Slides up in the air, the taste of chlorine hovering over the atmosphere as the sun beats down on your bare body, greasy skin from the sunscreen, and the cool splash of clear water in your face—these are the images that evoke your typical water park experience. Most of us think of a water park as a simple day trip, the nearest one to your home. We don’t typically travel far when going to one. It’s like any other fun day at the beach or lake. You don’t plan vacations around it. But, we think it’s time to reconsider what comes to mind when you think of water parks because all around the world, you’ll find some of the most beautiful, exotic, and thrilling water parks, and they are well worth more than a day’s drive to get to.
From the islands in Spain to Bali and even to the frigid climate of Canada and Berlin, you’ll find some water parks that simply have to be seen to be believed; water parks that stretch the imagination and demand that you fly out for their unique experiences. These are the kinds of places that you plan vacations around or ones you stop by while on your vacation to Greece or the Bahamas. Whatever the reason, when you find yourself going to these parks, we suggest bringing sunscreen and a towel as you dive into the 20 Most Amazing Water Parks From Around The World.
20 Holiday World, Santa Claus, Indiana
If you’ve never heard of Santa Claus, Indiana, then you’re missing out on a really unique place. The name comes from an issue that the town had with the United States Postal Office and has since given the town a famous reputation that has allowed it to take advantage of a unique tourism industry. Because it’s the only postal office named Santa Claus, the local office receives letters from children all over the country during Christmas time. This is where Holiday World enters the equation.
The theme park and water park combine into a massive park divided into 5 components, 4 of which are holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, and of course, Christmas). The fifth component and one of the more recent additions is the Splashin’ Safari.
Splashin’ Safari’s claim to fame, other than being a water park within a holiday-themed park, is its two water rides (Wildebeest and Mammoth). These water coasters are two of the longest in the world. The park also features a number of other slides, two wave pools, a lazy river, and a family dump bucket. The good news is that access to the park is included with general admission into Holiday World. Even more good news is that Holiday World offers free parking, free WiFi, free sunscreen, and even free fountain drinks. You can’t beat that.
19 BH Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
This water park comes in as one of the most exciting on our list. Located on the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain on the largest island, Mallorca, is the BH Mallorca Hotel. It is also known as the Mallorca Rocks! Hotel which gives you an idea of what kind of hotel we’re dealing with here. The hotel claims that Mallorca is the party capital of the world and we’re not of liberty to disagree; the islands off the coat of Spain are world-renowned for their parties. BH Mallorca took their partying ways one step further. The hotel already caters to a younger crowd, one that likes to listen to live DJs and party poolside, but the hotel just recently opened the world’s first adult-only water park. Opened in 2015, Twister Water Park is for 18 and up and caters to the party crowd, so no kids. Although most call it simply BH Mallorca water park, the park features a wave pool and nine water slides, some they claim can reach speeds of up to nearly 40 miles per hour and 2.5 G in less than two seconds. The park features poolside cabanas in ankle-deep water as well as a DJ playing upbeat music. Drinks are available, and there’s a main stage for major DJs like Steve Aoki and David Guetta.
18 Water World, Denver, Colorado
Just ten miles outside of Denver’s main downtown area is Water World. The name doesn’t exactly stick out on a list like this or on a quick internet search since the name Water World has been used dozens of times by completely different parks and entities across the country. However, Denver’s Water World is perhaps the most iconic as
it’s one of the largest water parks in the United States and features many unique rides that make it one of the go-to water parks for water slide enthusiasts. There are roughly 50 rides and attractions available to park guests ranging from child-friendly options to some fast and exciting thrills.
They also boast a dizzying array of family-oriented tube rides. The most notable of these is the Voyage to the Center of the Earth where a group of guests float along in a group tube and enter into a cave that will take them back in time to the age of Dinosaurs. One of the thrill rides of note is the Screamin’ Mimi where guests are given a flat surface and placed into a roller coaster-like track. The track then launches you down the slide at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour before you fly onto a surface of water and skid across it like skipping a rock across a lake.
17 Beach Park, Fortaleza, Brazil
Beach Park in Fortaleza off the northwestern coast of Brazil on Harbor Dunes beach is one of the most sprawling water parks in the world. It’s not just a simple water park. It’s a water attraction with hotels, slides, pools, beaches, food, spas, and even a museum on sail rafting. We may even go as far as to say that Beach Park in Brazil may be the Disneyland equivalent to beach parks. At one point in this famous water park’s history, it held the Guinness World Record for having the tallest water slide with Insano, a 135-foot tall slide. The record has thus been passed on, but Insano remains one of the tallest in the world and one of the fastest when it comes from getting you from Point A to Point B. One of the features that make Beach Park stand out is the food. Your typical water park might feature some hot dog stands, some cotton candy, a vending machine, and (if you’re lucky) nachos, but Beach Park has defined itself by raising the bar. Beach Park features a number of food spots ranging from the water park classics (burgers and fries) all the way to Latin American delights of the quality you might find at a nearby restaurant. The park also features luxurious spas and private cabanas for those looking to escape and relax.
16 Etnaland, Sicily, Italy
Many of the water parks on this list are considered the biggest or largest in some form or the other. Etnaland on the eastern side of Italy’s island of Sicily is no different in that regard—
it’s the largest amusement park in southern Italy. But what makes this park unique, in part, is its location, not just because it’s on Italy’s world-famous island of Sicily. Etnaland is actually based at the bottom of the Etna Volcano which is considered a national heritage site.
Mount Etna is an active volcano, but it’s not considered dangerous. It is, however, the highest Italian peak south of the Alps. Etnaland is another amusement park on this list that is more than a water park. The main theme park features a number of entertaining roller coasters, and the park interestingly features a prehistoric park which provides an educational option to visitors of the park. Still, the water park itself may be the most entertaining aspect of Etnaland. Many of the water rides and slides have an amazing amount of detail in the design and construction. Dragon River is stepped in an oriental theme that evokes a river through ancient China, and the Jungle Splash is a long drop that’ll soak you while you shoot through a Polynesian atmosphere of sails and huts.
15 Happy Magic Water Cube, Beijing, China
In 2008, Beijing hosted the Summer Olympics and put on quite a spectacle. In the process, they built a number of completely new and state-of-the-art structures such as the famous Beijing National Stadium, affectionately called the Bird’s Nest. Right next to the Bird’s Nest, however, is the water structure built for sports which featured water such as diving and swim relays. After the Olympics, the complexes lost a lot of attention and allure, and as a result, the water stadium was renovated. The nickname for the complex was Water Cube due to its cleanly cube-like shape and the bubbles which cover the exterior wall. Global water park company Whitewater now supplies the park which was renovated into an indoor water park. So, the park goes by many names such as WhiteWater West, Beijing, but the most entertaining name it goes by is Happy Magic Water Cube—emphasis on magic because this indoor water park has a very unique feel to it. Before you even step into the door, the building’s exterior is a massive cube covered in gigantic bubbles. And when you finally get to enter, the entire complex is dark and lit up with neon-colored lights. Massive blue and purple lights illuminate the space with a special atmosphere while gigantic jelly fish structures float overhead.
14 Caribbean Bay, Yongin, South Korea
Everland Resort in Yongin was South Korea’s answer to Disneyland. Although the park does not have the same allure as Disneyland, the park stands on its own as a great place to visit. Divided into five unique sections known as Global Fair, American Adventure, Magic Land, European Adventure, and Zootopia, Everland is one of South Korea’s go-to destinations for family-oriented vacations not just for locals, but for the international population at large. But Everland also encompasses a water park which has been growing in popularity over the recent years and is earning a name for itself outside of being a part of Everland. The international water park company, Whitewater, which has a stake in Beijing’s Happy Magic Water Cube, pitched in to help Caribbean Bay grow by renovating and upgrading one of their main attractions, a super flume, or what is normally referred to as a log ride. The new ride, Thunder Falls, now holds more riders, lasts longer, and sees a larger turnout than the previous incarnation. This has helped numbers spike for the park and brought attention to many of its other features such as the sand pool, kiddie area, spas, and saunas. Caribbean Bay also has one of the world’s longest lazy rivers.
13 The Water Park, Faliraki, Greece
Greece is a wonderful place to visit. Whether you’re sticking with the mainland or exploring one of the hundreds of islands in the Aegean and Ionian Sea, the beautiful coastlines of Greece are synonymous with warm sunshine and crystal blue water.
People travel from all around the world to see the beaches of Greece, and it’s here that you’ll find one of Greece’s largest water parks. On the island of Rhodes, one of Greece’s easternmost islands along the coast of the northern tip, is a water park that doesn’t try to flash or dazzle.
Many names on this list evoke excitement with clever word play and every single conceivable combination of water and world, but this park in Faliraki cuts to the chase. Simply named The Water Park, you’ll find that this park has everything you could ask for and is set against the backdrop of the stunning Mediterranean Sea. The park features a number of water slides, all whitewashed in the style of classical Greek buildings. You’ll have access to a lazy river, a wave pool, and of course, a play area for children. For adrenaline junkies, the park categorizes slides by children, family, mat slides, bare body slides, and extreme slides.
12 Noah’s Ark Water Park, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Noah’s Ark Water Park is the epitome of classic American-style water park fun. It may be one of the older water parks in the country as well as one of the most storied, so it makes our list as being a classic go-to water park for any water enthusiast out there. What was originally a small plot of land in Wisconsin Dells consisting of a go-kart track and bumper boats has now grown into one of the largest water parks in America and has been growing steadily over the decades since its original inception. Although it comes from humble roots and the name has remained relatively intact to honor that humble history, Noah’s Ark Water park is anything but small-time by today’s standards. With over 45 rides in the park, both water slide nuts and families will have their fill of fun within the park’s limits. The park features a number of child-friendly attractions as well as rides for those who aren’t looking for white-knuckle rides. The Monkey Rapids, Wave Pool, and Endless River are perfect for those types. But for those who want to lose their breath flying down high-speed attractions, we suggest getting in line for the Scorpion’s Tail or Point of No Return. A new ride called Raja is opening this year as well.
11 Terme 3000, Prekmurje, Slovenia
Terme 300 in Slovenia is one of the more unique water parks included on this list. Located to the far eastern side of Slovenia, right along the Hungarian border in a region known as Prekmurje, you’ll find an area famous for their spas. The Prekmurje region alone is a beautifully scenic place to visit in the world, and the area where you’ll find Terme 3000 is famous for its luxurious spas, both indoor and outdoor. The resort is designed to welcome both adult guests looking for a reprieve as well as families looking for more children-oriented trips.
This resort has everything you can think of when it comes to relaxation and water. From spas to pools both inside and out, as well as saunas, you’ll find yourself deep in a coma of relaxation. But don’t relax too hard because this place also features a pretty exciting water park.
The park features shaded areas with trees and a massive pool for swimming, as well as some fast-paced waste slides and an exciting zipline over the park. The most notable slide is the famous Aqualoop which claims to give guests the experience of flying at a force of nearly 2.5 G, twice that of a race car. For a calm and relaxing spa resort, this Aqualoop changes up the pace as being one of the fattest water slides in Europe as well as one of the only that features a 360-degree loop.
10 Blizzard Beach, Orlando, Florida
As the story goes, there was once a famous unheard of ski resort—one of a kind and located in Florida of all places. Of course, due to Florida’s climate, the park was unsustainable; thus, it was only a matter of time before the park eventually began to melt. But just as the resort owners were about the close the place down, they looked up and saw a blue alligator in a red scarf flying down the mountain. He landed in a puddle of water and a vision was born. We’ll let you be the judge of whether that’s how things actually went down, but like all things Disney, the devil is in the details and Blizzard Beach in Disney World has created a unique atmosphere all its own. The entire water park, one of the most visited in the world, is designed entirely around the story of the melting ski resort and the skiing alligator. Shops and stores have been cleverly renamed, ski lifts still exist to carry guests around the area, and the iconic Mount Gushmore serves are the park’s main point of navigation for visitors to the park. The Typhoon Lagoon also exists not too far away and acts as a sister park to Blizzard beach.
9 Wild Wadi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai has long held a reputation for being one of the world’s greatest playgrounds where the most innovative buildings and vacation ideas are executed and born. So, it’s no wonder that our list would feature a water park in Dubai, and contrary to the belief that water is a scarcity in this city, there are actually a number of water parks to choose from. We went with Wild Waldi for its reputation as being on the forefront of design and innovation in the world of water parks. Inspired by the famous Arabic hero, the down-to-earth Juha, everything about this park has been designed and implemented with the greatest of detail and precision.
It’s one of the biggest water parks outside of the US and is considered one of the most often visited in the world. The area is stunning, situated in the area of Jumeirah, and next to the famous and iconic Burj Al Arab Hotel.
The park features a number of high-octane water slides and a wave pool and even has a number of simulated wave rides. But, the most famous ride is the Burj Surj. A massive ride that takes multiple guests at a time, the Burj Surj is the only slide in the world to feature two bowls as opposed to the typical one.
8 World Water Park, Alberta, Canada
The West Edmonton Mall in Alberta Canada is not only one of the largest shopping centers in North America but ranks as one of the largest in the world as well as one of the premiere tourist attractions as well. It’s there in the cold north of Canada that you’ll find World Water Park. Being in one of the world’s largest mall in the world means it has to be a big water park, but it’s more than that. Built in 1986, World Water Park is one of the largest indoor water parks in the world. And it has to be indoors because the winters in Alberta can be bleak, but this place stays cool and fun year-round. An indoor water park is unique as it is, but because of that rare feat, World Water Park holds many indoor water records. For example, their indoor wave pool, known as Blue Thunder, is the biggest indoor wave pool in the world. In fact, the park had to turn the pool’s power down by nearly half because of how powerful the waves were. The park features a number of different slides ranging from beginner to advanced and even some considered extreme like the Sky Screamer Extreme and the Tropical Typhoon. Parents can also enjoy the Pina Colada Bar.
7 Jungle Aqua Park, Hurghada, Egypt
When people think of traveling to Egypt, they most naturally think of visiting the famous Pyramids of Giza. They imagine the endless sprawling dunes of sand, the sun high up in the sky beating down on them, traveling by camel back from old city to old city. The country is steeped in historical significance that make it one of the premiere destinations in the world for travelers, but Egypt’s entire eastern border is comprised of the beautiful Red Sea. Along this eastern coastline, just past the mouth of the Suez Gulf, you’ll find the all-inclusive Jungle Aqua Park.
This water park offers guests uniquely-designed bungalows situated around the property’s stunning gardens and pools. The park itself features dozens of pools and water slides for guests to choose from and has built the entire park based on the theme of jungles.
Because it’s all-inclusive, you can find everything you need on the grounds. There are beautifully-decorated restaurants that evoke Egypt’s rich, ancient history as well as private access to the beaches of the Red Sea which is a must-see experience for travelers. The park also features plenty of activities aside from water slides and water features for those fatigued with the idea of having fun in the water.
6 Area 47, Tirol, Austria
Area 47 makes our list as an amazing water park but stretches the limits of what we typically consider a water park. That’s why we included it in the first place. It’s something entirely different from most of the entries on here, and we think that’s a good thing. It’ll either redefine what you know to be a water park or simply be an interesting entry to read on the list. Either way, we think you’ll be impressed with Area 47 in Austria. The park is situated in the stunning Ötztal Valley and is separated into a number of sections. What makes Area 47 so unique is that it caters to thrill-seekers and nature lovers. The park takes advantage of natural beauty while incorporating some of the most primal thrills that we find in water sports.
The park is a water sports haven. With activities like canyon rafting to wakeboarding, this place has everything you can think of and is supplied by fresh water running through the valley. Family-friendly, this park has log cabins and a water area totally dedicated to all things water. You can cliff dive, jump off of a blob in the lake, water slide, skim; you name it, they have it. There are also activities like rock climbing and mountain biking, so this park is basically for anyone who loves seeking their thrills in the great outdoors, and Area 47 stands out as something different from the typical idea of a water park we’ve come to know.
5 Siam Park, Canary Islands, Spain
The Canary Islands are an autonomous archipelago group that technically falls under the jurisdiction of Spain, although the next closest country to the island chain is actually Morocco to the east. On their own, the Canary Islands are a fascinating location for travel lovers as they present a unique opportunity to visit an autonomous community within another nation. It’s also an island chain within the European Union, so you know it’s going to have beautiful beaches and scenic coastlines. But on the island of Tenerife, one of the three eastern islands, you’ll find the recently-constructed water park Siam Park.
Built in 2008, Siam Park was designed with Thailand in mind. Everything from the restaurants to the slides and even to the buildings and entryways was built with Siamese architecture and history in mind.
A lot of detail and care went into the creation of this park. The rides are like many you would find at any other water park but with a Siam twist. For example, the bowl ride The Dragon features a life-sized Siamese dragon reaching into the bowl. The shop area is modeled after a floating village and the Tower of Power sends riders through a massive aquarium full of shark, fish, and sting rays. Interestingly, the park was built into a hill, so riders get their momentum the natural way from the hills as opposed to man-made structures.
4 Tropical Islands, Berlin, Germany
Outside of Berlin, off the autobahn, is where World Water Park in West Edmonton Mall meets its match. Upon arriving, it may appear that you’ve taken the wrong turn somewhere. There’s nothing around that looks anything like a water park. All you can see is that massive air hanger in the distance that was once built to manufacture air crafts. But that was a long time ago. Things have changed. That air hanger now houses one of the largest water parks in the world. Tropical Islands in Germany is quite a unique water park, not just because of the typically cold weather in the area but because inside of that air hanger, you’ll find a tropical water park full of grottoes, pools, and lagoons. The key attraction of this place is the tropical ambiance of it all. There are slides, whirlpools, and plenty of the features people visit parks for, but Tropical Islands is going for the tropical vibe and they nail it as long as you ignore the fact that you’re inside of a massive air hanger. The area is ripe with lush tropical vegetation that separates, isolates, and compartmentalizes the areas that give you a unique feeling of being in a boundless space. You can even camp in tents on a white sand bar.
3 Aquaventure, Atlantis, Bahamas
In the beautiful picturesque Bahamas, off the coast of the famous island of Nassau, you’ll find the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort, a sprawling vacation destination for people all over the world and an entire island of fun and leisure.
It is at this famous resort that you will find perhaps the most iconic image of water parks in the world—the often-photographed Leap of Faith, a 60-foot water slide that drops you under an aquarium of sea life including sharks.
As well-known as this image is, the water park at Atlantis, known as Aquaventure, features so much more and is a great place for water park enthusiasts to visit. There are a number of rides that include interaction with marine animals as well many that have the same Mayan Temple style as Leap of Faith. This is the largest water park in the Caribbean and one of the largest on the eastern hemisphere—at a whopping 141 acres of beaches, pools, water slides, and water attractions. The area known as Dolphin Cay even provides guests with a chance to interact with marine life such as dolphins in a conservation experience that is both entertaining and educational. The wave pool at Aquaventure even purports to have waves nearing 4 feet.
2 Schlitterbahn, New Braunfels, Texas
The heat in Texas is known to be sweltering and unbearable, so it’s no wonder that it’s there that you’ll find one of the country’s most famous and most visited water parks. Just outside of San Antonio, in New Braunfels, you’ll find the famous Schlitterbahn. The name is inspired by the German roots of the town and translates to “slippery road.” The park started out as a humble place with only four slides in the 80’s but has since evolved into a chain of water parks all across Texas. However, we included the location in New Braunfels because it’s the original. The park has a number of impressive feats including being one of the first water parks to feature inland surfing as well as one of the first to have an uphill water slide. Another interesting note is that Schlitterbahn uses a centuries-old contraption known as the Archimedes screw to get its water from Point A to Point B. The water park features a poolside bar as well as an amazing lazy river. German-influenced architecture and style dresses much of the park as does some wonderful trees and foliage to provide natural shade, as well as a more welcoming ambiance that most water parks simply lack.
1 Waterbom Bali, Kuta, Indonesia
The park is surrounded by a thick growth of fauna and trees. A thick canopy protects guests from the sun and creates an atmosphere steeped in the tropical climate of Indonesia. Bright orange and yellow slides fly through the jungle terrain past trees and vines, and lazy rivers take you along under the shade of a dense canopy. You’ll swear that you’re floating down a real river in a real jungle, and that’s how the creators of Waterbom Bali want it to be.
The park, which is located along the southwestern coat of Bali, was designed to compliment the local nature around it. In other words, the park and natural beauty of Bali have been combined into one of the world’s most famous and visited water parks.
Complimenting nature isn’t just a marketing phrase either. The water park is committed to reducing its carbon footprint as well as providing a safe haven for Bali’s natural beauty. The park uses a number of water conservation and recycling techniques and is proud to maintain that nearly 50% of the park is green space that features local flora and fauna and even some rare species. This is why you’ll experience a slight temperature drop when entering the park as the thick growth creates a miniature ecosystem within Waterbom Bali.