Owner: Hyland Hills Park and Recreation District

Year opened:1979

Size:67 acres

Retail price of adult 1-day ticket:$35

Staff:950, peak season

Located outside Denver, Water World is somewhat of an anomaly among public sector waterparks. It is owned and operated by the Hyland Hills Park District, the first park district that was established in Colorado in 1955. Colorado and Illinois are the only two states where park districts are not conterminous with municipal or county boundaries, and the Hyland Hills Park District serves a population of only about 110,000. That makes it a very small park district, operating one of the largest waterparks in the nation, supported by a Denver metropolitan area population of approximately 2.6 million. As a result, Hyland Hills Park District receives 85 percent of its operating budget from Water World and its other entertainment venues. Water World opened in 1979 with two water slides, both obtained through a lease agreement with a local bank. It currently offers 47 rides on 67 acres, including some unique signature attractions such as Voyage to the Center of the Earth, a family tube/dark ride; Lost River of the Pharaohs, a themed family raft ride; The Storm, a simulated tube ride with special effects; and Pirate’s Plunge, an older ride, re-imagined as a three-flumed dark ride with a pirate theme.