Wrap up your bathing suit and your sense of adventure, because water parks aren't just for kids.
Some of & # 39; best combinations of & # 39; The world combines white-knuckled, adrenaline-filled rides with relaxing activities for those who don't want to make a splash.
BEST IN THE WORLD: Aquatica, Florida
The Taumata Racer in Orlando. For fun as a group, grab a mat and challenge yourself to eight others
Orlando may be home to Disney World, but water lovers should head to its neighbor SeaWorld (seaworldparks.co.uk), where Aquatica is a brilliant family experience.
WHOOSH: The park has 43 glides, lagoons and rivers.
I'm packed in a towel on a chair in the shade of a cabana, charging my cell phone at my office, and the staff taking my lunch order. I would have to think about going back to the fun with my two boys, five and 12 years old, and my water-loving husband, but this opportunity to relax is too good to miss.
Aquatica has a fantastic reputation for being the best water park in the United States, if not the world. The choice of rides can seem overwhelming and it takes a while to familiarize you with the layout of the park. But if you do, there is something for everyone.
Love the beach? D & # 39; s a stretch of seven in size from Trafalgar Square, dotted with lounge areas to two wave pools called Cutback Cove and Big Surf Shores.
Younger visitors will race to Walkabout Waters, a brightly colored extension of bridges, towers, glides, tubes and wading pool, and Kata's Kookaburra Cove, with its water spouts, inflatable tubes and a body ride. Ever-present lifeguards insure nervous parents while rescues for jackets are available to everyone.
My top attraction was Dolphin Plunge, a closing slide by a pool full of Commerson dolphins. It is tempting to keep your eyes closed, but they will not fail if you miss them.
The boys went to Roa's Rapids, a fast-flowing river course where the water is about 3ft deep. There was no queue and no stairs, and the only tricky part was actually going out (don't be surprised if you walked yourself a few extra times).
Curiously, for all the sounds of splashes and laughter mixed with the sheer clutter of rides and exciting screams, Aquatica is now the first water park in the world to be a Certified Autism Center. Staff are trained to help visitors with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and offer advice and guidance when planning a suitable itinerary.
Rent a cabana if you plan on making a day (if two) (they cost from £ 184 per day). In addition to guaranteed tranquility and shade, there is a fridge full of water, waiter service, towels, a lockable cupboard and a ceiling fan.
You will not go hungry here. Banana Beach Cookout has barbecued meat, pizzas, wraps and ice cream on the menu, while Mango Market has sandwiches and salads.
THRILLS: The newly launched and not to be missed KareKare Curl is a zero gravity water wall with a (almost) bare drop at the end. For fun as a group, pack a mat and challenge yourself against eight others at & # 39; a steep Taumata racer.
EXTRA FUN: The full-body air dryer. Up to five people can stand in a booth to dry.
PACKAGE: The Discovery Cove Ultimate package includes unlimited 14-day entry to Aquatica Orlando, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, with free parking at all parks, plus a day at Discovery Cove (with 30-minute dolphin swimming experience, meals, snacks and drinks included ). It costs from £ 192pp (seaworldparks.co.uk). Family rooms cost from £ 72.50 per night at DoubleTree at Hilton Hotel Orlando in Seaworld (dtresortorlando.com).
Best luxury: Aquaventure on Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas
The Serpent Slide culminates with guests passing through a clear tunnel into a shark-filled lagoon
Water parks do not get more relaxed and luxurious than this. Rent a spacious cabana with pool and beach access, a host and a beverage-full refrigerator in this lush 141 acres.
WHOOSH: A total of 18 glides, and a mile-long river ride.
THRILLS: The Abyss has a dreadful 50ft almost-vertical drop in darkness, and on & # 39; s five-layer corkscrew Serpent Slide, the ride comes out with guests hiding through a clear tunnel in a shark-filled lagoon.
EXTRA FUN: An early morning Serenity Snorkel is a peaceful swim in clear waters alongside the rescued squid dolphins.
PACKAGE: The park is free for Atlantis guests, where rooms cost from £ 199 per night. Adult day tickets cost from £ 120 or £ 78 for children (atlantisbahamas.com).
Best Location: Thrill, CocoCay, Bahamas
The newly opened Thrill Water Park is located on an idyllic private Caribbean island, part of & # 39; Royal Caribbean's Perfect Day on CocoCay.
WHOOSH: Two towers with 13 water slides and the largest golf pool in the Caribbean.
THRILLS: The 135ft Daredevil's Peak is the hottest water ride in North America, and Oasis Lagoon is the largest freshwater pool of the Caribbean. End your day on a 1,600ft long zipline and cool off with a splash landing.
EXTRA FUN: A swim-up bar lets you enjoy a cocktail in the & lagoon.
PACKAGE: A seven-night Eastern Caribbean & Perfect Day cruise on Harmony of the Seas, due August 25, 2019, costs from £ 1,054pp, based on two shared interior staterom (royalcar Caribbean.co.uk/perfect-day-cococay ).
BEST SLIDE: Aquaventure Water Park, Dubai
Leap of Faith requires guests to climb a nine-storey structure before being shot at high speed by the core of the Temple
Fin-tastic: Leap of Faith riders zoom through a shark-volume layer after they've fallen
Save the heat at Dubai's largest aquarium and water park.
WHOOSH: 42 acres of rides, watercraft, and shark-filled layers.
THRILLS: Leap of Faith requires guests to climb a nine-storey structure before being shot at high speed by the core of the Temple, before breaking into a clear tunnel in a shark-filled lagoon.
For Poseidon & # 39; s Revenge, thrill seekers stand in a capsule before the floor opens and they sink through the center of a tower at speeds of 37 mph.
EXTRA FUN: At Shark Safari, your special headgear will be underwater and will guide you through an aquarium with fish, rays and sharks.
PACKAGE: A two-day Mega Pass costs from £ 62pp (online only) and provides unlimited access. Ocean rooms at the nearby Atlantis, The Palm start at £ 150 per night (atlantisthepalm.com).
Best INDOORS: Tropical World, Krausnick, Germany
Germany is home to the largest indoor water park in the world – Tropical World in Krausnick
Tropical World is the world's largest indoor water park. It is located in a former aircraft hangar, within the Tropical Islands theme park near Berlin.
WHOOSH: Water slides, a lagoon, tropical rainforest and sandy beach, all under one dome.
THRILLS: Water Slide Tower is Germany's hottest water slide.
EXTRA FUN: Enjoy a unique view of Tropical Islands in a free-floating & # 39; hot air & # 39; balloon.
PACKAGE: Rooms within the dome cost from £ 103pp per night and include park access. Children up to five years go free. Alternatively, camping in the dome costs in a two- or four-man tent of £ 64pp per night, with access from the park. Day tickets for the park cost £ 37 for adults and £ 29 for children five and older (tropical-islands.de/en).
Beach Park is the home of the 65 mph Insano ride (pictured)
Best EXTREME THRILLS: Beach Park, Fortaleza, Brazil
Porto das Dunas resort has the largest water park in Latin America.
WHOOSH: Seven giant water slides, an enchanted river, swimming pools and a beach.
THRILLS: The 14-tier high Insano has been voted the most extreme ride in the world on several occasions, providing stunning views of the beach and sea. Thrill seekers reach speeds of up to 65 mph in just five seconds.
EXTRA FUN: Get rid of too much adrenaline and hide all the stresses in the sauna.
PACKAGE: Tickets cost £ 47 for adults and £ 44 for children. Junior suites for four at Beach Park Resorts (a minimum stay of four nights is required) cost £ 181 per night (beachpark.com).
Best for big kids: Siam Park, Tenerife
Siam Park has ten themed rides, a lazy river, a wave pool, rapids and a beach
Orlando is listed in & # 39; s major sale of British Airways, which ends on May 21. Return flights cost from £ 286, including seven nights in a hotel. Visit ba.com/en-gb/destinations/orlando.
Pippa Jolly was a guest of DoubleTree's Hilton Hotel Orlando at Seaworld (dtresortorlando.com).
Being close to the use of Playa de las Americas nightlife, and the number of multi-person rides makes this Thai-inspired theme park ideal for a group of adults only.
WHOOSH: Ten themed drives, a lazy river, pool, rapids and beach.
THRILLS: Naga Racer is a six-row mattress track, while four people can board a fleet to ride the Mekong Rapids.
EXTRA FUN: Sea Lion Island is a soft, natural addition to this man-made extravaganza.
PACKAGE: A Siam Park VIP all-inclusive adult ticket costs £ 104 and offers preferential access to all attractions and all-inclusive service at the Beach Bar and Beach Club (siampark.net). A one-bedroom junior suite at the Palm Beach Club in Playa de las Americas costs from £ 92 per night (palmbeachclubtenerife.com).
BEST OF NON SWIMMERS: Olympia Aqua Park, Kyllini, Greece
The Olympia Riviera resort makes it easy to combine water sports with time on the beach, in the spa and at bars, cafes and restaurants.
WHOOSH: Hercules and Olympia are the backdrop for eight water rides and watercoasters.
THRILLS: Space Hole is an exciting ride in a closing tube that won't spin you in an open bowl before splashing into a big water hole.
EXTRA FUN: There is a water sports school here so you can get away with a skill.
PACKAGE: The aquapark is free for resort guests. Seaview rooms cost from £ 96 per night (rivieraolympia.com/water-park-hotel).
… and you can also make a splash in Bognor!
Since opening in July 1960, Butlin & # 39; s in Bognor Regis have been implemented on a simple principle: & # 39; a one-week vacation for a week's wages & # 39 ;. Six decades later, the park still provided you with a British family holiday – and all for the price of talent. One payment for accommodation and the resort aims to provide you and you with an array of activities and entertainment.
Splash, their new £ 40 million swimming pool complex, has the world's first high-pitched water glass (as high as two double decker) for the more adventurous. For smaller children, there is ankle-deep, bath-warm water with the softest of slides. Given the choice, my two children spent so much time there that they probably would have had kills developed.
The changing rooms are also a triumph – thanks to input from online forum Mumsnet, they now have underfloor heating.
Butlin's at Bognor Regis has launched Splash, a new £ 40 million pool complex that is on the world's first helter-skelter water slide (as high as two double decker)
On the & # 39; drier (and still free) side of & # 39; The thing is the traditional Butlin & # 39; s funfair, a sight known to all children: carousels, go-karts and dodgems. Such attractions do not require a flashy update to scream the babies for fun. The fact that the Bognor resort is located opposite the coast means that a paddle in the fortifying Channel, an ice and a stick of rock are also reachable, should British weather itself behave.
But if that's probably not the case, then Butlin & # 39; s still aiming to entertain you with a host of indoor shows in the mid-range Skyline Pavilion. Think performances by Mr Men and Tellytubbies for the youngest, and danced 7ft robots for the older ones, being hosted, helped and abetted by the ever-present, ever-smiling Redcoats. Factor in soft play areas and playgrounds and it all adds to the fun.
If you want to put your hand in your pocket, the options include zip wires, bungee trampolining, mini golf, soccer and dance classes.
Of course, families cannot survive on pleasure alone and you will never go hungry here. Buffet style, all-you-can-eat restaurants serving breakfast, lunch and dinner sit next to a 1950s-themed dinner, a Papa John's pizzeria, a very good fish and chips restaurant, a gastro pub and a Burger King, all on top of & # 39; self catering option.
The newly introduced option & # 39; Dine Around & # 39; is worth considering. For a fixed prepaid price per person, you have the freedom to eat two courses (plus alcoholic beverages for adults, unlimited soft drinks for others) at most of the establishments.
After a day of swimming, helter skelling and face tracking, the question naturally arises where you should head. With a whopping 12 types of accommodation available, there is something to suit every exterior.
The chalets are basic and best suited for those who just want a place to sleep. But there are also three hotels on-site, including The Wave, which has an area full of Xboxes and PlayStations for older children – just in case they get bored …
By James Mannion
James Mannion stayed with his family's family at Butlin & # 39; s Bognor Regis (butlins.com). A three-night stay (between Monday and Friday) in & # 39; the summer vacation of & # 39; The school starts from £ 144pp, including use of Splash, the fairground and entertainment, but exclusive food options.
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