These Are The Best Waterparks In The World (& We Want To Go Now)
We're not even joking when we say we'd live in these...
It’s hot, it’s summer, and splashing about in cool blue waters is simply just the thing to do.
And while lidos and local pools are lovely, there’s nothing quite like the thrills of a waterpark for a sunny day out. Go ahead and take a dip in our list of the world’s very bestest aquatic playgrounds (it’ll all go swimmingly, we promise).
Siam Park, Spain
Siam Park is a total dream.
Located in Tenerife, it regularly tops world rankings, and it’s not hard to see why. Its Mai Thai is the longest lazy river ever, while the park’s Wave Palace features the highest man-made waves anywhere, at over three meters. To top it all, its Thai-themed décor will have you convinced that you are a continent away.
You only need pose with the dragon statue (the world’s biggest!), chill by the pagoda and watch your life’s troubles float away.
Aquaventure Water Park, UAE
Aquaventure is part and parcel of the prestigious Atlantis resort in Dubai, but if you’re in town, you can nab one of its highly sought-after day passes. The park’s highlight is the Leap of Faith, which rushes you through an epic (but self-contained, thank gawd) shark tank.
And if you’re feeling peckish after all that sliding around, you can book a table by the hotel’s giant aquarium. Might just be a little #awkward if you’re in the mood for fish.
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, US
At Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, you can expect rides of the likes of the Humunga Kowabunga, a slide that sends you down five stories in the dark, or the coaster ‘Crush n’ Gusher’ where you travel on one of three journeys on a raft propelled by water jets.
We can all agree that Disney does attractions like no-one else. This dazzling lagoon is themed to look like the ruins of a city upturned by a typhoon, and the eerie adventurous vibe will do wonders for your Insta life.
Eco Parque Arraial d'Ajuda, Brazil
Set in a gorgeous natural backdrop in Arraial d’Ajuda, Brazil, the Eco Parque has our eyes watering with envy. Adrenaline junkies will find their match with the ‘kamikaze style’ sheer drop Quereimbaba, and the place also offers other swimsuit compatible activities such as a breathtaking zipline route through the next-door forest, and Brazilian af Capoeira lessons.
Time to brush up your Portuguese and get your adventuring on.
Universal's Volcano Bay, US
It’s only been open for just over a month, and Universal’s Volcano Bay already has the world abuzz. You’ve only got to check out the Ko’okiri Body Plunge (yup, it’s a 70 degree fall through a drop door) and the Punga Racers, where you can challenge your friends to - you guessed it - a race through underwater caves, to see why.
Plus, you won’t even have to wait in line. Like, ever. The park hands you a wristband that lets you know when it’s your turn to get on the ride – and you get to nap right by the pool in the meantime.
Water Cube, China
After hosting the 2008 Olympics, Beijing awesomely decided to turn their Aquatics Centre into an underwater dreamland. With pastel jellyfish, giant bubbles and translucent slides, it looks all sorts of poetic and whimsical.
It’s not all calm under the water though. Alongside the relaxing bubble pool stands a terrifying 76-meter aqualoop, as well as the Deep-Water Tornado, which sees rafts circling down a giant funnel. You can also chase the gold in the Olympic pool, still accessible next door.
Tropical Islands, Germany
It’s the biggest indoor waterpark in the world, and it’s gorgeous.
Tropical Islands is designed to replicate paradisiacal spots of Bali, Borneo, Samoa and Thailand and it’s got a giant rainforest to boot. If you’re not wondering around revelling in their maze of a décor, their wide selection of slides will keep you happily busy.
You’ll love too that the whole thing is a giant greenhouse, giving you the chance to stick your tongue out at grey skies from your prime beach spot.
Yas Waterworld, UAE
With a lovely Arabian nights theme, Yas Waterworld in Abu Dhabi has a stunning variety of attractions, including a legit rollercoaster that’ll whisk you right above the park.
It’s also a great place to practice your surfing game, with never-ending sheet waves on the (decidedly weirdly named) Bubbles Barrel.
And let’s not forget the Liwa Loop, a stomach-turning high intensity slide where the floor opens under your feet, sending you spinning. Wheee.
Beach Park, Brazil
It’s not the most original of names, but Beach Park is not to be underestimated.
Aside from being one of Brazil’s biggest tourist attractions, it has a heckuva collection of mad rides. Their Insano, at 60 metres high, is one of the word’s tallest water slides, and flies you back to the ground within seconds. If you’re looking to go next level, search no further than the Skybox, a transparent capsule 25 metres up in the air that drops you through at the push of a button.
And to get your heart rate right back down after all that, bob about at your leisure on the giant lazy river.
Noah's Ark Water Park, US
Noah’s Ark is beloved in the US and is always receiving heaps of awards. Don’t be fooled by its adorable, animal-themed décor (though tbf it’s great for a cheeky selfie).
This is one serious slide and ride collection. Its Scorpion’s Tail is a ‘near vertical water slide loop’, and you can try your luck with its ominous Point of No Return, a sheer drop of ten floors down. Wowza.
Blizzard Beach, US
Blizzard Beach whisks you away to a melting ski resort, and the theme’s quirkiness is enough to earn lots of kudos (you can ride ski lifts and everything).
Along this, there’s attractions of the likes of the Slush Gusher, a raft ride that gets you feeling totally weightless.
And you can also celebrate your inner child and pose with Olaf and the Frozen crew, who are always on hand chilling (sorry) at the venue.
By Marion Koob