As the mom of five, I sometimes find it hard to plan an outing that has something for everyone. It usually turns out that the toddlers are bored, tired, and hot or the older kids aren’t able to find an age-appropriate activity in the toddler-themed area. Then we have my husband. He’s a pretty laid back guy, but even he can only push a swing or sit in a sandbox for so long. Luckily for us, we were sent over to Water World to see how it measures up.
The first thing I noticed upon entering the park was the overall cleanliness. The grounds were well maintained and employees were seen cleaning tables and walkways. This was very impressive to me because I’ve often noticed a sort of apathy regarding the general appearance of some of the busier attractions in the area. It was also nice to see a staff of friendly employees who smiled when approached and were willing to offer advice and answer questions. They really got involved with making each ride just a little bit more exciting by splashing water or making a slide a little less scary for the younger kids by offering a soothing word. I witnessed this first hand as my son took his first tentative steps toward a water slide that I couldn’t ride with him. The lifeguard held out his hand and said “Don’t worry, buddy. This will be so much fun, I promise!” and my son splashed down with a grin on his face that could light up the park. It really did make a difference to have such a great staff.
As far as what we found to do all day – where do I even start? Water World has 42 attractions on 64 acres of land. Each attraction is clearly marked, including height and tube requirements, and is easily found on maps located throughout the park (and on the back of all napkins given out at the snack bar). There is also an aerial tram to help you get from one part of the park to another. My kids loved floating through the air, getting a birds-eye view of the park. Another huge plus in my book is the fact that the entire park is family friendly. There are three areas specifically created for the kids. Wally World was an immediate hit with my two youngest children, ages 10 months and 3. There were tube swings, baby water slides that went nice and slow, water sprayers, and a nice shallow area for splashing away. Adults are only allowed in this area accompanied by a child and a fence allows for extra safety. There is also the Big Top area, which is an exciting circus themed spot. Here we have a lazy river, fun house, water slides, and swimming area. The structures are lots of fun, especially the two elephants that shoot water spray from their trunks. Plenty of seating is available around the pool and lazy river with a well-thought arrangement of lawn chairs on a lower tier with a bit of water underneath for dipping your feet or the slightly higher level where you can stay dry. Overhead canopies allow guests to relax in the shade while still watching their kids splash around. Finally, we have Calypso Cove which is a great mix of family fun. With spinning buckets, waterfalls, and a play hut complete with slide for the youngsters, adults can still enjoy themselves by trying out each of the three thrilling slides called the Bermuda Triangle.
There are also a great deal of family-friendly rides, such as the Lost River of the Pharoahs, Captain Jack’s Waves, Storm, The Voyage, The Lazy River, and multiple water slides. My personal favorite was Storm, where we were sent shooting off into the darkness, zipping around corners and up the slanted walls while a mock storm is raging all around us. I took both my six and nine year old sons and my eleven year old daughter with me on this ride and they screamed with delight the entire way through!
And for the thrill seekers out there, Water World most definitely won’t let you down. Jump on Revolution, Screamin’ Mimi, Spacebowl, Turbo Racer, Zoomerang, or one of the speed slides. My husband and son gave Turbo Racer a try and flew down those slides at record speed, head first mind you! We also had the chance to sit and watch the real gutsy visitor’s rocket down the speed slides at a breathtaking 3 second drop. I can guarantee that even the bravest people out there would get a little nervous on these slides.
One last honorable mention before I give you the general park information: While playing with my ten month old son at the edge of the lazy river in Big Top, he somehow managed to slip his hand through the slats of the hard plastic lawn chair. He instantly became stuck and started to scream. Within seconds there were lifeguards and park staff (not to mention a few wonderful moms that were close by) all trying to pry the chair apart to release my sons little arm. Once he was released, injury free, an offer to call paramedics was made, an area supervisor spoke with us, and we were assured that any help we needed or wanted would be given. This was completely an accident and was no fault of the park what-so-ever, yet the staff treated the incident as a priority and made us feel wonderfully looked after. I applaud this effort and greatly appreciate it.
In conclusion, Water World is a fabulous place to take the family with an incredible selection of things to interest everyone. From senior citizens straight down to the youngest children, everyone will leave happy and tired. We had a wonderful time and highly recommend a visit to everyone who loves the water. One thing to take note of: the special slide tubes are very heavy and may be difficult for some to carry from the pick-up line to the actual attraction.
Water World can be found online at http://www.waterworldcolorado.com
or seen on the Travel Channel as one of the best water parks in the country. The park is open daily from 10-6 for the remainder of July and the better part of August. Pricing is as follows: tots under 40” are free, children 47” and less are $28.95, general admission for everyone over 48” is $33.95, and senior citizens are just $5.00. Discount tickets are available. Water World is located on 88th Avenue and Pecos Street, just 15 minutes north of downtown Denver.
For more information, please call 303-427-SURF.