This San Antonio mom puts cooling off with her family at a waterpark at the top of her “stuff to do when it’s hot outside” bucket list because it’s Texas and the temps are blazing! Here’s the scoop on why you should choose a waterpark cabana rental at Aquatica San Antonio – it may surprise you because they’re so very practical.
We live in San Antonio and that means HOT summers. It also means hot year ‘round but that is another story. We’re a family of four: my husband Lee and my two 7-year-old boys, Zack and Kyle. We love our trips to the waterpark during summer. The cool factor of the wave pool and the water slides is a big draw. Lee and I like playing in the water just as much as our kids!
I always noticed those waterpark cabanas…you know, those fancy tents that are set just a little bit apart from the Average Joe’s seating area. While I frantically slather sunscreen on my kids and keep my eagle eye out for one of those coveted chairs in the shade, the cabana inhabitants are kicked back in their sweet little oasis like waterpark royalty.
I inquired about the price of one of those tented paradises, and at first, the sticker shock sent me scampering right back to my chair in the full sun. A Standard Cabana at Aquatica San Antonio is $150 for the day. My family and I had the opportunity to hang out in one of Aquatic’s Standard Cabanas for the day and the answer is: Yes. Worth. It. Here are seven reasons to rent a waterpark cabana.
1. No fighting the crowds
The first thing mama does upon entering a waterpark is to establish base camp. Obviously, most people don’t go to a waterpark to sit all day but we need a static location for our belongings. The amount of seating at a waterpark will vary and the shady spots and chairs near the water are going to be snapped up within a few minutes after opening on a busy summer weekend.
When you rent a waterpark cabana, you won’t have to worry about snagging a “good seat” or a space that offers some shade. You get both: the good seats and the shade. Win.
2. No worrying: belongings secure
When we go to the waterpark, we’re usually fine with leaving our towels and cooler on or around our chairs but I still worry about someone taking our stuff by mistake or having to give my kid a piggyback ride out of the park at the day’s end because someone snagged his flip flops.
Towels and shoes are one thing but we don’t take chances with our wallets and cell phones, so we’ve always done locker rentals at waterparks. A daily locker rental at a waterpark runs between $10 and $20 for the day. If you rent a waterpark cabana, there’s a safe or other secure area included, so you don’t have to worry about trekking from your beach chair to your locker. Everything is in one place.
Our cabana at Aquatica San Antonio had a locked cabinet with shelves and we could take the key (attached to a wristband) with us.
Having a shaded area where we could take breaks was awesome. Being fair-skinned, I’m kind of obsessive about sun protection, so it was nice to have a little haven to escape the heat of the day and the rays. Our waterpark cabana had a ceiling fan, so that was a bonus! It was sooo comfortable!
We loved having a private table to eat our lunch, and, even though my kids weren’t too keen on the little breaks I made them take throughout the day, it ended up lengthening their fun. We had a place to chillax and strategize about what we were going to do next. I’m firmly convinced the lack of go-go-go pace was the secret sauce that made this such a golden day. We still got a ton of splashing and sliding in but having that little private retreat away from the sun was great. And, no one got sunburned!
I know privacy isn’t usually an expectation at a waterpark but a waterpark cabana will offer that option if you need it or want it. Just unfasten the canopies and voila – extra shade and privacy. Moms of younger kids will really appreciate this feature because it allows you to nurse a baby in private, change a diaper or get in a nap without feeling like you’re out in the middle of everything. We kept our curtains open the entire time, because it was really a wonderful, shady way to soak in the goings-on at the waterpark but if you’ve got that need for a little privacy, the waterpark cabana gives it to you.
Our cabana at Aquatica San Antonio came with a fridge stocked with chilled bottled water, four souvenir beach towels and a bottle of SPF 50 sunscreen. The next level up included meals with table service. Amenities will vary from waterpark to waterpark. Do a quick Google search to see what’s included in your rental fee.
6. It’s fun to feel like a rock star!
We got a personal escort from the front gate of Aquatica San Antonio to our cabana. It ended up being a mini-tour of the park, because our host pointed out the various attractions. We were also told where all the waterpark amenities were. We got a sign that designated our waterpark cabana as the “Robbins family” hangout for the day and a “cabana guest” wristband. Does admitting I got a kick out of the envious looks of others as we ducked into our posh waterpark cabana make me a bad person? Maybe don’t answer that.
Being a mom is hard. My husband had to travel on business unexpectedly, leaving me to fly solo at a waterpark with two rambunctious 7-year-olds on a day-long outing. That situation doesn’t scream walk in the park. The VIP treatment that came with the waterpark cabana really took my day up a notch and my kids have wonderful memories of a day out with mom where no one had a meltdown. The price point makes this a splurge, so sit down and number crunch. Rack and stack the amenities against the cost and see if this is something you want to spend your money on. If you have season passes to your waterpark of choice, you may qualify for a discount.
But here’s my final push for a waterpark cabana being worth every cent:
7. More mileage out of your ticket price
Having the comfort (and shade!) of the cabana resulted in a much longer day of fun than what was typical. We arrived at Aquatica at 10:30am and left at 6pm. That is a long day when you’re single-handedly wrangling active little boys! And do you know what? I didn’t want to leave. I was relaxed and comfortable, which are not usually words that apply to how I feel at a water park. My kids were having a blast. The long drive home and rumbling stomachs were the only thing that motivated me to gather everyone up and leave.
Admission to Aquatica San Antonio runs about $50 per person. Cutting the day short because the kids are tired or sunburned seems a waste. Dealing with cranky kids while the sun beats down on us all day isn’t a great option, either. The cabana rental fee is pricey but it really adds overall value to the experience.