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12/14/2011 11:44 am ET

Water Parks In California: A Huffington Post Travel Guide

Water parks in California can be a great alternative to splashing around at the local pool. Faced with stiff competition from California's famous amusement parks and beaches, this state's water parks throw everything but the kitchen sink at guests to keep them entertained -- and if there were a ride shaped like a kitchen sink, they'd have that too! Mega-slides, elaborate play areas, lazy rivers and wave pools all await eager visitors to California's coolest hotspots. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on family-fun parks, here is our guide to all the key information visitors need to know about California water parks.

Raging Waters, San Dimas


Raging Waters, San Dimas, is the largest water park in California, which is saying a lot, as this state features more than its fair share of elaborate liquid lands. This park was also voted number three by Travel Channel and ABC News in its list of the top 10 water parks in the United States. At Raging Waters, you will find over 30 slides and water features that range from relaxing to hair-raising.

A Whirl Of A Ride

If you have ever wondered what it would feel like to be flushed down a toilet or to ride a liquid tornado, then take a whirl on Raging Waters' Dragon's Den. This two-person raft ride incorporates a stomach-churning 45-foot drop into a 35-foot whooshing bowl.

Slopes And Drops

Spread out over the park's 50 acres are numerous slides, ranging from gentle slopes for the little ones to Dropout, a stomach-turning seven-story vertical drop. Raging Waters also has a quarter-mile long lazy river and a regular wave pool, as well as Flowrider, an attraction that creates waves that are perfect for surfing or body boarding. For the little ones, there is Kid's Kingdom, which is a 30,000-square-foot water playground.

Typical Park Fare

The concession stands at Raging Waters offer typical amusement park fare, such as hot dogs, french fries, pizza and salads. For larger events or organized gatherings, Raging Waters does have a picnic area that can be rented out, and it can also provide the catering, as well.

Safety Record

As with many amusement parks that features thrill rides, Raging Waters has had a few incidents in its past. The Los Angeles Times reported that in 2001, a teenager sued the park, claiming she suffered a broken neck on its Raging Rivers ride. The L.A. Times also reported that a boy was killed in a fight at the park in 1995.

Address: 111 Raging Waters Drive, San Dimas, CA 91773
Phone: 909-802-2200
Hours: Raging Waters, San Dimas, is open every day from approximately the middle of June until almost the end of August. It is open on a limited schedule during May and September, as well. The park opens at 10 a.m. and closes between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., depending on the day of the week and month.
Price: General Admission, 48 inches and taller, $36.99; junior admission, shorter than 48 inches, $22.99; children younger than 2, free.

Wild Water Adventure Park


Wild Water Adventure Park is the largest water park in the central California area and has won The Fresno Bee's People's Choice Award, consecutively, for the past 12 years. Not only does this venue live up to its Wild Water name with 38 slides and 20 attractions, it also does justice to the park in its moniker as well, offering guests tree-shaded picnic areas and fishing ponds.

Ride The Wave

Nothing beats the central California heat like a day splish-splashing in a faux ocean. The Blue Wave, Wild Water Adventure Park's wave pool, is the largest in California. This attraction allows guests to enter the rolling surf much like they would at a real beach.

Kids And Thrill-Seekers

Wild Water Adventure Park has a 15,000-square-foot kiddie area with many pint-size slides and activities for the small set. For the wild at heart, there is Sidewinder, a raft slide with a three-story drop and a half pipe, and the park's newest attraction, Ghostslider, a bowl slide that sends riders spinning like a whirling dervish.

Pack A Picnic

Because Wild Water Adventure Park is proud of its park-like setting and family-friendly atmosphere, it allows guests to tote in their own food and cook their meals on one the venue's many barbecue grills. Non-alcoholic drinks can also be brought into the park, as long as they are not in glass containers. The park also sells your standard amusement park fare at its concession stands.

Safety Record

Wild Water Adventure Park had an incident in 1991 that sent approximately 40 children and one adult to the hospital: malfunctioning chlorination equipment created a gas cloud over the children's wading area. No other major incidents have been reported recently.

Address: 11413 E. Shaw, Clovis, CA 93619
Phone: 559-299-9453 or 800-564-9453
Hours: The park is open on a limited basis in May, June, August and September, but open daily during July. Wild Water Adventure Park typically opens at 11 a.m. and closes anywhere between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. depending on the day and the month.
Price: General admission (48 inches and taller), $26.99; junior admission (shorter than 48 inches), $18.99; seniors (older than 62), $10.99. After 3:00 p.m., except for July 3 and 4, general admission, $16.99; junior admission, $16.99; seniors, $10.99.

Other Noteworthy Parks Near California

Knotts Soak City
Waterworld California
Raging Waters
LEGOLAND Water Park
Splash Canyon Waterpark

What's your favorite water park in California?

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