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

We used science and data to determine which amusement parks and water parks in Texas 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 Texas. 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 Texas of course. After pouring over reams of data, Seaworld San Antonio emerged as the best park in the Lone Star State by a hefty margin.

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

  1. SeaWorld San Antonio
  2. Schlitterbahn-Galveston
  3. Wet ‘N Wild Splashtown
  4. Six Flags Over Texas
  5. Lego Discovery Center
  6. Six Flags Fiesta Texas
  7. Aquatica San Antonio Waterpark
  8. Six Flags-Hurricane Harbor
  9. NRH2O Family Water Park
  10. Six Flags Astroworld

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 Texas or the best cities for families in Texas.

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

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 Texas? 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 Lone Star 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 Texas, Seaworld San Antonio took the top spot with a score of 71.1.

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

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1. SeaWorld San Antonio

SeaWorld San Antonio

Score: 71.1

SeaWorld San Antonio is a 250-acre (100 ha) marine mammal park, oceanarium, and animal theme park, located in the Westover Hills District of San Antonio, Texas on the city\xc2\x92s west side. It is the largest of the three parks in the SeaWorld chain owned by SeaWorld Entertainment, and the world’s largest marine-life theme park. The other SeaWorld parks are located in San Diego, California, Orlando, Florida, and one will soon be located in Abu Dhabi, UAE under separate ownership. It is a member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA) and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

2. Schlitterbahn-Galveston


Score: 60.5

Schlitterbahn is a family-owned and operated company based in New Braunfels, Texas. Schlitterbahn began its first park, Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, in 1979. Since then, Schlitterbahn now has a total of five outdoor waterparks, two indoor waterparks, three resorts, a golf course, and two full-service restaurants in their parks in Texas and in Kansas City, Kansas.

Schlitterbahn’s outdoor waterparks are summer seasonal water parks. They typically operate from late April to mid-September, but the indoor waterparks, resorts, and restaurants operate year-round. Schlitterbahn Galveston Waterpark, which opened in 2006, has one indoor section that has limited operation during fall and winter. Schlitterbahn South Padre Island Beach Resort has an indoor section that has limited operation year round.

3. Wet ‘N Wild Splashtown

Score: 55.3

Wet’n’Wild SplashTown is a water park located north of Houston in the Spring CDP of unincorporated Harris County, Texas, United States.

4. Six Flags Over Texas

Six Flags Over Texas

Score: 52.6

Six Flags Over Texas is a 212-acre (86 ha) theme park located in Arlington, Texas, east of Fort Worth and about 15 miles (24 km) west of Dallas. It was the first Six Flags Theme Park, but because of later acquisitions it is not the oldest park of the Six Flags chain (that particular title is held by Six Flags New England). The park opened on August 5, 1961, following just a year of construction and an initial investment of US$10 million by real estate developer Angus G. Wynne, Jr.

The park is managed by the Six Flags Entertainment Corp., which also owns 53.1% interest of the Texas Limited Partnership that owns the park. A similar arrangement exists with the partnership that owns Six Flags Over Georgia. Six Flags Over Texas Fund, Ltd, a private-equity, and asset management firm headed by Dallas businessman Jack Knox, purchased the park in 1969. Over the years the various companies that managed the park, exercised options to purchase interest in the fund. Six Flags Entertainment has an option to purchase the remaining 46.9% in 2028. Starting in 1991, the park was managed by Time Warner Entertainment. In 1998, Time Warner sold its interests in the Six Flags parks to Premier Parks of Oklahoma City, which later changed its name to Six Flags Theme Parks, Inc.

5. Lego Discovery Center

Score: 52.6

Legoland Discovery Center Dallas Fort Worth is an indoor family entertainment center located at Grapevine Mills mall in Grapevine, Texas, which is situated between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. The attraction includes Lego-theme rides, a soft play area, a 4D cinema and a gift shop. The center is owned and operated by British leisure group Merlin Entertainments.

6. Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Score: 48.7

Six Flags Fiesta Texas is an amusement park built by the Gaylord Entertainment Company and now owned and operated by Six Flags. Fiesta Texas opened on March 14, 1992 in the La Cantera district of San Antonio, Texas as the first business in the district. Spanning 200 acres (81 ha), the park was originally built to become a destination musical show park with its focus on the musical culture of the state of Texas.

The park’s current icon is Scream which can be seen from all around the park and outside the park. The vibrant colors of Scream can be seen from the intersection of Loop 1604 and Interstate 10 as well as miles away from Fiesta Texas. Most of the other attractions at the park are hidden due to the park being surrounded by a rock quarry wall.

7. Aquatica San Antonio Waterpark

Aquatica San Antonio Waterpark

Score: 48.7

Aquatica is a chain of water parks owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. Aquatica parks are operating in Orlando, Florida, San Antonio, Texas, and Chula Vista, California.

8. Six Flags-Hurricane Harbor

Six Flags-Hurricane Harbor

Score: 36.8

Hurricane Harbor is the name of a chain of water parks that are part of the Six Flags theme park chain. Although the parks are not identical, common features include a variety of body slides, speed slides, tube slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and shopping areas.

9. NRH2O Family Water Park

Score: 34.2

NRH20 is water park located in North Richland Hills, Texas, a suburb of the Dallas metro area. It is owned by the city of North Richland Hills, and acts as the city’s public swimming facility. The park features 8 water slides, a kiddie area, a large wave pool, a large lagoon-like play area, and a lazy river. The park is opened at varying hours from May to September. Since NRH2O opened, it has consistently ranked amongst the top water parks in the nation.

10. Six Flags Astroworld

Six Flags Astroworld

Score: 32.9

Six Flags AstroWorld was a seasonally operated theme park located on approximately 57 acres (23 ha) of land (later expanded to over 75 acres (30 ha)) between Kirby Drive and Fannin Avenue, directly south of Loop 610 in Houston, Texas. Opening on June 1, 1968, it was originally developed and constructed as part of the Astrodomain, the brainchild of local philanthropist and former Houston mayor Judge Roy Hofheinz, who intended it to complement The Astrodome.

AstroWorld was sold to the Six Flags Corporation by the Hofheinz family in 1975. Although the fourth park to be included in the Six Flags family of theme parks, it was the first park to be purchased by that company instead of being built. It was marketed as ‘AstroWorld: A Member of the Six Flags Family’ so as to not confuse patrons with Six Flags Over Texas located in Arlington. Many variations of this naming scheme emerged from the Six Flags marketing department over the years. Despite these attempts at branding the park, most people continued to call it ‘AstroWorld’ and the company eventually responded by making the individual park\’s name more prominent. Similarly, Fiesta Texas in San Antonio has been marketed as ‘Fiesta Texas: A Six Flags Theme Park’.

AstroWorld was permanently closed by the Six Flags Corporation after its final day of operations on October 30, 2005. It was demolished between October 30, 2005 and the first half of 2006 (although parts of WaterWorld were being demolished prior to the final operating day at AstroWorld). The bridge crossing Loop 610 from the park to the parking lot continues to stand and is the last remaining structure from AstroWorld. The area where AstroWorld once stood is still grassland and is used for overflow parking during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Closing Out The Souvenir Shops In Texas

There you have it — a look at some of the best amusement parks and water parks that Texas 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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One thought on “These Are The 10 Best Amusement Parks And Water Parks In Texas For 2018

  1. Hi Chris! Check out our new facility, Epic Waters in Grand Prairie, Texas. Indoor/Outdoor waterpark, rated one of the best in the nation!

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