Whilst it is often theme parks that get all the credit, here at Attraction Tickets Direct we’re a sucker for a good water park and after seeing the recent TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards put Dubai’s two water parks, Wild Wadi and Aquaventure in the top ten, we thought a comparison was in order. In the poll itself, Wild Wadi in sixth just pipped Aquaventure in eighth to win the peoples vote for the best in town, but we’re going to compare the two on a range of criteria to see which makes them so great and try and pick a winner…
Wild Wadi - Wild Wadi is the original Dubai water park, opening in 1999 and offers some amazing views of the adjacent ‘7-star’ Burj Al Arab hotel. If you keep your eyes peeled, you may even spot a helicopter landing on it!
Aquaventure - Aquaventure has an equally spectacular setting, located as it is at the top of Palm Jumeirah, the world’s largest man-made island, meaning the park is actually around 3 miles out to sea. The views back across the Palm and to the city are incredible and worth the admission price alone.
Winner: Aquaventure’s views of the whole city just beat the proximity to the Burj Al Arab
2. Signature ride
Both parks have seen significant investment into their attractions over the last few years, however it is the original flagship rides that remain the most iconic.
Wild Wadi - At Wild Wadi, the Jumeirah Sceirah has been revamped to now include a second slide and has also been fitted with drop capsules as seen on Ihu’s Breakaway Falls at Aquatica Orlando. Once the floor drops, guests will reach speeds of up to 50mph down the 120m slide.
Aquaventure -Aquaventure’s Leap of Faith will have you hurtling down a near vertical 9 storey drop, before speeding through a tube surrounded by sharks and rays!
Winner: Wild Wadi’s Jumeirah Sceirah just edges it
3. Lazy river
A key staple for any water park is the lazy river, perfect for a relaxing journey round the park, plus great for all the family.
Wild Wadi - Wild Wadi’s 360m long Juha’s Journey is perfect for something a little slower paced away from the main rides.
Aquaventure - Over at Aquaventure, the River Rapids run for an impressive 1.6km, taking in wave surges, rapids and waterfalls, as well as allowing you to get to any of the other slides.
Winner: Aquaventure’s thrills and longer duration steals the win here.
4. New attractions
Both parks have spent big to really put themselves on the map and the results are impressive.
Wild Wadi - Along with the updates to the Jumeirah Sceirah, Wild Wadi has introduced Burj Surj and Tantrum Alley, featuring large multi person slides, that culminate in dropping into and sliding around enormous bowls before being dropped out.
Aquaventure - Aquaventure Added to an already impressive selection of rides with the new Tower of Poseidon. Boasting the world’s first slides within a slide, vertical loops and gravity defying raft rides, it has added some of the best slides in the world.
Winner: The huge variety and innovation from Aquaventure is the clear winner.
5. Kids areas
Little ones are well catered for at both parks, with dedicated play areas to keep them entertained all day.
Wild Wadi - Juda’s Dhow and Lagoon at Wild Wadi boasts over 100 water activities, including five slides and water guns. Plus look out for the huge dumps of water every two minutes.
Aquaventure - Aquaventure caters for little ones at Splasher’s Children’s Play Area with games, slides, climbing frames and rope bridges.
Winner: The sheer size of Juda’s Dhow and Lagoon wins it for Wild Wadi.
6. Wave pools
Of course no water park can truly be considered complete without this water park staple!
Wild Wadi - Wild Wadi exceeds with the largest wave pool in the Middle East in the shape of Breaker’s Bay. With large waves operating in five separate configurations, you never know what to expect.
Aquaventure - The wave pool is one area however that Aquaventure comes up short. There are waves to be enjoyed at the entrance to the Torrent River, but not of the same quality as Wild Wadi.
Winner: Wild Wadi’s excellent pool is head and shoulders above the modest competition.
7. Unique extras
We’ve covered off the main things you expect in a water park, but what are the extra attractions that give them a real ‘Wow’ factor?
Wild Wadi - Aspiring surfers will love the Wipeout and Riptide FlowRiders at Wild Wadi, giving the chance to try body or knee-boarding. (Tip, it isn’t as easy as it looks!)
Aquaventure -On the other hand, Aquaventure offers some amazing extras. Whether a 700m sandy beach, swimming with dolphins or even going on a shark safari, there are some incredible things to see and do.
Winner: The once-in-a-lifetime experiences at Aquaventure give them the clear win.
So, the overall winner is Aquaventure and its amazing array of slides and once in a lifetime experiences like swimming with dolphins! It was very close though and Wild Wadi is an incredible park to visit, with spectacular rides throughout. The best thing to do is experience them for yourself and decide which you prefer.