The Top 8 Amusement Parks in Arizona

Published on January 21st, 2022

Although it might be better known to campers for its stunning spires of red rock and unique geological formations (can you say Grand Canyon National Park, anybody?), make no mistake about it: when it comes to amusement parks, Arizona’s got tons. From waterparks to beat the tough summer heat to thrilling safari adventures, here are the top 10 amusement parks not to be missed in Arizona:

1. Castles-n-Coasters

2. Enchanted Island

3. Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park

4. Big Surf Waterpark

5. Mesa Golfland Sunsplash

6. The Oasis at Arizona Grand Resort

7. zFun Factory & Waylon’s Water Park

8. Funtasticks

Arizona Amusement Parks

Without further ado, here are the eight best amusement parks in Arizona — and the details you need to enjoy them in comfort and style!

1. Castles-n-Coasters – Phoenix

Castles N Coasters Phoenix
Image via castlesncoasters.com

Covering approximately 10 acres just north of the heart of Phoenix, Castles-n-Coasters is a destination for families local to Phoenix and visitors alike. Offering 20 rides and attractions ranging from thrilling and chilling to calm and soothing for younger visitors, along with mini golf, bumper boats, and an arcade boasting more than 150 captivating games (including the old classic, pinball), it’s really no surprise that this park is one of the most popular in the entire state of Arizona, let alone its happening capital!

First opened in 1976, Castles-n-Coasters is particularly well known for its thrilling two-loop roller coaster, the Desert Storm. There are also plenty of on-site snack bars to keep you well fed and ready for adventure all day long.

RV Camping Near Castles-n-Coasters

Phoenix is something of the center of Arizona’s action, and so it’s not surprising that there are plenty of amazing RV campgrounds to choose from in the area! Here are just a few near Castles-n-Coasters.

  • Desert’s Edge RV Park is an excellent option for families who are excited to experience the hubbub of Phoenix, but also looking for some rest and reprieve from it during their downtime. Situated in a beautifully landscaped area with views of the surrounding mountains, this park offers stunning sunsets and easy access to the freeway — the best of both worlds.
  • Desert Shadows RV Resort is another high-class option that offers well-manicured grounds complete with attractions of its own, like an indoor swimming pool and billiards tables. Come kick back between excursions to the park.

Don’t have an RV of your own? Consider renting one of these RVshare vehicles in the Phoenix area!

Planning Your Trip to Castles-n-Coasters

Open year-round, anytime is a good time to head to Castles-n-Coasters… though of course, in Phoenix’s brutal summers, you’ll sweat considerably more as you bop around the park. Keep an eye on the park website for full details about the range of passes you can get, which can help save you money by bundling experiences!

2. Enchanted Island – Phoenix

Enchanted Island
By Visitor7 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30082070

Tucked within the greater expanse of 222-acre Encanto Park, Enchanted Island is a 7.5-acre amusement park that proves good things come in small packages. Although it only has some 11 rides and attractions, they’re well curated and fit for the whole family, with calmed-down options like pedal boats and a stunning carousel as well as a rock climbing wall, bumper boats, a splash zone, and more. While you won’t find high-flying roller coasters here, the park is an excellent option for families traveling with small children — or adults who like their fun at a slightly slower pace.

Along with the rides, Enchanted Island offers delicious on-site concessions and, of course, opportunities for birthday parties, company picnics, field trips and more. Best of all, admission is totally free — though you will spend money on ride tickets for individual attractions!

RV Camping Near Enchanted Island

Another Phoenix-area park, Enchanted Island is surrounded by excellent RV parks. Here are a couple to choose from:

  • Pleasant Harbor RV is a ways out of town, but that’s exactly how some campers like it. Along with the stunning sunsets and sunrises, this park also has a fully functional marina so you can access Lake Pleasant, which is definitely a pleasant way to while away a hot Arizona afternoon.
  • Paradise RV Resort is technically located in nearby Sun City, but with its shimmering swimming pool and easy access to area attractions, it’s an excellent option for the 55+ set!
  • Finally, if you’re set on finding something right in town, we again suggest Desert Shadows RV Resort, which is close in but far enough out to get some relaxation.

Psst — as always, there are some wonderful RVshare rental vehicles to check out in the area, too!

Planning Your Trip to Enchanted Island

When it comes to Enchanted Island, planning ahead a little can help a lot — because you can get discounts on ride tickets when you buy them online! Also, as you likely know, Phoenix summers are no joke, so if you can visit in the fall or spring, you might be better off for it.

3. Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park – Litchfield Park

Wildlife World Zoo
Image via wildlifeworld.com

Boasting more than 600 species, Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park is home to the largest collection of exotic animals in the entire state of Arizona. Better still, it ensures there are a plethora of ways for visitors to get involved, including a petting zoo, daily events that are both entertaining and educational, and even rides that catapult it from the category of “zoo” to the category of “amusement park.”

Wander through the aquarium to learn more about our friends under the sea, or plan a hike through the safari park to take a true walk on the wild side. There’s also an African safari train, flume ride, carousel, and family roller coaster along with so many other options to choose from. You’ve truly never experienced a zoo at this level.

RV Camping Near Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park

Located on the western edge of Phoenix (technically Litchfield Park), Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park is lucky to be surrounded by plenty of well appointed RV campgrounds. You can see our full list of the best 10 campgrounds in Phoenix here, but as always, here are some starter suggestions:

  • Pleasant Harbor RV will definitely require a little bit of driving into and out of town, but the serene surroundings might just be worth it for campers who enjoy their serenity.
  • Pueblo El Mirage RV Resort is literally minutes from Wildlife World Zoo, and offers a true community feel with many permanent residents also taking advantage of its premier amenities.

And once again, if you’re planning to rent an RV while you’re in town, don’t forget about us!

Planning Your Trip to Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park

World Wildlife Zoo charges a general admission fee to get in that’s fairly steep, starting at $47 per adult and $27 per child age 3-12. Additionally, access to certain rides and attractions is not included in those prices. There are, however, discounts available, including for AAA members, and a yearly membership offers you unlimited access.

4. Big Surf Waterpark – Tempe

Big Surf
Image via phoenix.org

If you want to feel like you’ve been magically transported to the Hawaiian islands without ever leaving Arizona, Big Surf Waterpark is the amusement park you’re looking for. Its massive, shining blue wave pool will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed in no time, and there are also plenty of more thrilling options, such as its Hurricane Slides, Tornado Twister, Otter Slides and many more. No matter who’s in your traveling party or how wet and wild they want to get, there are options at Big Surf… and that’s not even counting the surfing lessons the park is so well known for offering. (Imagine learning to surf in a landlocked state!)

RV Camping Near Big Surf Waterpark

Essentially an eastern suburb of Phoenix, Tempe has plenty of wonderful RV parks all its own — not to mention other local attractions like Tempe Beach Park along the Salt River. Here are some local campgrounds to consider for your stay:

  • Apache Palms RV Park is one of the closest to Big Surf, and offers all the amenities you need in a down-to-earth, homey atmosphere.
  • Desert’s Edge RV Park will give you the opportunity to experience the magic of the surrounding desert vistas while also keeping you close enough to town to get to the fun stuff in no time — Big Surf included!

Don’t forget to check out these Tempe-area RVshare rentals!

Planning Your Trip to Big Surf Waterpark

Like many other water parks in the area and across America, Big Surf is only open seasonally, so check in before you make any solidified plans! Group tickets and birthday parties are also available, but must be arranged ahead of time, so make your reservations online.

5. Mesa Golfland Sunsplash – Mesa

Golfland Sunsplash Mesa
Image via golfland.com

Yes, it’s part of a chain — but make no mistake, the Mesa location of Golfland Sunsplash is not one you want to miss. Offering more than 30 rides and attractions, including its namesake mini golf as well as laser tag, a well-appointed arcade, bumper boats, go-karts, and a sprawling set of waterpark attractions including thrilling spills as well as lackadaisical options like a lazy river, this large and inclusive amusement park is truly one of the best ways to beat the heat and have fun in the sun in the entire state of Arizona. Group events and organized birthday parties are also available!

RV Camping Near Mesa Golfland Sunsplash

Located just east of Phoenix proper, Mesa offers plenty of excellent RV parks and campgrounds, including the following:

  • Mesa Spirit RV Resort is our pick for a relaxing and all-inclusive experience that’s so lovely, you won’t even necessarily need to leave camp to have a good time. (Although given how much cool stuff there is to explore in the greater Phoenix area, we suggest you do!)
  • If you’re looking for a slightly more stripped-down option, Apache Palms RV Park offers all the basics at a relatively low price point, and even includes campground-wide wifi for free.

Don’t forget, too, to look into an RVshare rental in the Mesa area!

Planning Your Trip to Mesa Golfland Sunsplash

The waterpark portion of Mesa Golfland Sunsplash is only open seasonally, though the season is nice and long thanks to Arizona’s sun. The rest of the attractions are open year-round, but hours vary depending on the season, so check the website for full details — as well as to learn about any fun, special events the park might be holding.

6. The Oasis at Arizona Grand Resort – Phoenix

The Oasis at Arizona Grand Resort

Encompassing a sprawling seven acres of fun, The Oasis at Arizona Grand Resort features thrill slides that tower eight stories over the ground and water below, along with a giant wave pool, a hot tub that can fit some 25 soakers, and the Valley’s only side-by-side active river. In short, it’s got a whole lot of fun to offer for the whole family, whether you’re looking for a romantic couple’s getaway or an option that’s inclusive for young and older children alike. Plus, as its name suggests, it’s a resort — so it’s an option to stay right on-site and ensure you have a front-row seat for all the action!

RV Camping Near The Oasis at Arizona Grand Resort

If you’re traveling by RV and hoping to get a break from all the resort hubbub, on the other hand, you’re in luck: there are some incredible RV parks and campgrounds in the Phoenix area. Here are a couple to consider:

  • Covered Wagon RV Park boasts plenty of amenities and a convenient location right in town, close enough to get to all the good stuff!
  • Desert Sands RV Park is our pick for families who want to be able to get away from the hustle and bustle of it all — while still remaining close enough to town to get where you need to go. Additionally, it’s open year-round, so a great option for full-timers and those looking to stay during popular parts of the year.

Additionally, don’t forget to check out our very best RVshare vehicles available in Phoenix!

Planning Your Trip to The Oasis at Arizona Grand Resort

Inclusive packages are available if you decide to stay at the Resort itself, so make sure you make your reservations early. Additionally, keep in mind that the water park is open only seasonally, though the season starts as early as February — thanks, Arizona sun!

7. zFun Factory & Waylon’s Water Park – Yuma

zFun Factory and Wayon's Water Park
Image via zfunfactory.com

About as far southwest as you can go without leaving Arizona for Mexico, Yuma boasts a lot of beauty — and also the incredible combination of zFun Factory & Waylons Water Park.

This amazing two-for-one experience includes terrestrial activities like mini golf, go-karts, batting cages and and a sprawling arcade, as well as fun ways to cool off from the hot summer sun over at the waterpark part of the attraction, which offers plenty of thrilling high-speed slides as well as more relaxing, languid options to like the lazy river. Both sections of the park include options for toddlers as well as food, dining, and beverage options that will keep the adults in your travel party happy, not to mention plenty of fun in the sun!

RV Camping Near zFun Factory & Waylon’s Water Park

Run through with the beautiful ribbon of the Colorado River, Yuma is an amazing place to visit for any reason — which is why we’ve gone in depth on the very best RV parks and campgrounds you can find in the area. Here are a few to choose from:

  • Gila Mountain RV Park is one of the largest in the area, so it offers a good opportunity of finding a spot even during the most popular seasons. They also offer plenty of on-site entertainment options year round.
  • We also favor Rolle’s Lynda Vista RV Park thanks to its convenient location just outside of town. You’ll be able to snag everything you need in a jiffy!
  • Looking for even more ways to cool off? Desert Paradise RV Resort has an excellent and large community pool for those days you just can’t quite seem to make it off the campground property.

And, of course, there are some amazing RVshare rentals in the Yuma area, too!

Planning Your Trip to zFun Factory & Waylon’s Water Park

While the activities at zFun Factory, as well as the on-site bar and restaurant, are open year round, keep in mind that Waylon’s Water Park is open only seasonally! Additionally, be sure to check the website for a variety of different deals when it comes to pricing and seasonal passes. There are lots of options when it comes to finding ways to pay to play here.

8. Funtasticks – Tucson

Funtasticks Tucson
Image via funtasticks.com

The southern Arizona city of Tucson is certainly one not to be missed, with its easy access to Saguaro National Park and other unique area attractions, like Biosphere 2. It also happens to be home to an excellent Funtasticks location, which offers a wide range of attractions for family members of all ages. From rides like go-karts and bumper boats to experiences like laser tag and mini golf, there’s enough to do here to keep everyone having fun in the sun for at an afternoon at the very least — and wristbands make it easy to romp and play all day without having to fuss with finicky individual tickets.

This location also includes an attached waterpark, Cactus Springs, which offers slides, sprays, and plenty of space to simply lie back and enjoy the sunshine if you need a break from all the activity. Private cabana rentals are also available to make for a full day of enjoyment with a cool, shady retreat, and four bottles of water are included in the price.

RV Camping Near Funtasticks

As mentioned, we think Tucson is a world-class destination whether or not Funtasticks is on your radar — which is why we’ve gathered this list of the top 10 campgrounds in town. Here are a few to get your engines revving without having to click through to that page, though:

  • The Tucson/Lazydays KOA is a good standby option for a reason: it has everything you need to make for a comfortable adventure, along with just enough fun extras to keep the family entertained if you don’t make it out of the campground one day.
  • Crazy Horse RV Park is our pick for full-timers and campers looking for longer stays; some people even call Crazy Horse their permanent residence. It’s easy to see why with its newly renovated amenities and great location.
  • Finally, Cactus Country RV Resort is an excellent option for the 55-and-better crowd. Enjoy peace and quiet in the context of beautiful surroundings, with comforting amenities like a heated pool and hot tub.

Don’t forget to check out these excellent Tucson-area RVshare rentals, too!

Planning Your Trip to Funtasticks

Funtasticks is open year-round, thanks to Arizona’s climate, though the hottest summer months when the kids are out of school will probably be the busiest. Wristband prices do shift depending on whether you’re visiting from Monday-Thursday or over the weekend, so keep an eye on that if you’re looking to save just a little bit of extra cash!

Even More Arizona Amusement Parks

If you’re looking for even more fun in the Arizona sun, the following parks get an honorable mention on our list:

  • Great Wolf Lodge is a small but exciting indoor water park in Scottsdale that’s open all year long, and it’s easy to stay right on-site.
  • Chandler’s Mesquite Groves Aquatic Center takes the whole concept of a public pool to a new level, with a beautiful bridge waterfall, a family play pool, and tons of interactive water features.
  • Although open only seasonally, Phoenix’s Six Flags Hurricane Harbor has been a go-to waterpark for locals and visitors alike for years.
  • Crystal Lagoons Island Resort is an up-and-coming theme park destination in Glendale that isn’t open at the time of this writing, but looks like an incredibly promising adventure.

Looking for even more to do in Arizona? Check out these must-sees:

Enjoy your trip — and your thrills and spills!

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