Summer Fun: 10 U.S. Water Parks To Visit With Your Kids

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    Disney's Typhoon Lagoon: World's Largest Wave Pool

    With a theme revolving around a typhoon wreaking havoc on a pristine paradise, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon offers families the opportunity to snorkel with sharks, tube slides, a lazy river and a children's area with raft rides. Waves reach a surfable 6 feet tall in the world's largest wave pool. It's the most visited water park in the world and one of two water parks at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

    Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort

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    Aquatica Orlando: Slide Through Sea Life

    Aquatica Orlando, located just across the street from SeaWorld Orlando, provides fun for all ages including 38 water slides that take you through animal exhibits. Dolphin Plunge, the signature attraction, is an enclosed slide that passes through a pool of dolphins. The park features an Australian theme and a kids' area for calmer play. Big kids also like Roa's Rapids, which is a fast version of a lazy river.

    Photo courtesy of Aquatica Orlando

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    Holiday World & Splashin' Safari: Celebrate Year-Roumd

    This Santa Claus, Indiana park is divided into four parts representing Christmas, Halloween, Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. Families are sure to get soaked on Mammoth: The World’s Longest Water Coaster! With bright yellow, round, six-passenger boats, the family will be able to challenge Mammoth together.

    Photo courtesy of Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

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    Noah's Ark Family Park: America's Largest Water Park

    Noah's Ark, located in the Wisconsin Dells, is the largest water park in the United States at 70 acres and over 60 water-based activities. Young kids have their own separate area while there are also plenty of rides for older kids to enjoy with parents. There's even a 4-D dive-in theater and an arcade.

    Photo courtesy of Noah's Ark Family Park

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    Schlitterbahn New Braunfels: The World's Longest Water Park Ride

    Over three miles of tubing and seven kids' areas make up this New Braunfels, Texas water park. Schlitterbahn also has a resort built around it with hotels and condos. The water park has three uphill water slides (a novel concept invented by Schlitterbahn) and The Falls, a 3600 foot long lazy and not-so-lazy river that is the world's longest water park ride.

    Photo courtesy of Schlitterbahn New Braunfels

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    Wet 'n Wild Orlando: Disco And Wake Skating

    Disco waterslide, anyone? Inner tube with your friends into a watery disco nightclub. Considered the world's first water park, Wet 'n Wild Orlando has been thrilling guests since 1977. They have a high number of multi-person rides and near-vertical slides along with an area for wake skating, which is wakeboarding though pulled by a cable. Pools are heated in the winter.

    Photo courtesy of Wet 'n Wild Orlando

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    Water Country USA: Take A Break From History

    Located in historic Willamsburg, Virginia, Water Country USA transports guests back to the surfin' safari days of the 1950s and 1960s. There's a pool with ocean-like waves and more than 30 rides and attractions. Live entertainment and great music can be heard throughout the park. Pools are climate-controlled and there's plenty for non-swimmers to do.

    Photo courtesy of Water Country USA, Williamsburg

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    Six Flags White Water: Escape the Heat in a Tornado of Water

    Six Flags White Water in Atlanta, the Southeast's largest water park, provides fun for the entire family. Notable thrill rides include the Tornado where four riders board a raft to plummet down seven stories into a funnel. Because thrill seekers come in all sizes, three interactive kids' areas feature kid-only and family rides.

    Photo courtesy of © 2013 , Kevin Rose/

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    White Water Park: Freefall Slides

    A part of the Silver Dollar City entertainment complex in Branson, Missouri, White Water Park's 13 acres of rides are sure to entertain. Take a break in shaded cabanas, get adventurous in the 6-lane freefall Kalani Towers thrill ride or float through Polynesian jungles in the Aloha River. Restaurants and shops are both on site.

    Photo courtesy of Silver Dollar City

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    Water World: Most Family Tube Rides

    Water World, just outside of Denver Colorado, boasts the largest variety of water park attractions (at 49 currently) from 3 kids' play areas to speed slides on its 64 acres. They also have the most family tube rides than any other U.S. water park.  A “hydromagnetic” water coaster sends guests up and down for a full two minutes of fun.

    Photo courtesy of VISIT DENVER

About Katie Dillon

Katie Dillon originally moved to the seaside community of La Jolla to attend UC San Diego. When the opportunity presented itself, she and her husband set off for a 7 year stint overseas as expats in London and Hong Kong. After traveling the world, they returned to the La Jolla sunshine, with a young daughter in tow. Katie now writes a lifestyle site called La Jolla Mom and is the author of a book called, “Flying With Kids.” Her work can be seen on NBC San Diego, Red Tricycle, Yahoo! Shine and Have Family Will Travel, a Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts blog.

Read more about Katie Dillon here.

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