Punxsutawney Phil may have predicted an early spring, but the snow on the ground outside suggests there’s still a fair amount of winter yet to go. When I get cabin fever, I dream of sandy beaches, warm pools, water slides, and that wanderlust made me think of the new 2016 water parks and slides opening this year – including Vaikuntudo, the world’s largest whirlwind water slide at Brazil’s Beach Park, where riders climb six-stories before dropping 80+ feet at over 40 miles/hour into a 60 foot funnel. Looking for something a little closer to home? Continue reading for the top new 2016 water parks and additions debuting around the country.
North America’s largest family of indoor water parks gets a little bigger as Great Wolf Lodge opens TWO new resorts in 2016. Great Wolf Lodge Southern California opens in Garden Grove, California adjacent to Anaheim’s Disneyland Resort. The 13th resort is their largest, and scheduled to open February 19 with 15 slides, pools, suspension bridges, and indoor surf simulators “Whooping Hollow” and “Mountain Edge Raceway.” Outside the park, the 600-suite resort houses a nine-hole miniature golf course, enables guests to battle dragons in MagiQuest, or get an ice cream-themed manicure at Scooops Kid Spa. Their 14th resort is nestled in the Rocky Mountains, and Great Wolf Colorado Springs opens late 2016 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This 311-room all-suite hotel features a 65,000-square-foot (6,039-square-meter) indoor water park, an arcade, miniature golf, mini-bowling, a rope-climbing attraction, a spa, restaurants, and meeting spaces.
Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, introduces “Tropical Plunge,” a 65-foot-tall structure with six different water slides in its Soak City water park. Three of the slides feature an “Aqua-Launch” chamber in which the floor drops from under the guests, plunging them on a high-speed, almost vertical free fall through flat loops and S-curves. The complex also has 337-foot-long dueling slides and an enclosed chute featuring four 360-degree loops.
Carowinds near Charlotte, North Carolina will debut “Blackbeard’s Revenge” a new 70-foot water slide complex that is part of the expanded water park, renamed “Carolina Harbor.” “Blackbeard’s Revenge,” featuring six slides, including four that spin riders around 360 degrees. The new water park also features a two-acre family area with a multilevel children’s water spray ground, two toddler water play spaces, and a wave pool with waves up to six feet high.
The 50-acre Scuttles Island water park opens in North Augusta, South Carolina. The park features 20 slides, ranging from 98-foot-tall thrill rides to 750-foot family raft rides and 55,000 square feet of features including a dual wave pool, lazy river, and children’s play area. The park also includes four restaurants and 4,000 square feet of retail shopping space.
Typhoon Texas opens in Katy, Texas. The 25-acre, WhiteWater West-designed water park includes more than 13 rides and attractions, including the 50-foot “Open AquaDrop” and the “Family 6 Boomerango” raft slide that sends guests gliding along a 60-foot wall bearing a painting of the Texas flag.
Surf City Waterpark & Lodge opens in Ellensburg, Washington. The 117,000-square-foot indoor water park, with an adjacent 215-room hotel, will offer attractions for guests of all ages, including a deep-water surf machine, a wave pool, a four-person raft ride, aqua loop thrill ride, children’s play structure, and two hot tubs.
And if all those new water slides don’t get your heart pumping, Action Park in Vernon, New Jersey, launches a vertical looping water slide. The slide, designed by Sky Turtle Technologies and built by Avalanche Waterslides, sends guests through enclosed capsules at 50 mph, as they experience a 90-degree, 30-foot-tall vertical loop at 3Gs.
So get ready for swimsuit season, and let us know which new 2016 water parks you’re anticipating most. For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.