13 Spectacular Water Theme Park Tips to Make Your Trip Amazing (2021)

Your Water Theme Park Tips that Will Make You Want to Visit One Today!

Summertime is definitely in full swing. So, what do you do when it’s hot in Florida, but you want a theme park experience?

You plan a day at a water theme park!

It’s the perfect way for you to cool off from the unforgiving sun and enjoy the Sunshine State.

If you’re familiar with the water parks here, then you know that they’re open for most of the year. However, the party kicks into high gear during the summer months.

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First timer water theme park tips with gigantic aqua blue lagoon pool.

1. Arrive Early to Water Theme Park

When you start your day, be sure to arrive before noon, or later in the afternoon if you want to avoid the crowds.

I recommend for you to get to the park 30 to 40 minutes prior to the park opening. This will allow you to bypass the crowds, enjoy milder temperatures, and avoid parking too far from the gate.

This tip is especially important at some of the best water parks in Orlando.

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2. Visit During Water Theme Park Slow Season

I treat water park crowd level with the same theory I have with the theme parks.

The best times to visit water parks in Florida are January, February, April, and November. These months are closely followed by March, May, September, and October as still pretty decent visiting times.

Also plan your visit on less crowded days, such as Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

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3. Bring Snacks and Water

I don’t know about you, but there’s something about being in the water all day, that makes me ravenous.  I get so hungry and water theme park food can get expensive.

You’ll want to pack a big, healthy lunch.

This will eliminate the need to purchase the food in the park. It also is imperative to have lots of water on hand, as the summer heat can quickly dehydrate you.

Hipster Power Tip: Always check park cooler and food requirements. Things like alcohol and glass containers are not allowed.

4. Know What You Should Bring to Water Parks

When packing for a day at the water park, you should bring items such as your own towels. Some water parks provide them, but they may not the best quality of towels.

Blizzard Beach at Walt Disney World with snowman family. water theme park
Blizzard Beach at Walt Disney World

You’ll also want to bring:

  • Sunblock
  • A change of clothes
  • Sandals (water shoes or flip-flops)
  • A waterproof case for your phone.

Do you wear shoes to a water park?

Believe it or not, I’m frequently asked if you can wear shoes to a water theme park.

You absolutely can!

On most of the rides you can wear your waterproof swim shoes, but some attractions prohibit them.

Don’t worry. Most of the time you can just hold the shoes in your hand while on the ride. Just be sure to check with a ride attendant first before you wait in line with your shoes on.

Waterproof swim shoes are a nice item to have on hand, as they will be a barrier between you and the blistering pavement. These shoes are also perfect for germaphobes who couldn’t image walking through standing puddles of water.


Don’t forget a waterproof case for your phone and money. This will keep your money and phone protected as you enjoy to exciting water parks.

Amazon Waterproof phone case for water parks.

Read the full theme park packing list here.

5. Leave Valuables at Home

You don’t want to have a ruined trip, if you come back to your spot and see that something of great value is gone (such as a purse or wallet).

When you’re at a water park, you can get caught up in the excitement and fun of everything the park has to offer. Just don’t forget to be mindful of where you store your things.

This leads to my next tip which is…

6. Rent a Locker

Lockers are typically affordable and can be used all day for one low price. They are a good place to store items that you don’t want to walk around with and carry.

Always check to see if there are multiple locker locations. Some parks put lockers throughout the park, but most people gravitate towards the ones in the front, which can get crowded.

You can avoid the long locker line by using an alternative locker location in the park.

How Should I dress for a water park?

All you need is a nice swimsuit with a covering you can use to walk around the park in.

I also recommend bringing a change of clothes that’s easy to put on after a day at the water park. Clothing such as a dress, comfy shoes, a t-shirt, and flip flops are perfect to store in your locker.

Disney Dollar Tree Cocktail Flip Flops water theme park
Photo: Dollar Tree Co.

Get your fun summer flip flops here.

7. Rent a Cabana

Go ahead and splurge for a cabana! This is your vacation and why not get the V.I.P treatment while relaxing?

Cabana’s guarantee that you’ll have your little piece of real estate in the park. A place to meet back up with everyone, a place to take a nap, and a place to keep your things (as long as someone is there to watch them).

8. Use Restroom Before Attractions

Don’t be that person who doesn’t use the restroom before jumping into the wave pool and has to make that decision…

…you know what I’m hinting at….


Just use the bathroom before you get on any of the water theme park attraction for the good of all of us.

9. Check the Weather

Prior to departing to the park, make sure you check the weather for that day. Florida summers are filled with torturous heat and afternoon thunderstorms.

The weather in the early part of the year is usually milder, making it the perfect time to visit the Florida water parks.

First timer water park tips. Lifeguard in front of green water slide. water theme park

10. Map Out the Day

Before you leave, you’ll want to visit the official website of the water park to see which rides you will want to conquer first.

This will help you plan out your day efficiently and you’ll be able to maximize your time.

Top Water Parks in Orlando

11. Know Your Swim Level

If you can’t swim, make sure you wear a life jacket at all times near the water.

Do you need to know how to swim to go to a water park?

You don’t need to know how to swim in order to visit a water park. There will be some attractions that you can’t participate in mainly due to the depth of the water or thrill of the ride.

Don’t worry!

Many water parks are accommodating to non-swimmers. You should always ask if there are life jackets available and how deep the water is in every attraction.

Hipster Power Tip: Always be safe and make good decisions when around water.

12. Find a Good Water Theme Park Swimsuit

Be sure to wear a nice fitting swimsuit. This is important in preventing it from coming open or off when going down the slides.

Trust me on this one.

You don’t want to have any incident exposure accidents at the parks.

You can get this Disney Women’s Minnie Mouse Swimsuit here!

13. Reapply Sunscreen Throughout the Day

Water rides can remove sunscreen. You’ll want to make sure you stay on top of the application of it throughout the day. I know this may be hard to do in the midst of such a fun day.

Remember the most the significant amount of dangerous UVB rays occur between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

So, apply the sunscreen, ride the thrills, and repeat!

Final Thoughts on Water Theme Park Tips

Remember to stay cool and enjoy a refreshing voyage at a local water theme park this summer!

Encore at Reunion Resort Orlando Vacation Home
Photo: Encore at Reunion Resort Orlando Vacation Home | Private Pool

Remember that some of your favorite resorts will have a water park as a perk for staying with them.

Get your private pool vacation home near Disney here!

First timer water theme park tips. Blue, yellow, orange, and red water slide racer.
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Please let me know what your favorite water park is in the comments section below.

If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love these:

Planning a trip soon? If so, read the Disney Vacation Planning Guide for your next dream trip!

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!


(Original Article Date: May 5, 2019/Updated June 15, 2021)

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