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Schlitterbahn Waterpark New Braunfels

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Blastenhoff is a Blast
Master Blaster at Schlitterbahn.
© Arthur Levine, 2013. Licensed to About.com.
After years of hearing about and longing to visit the almost-mythical Schlitterbahn, I finally made the pilgrimage in May 2013. Dating back to 1979, it is one of the oldest water parks. As such, it is quite unique in that, in the early days of the industry, there were no established water park ride manufacturers, and its owners had to make it up as they went along. It has evolved into one of the largest water park resorts and one of the most popular in the U.S. and throughout the world. Although it is open seasonally, its attendance numbers approach those of parks in Florida that are open year-round. And its visitor numbers dwarf those of other U.S. seasonal parks.

Compared to most other lookalike water parks, Schlitterbahn has lots of quirky charm, particularly in the original part of the resort. As you click through the images, keep in mind that I visited near the beginning of the season, and parts of the park were not open to guests including The Falls (a massive tubing ride) and the entire original area. I did get to tour the whole resort, however, and I have some interesting photos of water slides and other attractions without guests -- or water.

The photo above is of the Blastenhoff tower in one of the newer sections of the resort. On the blue track and tubes, a pair of riders are about to blast off in the Master Blaster water coaster. Schlitterbahn's owners developed the uphill water coaster concept and sell the rides to other water parks. At the base of the tower is The Torrent, a not-really-lazy river that includes strong jets of water to create waves and fast currents.

You can read more about the park in my review of Schlitterbahn New Braunfels.

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