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Where to Cool Off This Summer
When temperatures rise, families start looking for fun places to cool off. Happily, water parks across the Southeast keep getting better with new attractions delivering bigger splashes, more thrilling drops, and crazier raft rides.
Click through to find the biggest and best water parks from Virginia to Florida.Continue to 2 of 10 below.
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Alabama's Biggest and Best Water Parks
Waterville USA, Gulf Shores: One ticket price gets you into this 20-acre water park and its sister amusement park. The water park features a dozen and a half water slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, and a Flowrider surfing simulator.Continue to 3 of 10 below.
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Florida's Biggest and Best Water Parks
Disney's Blizzard Beach, Disney World, Orlando: Disney brought an Arctic theme to this adrenaline-infused water park, where highlights include Summit Plummet, one of the world's tallest and fastest water slides and Mount Gushmore, a 90-foot peak with a number of slides, including Teamboat Springs, family raft ride; Toboggan Racers, an eight-lane mat-racing slide; and the Slush Gusher, a speed slide.
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, Disney World, Orlando: This laid-back, tropical-themed park is the most-visited water park in the world. Standout features include Surf Pool, the country’s largest wave pool; Shark Reef, where you can snorkel with two types of sharks; and the Crush ’n’ Gusher, a 400-foot whitewater raft ride.
Wet 'n Wild, Orlando: This sprawling Orlando mega-attraction was the very first water park ever created, according to the World Waterpark Association. It offers near-vertical speed slides, tube slide and multi-person rides; Blastaway Beach, with 15,000 square feet... of pools, over 100 soakers, and 17 slides. Older kids won't want to miss the Wake Zone, which offers wakeboarding, kneeboarding and inner tubing.
Aquatica at SeaWorld, Orlando: This enormous water-filled wonderland features man-made sandy beaches; the Omaka Rocka half-pipe; scores of waterslides—including one that propels you through a dolphin-stocked aquarium; and Ihu's Breakaway Falls, a multi-slide freefall water slide topping 105 feet tall.
Legoland Florida, Winter Park: The water park section of Legoland Florida offers plenty of ways for younger kids to cool off, from soakers to water slides. Highlights include the Build-A-Raft River, where families can design and build a unique LEGO vessel and set afloat in the 1000-foot lazy river.Continue to 4 of 10 below.
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Georgia's Biggest and Best Water Parks
Six Flags White Water, Austell: One of many Six Flags water parks across the nation, this one near Atlanta offers 50 rides, including the 9-story Cliffhanger, one of the tallest free-fall slides in the world; Dragon’s Tail, 250-foot triple drop body slide; Run-A-Way River, a high-speed thrill ride; the Tornado raft slide. In the Hurricane Harbor section, you'll find an 80,000-gallon wave pool, an interactive area for children, and multi-slide complexes.
Splash Island Water Park, Valdosta: This water park, located in the Wild Adventure theme park, has opened a new section called Ohana Bay, which brings seven new water slides with names like Alani Falls, Polu Plunge and Oma Oma O Racers.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Kentucky's Biggest and Best Water ParksContinue to 6 of 10 below.
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Mississippi's Biggest and Best Water ParksContinue to 7 of 10 below.
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North Carolina's Biggest and Best Water Parks
Boomerang Bay at Carowinds, near Charlotte: This popular amusement park features a large Australia-themed water park called Boomerang Bay, featuring attractions with names like Kangaroo Lagoon, Whallaby Wharf, Kookaburra Bay, Sydney Sidewinder and Platypus Plunge. Highlights include Surfer's Swell, a 45-foot-tall, 263-foot-long raft ride and the 351-foot Dorsal Fin Drop.
Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe, Greensboro: This water park offers thrilling 40 mph tube slides, an 84-foot wide wave pool, and the adrenaline-pumping Dr. Von Dark's Tunnel of Terror.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
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Tennessee's Biggest and Best Water Parks
Dollywood's Splash Country, Pigeon Forge: This 30-acre water park offers more than two dozen water slides and thrill rides, including the Mountain Scream body slide and RiverRush, Tennessee's first water coaster. There are two interactive kids' playgrounds, Cascades and Little Creek Falls, with fun activities for the whole family.
Lake Winnepesaukah: Located in Chattanooga, this amusement park has been family owned since 1925. Its Soakya Water Park features water slides, raft rides, a zoom flume, lazy river, and more.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Virginia's Biggest and Best Water Parks
Water Country USA, Williamsburg: Virginia's largest water park offers more than 30 rides and attractions, including Vanish Point, a pair of near-vertical body slides with drop-hatch launches. There are also KIDsiderate rides for younger children, including Cow-A-Bunga, H2O UFO and Kritter Korral.Continue to 10 of 10 below.
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West Virginia's Biggest and Best Water Parks