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The Sunshine State provides the perfect setting for fun in the sun all year round. And while Florida is most synonymous with incredible beaches, splishing and splashing around a fun water park is one of the best ways to beat the heat. You won’t have to contend with sand or rough currents (unless you want to), and Florida’s best water parks are decked out with all the bells and whistles, including wave pools, thrilling slides, and lazy rivers.
Whether you’re seeking a budget trip, a long, luxurious weekend, or a family-friendly spot to beat the heat, you’ll find plenty of aquatic getaways around the entire state. Here are some of the best water parks in Florida.
Typhoon Lagoon, Walt Disney World (Orlando)
If you’ve come to experience the magical world of Disney, don’t miss your chance to visit one of the best water parks in Florida while you’re there. Typhoon Lagoon is a tropical paradise with a wide range of slides, a lazy river, and one of the largest wave pools in the entire world!
The park also boasts a 362,000-gallon saltwater reef environment, where visitors can dive beneath the surface with a snorkel and discover marine life from the Caribbean, like tropical fish, coral, and even stingrays and sharks (don’t worry, they are harmless!).
Blizzard Beach, Walt Disney World (Orlando)
Blizzard Beach is another Walt Disney World water park, but the theme here is a bit different. Florida and cold weather don’t usually mesh, but at Blizzard Beach, you can have your fun in the sun and the snow.
This ski lodge-themed water park features attractions for all ages, from the thrilling Summit Plummet body slide that shoots visitors down at a staggering 55 mph from over 120 feet in the air to the kid-friendly mini slides at Tikes Peak.
Aquatica, SeaWorld (Orlando)
Orlando is home to some of the best water parks in Florida, but Aquatica is often lauded as the cream of the crop. Here, you’ll be spoiled for choice with unique rides and slides like the Roa’s Rapids, where you raft down a strong river current with geysers and high tides, and Breakaway Falls, the steepest multi-drop tower of its kind in Orlando.
There are tons of other fun and relaxing options at Aquatica, but the real star of the show is the Reef Plunge, a 330-foot translucent slide that zips through underwater habitats. As you zoom through the slide, you’ll get to see a variety of marine life, including dolphins and sharks.
Volcano Bay, Universal Studios (Orlando)
Featuring a massive volcano, a water coaster coming out of a waterfall, and dozens of other fun attractions, Volcano Bay is quickly making a name for itself amongst the best water parks in Florida.
The swanky cabanas and fun rides are a huge draw, but Volcano Bay really stands out amongst the bunch thanks to its revolutionary “Tapu Tapu” band, which allows visitors to wait in a virtual line and get notified when it’s their turn rather than physically standing around. Less time waiting in line means more time for fun in the sun!
Rapids Water Park, West Palm Beach
Orlando does have a monopoly on grand water parks, but there are plenty of other options for aquatic fun around the state. Rapids Water Park is a standout in the south, with 20 water slides and other water attractions.
This park has fun for the whole family and some pretty unique attractions. Be sure to check out Alligator Alley, an obstacle course with big lily pads and (fake) alligators keeping guard in the water below.
Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park, Destin
Those seeking a fun water park in Florida’s panhandle should head straight for Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park. This is the largest water park along the Emerald Coast, and it offers tons of attractions for thrill seekers and lazy river lovers alike.
The Jumanji waterslide offers a 70-foot free fall in the dark, and the four different rivers offer varying degrees of laziness. If you feel like staying dry, there are also several dry attractions, including mini golf and a sky coaster. Note that this is a seasonal park that is not open during the winter months.
Buccaneer Bay, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Buccaneer Bay is perhaps the most unique water park in Florida. Situated in the fabled Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, this laid-back park is fed by fresh spring water, which is crystal clear and sits at a balmy 72 degrees Fahrenheit all year long.
This is a smaller park, but you’ll find all the staples here, including a lazy river, several waterslides, and a splash pad for the kids. One of the best things about Buccaneer Bay is its proximity to Weeki Wachee Springs, which is famed for its mermaid shows. Another bonus of Buccaneer Bay is that it’s extremely budget-friendly. You’ll only need to pay to access the state park – $13 for adults and $8 for kids.
Sunsplash Family Water Park, Cape Coral
The whole family will love Sunsplash Family Water Park, located in southwestern Florida. This 14-acre park has a little something for everyone, with various slides, a lazy river, and a kid’s splash pad.
Adrenaline junkies will appreciate the towering body slides, while those looking for something a little more relaxing can rent a cabana and enjoy service all day long. This is a seasonal water park, so plan your visit between March and September.
Adventure Island, Tampa
Get ready for some fun in the sun on Florida’s western shores at Adventure Island. The park features some extremely unique attractions like VR snorkeling and a dueling racer slide, but you’ll also find all the standard attractions like water slides, a wave pool, and a kid’s splash pad.
Note that this is a seasonal park open from March to September. Looking for more fun in the Tampa area? Adventure Island sits across the street from Busch Gardens Theme Park.
Island H2O Water Park, Kissimmee
Island H2O is one of the newest and most technologically advanced water parks in Florida. When you enter, you’ll receive a wristband, which can be linked to your smartphone via an app. On the app, you can select music to play in the park, keep track of where your family and friends have checked in around the area using their wristbands, and get photos and videos of you riding rides and taking selfies at booths around the park.
On top of the cool technological features, there are tons of water slides, pools, and lazy rivers. There’s even an adults-only cabana area where only visitors who are 21+ can enter.