Coordinates: 29°42′48″N 98°07′30″W / 29.71336°N 98.12505°W / 29.71336; -98.12505
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Product typeWater park
OwnerCedar Fair
CountryUnited States
Introduced1979 (1979)
Previous ownersThe Henry family[1]

Schlitterbahn is an American brand of water parks and resorts owned by Cedar Fair. It was previously a company family owned and operated by the Henry family that was based in New Braunfels, Texas. Schlitterbahn opened its first location, Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, in 1979.[2] At its peak, the company consisted of five outdoor waterparks, two indoor waterparks, and three resorts.

Schlitterbahn's outdoor water parks are seasonally operated, typically open from late April through mid-September, while its indoor locations operate year-round.[3] Two parks are located in Texas.

On June 13, 2019, Cedar Fair entered an agreement to acquire two of Schlitterbahn's properties in Galveston and New Braunfels for $261 million.[4] The deal, which closed in early July 2019, gave Cedar Fair the option to purchase Schlitterbahn Waterpark Kansas City for $6 million within 120 days of the transaction, which Cedar Fair declined to do.[4][5] Additionally, the rights to the Schlitterbahn name were included in the acquisition.[6]

Current parks

New Braunfels, Texas

Entrance to Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, Texas

The first of the parks was in New Braunfels and opened in 1979. The park was named Schlitterbahn ("slippery road" in German) because of the local area's German heritage. It originally consisted of four waterslides. The park expanded three times. Surfenberg was the first part of the expansion and had the world's first inland surfing ride, the Boogie Bahn, in 1992, created the first uphill water coaster, the Dragon Blaster in 1994. In 1996 the next section opened - Blastenhoff - and featured the world's first wave river, the Torrent, and the world's most award-winning uphill water coaster, the Master Blaster. In 2011, the park expanded again, adding The Falls, the world's longest tubing river, featuring rapids and tube chutes.[7]

As of 2022, the park has won Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Award for Best Waterpark for 24 years straight; the streak began with the inception of the award.[8] In total, Schlitterbahn New Braunfels has received 42 Golden Ticket Awards.[9] As of 2014, the park employed 2,000 seasonal workers.[10]

Galveston, Texas

Schlitterbahn in Galveston, Texas

The 26-acre Schlitterbahn park in Galveston opened in 2006. The park features the most thrill rides of any of the Schlitterbahn parks and is home to the world's former record holder of the world's tallest water coaster, MASSIV, as it lost its record to Tsunami Surge at Hurricane Harbor Chicago at 86 feet tall. MASSIV opened in 2016 and features the most current technology including water and power saving features never used before. Although it had lost its record for the tallest water coaster, MASSIV still holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for the Tallest Water Coaster and is 81 feet 6 inches (24.84 m) tall.[11]

Former parks

South Padre Island, Texas

The park in South Padre Island opened in 2001.[12] An indoor section opened in 2012.[13] The park featured Transportainment - a system where guests can ride through the majority of the park's attractions while floating in their tubes. In fact, this park had floating queue lines for three of the four uphill water coasters. When the Henrys sold the company to Cedar Fair, they retained the ownership of this property and rebranded it.[6] The park was rebranded as Beach Park at Isla Blanca in December 2019.[14]

Corpus Christi, Texas

In May 2012, Schlitterbahn announced that it would move forward with plans to begin construction of a new water park in the Corpus Christi-Padre Island area.[15] It was announced that it would open during the summer of 2013, but due to various delays, groundbreaking didn't take place until February 2013. A 574-acre (232 ha) plan for the city included a marina, the Schlitterbahn water park with lodging, and a golf course.[16] Vendors complained, and then sued, Schlitterbahn over $500,000 in unpaid bills on the Corpus Christi project. After several months, Schlitterbahn paid the vendors and threw them a party.[17] Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi opened on June 20, 2015, with a full-service restaurant, the Veranda, two kids' areas, the Krystal river system, the Sky Blaster, and the Aquaveyer. In 2016 the southern end of the park opened along with a resort. Christened Schlitterbahn Riverpark - Corpus Christi, the park featured nearly two miles (3.2 km) of river and multiple blasters.[clarification needed] In 2017, Padre's Plunge, a SkyTrans Manufacturing Shoot the Chute, opened in the southern end of the park. It had previously operated as "Buzzsaw Falls" at Alabama Splash Adventure. This park featured four types of rivers,[clarification needed] two children's areas, a massive swim-up bar, a stage for concerts, a resort with several event spaces, and a full-service restaurant.

On May 1, 2018,

IBC Bank took over ownership of the park at foreclosure auction.[18][1] Schlitterbahn continued to operate it while a new owner was sought. The property was rebranded as Waves Resort Corpus Christi. After not operating during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the park was closed. In 2021, the park was demolished.[19]

Kansas City, Kansas

The first phase of the park opened in July 2009.[20] The park opened each year in May.[21] After a fatal accident in 2016, Cedar Fair elected not to purchase the property along with the other Schlitterbahn parks. The park did not open in the 2019 season and was completely demolished in 2021.

Proposed projects

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

A long-stalled project in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Schlitterbahn received final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to construct a 64-acre water park at the old Fort Lauderdale Stadium.[22] The initial project would have used portions of the old stadium to construct a castle-like entrance to include lodging, dining and shopping facilities. Other projects included incorporating the neighboring Lockhart Stadium into the plan by expanding the park around that stadium.

A lawsuit between Fort Lauderdale and nearby Rapids Water Park delayed the project. On March 29, 2017, federal U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez ruled against the City of Fort Lauderdale in the case stating they "did not follow their own charter" in awarding the property lease to Schlitterbahn without conducting a competitive bid process and declared the lease "invalid, null and void."[23]

Premier Parks, LLC eventually won the bid for the project with plans to build a Wet'n'Wild brand water park on the site.[24] However, in September 2018, the CEO of Premier, Kieran Burke, cancelled the deal.[25]

Cedar Park, Texas

While the Henry Family owned and operated the chain, there were plans for a waterpark in Cedar Park, Texas.[26][27]


  • On March 6, 2013, Nicolas "Nico" Benavidez, a 20-year-old seasonal employee at Schlitterbahn South Padre Island, was fatally injured and a maintenance supervisor seriously injured when a wave generation machine they were inside for maintenance was activated, crushing them between the gate of the machine and the wall.[28] Benavidez was left on life support for organ donation and later died from the injuries on March 11.[29][30][31] OSHA investigated and fined Schlitterbahn $96,000 for six safety violations related to the fatal incident.[32][33]
  • On August 7, 2016, 10-year-old Caleb Thomas Schwab, son of Kansas representative
    Verrückt, a water raft ride touted as the world's tallest water slide. He died before reaching the bottom. Two other unrelated riders in the same raft sustained injuries. The ride was decommissioned and later demolished. The park settled with all parties in 2016. In March 2018, a Wyandotte County grand jury filed indictments against the park and three employees, including the co-owner, Verrückt's designer and a former park executive. The indictment accused the park and its employees of negligence, as well as concealing design flaws and other issues with the ride.[34][35][36][37][38] On February 22, 2019, all charges were dropped by Judge Robert Burns against the construction company and Schlitterbahn owners due to prosecutorial misconduct.[39][40][41]

In popular culture

The Ewing family had a day out at the Schlitterbahn Water Park in New Braunfels, Texas in an episode of Dallas titled "Shadow of a Doubt", which originally aired on November 2, 1984.[42]


  1. ^ a b Hollandsworth, Skip (July 20, 2018). "Schlitterbahn's Tragic Slide". Texas Monthly. Archived from the original on July 20, 2018.
  2. ^ Loose, Cindy (July 4, 2004). "Water park fans say Texas' Schlitterbahn is the slippiest, drippiest of them all. We had to take the plunge". The Washington Post.
  3. ^ White, Tyler (April 20, 2015). "New luxury cabanas, food coming to Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, Galveston". San Antonio Express-News.
  4. ^ a b Brezina-Suttell, Scott (June 13, 2019). "Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. plans to enter Texas market with $261 million acquisition". Crains Cleveland Business. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  5. ^ "Worlds of Fun owners purchase Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kan". KWCH 12. June 13, 2019. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Carnett, Lindsey (June 15, 2019). "New Braunfels' Schlitterbahn sold to Ohio company, Company also buying park in Galveston and has option to buy Kansas City site". New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  7. ^ "History Highlights". Schlitterbahn News Room. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  8. ^ Romero, Gabriel (September 13, 2022). "Schlitterbahn wins 'World's Best Water Park' an 'unprecedented' 24th time". Retrieved November 16, 2022.
  9. ^ "List of Awards". Retrieved November 17, 2022.
  10. ^ Boyd, John (July 6, 2014). "Schlitterbahn fun facts". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  11. ^ "Tallest water coaster". Guinness World Records. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  12. ^ Boyd, John (March 5, 2014). "35 fun facts about Schlitterbahn on its 35th anniversary". Houston Chronicle.
  13. Austin American Statesman
    . Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  14. ^ "Schlitterbahn South Padre Begins Roll Out of New Name: Beach Park – Schlitterbahn Newsroom". Archived from the original on September 1, 2019. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  15. ^ Savage, Jessica. "Corpus Christi City Council gives unanimous vote to Schlitterbahn incentives". CCCT.
  16. ^ Savage, Jessica. "Details of proposed $117 million in incentives unveiled in Schlitterbahn bid". CCCT.
  17. ^ Ellison, Andrew (March 12, 2015). " – Continuous News Coverage – Corpus Christi – 6 Investigates follow up: Schlitterbahn pays vendors, throws the".
  18. ^ Danner, Patrick (May 1, 2018). "IBC Bank takes over Schlitterbahn park at foreclosure auction". San Antonio Express-News.
  19. ^ "Short-lived Corpus Christi water park demolished". Corpus Christi Business News.
  20. ^ "Schlitterbahn water park opens". Kansas City Business Journal. July 15, 2009.
  21. ^ Osterheldt, Jeneé (May 20, 2015). "A deluge of options as KC-area water parks open this weekend". The Kansas City Star.
  22. Sun-Sentinel
    . Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  23. ^ Barszewski, Larry (March 31, 2017). "Judge stops plans for 'biggest and baddest' Fort Lauderdale water park". Sun Sentinel/Broward County. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  24. ^ Wallman, Brittany (September 3, 2017). "Fort Lauderdale will get a water park after all". Sun Sentinel.
  25. ^ Wallman, Brittany (September 4, 2018). "Plan for Wet 'n' Wild water park in Fort Lauderdale goes down the tubes".
  26. ^ Seninsky, Frank (January 26, 2011). "Schlitterbahn Waterparks: Leading the Industry with Expansion and Innovation". Tourist Attractions and Parks. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  27. ^ "Official: Schlitterbahn hopeful for future water park in Cedar Park – Community Impact Newspaper". Community Impact Newspaper. January 20, 2014.
  28. ^ "2013 - 08/27/2013 - South Padre Island water park cited by US Department of Labor's OSHA for failing to protect workers from hazardous energy sources". Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  29. ^ Quiroga, Ray (March 9, 2013). "Web Exclusive: Waterpark employee remains critical". Port Isabel-South Padre Press. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  30. ^ Action 4 News Staff. "Hospital: Lifeguard dies after accident at Schlitterbahn". KGBT. Retrieved August 6, 2023 – via Valley Central.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  31. ^ Quiroga, Ray (March 11, 2013). "Update: Schlitterbahn employee injured in accident dies". Port Isabel-South Padre Press. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  32. ^ Heller, Sasha (August 30, 2013). "Schlitterbahn cited $96k for fatality". Port Isabel-South Padre Press. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  33. ^ "2013 - 08/27/2013 - South Padre Island water park cited by US Department of Labor's OSHA for 5 violations including failing to protect workers from hazardous energy sources". Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  34. ^ Porter, Toriano; Bauer, Laura (November 22, 2016). "Schlitterbahn will close Verrückt water slide where 10-year-old boy was killed". The Kansas City Star.
  35. ^ Bauer, Laura (August 10, 2016). "Another family says raft on Schlitterbahn's Verrückt went airborne on July ride". The Kansas City Star.
  36. ^ Gutam, Matt; Sivertsen, Lisa (February 13, 2017). "Family of boy killed on water slide: 'We're still hurting'". ABC News. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  37. ^ Koch, Mackenzie (March 23, 2018). "Court documents detail alleged negligence in design of Schlitterbahn water slide that killed 10-year-old". WDAF. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  38. ^ Brocchetto, Marilia; Gray, Melissa. "Kansas water park executives charged with murder in boy's death". CNN.
  39. ^ Hopkins, Anna (February 23, 2019). "Charges dismissed against water park owners in case of 10-year-old decapitated on 17-story slide". Fox News.
  40. ^ "Former Kansas attorney general reacts after Schlitterbahn charges are dropped". KCTV Kansas City.[dead link]
  41. ^ Alcock, Andy; Plake, Sarah (February 22, 2019). "Charges dropped against Schlitterbahn officials". KSHB.
  42. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "DALLAS - A EWING FAMILY DAY OUT" – via

External links

29°42′48″N 98°07′30″W / 29.71336°N 98.12505°W / 29.71336; -98.12505