the best single water coaster in the country. I think it beats Wildebeest. But Noahs Ark doesn't have a funnel or bowl and Mammoth will beat Anaconda. Cedar Fair needs to get busy. Renaming Boomerang Bay and doing a little cosmetic rearranging and slightly lengthening the lazy river will not come close to catching them up to either Holiday World or Noahs Ark. Both lazy rivers at Holiday World are a lot longer than the one at Boomerang Bay / Soak City, and the lengthening they plan won't even catch them up to the shorter one. It's just a whole different world. I would have expected better from Kings Island. Cedar Fair obviously considers water parks just a curiousity, not a major part of the park. The water parks at Cedar Point and Carowinds are not even serious contenders. .

A Bad Day On A Good Coaster Is Still Better Than A Good Day Anywhere Else.

CoasterDemon's avatar

^May I suggest some spacing between huge long paragraphs? It's easier on the eyes :)


What I don't understand is why these Midwestern water parks all close at Labor Day. It's been 100 degrees here all week and, thanks to global warming, Summer now seems to last into October. Surely people would still visit water parks on the weekends in September if they stayed open. Considering the money these parks bring in, I would think at least one park would try it. Even Dollywood, way down there in Tennessee, closes at Labor Day. Of course there will be brief cool spells of two or three days. For the next couple of days, we're supposed to get rain and cooler temperatures. But then it's supposed to heat back up.

^ Our Splashin' Safari will also be open September 17. (The 10th, 11th and 18th, we're not open to the public, but the water park will be open to those who attend the three days of buy-outs.)

Thanks, Paula

Paula Werne
Holiday World

Carterrick: I wouldn't think Kings Island and Holiday World compete with each other on the basis of their respective waterparks, anyway.

And as far as what KI is doing with Boomerang, I believe they're laying the groundwork and infrastructure for future expansions. If they didn't take it seriously, they wouldn't be making these additional investments now.

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Ensign Smith

I think they very much compete on the basis of their water parks. People living in Lexington, Louisville, and Indianapolis can drive to either park in about the same time. There are no other comparable parks within the same distance. So they choose to go to one or the other. In June, July and August many of them make their choice on the basis of water parks. And more and more are choosing Holiday World.

delan's avatar

Disney's Blizzard Beach, albeit small, is a but kicking good time. I got my season pass three months ago and have been there 6 times already. To date, it's my favorite water park.

My Top Ten Waterparks

1. SCHLITTERBAHN, New Braunfels, Texas

38-A. Blizzard Beach, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

38B. Typhoon Lagoon, Lake Buena Vista, Florida


Any Questions? :)

Last edited by Regulus,
Answer my Prayers, Overbook my next Flight!

Ensign Smith

I think their vision is limited. They still consider a waterpark a kind of kiddieland. For example, they say they're expanding their lazy river but the 2012 version will still be the smallest in the region. That's not how you get competitive. With Holiday World adding a megaride every year or two, Cedar Fair needs to get cracking at all four of the parks we get to (KI, CP, CW and MA). We're witnessing a paradigm shift at Holiday World. They're making a water park a destination resort. They're pulling people in from Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois and West Virginia. Those used to be KI, CP, Noahs Ark and Dollywood customers. I love Kings Island. I want them to get in the 21st Century. Diamondback is a brilliant ride. Where's the Diamondback for the water park?

A Bad Day On A Good Coaster Is Still Better Than A Good Day Anywhere Else.

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