Adorable little girl with inflatable ring at swimming pool(Getty Images/iStockphoto/shalamov)
Keep the kids entertained and get your heart racing at these new attractions.
Whether you want to relax poolside listening to waves with your toes in the sand or get an adrenaline rush on a high-speed slide, water parks beckon in the summertime. Across the U.S., you’ll find a host of new and redesigned
water parks and resorts as well as a multitude of new slides, splash areas and attractions. If you have the urge to shoot through a volcano, race your friends and family or even fight the “Battle of Lake Erie,” visit one of these top 16 water park attractions opening in 2017.
Universal Orlando Resort, Florida
Touted as the third theme park for Universal Orlando Resort, Volcano Bay water park is scheduled to open May 25, just in time for the summer season. The centerpiece of the water park is the 200-foot-tall Krakatau volcano, which will feature the Krakatau Aqua Coaster that launches riders uphill before the ultimate plunge. The volcano is also home to Ko’okiri Body Plunge, a 125-foot-tall trap-door body slide. In addition, Volcano Bay will decrease your wait time with its TapuTapu wearable device, which sends an alert when it’s time to ride. Here’s how it works: You tap the device at the attraction to reserve your spot in line, and go play in other areas of Volcano Bay.
(AP Photo/John Raoux)
AP Photo/John Raoux
Great Wolf Lodge
Cedar Point Shores Water Park
Cedar Point has redesigned its Soak City water park to fully embrace its Lake Erie beachfront location with the opening of Cedar Point Shores Water Park. In addition to original attractions, the 18-acre water park will include four brand-new additions for 2017, including Point Plummet, a six-story, four-person drop slide, the Portside Plunge five-story tube slide, the Lakeslide Landing junior kid complex and Lemmy’s Lagoon family splash area, along with unobstructed views of the vastness of Lake Erie. Cedar Point Shores opens Saturday, May 27.
(AP Photo/Emilio DiValerio)
AP Photo/Emilio DiValerio
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
Lake Buena Vista, Florida
In March, Disney opened Miss Adventure Falls, a family raft ride at its 61-acre Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. A conveyor belt transports visitors to the top of the ride, eliminating the need to plod up staircases while hauling your raft. Along the way, visitors meet Duncan the parrot, the first audio animatronic at either of Walt Disney World’s two water parks (Blizzard Beach is the second). The twisting, turning, splashing, two-minute ride is currently the longest waterslide at Walt Disney World.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Not one, not two, three or four … but five new waterslides are coming to Kalahari’s outdoor water park in 2017. The twisters will include Stingray, Sahara Sidewinder, Tornado Alley, Serengeti Spinner and Extreme Rush. You’ll experience weightless hang time on Stingray, centrifugal force on Sahara Sidewinder, tight 360-degree loops on Serengeti Spinner, a 24-foot funnel on Tornado Alley and a near-vertical high-speed drop into a 360-degree loop on Extreme Rush.
Elitch Gardens in Denver will unveil a new action-packed multislide tower this year. Sliders can choose one of three different body slides on the six-story Mega Wedgie tower, which will send riders toward the bottom at 40 mph. Whether you decide to take the twisting, bumping or straight route to the splash pool, once you touch down, you’ll likely be adjusting your trunks.
Wild Adventures theme park in Valdosta, Georgia, will open a new area for its Splash Island water park. The surfing-themed Ohana Bay will feature seven new waterslides, with five well-suited for visitors of all ages, and the remaining two nearly three-stories tall. Ohana Bay will also offer a splash ground area for younger children.
Knott’s Soak City
Buena Park, California
Two new waterslide towers will debut at Knott’s Soak City when it opens for the summer season. The seven-story Shore Break tower features a four-person trap-door, drop slide and a dueling tube slide. Meanwhile, The Wedge tower takes up to six riders through the twists, turns and drops of a family raft ride. In addition to the two new slide towers, Knott’s Soak City added additional shaded seating, more private cabanas and a remodeled eatery — Longboard’s Grill.
Dollywood’s Splash Country
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Dollywood’s Splash Country water park will add TailSpin Racer, a high-speed, multilane slide, where guests can compete against five other riders on mats through spiraling tubes. TailSpin Racer’s tower rises five stories, and the intertwined, twisting slides are longer than the length of a football field. Best of all, the ride begins in an ergonomically designed starting block before dropping at high speeds into the AquaTubes.
Legoland Water Park
Racing slides are all the rage in 2017 as Legoland Surfers’ Cove opens at this popular California water park. Up to six little surfers race on mats to see who can get to the finish line first. Legoland Surfers is part of a beach-themed expansion that also includes Surfer’s Bay splash ground, which will be full of interactive water jets and Lego models.
(AP Photo/Christof Stache)
AP Photo/Christof Stache
Schlitterbahn Riverpark & Resort Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi, Texas
Padre’s Plunge is a flume ride opening at Corpus Christi, Texas’ Schlitterbahn Riverpark. Named for nearby North Padre Island, Padre Plunge will take a boat full of 15 riders 45 feet to the top of the chute before dropping to its adrenaline-filled finale. The ensuing 20-foot splash zone wave drenches riders, nearby spectators and can be observed from outside the park boundaries.
Waldameer Park and Water World
The historic Waldameer Park will feature a new addition to its Water World water park that will be themed around the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. The 40-foot-tall climbing structure and splash ground includes seven slides and a 400-gallon dump bucket in addition to over 100 interactive water features. Atop the structure, visitors will even find a replica of Erie’s tall sailing ship, the U.S. Brig Niagara.
Wilderness at the Smokies Waterpark Resort and Family Adventure Center
Treehouse Springs will be a newly designed outdoor oasis for younger kids full of interactive water features, including sprinklers, bubblers, geyser jets, waterfalls and dump buckets all in a zero-depth entry wading pool. The Treehouse Springs tower also contains three junior-size slides well-suited for little dippers. While the little ones swim, parents can keep an eye on their youngsters from lounge chairs on the expanded deck and enjoy drinks and snacks from the refreshment area.
Silver Dollar City’s White Water Branson
The Coconut Cove kids area will debut in 2017 with five slides, four water blasters, bubbler fountains, hose jets, tipping buckets and more inventive features, all designed with the littlest swimmers in mind. This special cove at Silver Dollar City’s water park was created specifically to keep younger kids busy as older kids visit more extreme attractions. Coconut Grove will open for the summer season beginning on May 27.
Now part of the Six Flags portfolio, Waterworld California sits about 30 minutes from San Francisco. Opening this summer is Break Point Plunge, a six-story, trap-door, drop slide that sends riders plummeting through a 270-foot long tube. Break Point Plunge is one of 35 different water attractions that also includes the Big Kahuna family raft ride, the Honolulu Halfpipe curved tube slide, the Cliffhanger speed slide, the Breaker Beach wave pool, the Treasure Island children’s water playground and the newly renovated Lil’ Kahuna’s Waterworks splash area.
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16 New Water Park Additions for 2017 originally appeared on usnews.com