The World’s Top Waterparks Make a Splash

Planning an aquatic adventure? Discover the world’s best waterparks for thrills, family fun and exclusive pool club vibes, as recommended by Flight Centre.


3min read

Published 7 November 2023


Planning an aquatic adventure? Discover the world’s best waterparks for thrills, family fun and exclusive pool club vibes, as recommended by Flight Centre.

Waterparks continue gaining popularity as travellers seek out exciting aquatic adventures. These action-packed oases offer non-stop family fun, adrenalin-pumping thrills, and even exclusive pool club vibes. Waterparks allow multi-generational families, friend groups, and ‘bleisure’ travellers to enjoy time together, with a host of amenities catering to all demographics and interests. With new innovations constantly raising the bar, waterparks continue getting bigger, better, and more over-the-top.

Ready to make a splash on your next holiday?

Here are five incredible waterparks around the world that should be on every aquatic thrill-seeker’s travel bucket list:

A Homegrown Favourite

Expect much more than just water play at Sun City, beloved by generations of South African and international families!

The resort’s favourites remain as popular as ever. The Valley of the Waves, 1.4-kilometre lazy river, raging rapids, and massive slides, like the Temple of Courage, are as popular now as they were decades ago. The overall Sun City Resort complex also includes two championship golf courses and casinos. Then there’s the Maze of the Lost City – the largest permanent maze in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as an afternoon of golf and a safari tour through the scenic Pilanesberg National Park nearby.

But you’ll likely be spending most of your time at the Valley of Waves waterpark, where the kids can splash and swim to their heart’s content, and mom and dad can put their feet up and relax in the blissful sunshine.

Where to stay? The Sun City Cascades Hotel is a budget-friendly accommodation option for families, promising outstanding value for money. Here, you’ll enjoy idyllic lake views combined with easy access to the best entertainment Sun City has to offer.


Floating Waterpark Resorts

Cruise lines have expanded onboard waterpark offerings to lure more travellers, resulting in many unbelievable, world-first experiences at sea.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Prima, which debuted in 2022, has some of the fastest and wildest slides at sea. The Drop is the first free-fall dry slide where riders plunge 10 decks down, seated on a mat. The high-thrill Rush slide sends cruisers through exhilarating drops and a 360-degree loop. For travellers who prefer their water fun with less adrenalin, Norwegian Prima features stunning infinity pools, upscale dining with ocean views, and glass walkways hovering above the sea. Launched in August 2023, the new Norwegian Viva vessel offers similar amenities. Guests can expect innovative and award-winning experiences onboard the Prima class of vessels, with something for every traveller.


Royal Caribbean cruise ships also boast impressive onboard waterparks. FlowRider® surf simulators, the tallest slide at sea called The Blaster, and high thrill slides like Typhoon, Cyclone, and Riptide cater to adventure seekers. The line’s AquaTheatre features a deep pool and diving platforms for astonishing acrobatic shows. In 2024, Royal Caribbean’s new Icon of the Seas will unveil the largest waterpark at sea with six new slides. There’s no chance the little ones will be bored on this vessel!


An Oasis in the Desert

In Dubai’s desert climate, Wild Wadi Waterpark provides a 30-acre oasis with over 30 rides and themed zones spread in front of the stunning Burj Al Arab hotel. Adrenalin junkies can brave the floor-dropping Jumeirah Sceirah slide, while the kids will love the flowing currents of Juha’s Journey lazy river. This massive park features surf simulators, wave pools, and even an aquarium. Themed zones based on Arabian folklore add extra atmosphere. With temperatures often rising over 37 degrees Celsius in Dubai, it’s the perfect way to cool off.

Dubai also offers Aquaventure at Atlantis The Palm, a world-famous waterpark located on the iconic artificial island. Its water slides traverse shark-filled aquariums for heart-pounding thrills. Daredevils flock to rides like The Zoomerango, Leap of Faith, and Splashers. For a more low-key experience, float down the 1.6-kilometre lazy river past waterfalls and rapids. This aquatic playground also includes a private beach, activity pools, and kids’ play areas.


Make a Splash in the Sunshine State

The expansive Blizzard Beach Waterpark offers over 25 rides and themed zones. Thrill-seekers can brave Summit Plummet, one of the world’s tallest and fastest body slides. Little ones will love the melting polar theme of Tike’s Peak play area. This massive park features wave pools, tubing rapids, and a sand beach area. Themed zones like Cross Country Creek lazy river increase excitement and variety.

Typhoon Lagoon is another world-famous waterpark on the iconic Walt Disney World property. Its waterslides traverse surging waves and lush tropical settings for an adventurous ride. Daredevils flock to attractions like Humunga Kowabunga, Storm Slides, and Miss Adventure Falls. For a more relaxed vibe, drift down the 0.6-kilometer- lazy river past waterfalls and rapids. This wet and wild playground also includes a surf pool, activity pools, and kids’ splash areas.

Bali’s Watery Wonderland

Waterbom Bali offers a tropical waterpark setting amid lush greenery and ocean views on the Indonesian island. Thrilling slides, like Python and Twin Racers, get the adrenalin pumping. Families adore the activity pools and the hot tub fed by a natural spring. With endless summer weather, it’s a water lover’s paradise.

When planning your next holiday, be sure to check out these exciting water playgrounds making waves in the travel world.

Contact the Flight Centre team to make your dream holiday to these waterparks a reality.

Flight Centre

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*Prices are in ZAR and subject to availability. Please refer to specific product’s terms and conditions.