Water parks and Hawaii are a match made in tropical heaven. The Hawaiian islands have sun, surf, sand and palm trees -- the perfect setting for water parks. Lazy rivers, wave pools and thrilling water slides -- whether they're in a dedicated water park or at resort hotels -- are an enjoyable way to spend a vacation in paradise. 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 Hawaii water parks.
Wailea Canyon Activity Pool, Grand Wailea ResortThe Wailea Canyon Activity Pool at Maui's Grand Wailea is a unique attraction for guests of the resort. The 770,000-gallon, 2,000-foot-long water feature has nine free-form pools at six levels. A river that carries swimmers along at speeds varying from whitewater rapids to lazy currents connects all the pools. The attraction's Wailea Canyon features four tile slides, four jungle pools, a whitewater rapids slide, a Tarzan pool complete with rope swing, caves, waterfalls and a sand beach. It even has what the resort calls "the world's first water elevator." With three Jacuzzis, a kiddie pool and a swim-up bar, this attraction offers fun for all ages.
Going UpGrand Wailea's water elevator is a unique experience. The elevator is set into a "volcano" and seated guests rise up to the top, where they can step out and find the water slides.
Go For A Dip And A DrinkAdults in the family might want to check out the swim-up grotto bar. Another pool option for guests 18 years and older is the 4,850-square-foot Hibiscus Pool, named for the giant flower made of Mexican glass mosaic tile set into the bottom of the pool.
Dining OptionsGuests can find a variety of food options at the Grand Wailea, from burgers to ceviche. A few of the restaurants, cafes and bars are Bistro Molokini, the Volcano Bar and Cafe Kula.
Safety RecordOur research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at Wailea Canyon Activity Pool.
Address: 3850 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea, HI 96753
Hours: The pool is open daily, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The slides are open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: The use of the pools is free for hotel guests.
Wet 'n' Wild Hawaii
Wet 'n' Wild Hawaii, formerly called Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park, boasts more than 25 "mad 'n' massive" rides and attractions on 29 tropical acres just 35 miles from Waikiki in Kapolei on the island of Oahu. Wet 'n' Wild is the only water park in the Hawaiian Islands and the park says it's the "number 1 family attraction" and the "number 1 local attraction" on Oahu. While there are the usual rides for thrill-seekers including Tornado, guests will also find tamer attractions, such as the lazy river known as Kapolei Kooler; Water World, an interactive kids area; and Hawaiian Waters, a 400,000-gallon wave pool. Wet 'n' Wild Hawaii is a great excursion for the whole family, whether you're local residents or vacationers.
The Eye Of The StormStart your journey on the Tornado, which catapults visitors from 50 feet in the air through a 130-foot tunnel. You'll end up in the eye of the storm, spinning around the Tornado's funnel in a two-person or four-person tube -- guests splash back and forth through the swirling water, then are released into calm, shallow water below. On its "thrillmeter" of ride intensity, Wet 'n' Wild rates this "extreme." Guests must be 48 inches or taller to ride.
Friday Night FlicksCatch a movie at a water park? Yes, you can do that every Friday night from mid-June until the end of August with the park's "Dive 'n' Movies," which is included with the price of admission. While floating on a tube in the wave pool or lounging on a deck chair, you can watch a movie on the 49-foot by 32-foot floating screen with surround sound.
Grab A BiteYou won't go hungry at Wet 'n' Wild Hawaii, with multiple options for grabbing a bite. The Windjammer Cafe is the primary food and beverage facility in the park, with such family-friendly fare as pizza, burgers and salads. Kau Kau Cafe offers meals, cold drinks and snacks. Sweet Spot Flow Bar is for ages 21 and older. You can view all the action of the Da Flowrider attraction while sipping a cocktail or cold beer. Throughout the park are food carts selling drinks and snacks. The park does not allow outside food or drinks to be brought in.
Safety RecordOur research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at Wet 'n' Wild Hawaii.
Address: 400 Farrington Highway, Kapolei, HI 96707
Hours: Wet 'n' Wild is open year-round. From June through August, the park opens at 10:30 a.m. daily, with various closing times. From September through May, the park is open Thursday through Monday with closing times varying throughout the season; the park is closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
Price: General admission, $41.99; children (42 inches or shorter), $31.99; seniors (ages 65 and older), $21.99; children ages 2 and younger, free.
Other Noteworthy Parks Near HawaiiPool at Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa Paradise Pool, Hilton Hawaiian Village Kohala River Pool and Kona Pool, Hilton Waikoloa Village Pools at the Westin Maui Resort and Spa Waikolohe Pool, Aulani Resort
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