We just returned from our first ever trip to Schlitterbahn (one of the biggest waterparks in Texas, if not the world), and I am going to share everything you need to know to plan your own Schlitterbahn vacation (like – is it toddler friendly? Should I rent a cabana? Should I pay for a Blast Pass? Read on!)
We visited Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels on a media tour, as guests of Schlitterbahn. All opinions are my own. If you’d like to see more photos and video of my trip, you can find it in my Schlitterbahn Travel Stories.
Where should I stay near Schlitterbahn New Braunfels?
If you’re like us, you’re traveling to the area for Schlitterbahn. We drove in from Dallas (it’s about a four hour drive, so definitely not a day trip). Here’s what I didn’t realize until we visited: Schlitterbahn is a resort with a water park. So you can literally stay in the waterpark at any number of cabins or resort style lodging. I always thought it was just a water park, but it started out as a resort with a water slide and grew from there!
We stayed just down the road at SchlitterStein Lofts. These roomy apartments overlooked the Comal River and had plenty of room to stretch out (you can see a tour of the loft in my IG stories here). It was a short five-minute drive to the waterpark.
Is Schlitterbahn okay for toddlers?
We obviously do not have a toddler – but whenever I visit a waterpark I think about when I did! Yes, I would take my toddler to Schlitterbahn – there is plenty to do, lots of kiddie pools and baby slides. I don’t think I would plan a trip specifically for my toddler, but I would definitely bring one along if I had older kids or wanted to go myself. There is plenty for them to do!
Are Schlitterbahn cabanas worth it?
All over Schlitterbahn you’ll find private cabanas (that need to be reserved in advance). Along with shade, a place to put your stuff, and a quiet area to regroup or rest, the cabanas are a little slice of peace. The cabana prices start at $90 and go up from there, depending on the dates and the cabana you choose (you can see all of the choices here). Some of the cabanas come with wait staff, which is super nice if you don’t want to go wait in line for food and drinks.
If you can afford it, I would say yes, splurge on the cabana. I would not pay for the cabana if I was younger and planned on spending my day on the attractions – but as an adult, it sure was nice having a place away from the crowds to reapply sunscreen, get a snack, and just stay out of the sun for awhile. If you’re going with a group, I would look into splitting the cost and reserving one – it would be a great place for everyone to meet up.
If you don’t want to get a cabana, but you definitely want a shady spot, get there early and stake out a place in the shade!
Is the Schitterbahn Blast Pass worth it?
The Blast Pass is SO cool. If allows your skip the lines on busy attractions. It’s a waterproof watch and is an additional $20. If you’re there on a crowded day, I would say it’s worth it – it allows you to get to the front of the line on the park’s busiest rides and slides.
The way it works is you pick a ride you want to do (you can only do one reservation at a time) and reserve it on your Blast Pass. It will tell you how long you have until the ride is ready for you (most waits were 10-40 minutes for us). Once your turn comes up, the watch notifies you by vibrating. You go to the chosen ride and get to the very front of the line!
When is Schlitterbahn least crowded?
Little known fact about me – I hate crowds! So imagine my delight when our trip to Schlitterbahn happened to be on their least busy day of the week – Wednesday! If you’re also a crowd avoided, shoot for visiting on a Wednesday. If you’re local, a day with rain the forecast is also a bonus because crowds tend to stay away on those days (it was raining when we visited!). Weekends and holidays are the busiest days, and the ones to avoid if you don’t like big crowds.
What kinds of rides are at Schlitterbahn?
GUYS. My favorite lazy river everrrr is at Schlitterbahn. The Falls is the world’s longest lazy river – it lasts about 40 minutes, takes you through some little rapids, and ends in the Comal River.
To be honest, I am really not a waterslide kind of girl. They just…scare me. But I can do lazy rivers. I loved The Falls, Torrent River (a lazy river/wave pool combo), and the Raging River Tube Shoot (another surprisingly long lazy river with some fun rapids found in the original park).
The kids loved everything, but among their favorites were definitely the Master Blaster (an uphill water coaster) and the Boogie Bahn surfing ride.
Are there heated pools at Schlitterbahn?
It didn’t take me long to find the heated pools! You wouldn’t think that a heated pool would see much use in a Texas summer, but sit in a pool and have a few iced cocktails and that heated pool sounds pretty nice. There are several heated pool througout the parks, and a couple of swim up bars, too! How glorious to enjoy a cocktail while my children who are finally old enough to ride the slides by themselves and swim without me worrying went and did their thing.
Here are some things you need to know before you go:
You can bring your own food and drinks into the park. Load up your cooler with lunch and drinks and save big on food.
There are two parks – the original park, and the newer one. Next time we visit, we’ll plan to spend a day in each park (you could fit both parks into one day if it’s not too crowded). There is a tram that goes between parks.
Parking is free! So are inner tubes and life jackets, so no need to bring your own or pay for those.
The park backs right up to the Comal River in New Braunfels. You’ll have gorgeous views of the river, and a couple rides even empty into the river. If you have time, stay an extra day and plan on using that day to visit Gruene, TX and float the Comal (you can rent tubes from several companies, and they pick you up at the end and bring you back!).
There are many great restaurants in New Braunfels and Gruene (and the super famous Gruene Hall!). We loved the Buttermilk Cafe for breakfast in New Braunfels.
Schlitterbahn is very family-friendly. I feel like my kids were at the perfect age to really enjoy the parks. They are finally big enough to do all the rides (and don’t need an adult to go with them, yay!). Both kids told me this was one of their favorite vacations and asked when we could come back. I love this part of Texas so much (so. much.), and had so much fun at the parks, that we would absolutely come back and plan another Schlitterbahn vacation for the whole family.
There are many ticket specials, and packages if you’re staying at the resort. You can see ticket pricing, special packages, and resort deals here.
Here’s everything you need to plan your Schlitterbahn vacation:
- Get tickets and check out packages and resort specials here
- See all the available cabanas and cabana pricing here
- How to stick to a budget on vacation