Teens need thrills and freedom to explore during summer vacation so head to the World’s Best Waterpark, located in between Austin and San Antonio in Central Texas. Find two separate water parks to explore, each with its own personality, and a tram to connect them. Families traveling on the cheap can pack their own cooler of snacks. And then pick up a boogie board for some wave action or hop on an alligator and float a river. Read on for National Parks TravelingMom’s 7 Reasons Schlitterbahn is the best water park in Texas for Teens.
Disclosure: The writer was hosted by Schlitterbahn for the purposes of writing this review. All opinions, however, are her own.
Traveling with a teen can be tough, especially in the summer. So find a destination that packs the thrills like a water park. If you’re in Texas, try Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, which has been named the country’s Best Waterpark by Amusement Today for several years running. In-between Austin and San Antonio, Schlitterbahn is actually two separate water parks connected by a free tram. Giving teens the freedom to explore the chutes, slides, rivers and pools for days.
7 Reasons Schlitterbahn is the Best Waterpark in Texas for Teens
- Boogie Board Surfing
- Uphill Water Coasters
- Fun River Rides with Wave Action or Alligators to Ride
- Lots of Water Slides and Chutes
- Not just one Waterpark, it’s Two
- Free Tram
- BYOC-Bring Your Own Cooler
Boogie Bahn Surfing Ride
Hand your teen a board and he’ll know what to do. Dropped into a specially designed ride where 50,000 gallons of water rush over the undulating surface mimicking the form of a wave, most teens find the flow easily and love the rush.
No fears – a wipeout at Schlitterbahn offers a soft foam landing. In the Surfenburg section, use the Blast Pass for no-wait access to Boogie Bahn.
Uphill Water Coasters
Grab a tube and blast off for thrills. The force of the water shoots riders up inclines and around hairpin curves for maximum fun.
Schlitterbahn offers a pair of uphill water coasters, Master Blaster Uphill Water Coaster and its original, Dragon’s Revenge.
Master Blaster Uphill Water Coaster—Climb the Blastenhoff Tower six-stories up and grab a double tube float. Start with a three-story fall and blast up again to twist and turn over a 1,000 feet to the pool at the bottom.
A park favorite and voted best water coaster in the U.S. by water park enthusiasts. Located in the Blastenhoff Section; use the Blast Pass for no-wait access.
Dragon’s Revenge—The first edition uphill water coaster combines fierce uphills along with blasts from a dragon and special lighting effects. Located in Surfenburg; use the Blast Pass for no-wait access.
It seems every family-friendly hotel in Texas has a lazy river. So Schlitterbahn reinvented it.
Krystal River–For a splashy entrance, take the Backsplash and body surf into the river. It’s a channel of swift-moving run-offs from the Boogie Bahn. But look out, the Krystal River is infested with friendly foam alligators. Wrestle one and climb on its back to float through Surfenburg.
Find the Krystal River wrapping around Surfenburg in a continuous loop.
Torrent River—Take a turn on a tidal river with ocean-inspired swells that roll through every minute. Adds crazy amount of fun as the waves chase down tubers and tip them out of their tubes. Yes, I know from experience. A wave of screams and squeals warns all of an approaching wave.
Wrapping around the Blastenhoff Tower of waterslides the Torrent River features a beach with loungers.
The Falls—Who wants to walk when you can float between Sclitterbahn’s Surfenburg and Blastenhoff areas? Grab a tube and ride the rapids on the world’s longest water park ride. Then ride the AquaVeyor, a conveyor that takes tubers uphill, to make The Falls a continuous loop.
Don’t forget the waterslides and chutes. Schlitterbahn offers 7 waterslides.
The Original Section Water Slides
- Bahnzai Pipeline
- Der Bahn Speed Slides
- Double Loop Body Slides
- Downhill Racer
- Soda Straw Body Slide
Blastenhoff Section Water Slides
- Black Knight
- Wolf Pack
The Original Section Chutes and Black Tube Rides
- Congo River Expedition
- Hillside Tube Chute
- Ragin’ River Tube Chute
- White Water Tube Chute
Tubenbach Clear Tube Rides
Though not labeled chutes, the rides in Tubenbach are similar.
- The Falls
Twice the Water Park Fun
Dominating the quaint Germany-inspired town of New Braunfels, Schlitterbahn offers a pair of waterparks. With the ease of a free tram, teens can sample both parks on the same day.
The original section of Schlitterbahn opened nearly 40 years ago. It uses the water from the Comal River in a series of chutes and slides. Century-old cypress trees shade the park and tubers use traditional black inner tubes to ride the rapids.
For all the latest in waterpark fun, head to the Surfenburg, Blastenhoff and Tubenbach. These feature all the thrills and even some spills while riding the waves.
BYOC—Bring Your Own Cooler
For older teens splashing the day away with a group of friends, save some money by packing a cooler with treats. Since Schlitterbahn allows picnicking at all its parks, teens can park their cooler at one of the numerous covered tables.
Hate waiting? I do. So buy a Blast Pass for the day and save a place in line at one ride while enjoying another. Starting at $35 for the day, Blast Passes allow you to reserve a spot on these most popular rides. Not included in admission and not available for advance purchase.
- Master Blaster
- Wolf Pack
- Black Knight
- Boogie Bahn
- Dragon’s Revenge
- White Water
- Ragin’ River
- Hillside Tube Chute
- The Congo
Make it a Weekend
Schlitterbahn offers lodging across downtown New Braunfels. With seven different types of accommodation styles, find cabins, lodge rooms or vacation homes. I stayed in a recently renovated vintage cabin along the banks of the Comal River.
Tips from a TravelingMom
- No alcohol or glass permitted inside the park.
- Water shoes work out better than flip-flops.
- Pack a vinyl tablecloth for the picnic tables.
- If your bathing suit bottoms are loose, wear a pair of shorts.
- Pack a rash gard.
- Each side of the park takes one day.
- Lots of free parking and a free shuttle