By Melissa Gaskill
The city pool where I hung out as a youngster had a blue plastic slide, the kind that adorned most swimming pools in the 1960s. This one turned a complete 360 degrees before spitting me out like a watermelon seed to land with a satisfying—and refreshing—splash. I couldn’t get enough of it. Well, water slides have come a long way since then. For proof, just visit a Schlitterbahn water park in
Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort,
It all started in 1966, when a couple named Bob and Billye Henry bought a small motel on the
Today, bright-red mushroom fountains and oversize fiberglass alligators combine with green trees, blue sky, and lots of water to create a summer fantasyland, like a vision induced by too many popsicles or too much hot sun. Except it’s all real: From toddler-friendly activity pools to heart-stopping rides, more than 40 attractions beckon. And splashy innovation is everywhere, from the water coasters that blast riders uphill on high-velocity jets of water to the park’s swim-up refreshment bar, wave pool, and children’s water playground.
From the May 2008 issue.