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What is a Water Park?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated: May 23, 2024

A water park is an indoor or outdoor amusement park that involves playing in and around water. It usually has features such as water slides and brightly colored areas for children to play and swim in. Although many water parks have a beach theme, some actually have real sand to play in near a pool that is often called a lagoon.

The lagoon in a water park is like a swimming pool, but is usually more creative in that it may include plastic palm tree-shaped slides and other tropical-themed play equipment. A water park is like a playground with the added fun of water. Many water parks have a splash zone, or play park in which sprinkler-like equipment creates fun sprays of water for children to play in.

Water parks also usually have water rides that are similar to non-water rides at regular amusement parks. For example, a water park may have bumper boats in a water-filled section rather than bumper cars in a concrete area. Lazy rivers are often a part of water parks. These are water-filled sections that people can float down on tubes or rafts. You can often find a good mix of thrilling water rides and relaxing water-filled areas in a water park.

A water park may also have hot tubs and some also have a wave pool. Larger water parks may have a large section with many different types and sizes of water slides rather than just one or two water slides. Most water parks have areas for toddlers and their parents. Some water parks also have other attractions on the grounds such as a petting zoo or a children's play gym.

Water parks usually sell food such as ice cream, cold drinks and hot dogs. They're often great places for children's birthday parties and an indoor water park is a good option for those in cooler climates. Most water parks don't allow outside food and drinks, but have reasonably-priced birthday party packages and do allow you to bring a birthday cake.

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Discussion Comments
By Sporkasia — On Feb 07, 2014
I've been to many water parks but I have yet to visit a rapids water park, one of those that simulates a trip down the Colorado River or some other body of water with large rapids. Going to one of these is at the top of my bucket list.
By Drentel — On Feb 06, 2014

Water parks have grown over the years. The first ones we visited were small places that usually had a water slide, a sprinkler and maybe a wading pool. The water park rides like the floating logs came along later.

By Animandel — On Feb 05, 2014

Water park resorts make great locations for family getaways. The water park equipment is perfect for kids. Water parks combine the excitement of an amusement park with the relaxing qualities of a pool or beach.

Sometimes when I take kids to the amusement park, the heat and long lines just wear them down and they get cranky. I never have this problem at water parks. I guess the water refreshes them, or cools them off at least.

By the way, the resorts are also a great place for adults to relax or pretend they are kids again.

By Drentel — On Feb 05, 2014

When I first came in contact with water park attractions as a kid, I was visiting one of the large amusement parks and they had just opened a new area featuring water rides and pools. At that time, the water park was a small sideshow. Now when you go to that same amusement park during the summer, the water park slides and rides have the longest lines.

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