Swimming pools and water parks, oh my they are such great fun for our family. So we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try Schlitterbahn in Kansas City.
Schlitterbahn roughly translated means slippery road, which describes Schlitterbahn’s “transportainment” system of transporting guests throughout their water park via water. More on that later.
Schlitterbahn has been building water parks in Texas for a couple of decades, but the Kansas City park is the first time Schlitterbahn looked outside of Texas. They must have done their research because hot, blue skied days are served up just as frequently as BBQ in Kansas City.
Finding the park is somewhat easy. Just head East on State Street after exiting from I 435 in Kansas. State Street is also the exit for the Kansas Speedway and Great Wolf Lodge, which are on the West side of the interchange. We couldn’t find any signs on State to indicate where to turn for the water park, but the giant sandcastle visible on the North side of the road gave it away. The water park is nestled at the bottom of a hill, so only the tall slides are visible from the road and highway.
Schlitterbahn is open Memorial Day week-end, including the Friday of that week-end, through Labor Day, but only on week-ends the last couple of weeks of August. Opening times vary from 10:00 to 11:00 am and closing varies from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Check the website for specific hours of operation.
Cost: There are a variety of packages to choose from that include towels, water shoes, “Splash Cash”, etc. but basically it is about $40 per adult which is 12 and over, and $33 for children ages 3-11. Children 2 and under are free and there is a discount for seniors. Everyone who enters pays. There are no “I am here just to watch” rates. The website does offer a $1.00 discount on pre-purchased tickets. Just know that a 10.95% tax is added to all on-line purchases and tickets purchased at the park. (We had two free tickets from MyCokeRewards)
|Area where tickets are purchased. Be sure to pick up a map.|
Splash Cash is an opportunity to add funds to a bracelet, which either has an account number or RFID capability and then the amount is subtracted when purchases are made by the wearer. Schlitterbahn advertises this as a convenience so that you don’t have to carry cash or cards with you. (I also wonder how much “Splash Cash” isn’t spent down to the exact amount.) We did not take advantage of Splash Cash.
|The boy enjoying lunch at the edge of the water.|
Coolers are allowed inside the park and will be checked after tickets are purchased for glass and alcoholic beverages. We packed drinks, lunch, and snacks, which meant there was no need for Splash Cash.
Tubes are also free on all of the attractions and so is parking! Bonus!
Now for the watery fun. . .
Schlitterbahn, as of right now, has a two sections—one that includes the wave pool, Torrent River, slides including Wolfpack, the Storm Blaster, Raging River, and Kinder Haven. Another area includes the Cabanas, Boogie Bay, BoogieBahn, another set of slides including the Twister, King Kaw, Mighty Mo and Kristal River. You can literally float from one attraction to another, although turns can be tricky. Slides do require exiting, accept for the Storm Blaster, which allows you to wait in your tube and then be transported up the slide via conveyer belt.
|Our area at Boogie Bay. Check out the empty seats at lunchtime.|
The Sunday we went to the park, we arrived around 10:45 am and the park had opened at 10:00am. There is quite a walk from the parking lot down the hill to the ticket center which includes restrooms, a shop, and lockers. There is another trek from there to the water park itself. Most people then find the closest spot which is near the wave pool or Kinder Haven, and those areas were quite crowded. We kept walking past the Cabanas which are reserved, to Boogie Bay and had no trouble finding lounge chairs under an umbrella. Another area for guests just past BoogieBahn was human free for most of the day and there is another area past that which is a part of the King Kaw river that no one had found. When we asked the staff person checking our cooler about finding a spot at Boogie Bay they agreed and said, “No one makes it down there” which was great news! While we were in the park, we had no idea how many people were there. It wasn’t until we went to the parking lot later and found it full to over flowing that we realized how many people were there, but it sure didn’t feel that way. So know that even though the parking lot is full, there is still plenty of room at the water park.
|Another area that had limited human contact during the day.|
|The husband and I shared a tube and used the conveyor system. There were no worries about weight limits, but there are some on the slides.|
If I had to choose between Schlitterbahn and Adventure Bay in Des Moines, Schlitterbahn would win hands down. Just comparing ticket prices, Adventure Bay comes out ahead, but when you add on the fact that you can bring a cooler into Schlitterbahn, and both parking and tubes are free--both of which require payment at Adventure Bay, a day at Schlitterbahn costs less!