Water Country USA is our favorite water park, and for many reasons! First off, it’s a huge park with something fun for everyone no matter what age or adventure level. In fact, Water Country USA is the biggest water park in Virginia. The water park has multiple kid-friendly areas making entertaining children of different ages easier to manage! Our favorite places to chill out all together as a family are; Surfers Bay wave pool, Hubba-Hubba Highway, H20 UFO and Cow-A-Bunga water play zones, as well as the brand new Lil’ Surfers splash pad! There are also a handful of rides for the older thrill seekers, including: a dozen water slides to choose from, the Cutback Water Coaster and the all NEW Aquazoid Amped! In this guide I will share all about what’s new at the park this year, in addition make recommendations and tips for enjoying the park.
WHAT’S NEW IN 2022
The water park’s newest attraction, Lil’Surfers Splash Pad, just opened this August of 2022. The attraction features fountains, spray cannons, and a kiddie water slide. Lil’Surfers Splash Pad replaced the former Kritter Korral near the wave pool. At first, I thought the area would be most appealing to my toddler; however, my oldest boys found this new attraction to be splashing good fun as well! It is a unique water play area like I have never seen before. The designers kept learning through play in mind when creating it. The water fountains can be moved, turned and manipulated. For an example, you can make a ball spin by placing the sprayers just right. My boys had a fun experimenting with basic physics and getting a hands on experience with centripetal force.
The older kids and kid at heart will get amped for the all-new Aquazoid Amped, which is now open! The ride has been renovated to feature a special effects show, pulse-pounding music, and dynamic lighting effects. The full sensory immersive ride experience includes an all-new special effects show, pulse-pounding music, and dynamic lighting effects. Riders plunge down 864 feet of fully-enclosed twisting tube at speeds of 20 feet per second on this iconic attraction with vibrant new enhancements. With a variety of light shows, each ride could be different than the last. Be sure to check out the video highlighting the awesome new ride!
TIPS ON TIMING & SAFETY
From having membership in past and talking to a handful of season passholders, it has been agreed upon that going during a week day is way less crowded than a weekend. The best days to attend are Tuesday thru Thursday. If you want to go to the water park and it be a relaxing and refreshing experience for everyone; your best bet is to set a time limit. Going from open to close can be a bit over whelming if you have young children. A entire day at a water park; could equal a few days on recovery if the day is treated like a marathon. Trust me, I know from experience. To make your day smooth sailing; set a time limit ahead of time. Depending on your children’s age will determine how long to stay. For toddler and preschoolers, I recommend two to three hours. For elementary age, four to five hours. Investing in a season pass pays for itself after 2-3 visits. If you are able to get a season pass than there’s no pressure to see and do everything in one day. Membership to Water Country USA includes access to Busch Gardens Williamsburg as well and costs as little as $14.50 per month.
Water parks can get crowded quite quickly! To avoid a lost little one situation, I recommend a buddy system. Assigning each kid to an adult or even paring siblings together can be helpful if clearly established ahead of time. It makes keeping a head count and track of everyone easier. It’s also a good idea to have a meet up spot for if you get separated. Establish a little spot that everyone can rendezvous back to when you want to go on separate adventures. In addition, remind your children what to do if they should become lost or separated from the group. If you have a little one who often runs off, consider writing your cell phone number on the inside of their arm with permanent marker or consider getting a water proof wrist band.
There are some essentials that you will need to enjoy the day at the water park. Everyone is different. I find it helpful to have a stroller since we still have a toddler in tow. This can be used as a portable locker and napping station. You want to have what you need with out being weighed down. Lockers can also be expansive, so here’s what you need.
- Sunscreen- It’s best to have sunscreen on hand since it should be reapplied about every hour. I do recommend skipping the itty bitty tiny whiny bikini and wearing a rash guard. For two reasons; one for sun protection and two you don’t want a bathing suit to slip off at an embarrassing time.
- Waterproof phone case- I always put my phone and cards needed in a water proof case around my neck. This way I don’t have to worry about them getting walked off with or wet.
- Water bottles- Hydration on hot days is important and reusable water bottles are permitted. I like to bring water bottles with handles so I can hang them from the stroller.
- Additional things I personally like to have- sunglasses, goggles and personal flotation or puddle jumpers for the baby. While the park provides a variety of life vests. It’s nice to have one that fits just right and is yours. I noticed the smallest size available didn’t quite fit my toddler, so I was happy to have the one we brought so that he could be comfortable.
- Bringing a towels and a change of clothing are optional. Since I have a stroller I just load it up with supplies. If you need to pack lite; you can always leave the towel and dry clothing in the car and change there once you are done at the park.
- Another item to consider for babies and small children are extra swim diapers and pool shoes. The pool deck can get very hot so have swim shoes on can help from burning the bottom of their feet.
If you are on a budget I suggest eating meals before and after your time at the park. Especially, since outside food isn’t permitted. The park opens most days either at 10:00am or 11:00 a.m.; so you can just eat a picnic lunch by or in the car and than make your way into the park. After a few hours head home before dinner. However, the meal passes are very affordable and the portions are huge! We got three meals which came with an entrée, two sides and a drink and it fed our family of five with left overs.
FUN ALL YEAR LONG
The NEW splash pad did open later than anticipated this year. So if you don’t get a chance to check that out before summer ends, don’t worry….Busch Gardens Williamsburg is open nearly year round. Each season there is something to enjoy in the park! Including: Food and Wine Festival in the Summer, Spooktacular Kids Halloween Event and Howl-O-Scream in the fall, and Christmas Town in the winter. Season passes are as low as $14.50 a month. To learn more about tickets and pass visit their page.
WATER COUNTRY USA
Location: 176 Water Country Pkwy, Williamsburg, VA 23185
***I want to thank Water Country USA for inviting The Playful Parent for a fun day at the park. The Playful Parent is not paid to write articles. All pictures and information presented are my own unbiased opinion. It is an honor to share tips and suggestions to help make vacationing fun and easy for families. For more information on travel and guides for other attractions check out The Playful Parents Indoor/Outdoor Guide . ***