I grew up in Austin and every year, my dad would take a weekday vacation day and we would road trip it down to New Braunfels to spend the day at Schlitterbahn Waterpark. It seemed like the unofficial kickoff to summer and one of my fondest childhood memories! Schlitterbahn has been consistently voted the World’s Best Waterpark for 19 years in a row so needless to say, it’s a must-visit for family summer fun!
For awhile now, I’ve been thinking about taking Dylan and Mei down to visit Schlitterbahn and to rekindle my childhood tradition. I finally made it happen a couple weekends ago and omg, it’s been one of our most fun family adventures! Read on for my top 10 reasons why Schlitterbahn makes for the perfect weekend escape.
Reason #1: Amazing value: 4 parks with 1 admission
Schlitterbahn has expanded since the last time I visited 15+ years ago and there are now 4 parks that are all part of the waterpark: Tubenbach, Surfenburg, Blastenhoff, and the Original Schlitterbahn. Surfenburg and Blastenhoff are over on the East side while Tubenback and the Original Schlitterbahn are on the West side (map).
Each park has it’s own characteristic rides — we spent all our time on the East side switching between some of the gentler kid rides for Mei at Surfenburg and then hopped over to Blastenhoff for some of the exhilarating rides!
Reason #2: Fun for the whole family
There are truly rides for every person at Schlitterbahn. Whether you’re looking for something exhilarating or something relaxing, there is something for you! Plus, if you have little kids and aren’t sure if there’s anything they’ll be able to play with, Schlitterbahn has that covered too! Check this page on the Schlitterbahn site to filter for your desired water attraction, or see Below are a few of my picks:
- for the thrill seekers: Master Blaster (me and Dylan’s fave!), Dragon’s Revenge, Wolfpack, Black Knight
- for a relaxing float: Kristal River, Kristal Cove
- for the younger kids: Kiddie Coast, Kinderhaven, Butterfly Bayou, Hans Hideout
- for pool and poolside lounging: Bamboozle Bay and Boogie Bay Heated Pools (both have swim-up bars!)
Swimsuit: Amazon Cupshe Striped Bikini (S / TTS)
Reason #3: Long rides, no lines
One of the main reasons I love Schlitterbahn is that there are numerous attractions where you can hop in the water without having to wait through any sort of line. Schlitterbahn actually has an award-winning Transportainment® river system that combines 3 unique rivers and allows you to float your way through the entire park without ever leaving the water. The Falls is one of those rides (it’s actually the world’s longest ride!) and has multiple entry points as well as an AquaVeyor (conveyor belt lift hill) that allows you to just endlessly float.
There are a few rides that are super popular (e.g. Master Blaster and Wolfpack) that do have lines, but you do have the option to sign up for Schlitterbahn’s Blast Pass ride reservation system. It’s a wristband that allows you to save your place in line and play until it’s your turn! We didn’t opt for this during our visit but it’s a great option if you want to ensure you have time to enjoy all the rides on your list!
Reason #4: Lazy Rivers and Not-So-Lazy Rivers
While I’m someone who actually loves the really thrilling rides that only last a few minutes, my favorite memories of Schlitterbahn are the rides where I get a mixture of both excitement and relaxation, while ultimately just floating for hours on end. I grew up “tubing” and Schlitterbahn really keeps that relaxing tubing feel with its long float rides but also adds in just enough mini falls to make it fun for those who want some slides as well
Reason #5: Save on extras — free parking, bring your own food and drink
Parking has always been completely free at Schlitterbahn and on both the days that we went, there were plenty of open spots that were under a 5-minute walk from the entry! You can also bring coolers loaded up with food and drinks (just no glass bottles!) and it really brings that low-key tubing vibe to the waterpark adventure. Of course, there are lots of food and drink options for purchase within the park as well — we ordered burgers on the first day and pizza on the second day and it was all delicious!
Reason #6: Life jackets / puddle jumpers provided at the park
You can bring in puddle jumpers for your kids if you prefer, but Schlitterbahn also provides them for you completely free of charge if not!
Reason #7: Reserve a private cabana
We reserved a private cabana and highly recommend it if you’re going with a group. It makes for an easy meeting spot while different individuals go off to enjoy different parts of the park and I just love that they feel like a tropical escape! The cabanas are actually monitored by the Schlitterbahn staff so you can leave your belongings out without worry and you can also get food/drink delivered directly if you wanna avoid waiting in line.
Reason #8: Tram to go between parks
Schlitterbahn also has a convenient tram that goes between the parks and allows you to easily explore all that Schlitterbahn has to offer!
Reason #9: Load cash onto your wristband
We opted for a Schlitterbahn’s Splash Cash wristband and it was so nice not to worry about keeping track of money while enjoying the various water rides. The wristbands are also FREE of charge and any balance that is unused at the end of the day is simply unloaded!
Reason #10: On-site lodging – extended hours, evening activities
I highly recommend staying at one of Schlitterbahn’s many on-site lodging options! Not only is it super convenient, but resort guests actually get extended hours at the park and it’s the perfect way to get in those rides that typically have a longer wait. We stayed at Schlitterstein Lofts which was very much like an AirBnB as these were like mini apartments that had a full kitchen, washer dryer, and living area! Plus, there was a beautiful balcony that overlooked the Texas hillcountry and it made for a relaxing way to unwind with some wine at the end of the day.
We had such a great weekend at Schlitterbahn New Braunfels and I’m so glad that I was able to take my kids to enjoy one of my favorite waterparks that I grew up enjoying as a child. It was even better than I remembered and I’m excited for this to be a tradition that we can enjoy every summer!
Have you been to Schlitterbahn Water park before? Let me know in a comment below!
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Thank you to Schlitterbahn New Braunfels for hosting us! All opinions are honest and completely my own.