7 Design-Centric Water Parks That Will Make You Rethink Your Beach Vacation


From movie theaters worthy of Hollywood premieres to stylish bowling allies that celebrate maximalism, thoughtful design is making its way through the places that house America’s favorite old-school activities. And now that a sweltering summer is on the horizon, water parks are getting a proper and long-overdue facelift.

Gone are the days of unsightly slides and tacky themed decor—these ameliorated water parks are, dare we say, beautiful. Plus, it’s hardly a coincidence that many of them are part of some of the world’s most extravagant beach resorts, such as Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas, and the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Disney World. Not to mention: With full-service bars and carefully curated menus that you can peruse from the comfort of your perfectly positioned chaise longue, there’s no need to stand in line for a refreshing cocktail after a dip in a wave pool.

The lazy river at Four Seasons waterpark in Orlando.

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

The Four Seasons’ five-acre water park, dubbed Explorer Island, boasts a 7,590-square-foot family pool, two water slides, a lazy river, a splash zone for the littlest ones, and, of course, an adults-only pool that features underwater speakers. The water park may be at a five-star resort in north Florida, but from the top of the 242-foot-long water slides, the park looks like something out of an exotic, long-forgotten jungle with towering palms and stone ruins.

If you’d rather keep your blowout intact, head to the lazy river, a relaxing, slow-moving oasis that’s lined with billowing palms, adjustable chaises, and a few full-service private cabanas.

One of Baha Bay’s many adventurous slides.

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