Travel | Attraction Review: Waterworld, Stoke-on-Trent

A few days ago, some friends and I visited Waterworld in Stoke-on-Trent. Although I'd seen a few negative Trip Advisor reviews, we decided to give it a shot. After all, how bad could "the UK's No.1 Indoor Tropical Aqua Park" be?
The answer is not bad at all. Despite some reviews saying the park was only for young children, we (eighteen and nineteen year olds) had a brilliant day and were never stuck for something to do. The slides and rides, to me, seemed to appeal brilliantly to all ages.
The Price:
There are always great vouchers available on Waterworld's website, and we managed to get in for £7.99 through this. The usual price for those over 1.1m tall is £10.49, which I still happily would have paid. Considering the amount of things to do at the park and the opportunity to stay for hours, the prices are in absolutely no way unreasonable.

Busyness:
We visited Waterworld on a Thursday during the 'peak period' of Summer. At around 10:30am, there was sufficient space in which to park, no queue and plenty of changing rooms and lockers available. We got into the water just before 11am at which point the park was busy, but not to the extent that it was any problem to us or anyone else (aside from a little noisiness). We queued for rides but didn't feel as though we spent too long doing so as the queues went down at an efficient pace. Between 1 and 3pm the park emptied out significantly and the queues got much shorter. My advice during a busy period would be to take opportunities as they come. If there's a short queue for a ride you might like, get in that queue before it builds back up. Whatever you were doing previously will still be there when you get back!

Reception & Shop:
The front of the building houses a Subway, a cafe, and a small shop linked to the reception. One criticism of the shop and reception is the poor display of prices. The admission prices were displayed low down on the wall behind the reception desk and nothing I looked at in the shop had its price labelled. Despite this, there was a great range of good-quality products (such as goggles and armbands) and the staff were friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.

Changing Rooms, Lockers & Toilets:
The changing area was unisex, but all was well-maintained and the changing rooms were well-sized. There was also a perfectly adequate amount of changing rooms, showers and lockers at Waterworld. The lockers were large enough to fit our four bags and four pairs of shoes into one and my friend happened to have a locker token from a family visit a few years ago which still worked, saving us money on lockers. As inevitably there will be water on the floor at a water park's changing rooms, I was glad to see a lifeguard on hand in case anyone should slip.
The toilets, which were not unisex, were very clean and functional and I never encountered any queuing - even during the morning's busier period.

The Poolside & Dining Area:
For 'spectators' there is plenty of space to sit by the pool in the dining area. The food is very reasonably priced (with vouchers available online and meal deals offered too). With the dining area being poolside, there is no need to get dressed to go and grab food. The hygiene of this area is also of a good standard.

The Pool:
At Waterworld, there is a large pool which starts shallow and gets deeper (reaching up to 1.8m). There is a wave machine at certain times, as well as waterfalls dotted about the pool - very fun to splash friends with!

The Outdoor Pool:
In the middle of July, the weather was typically British: mediocre. I was subsequently expecting that the outdoor pool would be heated and was very disappointed to discover upon swimming outside that the water was really very cold. We then swam across to what looked like an outdoor hot tub but what was really just a circular section of the pool with some bubbles. The pool was clean and I expect it would be lovely on a hot day - this just was not that day.

The Rapids:
A circular section of the waterpark with currents to propel you around it. The walls of the rapids were covered with smooth tiling, meaning there was little chance of sharp edges to scratch oneself against. The Rapids can get quite loud when there a lot of people in it but, this aside, it's surprisingly fun to float around in circles, and lifeguards are always on hand.

The Lilypads:
The lilypads were an aquatic twist on the traditional playground monkey bars. As well as handles above them, there were lilypads to step across. The lilypads are purposely very wobbly, making them tricky to stay on, and a very fun challenge! Again, there is a lifeguard on hand and the whole area seemed safely made to me.

The Hot Tubs:
The bubble generator on these weren't working on the day we visited due to a technical fault but the two hot tubs inside the park are lovely and warm if you want to sit and relax after having been dunked into pool water at the end of a slide, with seats all around their edge.

The Nucleus:
This is the first slide we went on at Waterworld and possibly my favourite. In terms of queuing, this one probably takes the longest as you have to queue at the bottom of the slide to get a rubber ring and then queue at the top of the slide to go on it. The queuing for the rubber ring takes the longest but once that's done there'll only be a couple of people in front of you queuing for the slide itself. It's a very fun slide that winds around most of the water park, with uphill and downhill parts and lots of splashes - it's lots of fun for anyone over 1.1m in height.

The Family Multislide:
This is a four-lane slide that reminds me of an astroglide. It's a very simple slide with one heck of a splash at the bottom. Queues are often short for this one and it's suitable for most ages and heights.

Spacebowl:
The Spacebowl would best be likened to the swirling of water down a sink. It's fast-paced and absolutely not for weak swimmers as at the end, you are dropped into 2m-deep water. The queue for this ride is at the top of a set of stairs, with the queue for four other rides (Twister, Super Flume, Python, Black Hole). At first glance, you may think the queue on the stairs is huge, but bear in mind that this queue later splits into five so it goes down very quickly. Of the five, the Spacebowl has the longest queue but if you're looking for a thrill, it's well worth it!

Twister:
Another ride that is not for the faint-hearted. It has less restrictions on it as you aren't plunged into any deep water at the end, just a big splash. Twister is a steep and speedy slide in pitch-black darkness. It has quite a short queue and makes for a very fun (and slightly scary!) thrill ride.

The Super Flume, Python & Black Hole:
The Super Flume and Black Hole are pretty much pitch black, whilst the Python is mostly open. The Python is the tamest of the three, boasting more gentle swaying than anything else, whilst the other two are faster and have sharper bends. The three flumes have very small queues, making it easy to try out all of them. For a relaxing ride, try the Python. For a little more thrill (but to a lesser extent than Spacebowl and Twister), try the Super Flume and Black Hole.

Overall:
I feel  that Waterworld has activities for all ages (with everything listed above, as well as the Jungle House for those under 1.1m tall), is reasonable in its admission and food prices, and is very well-maintained, hygienic and safe. I would recommend the water park to people of all ages that enjoy swimming, either with friends or with family.

Thank you for reading the post, sorry it's so text-heavy but as you can imagine I didn't take any pictures at Waterworld! Have you ever been to Waterworld or any other water park? Let me know your views on them down in the comments!

Paris
xx