Soak up the sun while you float gently along a lazy river on a rubber ring, try surfing in a wave pool or dive down a precipitous slide through a shark tank. DialAFlight has picked five of the best water parks in the world for endless splashing out in the sunshine this summer:
Aquaventure, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai
Take thrills ‘n spills to another level at Aquaventure in Dubai. The centrepiece here is The Tower of Neptune, a temple-like edifice from which several slides plunge earthwards. One slide, the Leap of Faith, is an almost vertical nine-storey drop down the side of an ersatz Mayan pyramid before speeding through a shark and ray-filled lagoon; a leap of faith indeed!
Beach Park, Fortaleza, Brazil
Situated at Porto das Dunas, Beach Park is the largest water park in Latin America. Younger children will love Aqua Circo, a big-top-themed play area with slides, showers and see-saws, while older kids can delight in terrifying 65 mph thrills on Insano, the world’s tallest water slide. Be sure to take in the sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean from the top before plunging down the drop below. Be warned – the slide is so steep, you’ll be in mid-air for most of the fall; not for the faint hearted!
Siam Park, Tenerife, Spain
One of the biggest waterparks in Europe, Siam Park has a spectacular Thai theme and the adrenaline-pumping rides weave through tropical vegetation in a jungle landscape. Relax on a lazy ride down the Mai Thai river in a rubber dinghy or prepare to be scared on the white-knuckle Tower of Power slide, which plummets you down a near-vertical 85ft drop. If you’d like to learn a new skill, the park even has its own surf school. Siam Park delivers thrills and spills for the whole family – a taste of the Orient, but in easily accessible Spain.
Wet ‘n wild, Orlando, USA
From the scary to the surreal, you’ll be spoilt for choice at Universal Orlando Resort’s water park. Grab your friends, platform shoes and bellbottoms before descending through a time warp back to the groovy 70s on Disco H20, a retro raft-ride through an aqua nightclub with jivin' music, lights and disco balls. The recently-opened Aqua Drag Racer is the newest attraction, where visitors can accelerate head-first in a four-lane race.
Housed in a former airplane hanger, this indoor landscaped water park is a temperate paradise with white sandy beaches, tranquil lagoons and a real rainforest with no less than 50,000 plants. Enjoy water slides, waterfalls and whirlpools as you bask in the constant 27°C temperature, or take advantage of several spa zones inspired by different areas of the world, from Thailand to Africa. There’s even a golf course if you’d like to perfect your swing! It’s a cross between the Eden Project and Center Parcs, combined with a touch of worldwide sensory experiences courtesy of the spa zones. Ja wohl – das ist gut!
Tropical Islands, Brandenburg, Germany