This year was only our second visit to Water World of Colorado, and once again we closed the park down and still didn’t get to see and do everything. As one of America’s biggest water parks, this place is so big (64 acres and 49 attractions), that even if you arrive right when it opens at 10am, you’ll be hard-pressed to do it all by the time it closes at 6pm.
After two visits, I think I’ve gotten a pretty good idea of how to do it right next time. Here’s what I’ve learned…
- Buy the Family 4-Pack Deal at King Soopers. You will save $5 on your tickets by buying ahead of time at King Soopers (more than buying online at WaterWorldColorado.com), and there is no need to go to a ticket window once at the park. You can go directly through the turnstiles. The Family 4 Pack includes 4 general admission tickets (regularly $40 at the park) 4 personal pizzas and 4 drinks for only $143.96 (tax included). That’s just $35.99 per person! Coupons are available at other retailers for $6 – $8 off, but you then must stand in line at the ticket window at the park to redeem them. Blah!
- Arrive early! You should arrive by 9:30 am to park and be inside the water park when it opens at 10 am. There will be lots of people waiting and it can take awhile to get through the security check point and turnstiles.
- Pack a cooler. Yes, they are allowed. So, why not pack it full snacks, water and drinks to stay hydrated throughout the day? And you don’t have to drag it around with you or assign someone to stand guard over it all day either. Just find a spot on the grass somewhere, and leave your towels too. There’s plenty of areas to park it near the concession stands and lockers as you enter the park. Everyone does it this way it seems to work out just fine.
- Get in line immediately for Tube Valet and personal tube rentals! Unless you plan to purchase Tube Valet or an all-day locker (see tips #6 & 7), skip the Guest Services line at the front entry and look for one of the smaller personal tube rental kiosks around the park. There is one on the left just past Wally World as you enter the park, on the walkway to the Caribbean Family Adventure area. Have one person purchase tube rentals or Tube Valet (at Guest Service front entry) while another finds a spot for your cooler and towels.
- Snatch up Tube Valet before it’s gone! Tube Valet is the only reason to get in line at Guest Services at the front entry. The line gets long fast and availability is limited, so have one person go straight here once you enter the park.I recommend the Tube Valet option if you are a party of 4 adults, or 2 adults and 3 children. Tube valet gives you all day top-of-the line access for all 4 or 5 people in your party for three of the more popular rides that use family-style tubes. These are the bigger and more popular rides, so for $45, you will cut your wait time in half from an hour or more to 20-25 min. You will also get one express entry into 2 more popular rides including the water coaster. Wait times for this ride can run over an hour on average. Only one person in the party will wear the wrist-band and this person also gets access to one personal use tube all day. All others in your party will need to their own wrist bands for personal use tubes.
- Personal tube rentals are optional, but a good idea. These are good for the Lazy River, both wave pools, 2 popular water slides and 4 river slides. Otherwise on those slides, you will have to wait in line for an available tube. There are tube pick-up stations near each of these attractions, so you pick a tube up when you need it, then return it when you’re done. Personal tube rental is $5, or 2 for $8. Worth every penny to make the most of your time.
- Don’t rent an all day locker. First of all, you have to stand in that very long line at Guest Services I mentioned in tip #4 to rent an all-day locker. All day lockers are $8. You can open them as many times as you want, but your stuff remains in the same place all day. Token lockers are $1 each time you open them and are a cheaper and more convenient way to go. Because, how many times will you really need to go back to your locker during the day for your water, cash, credit card or phone? At lunch, maybe? As for your sunscreen, leave it in your cooler and re-apply at lunch. With a token locker, if you leave your things all day in one spot it will cost you $1. And, if you take your stuff with you around the park and pay $1 each time to rent another locker, it will likely cost you less than an $8 all-day locker and will be more convenient.
- Buy a waterproof pouch for phone/credit cards/cash and skip the locker. This is what I do because I like to take pictures with my phone and share them on social media. Plus, I always have my cash on me too.
- Skip the water shoes. Unless you plan to spend a lot of time in the wave pools where you can scrape up your feet and stub your toes, water shoes really aren’t necessary. Just about every slide you get on will require you to remove your shoes. If you’re wearing water shoes, this means taking them on and off throughout the day, then holding them while going down the slides. Not very convenient. Much easier to just wear flip-flops for walking around the park, and then slipping them off at the bottom of a slide for pick-up when you get back down. Or, if you choose to hold onto them, they are much less cumbersome than water shoes.
- Skip Lost River of the Pharaohs. Unless you have the Tube Valet (see tip #5), this popular water attraction isn’t worth the long wait in line, which can eat up 45 minutes or more of your day. It’s a short ride with corny, outdated special effects and not much else. Nothing exciting or fun to see here, move along.
If you’re still thinking of visiting this summer, better get there fast! You have one more full week, and then the park will only be open on weekends until it closes on September 2nd!
Disclosure: Water World of Colorado provided us with tickets for our day of fun, but, as always, all opinions are my own.