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We love a waterpark, and Europe is full of ’em. But some of the very best, including the biggest one in the world, are actually worth packing a big bag and going long haul for. Here’s our list of the best waterparks outside Europe.

Catch you down the lazy river?

Aquaventure, Dubai 

A bird's eye view of Aquaventure in Dubai, one of the best waterparks outside Europe.

Part of the larger Atlantis, The Palm resort complex situated on the Palm Jumeirah, one of Dubai’s iconic artificial islands, Aquaventure gets to boast because it’s the world’s biggest waterpark.

There’s a whopping 105 rides here altogether, split up between three ‘towers’ –  Neptune, Poseidon, and Trident. Poseidon is home to Poseidon’s Revenge, a near-vertical drop slide that releases riders into a transparent tube extending over the edge of the tower before plunging into a freefall loop, and Slitherine, the world’s first twin-racing tube waterslide. Neptune, meanwhile, is home to the famous Leap of Faith, a near-vertical drop from 8 storeys high straight through a shark filled lagoon. The Trident Tower has Odyssey Terror, the world’s tallest waterslide. There’s river rafting, cliff-jumping, a lazy river, and the Aquaventure Beach too. Plus, it’s got the world’s biggest dedicated kids area.

But one of the best things about Aquaventure is that if you’re a guest at Atlantis the Palm, you get free, unlimited access throughout your stay. You’ll get free access if staying at its shiny new sister property, Atlantis the Royal, too.

Waterbom Bali

One of the best waterparks in Asia, Waterbom Bali can be found in Kuta, in the south of the island. Categorising its thrills from Mellow to Extreme, you’ve got 5.1 hectares to explore.

If you want to keep it chill, there’s the lazy river and the supervised Funtastic children’s area. But if you take it up a notch to the Moderate rides, you’ll find the Python, where you and 3 mates float around in a liferaft-style tube through the belly of a python, and the 250m long Constrictor which wraps through the upper tree canopy sending you sloshing and swinging through near 90-degree turns. Not enough? Try Climax, a classic trapdoor-style drop, or Boomerang, one of their most popular rides, which’ll have you believing you’re about to fly off the edge (you’ll have to try it to see exactly what we mean!). Both are rated Extreme.

There’s multiple dining options on site (including a swim up bar), a spa, and you can reserve a private gazebo too if you need some down time. There’s also a prayer room on site if you need it, and they have towels for hire so you don’t have to drag the soggy ones back to your hotel.

At the time of writing, a single day ticket costs IDR365,500 – that’s about £18 (at time of writing).

Universal’s Volcano Bay, Orlando

An image of the volcano at Universal's Volcano Bay Waterpark, one of the best waterparks outside Europe.

Part of its themepark in Orlando, Florida, Universal’s Volcano Bay is one of the best waterparks outside Europe. Themed around the fictional Waturi people who built a water paradise, its centrepiece is the towering Krakatau volcano – one of the best-looking waterpark set pieces out there.

Imagine yourself in a tropical paradise, with lush landscaping, waterfalls, rockwork, and mega immersive storytelling. The attractions here work for all ages, from the Krakatau Aqua Coaster that takes you through dark tunnels, twists, and turns around the volcano, to the Rainforest Village, a family-friendly area with things like raft rides, water play areas, and a multi-level water playground. Volcano Bay is also home to a whopper: Ko’okiri Body Plunge, one of the tallest body slides in the world that’ll send you plummeting down a 70-degree drop from the top of the volcano. There’s a lazy river too, of course, plus the Waturi Beach for taking a breather from getting drenched.

There’s a variety of dining options, from quick-service eateries serving snacks and beverages to full-service restaurants with themed menus, and you can rent a private cabana too.

You’ll get access with your Universal Orlando park ticket, but if you just want access to the waterpark itself you can purchase these for $70-90, depending on the time of year, at the gate.

Ramayana Water Park, Pattaya

Found in the resort city of Pattaya, under 2 hours by road from Bangkok, is Ramaya, one of Thailand’s biggest waterparks. Themed around the ancient Indian epic Ramayana, it’s got statues, sculptures, and décor inspired by the story, as well as tropical landscaping, lush gardens, and traditional Thai architecture.

The #1 waterpark in Thailand and #2 in Asia, it’s one of the most accessible for families too, where children from 106cm can try almost all of the slides – only Aqualoop and Free Fall are off limits. Aqualoop has you experience the pull forces of gravity as you make a 360-degree loop, whilst Free Fall is a trapdoor-style drop which’ll have you going at up to 50km/h. Other rides include group raft rides like Python- and Aqua Conda, as well as the more gentle Spiral  and Serpentine coasters. There’s extra family-friendly areas like Lanka Town and the Mermaid Lagoon too.

There’s 10 themed restaurants, towel hire, free WiFi and private cabanas to rent too. A full day ticket will set you back around £32 (at time of writing).

Aquaventure, Bahamas 

Aquaventure doesn’t just have a waterpark in Dubai, they also have one as part of their Atlantis Paradise Island property in Nassau, Bahamas too. With a mixture of Atlantean and Mayan theming, the park’s tropical setting includes palm trees, lush vegetation, and stunning views of the Caribbean Sea.

The Mayan Temple structure here is home to rides like The Leap of Faith, a near-vertical drop slide that propels you through a clear tunnel submerged in a shark-filled pool, and The Serpent Slide, a twisting and turning tube slide that passes through the temple’s interior and into a lagoon. Splashers Children’s Play Area is the dedicated area for kids with shallow pools, water play structures, mini slides, and interactive features.

With 141-acres to splash your way through, you’ll be occupied for a while. There’s more than 20 swimming areas here, as well as 11 pools (including a wave pool). There’s also Bahamas longest river, the Rapids River, and a whopping 5 miles of that beautiful white sand beach the Bahamas are so famous for.

You’ll gain free access if you’re staying at Atlantis Paradise Island, but you can also purchase a day pass – the price of these varies at different times of year and have to be booked in advance.

Beach Park, Brazil

Another one of the best waterparks outside Europe is Beach Park, one of Brazil’s largest and most famous and located in the city of Aquiraz, near Fortaleza in the state of Ceará. It gets extra points for having a beachfront location, too.

With a tropical setting with palm trees, lush vegetation, and ocean breezes, the park features a wide variety of water rides, slides, and attractions, like Insano, one of the world’s tallest and fastest water slides (expect an exhilarating freefall experience from a height of over 135 feet), and Arrepius, a multi-lane slide where you can race against your mates on mats, sliding down a steep slope and right into a splash pool. There’s also the Acqua Show, a water playground great for kids with interactive features, fountains, water cannons, and slides. Atlantis, meanwhile, is the wave pool where you can enjoy simulated ocean waves, ideal for swimming, floating, and body surfing. Tropical Island is the lazy river here.

Thanks to that location, you have direct access to the real beach here, perfect for those who fancy a bit of a time out. Plus there’s a variety of dining options, including snack bars, cafes, and restaurants serving a range of cuisines, snacks, and drinks. They also hosts special events, live music performances, and entertainment shows throughout the year too.

Day tickets start from R$270 – that’s about £41 (at time of writing).

Typhoon Lagoon, Orlando

One of the two waterparks at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Typhoon Lagoon is themed around a paradise that was hit by a typhoon, resulting in a water park filled with shipwrecks, tropical foliage, and remnants of a fictional storm. The park’s design incorporates elements like a massive surf pool, water slides, lazy rivers, and themed attractions – in true Disney style.

One of the park’s main attractions, the Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool is a massive pool that generates powerful waves – perfect for surfing, bodyboarding, or simply swimming. Crush ‘n’ Gusher is a water coaster that propels riders on inner tubes through twisting and turning slides, featuring uphill climbs and crazy drops too. Miss Adventure Falls, meanwhile, is a family-friendly raft ride with a storytelling theme, taking you on a journey through a lost and found treasure trove.

Designed for young children, Ketchakiddee Creek is a water play area with gentle slides, splash zones, and interactive water play structures. Castaway Creek is the park’s lazy river. It’s got a whole load of dining options, including quick-service eateries, snack bars, and tropical-themed restaurants serving a range of cuisines, snacks, and drinks. Try Let’s Go Slurpin’ for surfside speciality drinks or Happy Landings Ice Cream for sundaes, root beer floats, and more. The park hosts special events, live entertainment shows, and character meet-and-greets throughout the day too.

You’ll have access to both waterparks at Walt Disney World Resort if you have park tickets, but if you just want access to Typhoon Lagoon, a one day adult tickets cost $70, whilst for children 9 and under it’s $64 (at time of writing).

Yas Waterworld, Abu Dhabi

One of the largest water parks in the UAE, Yas Waterworld is located on Yas Island, which is also home to attractions like Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Marina Circuit. The park is themed around the story of “The Legend of the Lost Pearl” which follows the adventures of Dana, a young Emirati girl searching for a legendary pearl, and the park’s design incorporates elements of Emirati culture, folklore, and heritage too.

There’s more than 40 rides here, from the Dawwama, one of the world’s largest water funnel rides, the Liwa Loop, a trapdoor-style drop, and the unique Bandit Bomber, a coaster that combines water slide elements with roller coaster-style drops and turns, with water cannons and interactive targets. Yadi Yas meanwhile, is the dedicated area for younger children with splash zones, mini slides, water play structures, and interactive features.

There’s 300m of lazy river here, as well as Cinesplash, a one-of-a-kind 5D cinema experience where the entire cinema floods with water up to your knees, as well as more special effects like waterfalls, moving seats, and water explosions.

A single day ticket, at time of writing, will cost you around £61, but if you stay at any hotel on Yas Island, you’ll bag free access!

Blizzard Beach, Orlando

Disney World Resort Florida’s other waterpark, Blizzard Beach is themed as a ski resort that melted into a water park due to a freak snowstorm. The park’s design incorporates snow-capped mountains, ski lifts, ice sculptures, and other winter-themed elements, the centrepiece here is the perfectly-named Mount Gushmore – you’ll experience a near-vertical drop from the top of here in Summit Plummet, one of the tallest rides in the world.

Slush Gusher is a high-speed water slide that propels you down a steep slope and into a splash pool, featuring twists, turns, and exhilarating drops, whilst Teamboat Springs is a family-friendly raft experience where you can ride together through winding rapids and waterfalls. Tike’s Peak is for the younger kids, with gentle slides, splash zones, water jets, and interactive play structures.

Melt-Away Bay is the wave pool, whilst Cross Country Creek is the lazy river that winds its way through the park. Like Typhoon Lagoon, you’ve also got loads of dining options, including quick-service eateries, snack bars, and themed restaurants, from Avalunch’s hot dogs and draft beers to Lottawatta Lodge’s cheeseburgers and flatbreads. Plus, you rent a Polar Patio or a Lodge Umbrella for extra shade and privacy.

You’ll have access to both waterparks at Walt Disney World Resort if you have park tickets, but if you just want access to Blizzard Beach, a one day adult tickets cost $70, whilst for children 9 and under it’s $64 (at time of writing).

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