Just 50 miles south of Austin is one of America’s favorite waterparks, Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels. It’s August in Texas and there is really not a better way to beat the heat than spending a day in your swimsuit, floating on winding rivers and flying down waterslides. Our editor, Jamie Jett, made a trip down to the cute old town of New Braunfels to experience the park with her 8-year-old-son. Here is her recap…
My son and I had never been to Schlitterbahn, so we were pretty excited about our little excursion. I say “little” because it took less than an hour to get there, parking was a BREEZE (and FREE), and there was no line to get in. But Schlitterbahn is by no means a “little” experience.
It’s HUGE! It’s basically three waterparks in one – the “old”, or the West portion, and the East portion, which houses Blastenhoff and Surfenburg; two more areas with even more rides and rivers to float on. The East and West parks are not connected so free Trams take people back and forth all day.
You are allowed to bring in coolers with food, and non-alcoholic beverages (no glass containers), and there are plenty of picnic tables and chairs throughout all parts of the park. We had no trouble finding a spot to set up shop, and since it was just the two of us we had to leave it unattended. I’m happy to report that everything was just as we had left it, every time. There are lockers available for your valuables, or you can load up a Super Splash Cash card with a dollar value and use that for purchasing items in the park. You can redeem the unused value at the end of the day.
We spent the first part of our visit exploring the old portion of the park. Our first ride was the Congo River Expedition, which is a nice and easy tube float with a small chute at the end. The water was nice and cool, because it was actually water from the spring-fed Comal River. There are several tube rides that use water from the Comal. The Hillside Tube Chute, the River Tube Chute, the Tunnel Tube Chute and the Whitewater Tube Chute are all sourced from the river, making them a cold and fresh retreat.
After spending some time on the West side, we decided out with the old and in with the new. We were tempted by the pictures of the tall slides on the map, so it was off to the East side for us. We rode the Tram, after only waiting for about 2 minutes, and enjoyed a nice, SEATED, breezy ride to the other park.
We wasted absolutely zero time and made our way straight to Blastenhoff to ride the Master Blaster, the Black Knight and the Wolf Pack. The lines weren’t too bad, the longest we waited was probably 30 minutes or so. If you can wait, I recommend that you make time for these rides, especially the Master Blaster.
After that we went around and around in the Torrent Wave River, which is like a wave pool but in river form. You can either sit in a tube and float along, or hang out sans tube. This was probably our favorite. My son could have spent the entire day in the Torrent Wave River and left completely pleased and impressed with Schlitterbahn. Riding the waves was really fun, and watching him get excited before each wave hit, and then come up after saying, “I’m awesome,” was the highlight of the day.
Before you plan a trip to Schlitterbahn, I have some tips for you:
- Plan on spending the whole day there, or, even better, get a 2-day pass. We were there for 5 hours and only saw about half the park.
- Study the map and study the rides beforehand. We spent a lot of time guessing and figuring out how things worked, when we could have been owning that park.
- If you have younger kids who are not strong swimmers, or who freak out when you get separated – I would steer clear of some of the tube chute style rides. Or, at the very least, prepare your kids for the possibility of getting separated and tell them to wait at the end and assure them that everything will be fine. My son and I were separated on the Cliffhanger and since I didn’t warn him of this, he totally freaked for a minute. Now you know!
- Take advantage of deals, y’all! Schlitterbahn is running all kinds of discounts on package deals. Check ’em out.
So, follow our advice, peruse the Schlitterbahn New Braunfels website, coat on some sunblock and have this kind of day:
Oh yeah… onto the GIVEAWAY….
This giveaway is now closed, thanks to everyone who entered!
— J Jett