“ Festival Park / Stoke-on-Trent / Staffordshire / ST1 5BQ / Tel: 01782205747 / Weekends 10.00am till 06.00pm, School Holidays 10.00am till 06.00pm, Term Time Weds-Fri from 02.00pm. „
What is it with kids and waterparks? My lot can't get enough of them. When we go on holiday, we have to go to places with a waterpark nearby, and we have enjoyed stays at Center Parcs and Splash landings in the last few years.
Waterworld in Stoke is a place that the kids have been nagging me about for some time. It is a large subtropical waterpark with slides, flumes, wave machines, rapids and all the trimmings. You get the idea. Kids paradise.
I had been reluctant to visit because of the entry price. For the five of us, a family ticket would cost £47.50, which seems a bit pricey for a couple of hours splashing around in a pool. However, I was extremely lucky to win four free tickets in a competition (yay!), which meant I only had to pay entry for one person, which was £10.50 plus the cost of the lockers, which were £1.50 each with a 50p refund if you return the token afterwards.
Getting to Waterworld was a bit of a nightmare. The website explains that it is a 10 minute drive from junction 15 of the M6, which sounds straightforward enough, until you realise that there are no signs from the motorway to show you the way.
After driving down the A500 for five minutes, I spotted a brown sign saying "Festival Park". I remembered that Waterworld was near festival park, so presumed that we had to follow the signs. Unfortunately, we got to a roundabout and the brown signs vanished! My husband shouted a lot.
After driving around lost for a further 10 minutes, we found another brown sign and followed it. "Festival Park" turned out to be a large industrial estate and the Waterworld building was plonked in the middle of it, rather awkwardly. We were just relieved that we had finally found it!
It was a cold November day and we expected the place to be relatively quiet, but the carpark was quite full. We found a space, but I imagine that in the summertime it would be really hard to get on the carpark, as it did not really seem big enough.
The reception area was clean and bright and looked like it had been recently refurbished. It had a smart restaurant area, but there was also a small Subway franchise next door and you could smell a lovely "foody" smell wafting through the building! There was also a small soft play area for kids under 1.1m. My kids were too tall to go on it, but it looked clean and well maintained.
There were no queues at the desk and the staff were welcoming and friendly. A nice young lady called us over to her till and served us straight away. She answered all of my questions and directed us to the changing area.
The changing rooms were unisex and had various sizes of cubicle, including family, disabled and single cubicles. The single cubicles were quite large and I was able to share one with my daughter. The lockers were right next to the cubicles, so we did not have to wander round looking for one.
There was a helpful memeber of staff in the changing rooms who was responsible for keeping the area clean and helping customers with their lockers. She told me that there were lots of large lockers nearer the rear of the changing rooms, which was helpful, as we had lots of stuff between the five of us! A small locker would suit one person, but a large locker would suit up to 4 people.
The locker tokens were reusable, which meant that you could go back to the locker, remove something and then lock it again, which I thought was a good idea, because it meant that you could fetch money or shower gel and then shut the locker again. The token released the key, which was on a band that straps around the wrist. The lockers were a bit old and bashed about, but perfectly serviceable and clean.
The toilets were also clean and serviceable.
The Pool Entrance:
The changing area led directly to the pool. I was surprised that there was no pool of disinfectant to step in. Another thing that surprised me was that there was a restaurant right next to the pool. People could go straight from the water to the restaurant, as it had plastic garden chairs to sit on and I could see people in their swimming clothes eating food. I thought it was a bit odd and guessed that there may have been a high chance of food and debris entering the pool. I did see the odd straw and milk container floating around, but nothing too major. There were also plastic seats all the way around the outside of the pool, perfect for parents who want to sit in the warmth and watch the kids without having to go in the water themselves!
The pool area was lovely and warm and the pool water was also warm. Sometimes, when you go swimming, you can feel really cold when you come out of the water, but the area was so warm that leaving the pool did not make me feel cold.
One of the first things you see when you enter the pool area is a huge bumpy rainbow slide with four lanes, leading into a shallow water area. People of all ages queued to go on the slide, from toddlers with armbands to full grown men. It was really popular, but the queue never got too long. My youngest, aged 7 kept going on it over and over again.
The main pool is themed on a South sea island. there are lots of palm trees and hanging plants and there is a large Tiki-style stone ceterpiece. Strangely, the far wall had a Peter Pan mural, and it seemed that there were also space-themed areas and pirate-themed areas.
There was nowhere to have a traditional lane swim. The main pool was a fun pool, complete with waterfalls and a wave machine that went off at regular intervals. The waves were quite powerful and we had lots of fun trying to sit upright as the waves washed over us.
For younger kids, there is a play area with gentle tube slides and climbing ropes. Again, this was an area that my youngest child spent lots of time in. I was glad that there was a lifeguard in this area, making sure all the young kids were safe and rode the slides properly.
Next to this area, there was an obstacle course for older kids, aged 8 and up. This involved traversing monkey bars across a series of floating lilypads. It was really tricky and lots of the kids were falling off.
Behind the obstacle course, almost tucked out of sight, was the rapids area. I wasn't overly keen on this area as it was very dark and seemed to be full of rowdy teenagers, intent on shoving each other. The current did not seem to be that strong and it was very noisy. All in all, the rapids was my least favourite area of the pool.
Slides and rides:
There were lots of slides, which wound their way around the roof of the pool area. My older kids, aged 9 and 12, headed straight for the flumes and I didn't see much of them after that. The queues for the flumes seemed quite long, but they seemed to get on the rides quite quickly, with minimal waiting times.
The flumes varied in intensity and my kids liked the dark one with the flashing lights. Another favourite was a flume where riders rode on rubber rings.
My son was brave enough to go on the Space bowl ride, which looked quite intimidating to me! To get an idea of what it does, imagine those spiral charity bowls, where you put a coin in and it goes round and round for ages before dropping out of the bottom. Then imagine doing it to a person instead of a coin. After whizzing around the bowl, the swimmers are dropped headlong into a transparent tank of deep water. Not for the fainthearted!
We spent about 2.5 hours in the pool altogether, although families could make a day of it if they wished and camp out in the humid tropical heat for the whole day. In busy periods, the pool operates a rotation system, which means that visitors can stop for a maximum of 3 hours. It was relatively quiet when we visited though, and people could stay for as long as they wanted.
Although the pool has been open for quite a few years, it seemed quite modern and up to date. My only slight gripe was the grime and debris that collected on the poolside area, including the odd sticking plaster, straw and blobs of goodness knows what. I also trod on a few sharp bits in the pool, which wasn't pleasant.
At the end of our visit we got changed, reclaimed our 50p and popped into the Subway next door. the fresh baked smell was too much to resist in the end!
Waterworld is a fun family attraction and is suitable to visit in all weathers. it was a big hit with my kids and I liked the fact that it had attractions for all ages and swimming abilities.
The staff were pleasant and friendly and could not do enough to help. I was really impressed with them.
The changing room was dated and a bit bashed about, but basically clean and tidy.
We had lots of fun and the only real downsides for me were the entry prices and the grime at the poolside.
Waterworld was a real tonic on a dingy November afternoon.
Therfore I give Waterworld 4 stars and I would definitely visit again.
Well worth a visit for families, but not for your swimming pool 'normal' swimmers who want to just swim up and down as normal as it's jam packed at peak times and there's a lot of children and teens swimming and playing everywhere.
Easily located on the main road, with ample free parking (and a Tesco nearby if you get hungry before/after and don't want to pay the high prices in the venue). The staff are polite and friendly, and keep a check on users to make sure no one is breaking the rules or acting daft.
There's a very good selection of slides, water rides, even an assault course, and smaller children only rides/toys. The queues are long though, so I always try and go for opening time when it's quieter. Peak summer season it can be very claustrophobic as it's so full and busy, and gets very noisy. The rapids are for strong swimmers only, I took my 11 year old cousin who can swim fairly well but struggled in the rapids without my help. The outdoor pool is open seasonally and gives your body a real temperature shock, and I found it to have a rather large amount of dead flys floating n the surface which kept me indoors. There are also discos- lights and music after certain times on some nights, hich I've not stayed for, but have heard positive reviews of from friends and neighbours.
The changing rooms are disabled friendly with good sized cubicles and ample toilets and washing facilities. However they are unisex, personally I rather seperate facilities, maybe I'm just modest!
The cafe is quite expensive though, but if you're making a day of it (and you easily could), there's no other choice. If you plan your day though, you can pop to the Tesco bfore/after your swim and get lunch there.
Entrance fees are £7.99 per person regardless of age. I think though when you compare this to the cost of a normal swim in a council pool of £3.20, without any slides or toys etc, it's good value. I always stay for at least 3 hours without realising (basically til I get hungry!) so I get my moneys worth!
waterworld is a really fun day out it is situated in stoke on trent. not the easiest place to get too if you dont drive however is well worth it once you get there. would definately reccommend you check directions before going as can be quite difficult to find. there are a variety of different slides which are enjoyed by all ages. the waterside cafe has really reasonable prices and is located in a nice area. food was of a reasonable standard for a cafe and was reasonably priced. everyone enjoyed this day out when i went as there is something for everyone. suited for all ages. water rapids were really good however i got stuck in them for quite a while you have to be a strong swimmer to go in these the slides are really good fun kids absolutely loved them would definately reccommend going here. not too expensive to get in
I really enjoyed my time at Waterworld. The admission was a good price and very cheap in comparison to Alton Towers etc. The reception area looked amazing and the cafe bar was very clean and tidy. Once inside the rides and slides were brilliant and we all enjoyed ourselves from me to my nan. I dont think that i heard anyone complain everyone seemed to be having a great time.
We had some lunch at the Wateredge cafe and it was nicely presented and the kids thought the chips were lovely.
We are all looking forward to a return visit in a few months. We always look out for the special offers that come in the local papers and then we will have an extra visit makes it even more worth the money. One of my children saw a birthday party happening at our last visit so i have even booked up for that.
I would thouroughly recommend Waterworld to anybody.
Went to water world with my hubby a 2 boys aged 13 and 10. The place is ok, good fun but certainly not as good as their website makes out. Everthing is packed in closely together and witout any signs to tell you where to go for each ride. was quite busy when we went, August school hols but not too bad, queing for about 20 minutes for the most popular slide. Rapids were more like a lazy river and lazy river cant say I really noticed any movement and no rings to sit on so you just had to swim round. Definatley not tropical air was cool, pool temperature ok though. all in all we spent a good couple of hours there, boys enjoyed the slides, but wouldn't rush back as not really what we expected. I hear Cariba Creek is better so will try there next.
Waterworld ~ Locations and transport ~ Waterworld is located just 10 minutes from junction 15 or 16 of the M6; you'll easily spot it, as it's big, blue and ugly with Waterworld written on the side of it in big letters. If you go to Waterworld's directions website at: http://www.mqdirect.mapquest.co.uk/map.adp?venue=za9a%40n You can type in you're home address and it will give you the directions from there on. If you want to visit Waterworld by train you need to get off at Stoke On Trent Station and I would recommend catching a Taxi from outside the station, as it is a long walk and only costs you £4.50, if you want to take a bus instead of a Taxi, contact PMT on (01782) 207999 for bus timetables. ~ My Trip ~ From my house it took a long, hard hour to get to Waterworld and that was with light traffic, when I arrived, as I've already said, I saw a big, blue, ugly building with Waterworld written on the side of it, but as you've probably been told over and over again by someone or other "don't judge a book by it's cover?"and I'm afraid to say, I did. The parking lot was crammed full and it was a while until I saw a space to park. Anyway, I went inside and paid for my ticket and was then told the directions to the unisex Changing rooms. The Changing rooms had family, parent & toddler, single cubicles and specially designated disabled changing cubicles with showers and seating, plus ramps for easy wheelchair access. To begin with I thought "Wow, isn't that good" until I stepped into a changing cubicle and found myself standing in a grimy, hairy place with chewing gum sticking to the walls and "Jamie was ere" engraved on the cubicle door, it was disgusting to say the least. I then sat down on the seat and was thrown across the cubicle (no sniggering) as the seat screws were all disconnected - that was my first ride of the da
y and I didn't like it. When I escaped the Changing rooms (of doom), I followed a set of signs to the pool and that was where the fun started. I entered a massive swimming pool with flumes and rides weaving round each other and slides snaking their way through the jungle of amusement facilities - it was amazing, by the end of the day, I was exhausted. ~ Rides and Facilities ~ In this section I'll tell you all about the wonderful rides and facilities available in and out of Waterworld. Typhoon Lagoon The Typhoon Lagoon is a wave machine operating in the main pool. The machine provides an incredible 10 different types of waves, each one bigger than the last. It's great fun. If you're tired of the rides you can just sit down in the shallow area of the pool and let the waves swoop over you. Rapids Fast moving rapids carry you a long in a frenzied white water torrent. The power of the current grows and grows until you go shooting round and round a mile a minute, and afterwards your exhausted so much you can barely stand. Assault course The assault course is a set of 2 different types of monkey bars, you can have a go trying to pick your way across the assault course, without falling in, while trying to keep your balance on the floating islands. I found this one surprisingly hard and fell of a number of times. Family Multislide This ride, with four lanes, allows you to compete in a race with your family to see who can get to the bottom first, with up's and down's all the way and even a water cannon that shoots bullets of water at you, I didn't win. Kiddie's pool & rides For the youngsters, there are a further three rides to enjoy. Also in the kiddies' play area is the children's shipwreck slide, the Mushroom that spurts out water, creating a constant mini waterfall, the frog slide and the Log raft.
The Black Hole, Python and Superflume After you've climbed a series of steps you can reach the big rides that start from the very top and go down to the very bottom. Amongst the big rides are the Black Hole, Python and the Superflume, each one with traffic lights telling you when and when not to go, saves having to have staff telling you when to go. Anyway you are shot down them at speed and go through a number of coils and bends until you dizzily reach the bottom, each ride having holograms projected onto the inside of the flume just to add to the ride experience. Twister Twister is the sort of ride that fills you with adrenaline because of its sheer speed. You zip down this ride like a rocket and when you hit the pool at the bottom the splash you make rises meters into the air. The ride is over before you can say "bobs your uncle," its that fast. Nucleus This is the first indoor water-roller- coaster in the UK and it's very fun indeed. At 375 feet it's quite a long ride. You sit in a single person or double person raft with jet pumps that give you a boost every time you go uphill that increase the fun factor. This is a one of a kind ride. Spacebowl This short flume ride sends swimmers into a massive bowl where your world is turned upside down and you just go round and round until you drop through the hole at the bottom into a pool of water. This one has to be my favourite. The Outdoor Pool Just outside Waterworld is a big swimming pool filled with a lazy river ride and a central spa. Next to the swimming pool is a sunbathing and barbeque area for those warm, sunny days. The Waters Edge Café If you've built up an appetite you can go to the Waters Edge Café which is right next to the pool, so you can eat your meal while being a spectator and enjoy all the things happening around you. It has recently been expanded and serves
first class food and drink. H20 Disco Every Friday night 6.30 - 9.00pm there is a disco, and is supposed to be the best teen scene disco in Staffordshire. I've never been, so I don't know. You can enjoy all the rides and dance the night away and only costs £3.75. ~ Other Information ~ Birthday parties You can book birthday parties for Waterworld that are supposed to be fun and exciting. You can also organise conferences for your businesses if you want. Prices depend on how many people you are inviting and how long you want to spend at Waterworld. I presume you hold the conferences in the Café, as the pool seems a little inconvenient. Booking Group Bookings are for 15 people or more. To book a group booking you can telephone 01782 205747. Waterworld is also available for private renting. Peak Opening times (Staffordshire School Holidays) Monday: 10.00am to 6.00pm Tuesday: 10.00am to 6.00pm Wednesday: 10.00am to 7.00pm Thursday: 10.00am to 8.00pm Friday: 10.00am to 9.00pm Saturday: 10.00am to 6.00pm Sunday: 10.00am to 6.00pm Off Peak Opening Times (Staffordshire School Holidays) Monday: Closed Tuesday: Closed Wednesday: 1.00pm to 7.00pm Thursday: 1.00pm to 7.00pm Friday: 1.00pm to 9.00pm Saturday: 10.00am to 6.00pm Sunday: 10.00am to 6.00pm Prices Prices range from £3.00 for children to £5.75 for OAP's. Prices include all the rides and attractions and you can go on them as many times as you like. Rules Most big rides are either for no under 8's or no one under 1.1m so take that into consideration, and no rubber rings in rides. ~ Verdict ~ With 18 major rides and a whole host of other attractions all set in an 86 degrees warm, tropical environment this is a great place to visit, if only the changing rooms were better this wou
ld be a one of the best water parks in the world, I loved my visit and I hope to go again, I would recommend it to anyone, specially for kids, it's a great day out and one of the best I've had in ages.
Theediscerning, being a man of mystery, has hardly ever given any clues as to where he lives in his ops and comments. And he would not like to start now; so do not read anything into the fact that he is reviewing something in Stoke. There was a hefty drive before he arrived in the vicinity, which, without wishing to offend any Stokers (?), looked rather ugly. Waterworld was not easy to find, as the only directions he had were from his local newspaper, together with their 2-for-1 voucher, which was the cause of the special day out. He will gloss over the drive, the run-around round the outskirts and motorway slip-roads of Stoke, and the time he got there before lunch to find that because it was a school day it only opened well after lunch, and go on to typing about the experience itself. Waterworlds all over the world must be rather similar, and the concept should be known by now - plastic things to slide down, with water to speed you on your way, and to flood around in at the bottom. So let's try the first attraction reached in this Waterworld - a bog standard slide, with some rolling bumps in it, straight up steps, straight down on your jacksie, and doosh at the bottom as you get covered. Well, that was OK, what else is there? Well, a look at the whole ambience might help. Facing you at the bottom of the slide is the cafe and viewing area, where people who forgot their togs or cannot swim/slide etc, can sit and watch (camcorders are banned - thanks!!). The big glass windows arc round past the car-park (large enough, free) to the outdoor section of the pool, which was shut when we went - term-time, and very nippy. The actual pool section of the complex is rather large, and on your right as you struggle to get the water to run out your ears. The larger area is sloped very nicely from toddler's foot-bath depth to proper 8' or so, and at this end is the wave machine, which is rather good, not too powerful,
and on most of the time. Further round past several items are kids' areas of the main pool, with their own toddlers' slide into the water, and things to jump on, stand on, sit on, and even an assault course with over-head things to hang on as you try and get from one sproingy lily-pad to another. But we didn't come to swim, did we? It's the special attractions that we like, and there'll be time - and enjoyment and cause - enough to try everything out two or three times. Wade past the assault course to an un-appetising looking section of the pool, where a lifeguard stands watch over a gate. Pass the gate at your peril, for these are the rapids - a circuit of water round a central stand of scenery, with very powerful water jets sending the whole lot helter-skelter round and round in a froth, with hardly a let-up in the strength of the flow. You can swim with the current, and race round, or just float on top and be moved, although probably you will be turned over 180 degrees at each end of the circuit if you do this. Make sure you have some strength to get out again - you really have to jump through the flow to grab railing/partner/stranger to cease the merry-go-round! There are other slides, however, if you need a (temporary) sit-down. For these one needs to exit the pool at some point, walk around a lot on all the walkways, and climb up interminable stairs. Once at the top there is a choice of 4 main slides - three are rather similar, as they follow similar courses, and deposit you in all in the same place - but in a different order! They vary in steepness, and brightness, and all have galactic names to fit into the theme of the experience. The fourth is a bit less for the kiddies, perhaps, but all the same good clean fun. Also up towers of steps is the entrance to the Black Hole, which apparently is rather a novelty, and is too good to be described here. We didn't know what we were letting oursel
ves into, so theediscerning doesn't see how you should be forewarned! There is also, up a different set of steps, what they claim to be the only indoor water-coaster in the country, or whatever they call it. For this you need to walk to the foot of it, and pick up an inflatable - either a one-seater or a two-seater rubber-ring affair, which is fun to try and both get into for a start! Cross over the whole complex, climb up the stairs to the launch, and set off. In reality it is just like a log-flume, but without the log (well, depends on your company I suppose...) You swoop down a bit, and then get shot up a slope, defying all known laws of gravity, or so it seems. This is again done by jets of water shooting you onwards, and on a minor point, the water so jetted goes down to form a ceaseless fountain into the main pool below. There is more swooping, corners, some worryingly low sides, and then the main chute of the flume. Down you go - and bonk! Your companion leans back, you lean forward into the spray, and the front of your nose meets her back, and its own. Curing the resultant jets of liquid himself, theediscerning took himself off to the cafe/poolside loos, where he was given cause to ponder about there being no foot bath thingy for hygeine on the way back out. Shouldn't there be? Anyway, a second go on the log flume will still make it enjoyable, and sitting in front you won't lean back into your partner's mug now, will you? No, and neither did theediscerning. And that's about it for the excitement, but let's face it, there's more there than your average 25m of water. Mind you, it costs rather more than a municipal pool - theediscerning forgets how much more, and besides, he probably didn't pay himself, and we had the voucher. (The price shown below is a guess.) The plusses of the day out are the attractions, of course, which are all worth trying, and rather
exciting in a low-key way. The minuses include the minor hassles we had as described in a much earlier paragraph, plus the actual layout. It's clear the whole thing has been added to, with extra rides being put in here, there and everywhere, since the original design. (I think they're practically full up by now.) This now means there's a lot of walking to get anywhere. To go from one end of the pool to the other you have to either walk out of the water, walk round on the dry floor and get back in, or spend an age wading through child-friendly depths. And to get to most of the attractions you need to do some of this. There is also a lot of walking round walkways to negotiate, which can become a plod, and a bit awkward carrying a 2-seater tractor tire-size ring 100 yards. It is expected to have to climb steps in order to come down again, but all the same, they seem to have the same concept as shopping malls, where you have to walk all the way round past several shops to get to the escalators - they never point in your direction of travel, do they? There are several lifeguards around, and one in station at all the attractions, when they are working. Like most of these things, there are staggered times for the rides to be on. They seemed to be announced from a crew on a pirate's ship against the back wall, but I never heard an audible word over the tannoy the whole time. It blurted something out mutely every now and again, and we saw the herds move, but apart from that we still don't know what it might have been trying to tell us. The changing rooms and locker rooms are large enough too, and thankfully you don't need to worry about coin deposits for the lockers. (Theediscerning, with his peurile mind, liked the couples' changing rooms...). For some reason, however, there was absolutely no sign to the pool, or loos, once you were in the changing rooms. You just had to follow your company's homing in
stincts. What else? The air was warm enough, but not exactly tropical. The same applies to the water, which was refreshingly not 50% chlorine, or whatever. The staff seem decent and approachable, and seem to know their business as regards safety. The entrance kiosk/shop will sell you anything rubbery, inflatable, wearable, and so on you might think of. It's a rather decent couple of hours getting wet, and a lot more fun than being in British weather, despite the effect being similar.
Waterworld was a great day out. Waterworld is situated in the heart of Stoke and easy to get to just off the A500. I took my daughter and her two friends aged between 7 and 10 and they thought it was the “coolest swimming pool ever”. There are plenty rides, 3 normal flume type rides, Nucleus which is a water version of a roll coaster, Space Bowl which is a flume that drops you into a bowl and you spin in it like in a centrifuge till you fall into the water below, there is an assault course rapids and a family helter skelter ride. We spent three hours in the pool itself and never once got out. It’s a must if you live locally and we came from 75 miles away and was pleased we did.
Waterworld is an indoor water theme park located at the heart of Stoke-on-Trent, with 17 major water attractions including, Nucleus the UK's first indoor water roller coaster; there's a giant flume ride, a wave pool, outdoor pool, spa's, children's pool, family multi-slide, family viewing area and a waters edge restaurant.