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What are the most affordable U.S. water parks?

by Samantha Davis-Friedman

With another month of summer to go and National Water Park Day coming up on July 28, 2022, there’s no better time to head to a water park and, more importantly, find out about the most affordable U.S. water parks.

Most affordable U.S. water parks - NRH2O
Photos courtesy of HomeToGo

Online vacation rental marketplace HomeToGo also wanted to discover the most affordable U.S. water parks, so they created their 2022 Water Park Index that ranks 50 parks, from budget-friendly to top-dollar.

“With the return of the hot summer temperatures, we’re excited to be able to offer travelers a helpful guide to America’s most exciting water parks so they can cool off at any budget,” said HomeToGo’s Director of PR (and travel expert) Caroline Burns. “While the index revealed that California, Florida, and Texas had the most water parks on this year’s ranking, families can find just as many pulse-pounding water slides, relaxing lazy rivers, and family-friendly play areas in destinations across the country.”

The 2022 Water Park Index is based on the cost of a one-day adult admission ticket, parking, locker rental, and HomeToGo’s data for nearby accommodations.

Three Most Affordable U.S. Water Parks for 2022

#1 NRH2O Family Water Park – Known for its friendly environment, relaxing atmosphere, and reasonable prices, the 17-acre NRH2O in North Richland Hills, Tex. features 14 attractions that offer a balance between thrilling waterslides and kid-friendly attractions. The total price for NRH2O is $87.99: $22.99 for admission, $12 for locker rental, and $53 for overnight accommodations nearby. Parking is free.

Most affordable U.S. water parks - NRH2O

#2 Splash Kingdom Oasis – Splash Kingdom Oasis in Shreveport, La, offers more than 15 rides and attractions as well as special events that showcase music, movies, and more. The total price for Splash Kingdom Oasis is $90.46: $24.95 admission, $10 locker rental, and $55.51 for overnight accommodations nearby. Parking is free.

Most affordable U.S. water parks - Splash Kingdom Oasis

#3 Buccaneer Bay – Located within Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Weeki Wachee, Fla., Buccaneer Bay is Florida’s only spring-fed water park and features a variety of attractions, including water slides, a sandy beach area, a lazy river float ride, beach volleyball, and legendary mermaid shows in a submerged theater. The total price for Buccaneer Bay is $91.02: $13.00 admission, $7.00 locker rental, and $71.02 for overnight accommodations nearby. Parking is free.

Most affordable U.S. water parks - Buccaneer Bay

Three Least Affordable U.S. Water Parks for 2022

#1 Raging Waters – Named California’s best and largest water park, 60-acre Raging Waters in the Los Angeles area is home to more than 50 world-class rides, slides, and attractions, including Aqua Rocket, the state’s only hydromagnetic water coaster. The total price for Raging Waters is $218.52: $54.99 admission, $15 locker rental, $20 parking, and $128.53 for overnight accommodations nearby.

Most affordable U.S. water parks - Raging Waters
Photo courtesy of Raging Waters

#2 Water Country – The 26-acre water park in Portsmouth, NH, offers 19 attractions categorized as Soft (like the Pirate’s Pool & Lagoon), Moderate (like the Warp 8 looping inner tube ride), and Intense (like Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror). The total price for Water Country is $188.41: $49.99 admission, $15 locker rental, $10 parking, and $113.42 for overnight accommodations nearby.

Most affordable U.S. water parks - Water Country
Photo courtesy of Water Country

#3 Rapids Water Park – South Florida’s largest water park, the 35-acre Rapids Water Park in Riviera Beach features 42 of the biggest, wettest, and most thrilling water slides. This summer is the last chance to plunge 1600 feet down the four spiraling slides of fan-favorite Old Yellar before a new ride opens next year. The total price for Rapids Water Park is $187.05: $49.99 admission, $15 locker rental, $15 parking, and $107.06 for overnight accommodations nearby.

Most affordable U.S. water parks - Rapids Water Park
Photo courtesy of Rapids Water Park

Water Park Fun Facts:

  • Tallest waterside in the U.S. – Thrillagascar at DreamWorks Water Park in New Jersey (Ranked #32 by HomeToGo) stands at 142 feet tall and reaches free-fall speeds of 60+ mph.
  • Largest water park in the U.S. – Noah’s Ark Water Park in Wisconsin (#44 on the list of most affordable U.S. water parks) is the largest U.S. water park, with a total of 51 water slides, two wave pools, two lazy rivers, and six additional attractions.

Most Affordable U.S. Water Parks Index Methodology

HomeToGo conducted the research for the index in June 2022. The total amount for each water park includes one adult admission ticket, one-day locker rental, one-day regular parking for one vehicle, and accommodation. Processing fees and taxes are not included in these prices.

  • Adult Ticket – The online price of any-day tickets for summer 2022 was selected when available. For parks with prices that depend on the day of the week, July 28, 2022, was chosen as the default date. Pricing information is listed on the water park websites. 
  • Locker – The cost of renting one standard locker for one day. The small locker was selected when an option of large or small lockers was available.
  • Parking – The cost of regular parking for one vehicle for one day. The advanced online price was selected when available.
  • Accommodation – Median nightly price per person to stay in an accommodation listed on HomeToGo.com between July 13 and Sept. 22, 2022.

Click here for the complete list of all 50 Water Parks included in HomeToGo’s 2022 Water Park Index.

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