Water park adventures aren’t just for the thrill-seeking adrenaline junkies who walk among us. They appeal to the inner child within all of us and besides, there’s something thrilling about abandoning our terrestrial habits temporarily and taking the plunge.
Here are our picks for the most exhilarating water park adventures around the world:
1. Aquaventure Waterpark
Located at the Atlantis resort in Dubai, Aquaventure Waterpark is the very definition of over-the-top. Taking up 17 beachfront hectares, it has two massive towers – the Tower of Neptune, standing at a height of 30 metres, and the Tower of Poseidon, which houses the world’s largest waterslide and – wait for it – the first waterslide within a waterslide.
But if you’re really looking to get the heart racing, try the Leap of Faith, a 27.5 metre near-vertical drop through a tunnel into a shark-filled lagoon.
2. Yas Waterworld
This water park in Abu Dhabi covers 15 hectares and takes its theme from an Emirati legend, which tells the story of a young girl who goes in search of a legendary pearl. The park pays tribute to Emirati history with a pearl diving experience, which involves swimming in an underwater tank for an hour to find three oysters containing pearls.
For a true adrenaline rush, take on the looping waterslide or the Dawwama which, at 20 metres high, is one of the largest tornado rides in the world.
3. Area 47
The Austrians take to it another level with the Area 47 water park. Situated in the mountains, it covers 20, 000 square metres and makes use of the mountain water which runs into the swimming lake. With a diving tower, a deep-water-soloing climbing wall and a hydrospeed slide, this is a water park designed for serious adventure-seekers.
4. Typhoon Lagoon
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon remains one of the most popular water park adventures in the world. With a good range of rides, the Florida water park is our pick for a family holiday. Plummet five storeys at a 60-degree angle into the dark on the Humunga Kowabunga, which has three body slides running down Mount Mayday. Or, if you’re keen for a little less action but equal amounts of exhilaration, snorkel with the colourful marine life at Shark Reef.
5. Siam Park
Located in the Canary Islands, Spain, Siam Park has a Thai theme, distinguishing it from other aquatic parks in Europe. Its most iconic attraction, the Tower of Power, is not for the faint of heart. Plunge 28 metres in a free fall before emerging from an aquarium; the change of pace is disorienting but thrilling all the same. With a spinning volcano ride, a wave pool and body slides running through the jungle, there’s something for everyone.
6. Wet’n’Wild Sydney
With over 40 rides and attractions, you’ll want for nothing at Wet’n’Wild. One ride in particular will have your heart racing – the 360Rush. If you’re okay with 360-degree looping water slides that will have your stomach churning and a 12-metre drop at 60 km per hour, then this is right up your alley. For something a little more chill, Boomerang Bay lets you choose your own adventure, so float along the bay or take on the rapids – whatever your heart desires.