Water Park Tips

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A slip-and-slide fanatic names his favorites H20-filled playgrounds


  • Walking around on hot pavement is tough on feet, so buy a cheap pair of water slippers that you can leave on (although a few parks, like Disney's, don't allow them on body slides)
  • Some parks, like Noah's Ark, have mailbox-like slots for flip-flops at the entrance to each ride's queue, but most parks only provide lockers, and you must pay for each use
  • Waterproof sunscreen is a must because while you're in line, you'll be exposed to the sun

  • Newfangled body slides will have you zipping at up to 60 mph, so minimize clothing loss by wearing loose trunks (guys) and one-piece suits (girls)
  • Suits with zippers and buttons scratch flumes, so many parks have banned them
  • Some suits now come with built-in waterproof plastic pouches that you can use to seal your money (but don't put keys in there unless you want to bruise yourself)
  • Use plastic swim diapers for toddlers

  • The scariest rides have height minimums; 42" is common
  • Every water slide park has a dedicated kiddie area
  • Everyone gets the same idea on summer's hottest days, so on those busy days, arrive at opening to stake out a chair
  • If there are thunderstorms in the forecast, delay your visit, because slides shut down at the hint of lightning
  • Eat your Wheaties, because most rides require you to climb stairs to the top
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