When planning a trip to Texas, the first things that usually come to mind might be BBQ, music, and rodeos. However, Texas, and Kansas City, Kansas, has become a growing center of water park fun. This is thanks in no small part to Schlitterbahn Water Parks. They grew from humble beginnings to a full-fledged resort with five different locations.
While some may find water parks as just one big pool, Schlitterbahn has set the bar high. Featuring attractions that push what a slide can accomplish. The park consists of high-speed thrills and ziplines. They even have great rides for children, Schlitterbahn has built the gold standard in summer fun.
Schlitterbahn offers a more affordable alternative to many types of theme park-like experiences. Included with admission comes free parking, and they don’t charge additional fees for safety vests or water tubes. Picnic tables are also available, and most food and beverage items are permitted to be brought inside.
An additional couple of bucks can be knocked off of admission by purchasing ahead. However, this may not be in everyone’s best interests as if they have to close their doors for inclement weather, they’re not going to issue a refund, as is standard practice with most theme park companies. There is also a discounted admission price in the afternoon, as well as two separate pricing structures for indoor tickets, as well as outdoor attractions.
Season passes can also be bought, offering a reduced admission for those who have the ability to go multiple times throughout the year. And considering each city is different, that could work out to a better value over other theme park offerings in the country.
Other discounts can be found from the surrounding local businesses. Texas grocery chain HEB offers a discount, and the park also offers a military discounted price as well. Pizza Huts in the area may offer reduced admission prices, as does the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau. Premium services like Groupon may offer discounts, and AAA members can also get a fairly steep discount.
Other companies may preach the importance of conservation, but few put it into practice. While the struggle for curbing climate change continues, Schlitterbahn is able to recycle much of their water use. In fact, at the Galveston Island location, 98% of the water used is recycled and filtered.
Water conservation has been in the company’s operating efforts since the early days. Its original location, New Braunfels, was actually fed by a nearby river, and Texas is often in a state of drought. But by pushing forward with new ways to save water, Schlitterbahn has long made a name for itself in the field of corporate responsibility.
When other parks try to be indistinguishable from one another or get caught up on one overarching theme, each of the five locations is created for various experiences. The park in New Braunfels is the largest and most established park, with differing sections. Galveston Island, on the other hand, has a simpler layout with one flat park.
South Padre Island, on the other hand, has a smaller space which it utilizes by focusing on a larger lazy river. Besides the differences in size and style, each location balances traditional water rides for kids and older guests with new and exciting thrill offerings.
The most versatile park to visit is the Galveston Island location as it has a spacious indoor water park area, which allows for continued operation for most of the year. In addition to offering plenty of rides to enjoy, this location is also relatively close to the local beach, making it an ideal destination.
Some of Schlitterbahn’s locations have onsite accommodation, while others utilize local partnered chains. The Kansas City location is near about two dozen different lodging chains. South Padre Island’s park features a beach resort-style set of accommodations.
New Braunfels features an inn-style resort with lofts, cabins, vacation homes, condos, and suites. The Corpus Christie location features a more traditional resort hotel-style with standard guest rooms in a variety of sizes. There were plans for a Ft. Lauderdale, Florida location, but that’s been tied up in courts for years; perhaps one day the Sunshine State will be able to have Texas-sized water park fun.