Finally the answer to this long-asked question was “YES”. Weeks of bribery, of saying “you have to eat all your dinner so you can grow tall enough for the waterslides” were about to be put to the test.
Yesterday we hired a car and took the kids to Waterbom in Kuta, Bali’s answer to a waterslide park.
Colin got to enjoy driving Balinese style, which is essentially anything goes. Motorcycle riders are everywhere and crazy. We made it down to Kuta taking a fairly indirect route (lets avoid saying we got lost because then we got into arguments about WHO got us lost – slightly off track is a better description!) and subjected to more “When are we going to be THERE???” queries than we were hoping.
Arriving at Waterbom, our car was scanned for bombs and we were directed to park right at the front gate for the day. No walking across kilometers of car parks like you find at most big theme parks. A small line up for tickets ($70AUS for a family of 4) and we were off to the slides. We checked our camera into a locker and received bangles that we could load money onto to avoid carrying cash (any remaining money would be refunded at the end of the day). So no photos of all the fun we had … but at least we didn’t have to worry about lost cameras, wallets or phones!
Waterslide Tower has 5 or 6 different slides of varying speeds and styles (relaxing, pitch black tunnel, speed slides). By the end of the day Noah and Colin had tried them all. Noah (4.5years) even did several by himself. As for Hayley (2.5 years) – she laughed the whole way down the relaxing slide so we decided she might be able to handle the pitch black tunnel slide. She loved it so much she refused to go back to the relaxing slide. She is a little adrenalin junkie!
After 3 turns she tired pretty quickly and went back to play on a number of small children’s slides that she insisted on doing by herself.
That would have been fine except by ‘herself’ she really meant that she wanted me to help her get on the slide, otherwise the pool attendant kept trying to help her, and then run back down the hill to see her get off the slide.
Up and down the stairs for Mum, again and again while she got to slide. And again!
25 goes later and I was ready for a swim. Thankfully that’s when Col and Noah got back so that Noah could take me on some of the bigger slides (while Col chased after Hayley on the little slides and dealt with toilet runs).
After the slide park we went for a drive out towards Tanah Lot to let the kids nap in the car. Unfortunately by the time we got to Tanah Lot the kids were both fast asleep so we couldn’t stop to take a look, but the drive was lovely once you got past all the traffic and out into the fields. Getting back to Ubud was a bit of an adventure – our map wasn’t very specific so again our route was a bit indirect but we made it eventually. Of course today we are paying for our adventures yesterday in the form of two incredibly tired, grumpy children who won’t eat or stop fighting. But it was totally worth it.
Waterbom – what’s the verdict?
Waterbom isn’t the cheapest water-slide park in Asia but facilities wise it beats any waterpark we’ve been to outside of a developed country. The added benefit is it’s more relaxed – despite being slightly under the height regulations, once the slide attendants saw that our two year old daughter could swim several meters unassisted they were happy for her to go on the big slides provided she was with an adult. We’ve been to a number of other water-slide parks that won’t allow this, even if you were going together and you could demonstrate that your child can swim. There were a few slides that neither of the kids could go on – you had to be over 120cm – but we were happy with the range of slides and attractions we could all enjoy as a family.
It’s not the biggest waterslide park you’ll come across but there’s certainly enough to keep you occupied for a day and a good variety of slides.
There’s a lot of shade and a great children’s swimming area with fountains, wading pools, small slides and a lazy river for children of all ages!