Schlitterbahn West (the Original), New Braunfels
The Texas heat is hard, but thankfully we have lots of cold water to take some of the sizzle out of summer! Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels is one of the best places to keep your cool on those hot days!
Schlitterbahn New Braunfels is really 2 amazing and VERY different waterparks, and access to both is included on one ticket. Because there is SO much to do at Schlitterbahn, I’ve spent a lot of time planning the best time savers and secrets for our family to get the most from of our visits, and I’m sharing them with you here in my Mommy Tips for Schlitterbahn West.
1. Know Before You Go
- Arrive EARLY!! Although the parking is FREE, it starts to fill up fast. I prefer to park on the RIGHT side of the park, near the resort. There is an entrance in the back, right by a tube pickup (grab one!). There are shady tables just as you enter, by the Congo River Ride. Most of the rides let out on this side of the park, also.
- I love that Schlitterbahn does allow coolers and picnic lunches, and at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE!! Another reason I like entering by the resorts is that it’s a straight shot to a table. If you enter at the main entrance, it’s quite a walk to some of the tables, especially those with all day shade. And there are stairs, which you might need to carry your cooler up and down (a pain if you have a heavy cooler with rollers).
- Bring water shoes, the concrete gets HOT!! Many a flip flop has been lost going down a ride and floated all the way into the Comal River, never to be seen again…
2. Cold Spring River
What makes the Original Schlitterbahn the BEST is the water!!! It’s cold, spring fed water from the adjacent Comal River that has been redirected into the park. No matter how hot it is outside, the water feels GREAT!
As soon as possible after arriving, you are going to want to get a black tube, and DON’T LET GO OF IT! You can use that tube on all the tube rides. There are a limited number of smaller tubes with bottoms for younger guest.
3. Need for Speed
Rides like the Der Bahn, Bahnzai Pipeline, Double Loop and Soda Straw Body Slides and the Downhill Racer Speed Slides offers high momentum thrills for riders!
To save time, I like to do these rides all together, since they don’t require a tube.
4. Tube Chutes
- Unlike newer water parks, the original rides weren’t really about going fast and daring drops (although they have them). The rides are meant to simulate tubing on a cold Texas river. Sometimes they move really fast and sometimes they move slow. During the slow times, lean back, relax and forget about your troubles. The important thing to remember is that it’s not a race to finish the ride, it’s the journey not the destination!
- The Raging River, Hillside, White Water, Cliffhanger and Congo River are all Tube Chute rides. The Raging River is the longest, at about 45 minutes. The lines to ride are sometimes very lengthy, especially on the weekends, but I think it’s a fair trade for such a long ride.
- Prepare ahead of time to get separated from your group when going on a tube chute ride. It’s not uncommon (and kinda fun) to get caught in a “hole” and just keeping going in circles for a few minutes. For whatever reason, smaller kids seem less likely to get caught in the holes, and can move further ahead of you. Be sure they wear a life jacket! There are life guards on all the rides, but you will enjoy it more if you aren’t worrying about them.
- Some of the rides offer a choice of a longer or shorter trip, and split off. Make sure everyone in your party knows which way to go, as you might find yourself on different sides of the park! Have a pre-arranged meeting place if someone does get lost.
- Several of the rides split off into the Comal River, where you can float along peacefully for a short distance, with life guards there to watch over you!
- The Texas Sun is havoc on your knees and lower legs when sitting in a tube all day. Be sure and apply extra sunscreen on these areas. Yes, you will thank me later for this tip!
5. Play Areas
There is so much for younger children to do at Schlitterbahn! The Beach Wave Pool, the Schatz Central Park, Tadpole Kiddie Pool, Polywog Pond Kiddie Park, the Lagoon area and heated pond and the Gator Bowl.
6. Other Activities
Located near the resort entrance, there is a large arcade. There are also volleyball courts, swim up bar, gift shop and much, much more!
A FREE shuttle will take you to the NEW Schlitterbahn.
For more Mommy Tips on visiting Schlitterbahn East, click HERE.
8. Schlitterbahn Resorts
Schlitterbahn Resorts offers extended hours, movies, smores, scavenger hunts, swimming and much more to their overnight guest.
The resort rates amaze me. Resort guest receive 2 full day tickets, plus extended hours in the park, at a price often lower than a full price 2 day ticket!
Most of the rooms come with full kitchens.
Make reservations early enough to get a room right on ride trails, so you don’t even need a cooler in the park! Check a map and tell a reservation associate exactly what you want. They are very helpful in getting you exactly what you want!
Resort guest receive an extra hour before the park opens on the Tower Rides located in Schlitterbahn East and an extra hour after the park closes at Boogie Bahn!
After hours, the are several pool open until midnight, as well as the arcade, volleyball, grills and an outdoor movie!
Things To Do in New Braunfels
After the park closes, head over to catch a movie at the Stars and Stripes Drive In! Click HERE to visit their website to see what’s showing!
The Gristmill in Gruene is one of our VERY favorite restaurants! Click HERE for more information!
Original Schlitterbahn Water Park
400 N Liberty Ave, New Braunfels
Click HERE to visit their website.
Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun!
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