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Loyal readers know we love water parks- big, small, indoor and outdoor! This summer we visited FOUR water parks (the Hyatt regency Coconut Point, Island H2O Live in Orlando, Sun Splash in Cape Coral near Ft. Myers Florida and Legoland Florida Water Park) so I think I have this water park packing thing down! See below for my compete water park packing list.
The Ultimate Waterpark Packing List
We love our waterpark visits and packing/prepping is essential to ensure a great day and having what you need! Plus also to not get caught up spending too much money – always a good thing, right?
This list will take you through waterpark packing for outdoor and indoor waterparks – there is a lot of overlap, but there are some specific items you might want if you are indoors or outdoors.
Our Favorite Outdoor Waterparks
This summer, outdoor water parks have proved to be a fabulous socially distant activity. We visited three while spending the summer of 2020 in Florida, and each park had limited capacity, extra cleaning measures, and social distancing guidelines.
Plus being outdoors, in the water on a hot day, can’t beat it!
Our Favorite Indoor Waterparks
Indoor water parks are a favorite winter activity of ours and we have recently stayed at Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos and the Kartrite Resort in upstate New York. My friend Nancy also wrote us a great guest post about her trip to Great Wolf Lodge in Southern California.
Packing for an indoor water park would use the same list, minus the sunscreen and sunglasses! I might add a hair dryer (a small travel one like this would be perfect) if you will be water-parking by day, then having to head to your car in freezing temps.
The Ultimate Waterpark Packing List
Water Park Essentials – these items you need no matter what!
Towels and towel clips
Sunscreen (can skip for indoor) – don’t forget to reapply when you are outdoors
Sunglasses and hat (can skip for indoor)
Swim suit/rash guard
Dry clothes for the ride home* especially important if home is a long ride away!
Don’t forget items for freshening up like deodorant, a hair brush/hair dryer, etc.
Flip flops/sandals/water shoes
Bag for wet clothes and towels
Fun extras! You know, the things that are not essential, but will make your water park visit more fun!
Go Pro or other underwater camera
Water shoes- we don’t use these but many families prefer to wear them
Things to bring after you check with water park restrictions.
Every water park has different policies on what is allowed regarding the below items. If you can bring your own food and drinks, this will save money at the waterpark concession stand, but most water parks do check your bags and do not allow coolers.
Your own life vest – my kids always had this one
Your own tubes/floats – check out our favorite pool gear
Your own chair
For Parents (since I can’t do big rides and will often be seen lounging in a chair and want something to do)
Phone charger/Portable charger
General Tips for Visiting a Waterpark
- Rent a locker. There is definitely a balance between bringing what you need verses brining too much- you don’t want to have to carry around a huge bag all day and have too much stuff to keep track of. All of the water parks I’ve visited give you a locker rental option so something to consider if you want to stash away valuables.
2. Rent a Cabana. Renting a cabana can be a good option to store stuff and give your family a home base (and some shade) at the water park. I really regret NOT renting a cabana when we recently visited Island H2O Live in Orlando Florida! If you are out all day in Florida, assume its going to rain at some point (hmmm… maybe add an umbrella to that packing list).
3. Bring your own food and drinks. (If you can). Check the park rules before arriving. I have to say, I usually stash a la croix and some granola bars at the bottom of my huge swim bag. Most waterparks will allow you to bring your own food if its for a medical reason.
4. Look for coupon codes. Most water parks offer coupons or coupon codes. Sign up for their newsletter to get notified when discounts are available.
Visiting a waterpark is a great staycation activity or one to seek out on your next vacation. I am dying to get my kids to Universal’s Volcano Bay and the waterparks at Walt Disney World (Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach).
Does your family love water parks? What are your must-bring waterpark items? What is your family’s favorite water park?