These Are The 10 Best Amusement Parks And Water Parks In Hawaii For 2018


We used science and data to determine which amusement parks and water parks in Hawaii are the best to spend a day or weekend with the family.

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Just imagine:

You get off your favorite ride, jazzed up by the excitement, and on your way to get a uniquely American snack at your favorite amusement park.

Alright, now, open your eyes and come back to me for a moment as we go into where best to have that same experience in Hawaii. These are the water parks and amusement parks in {state} that have everything you could hope for in a day out with the family.

Using data from The Park DB, we were able to take a look at over 250 amusement and water parks across America, which includes Hawaii of course. After pouring over reams of data, Wet N Wild Hawaii emerged as the best park in the Aloha State by a hefty margin.

Here’s a look at the best amusement parks and water parks in Hawaii for 2018:

  1. Wet n Wild Hawaii
  2. Polynesian Cultural Center Luau
  3. Polynesian Cultural Center
  4. Dolphins and You
  5. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
  6. Maui Ocean Center
  7. Sea Life Park Hawaii (Waimanalo)
  8. Waikiki Aquarium

There are a whole lot of smiles and good memories wrapped up in those parks. Not to mention corn dogs, popcorn, roller coasters, and water slides.

Before you go out and buy your ticket to {first}, let’s take a look at how we ranked the parks on this list and what each of the top dogs has to offer.

If you’re looking for other family friendly things to do, check out the best farmers markets in Hawaii or the best cities for families in Hawaii.

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How We Ranked The Best Amusement Parks And Water Parks In Hawaii

If you haven’t check out The Park DB, we recommend it. It has all kinds of data on amusement parks big and small throughout the world.

Fortunately for us, they opened up their data set and let us take a look. So how do you rank the best amusement park in Hawaii? We looked at the following criteria:

  1. Size (How big is the park and how many rides are there)
  2. Price (Perhaps counter-intuitively initially, we did the higher the price the better. More on that)
  3. Age of the park (The newer the better)

We know your probably thinking ‘why is more expensive better?!’

Well, we believe in supply and demand and a higher price means that people must really want to go to the amusement park. It normally also means there’s either a strong brand associated with the park and/or plenty of things to do.

We also recognize that many water parks and amusement parks get renovations and additions throughout the years, but we still think newer is generally better.

If you disagree with our criteria, no offense taken. We are just trying to get the ball rolling on great places to spend a day or weekend in the Aloha State.

So, with that out of the way, we ranked each park from best to worst for each of these criteria with one being the best. (If a park was missing criteria, it got the lowest score for that criteria).

We then averaged the rankings of each criteria to create an amusement park score and normalized it to 100.

For Hawaii, Wet N Wild Hawaii took the top spot with a score of 60.9.

Here’s a bit more on what the top parks have to offer.

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1. Wet n Wild Hawaii

Wet n Wild Hawaii

Score: 60.9

Wet’n’Wild Hawaii (formerly Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park) is a Hawaiian water park, located in Kapolei on Oahu. The park occupies 25 acres (100,000 m2) of land and has 25 rides and attractions. It is currently the only water park in the state of Hawaii. It is one of seven water parks operating under the Wet’n’Wild brand globally.

2. Polynesian Cultural Center Luau

Polynesian Cultural Center Luau

Score: 56.5

The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) is a Polynesian-themed theme park and living museum located in Laie, on the northern shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and dedicated on October 12, 1963, the PCC occupies 42 acres (17 hectares) owned by nearby Brigham Young University\xc2\x96Hawaii.

Within eight simulated tropical villages, performers demonstrate various arts and crafts from throughout Polynesia. Visitors may also take a free shuttle tour of the university and see the Laie Hawaii Temple and its associated visitors’ center of the LDS Church.

Seventy percent of the center’s approximately 1,300 employees are students at BYU-Hawaii. Although it is largely a commercial venture, PCC profits fund various scholarship programs at BYU\xc2\x96Hawaii. Students may work up to 20 hours per week during school terms and 40 hours during breaks.

3. Polynesian Cultural Center

Polynesian Cultural Center

Score: 47.8

The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) is a Polynesian-themed theme park and living museum located in Laie, on the northern shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and dedicated on October 12, 1963, the PCC occupies 42 acres (17 hectares) owned by nearby Brigham Young University\xc2\x96Hawaii.

Within eight simulated tropical villages, performers demonstrate various arts and crafts from throughout Polynesia. Visitors may also take a free shuttle tour of the university and see the Laie Hawaii Temple and its associated visitors’ center of the LDS Church.

Seventy percent of the center’s approximately 1,300 employees are students at BYU-Hawaii. Although it is largely a commercial venture, PCC profits fund various scholarship programs at BYU\xc2\x96Hawaii. Students may work up to 20 hours per week during school terms and 40 hours during breaks.

4. Dolphins and You


Score: 45.7

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5. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Score: 45.7

Hanauma (; Hawaiian: [h??n?um?]) is a marine embayment formed within a tuff ring and located along the southeast coast of the Island of O?ahu in the Hawaii Kai neighborhood of East Honolulu, in the Hawaiian Islands.

Hanauma is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Island and has suffered somewhat from overuse (at one time accommodating over three million visitors per year). In 1956, dynamite was used to clear portions of the reef to make room for telephone cables linking Hawaii to the west coast of the US.

6. Maui Ocean Center


Score: 39.1

The Maui Ocean Center is an aquarium and oceanography center located in Maalaea, Hawaii on the island of Maui. Opened on March 18, 1998 by Coral World International, the 3 acres (1.2 ha) facility is the largest tropical reef aquarium in the Western Hemisphere. It includes exhibits on coral reef habitats, sea turtles, sharks, and humpback whales, among others.

It is the largest public aquarium on Maui, and undertakes projects to grow artificial coral reefs to later introduce to the wild, due to the recent rapid decline in coral populations in Hawaii due to heavy tourism and global warming.

7. Sea Life Park Hawaii (Waimanalo)

Sea Life Park Hawaii (Waimanalo)

Score: 34.8

Sea Life Park Hawaii is a marine mammal park, bird sanctuary and aquarium in Waim?nalo near Makapu?u Point, north of Hanauma Bay on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, United States. The park first opened in 1964, and includes exhibits that let visitors interact with the animals by swimming with dolphins, sea lions, and rays, taking a sea safari in the aquarium, and feeding the sea turtles. The park was acquired in 2008 and is operated by Palace Entertainment, the U.S. subsidiary of Parques Reunidos from Dolphin Discovery which had acquired it in 2005.

8. Waikiki Aquarium


Score: 31.3

The Waikiki Aquarium is an aquarium in Honolulu, Hawaii, United States. Founded in 1904, it is the second oldest public aquarium in the United States. Since 1919, the Waikiki Aquarium has been an institution of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Built next to a living coral reef on the Waikiki shoreline, the Waikiki Aquarium is home to more than 3,500 organisms of 490 species of marine plants and animals. Each year, over 330,000 people visit, and over 30,000 schoolchildren participate in the Aquarium’s education activities and programs. The Waikiki Aquarium was designated a Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center of the Coastal America Partnership federal program.

Closing Out The Souvenir Shops In Hawaii

There you have it — a look at some of the best amusement parks and water parks that Hawaii has to offer. The Park DB constantly updates their data, so we’ll update the data as they update theirs.

Now go out there and have as much fun as humanly possible — your favorite ride is always waiting for you.

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