Schlitterbahn is proud to the one waterpark/amusement park that lets you bring in a cooler for free! Most parks won’t let you bring in a bottle of water, let alone an entire cooler.

Since we see literally thousands of ice chests each summer, we decided to put together a video outlining some basic tips:



1. Buy a cooler with wheels. Trust us, that cooler gets heavier throughout the day even if you empty it.

2. No glass. Don’t bring food or drink in glass. There are three kinds of foods people always forget to repackage: pickles, salsa, and jelly. We end up with 80-100 pounds of food a week from guests who can’t take their glass containers into the park. Luckily it doesn’t go to waste, we donate it to the local food bank.

3. No alcohol. Since we are licensed to sell alcohol, we can’t have you bring in your own.

4. Ice it well. There are two schools of thought on icing your cooler. Some folks put their drinks in and then pour ice over the top. Some put in a bed of ice, and then top it off. While it’s probably one of those “half-dozen of one and 6 of the other” kind of things, we’d say two bags of ice are better than one if you want to cool down things quickly.

Some other tips on keeping it cool:

  • Start out cold and keep it cold. Make sure your food goes in cold to ensure it stays that way all day.

  • Ice it early. Consider iceing your ice chest the night before with a bag of ice to pre-cool it.

  • Secret weapon: Rock salt. Rock salt lowers the freezing point of ice and actually helps keep ice solid twice as long.

  • Let it float. Don’t drain out cool water from melted ice. It’s still helping keep your things cool. Keep in mind ice is available in the park. However, be sure to bag items to keep them dry.

  • Freeze things you normally wouldn’t. Frozen grapes double as ice and a slushy snack. Freeze juice boxes, then cut off the tops to create slushies. Not only are they delicious, they help add to the cooling system as well as doubling as food!

5. Layer food on top. Layers will keep sandwiches from getting crushed. Here’s the basics: drinks on the bottom, plastics next, then chips and bread.

6. Go have fun! Once you drop off your cooler, worry no more! Hit the chutes, slides, and rivers.


Need some other ideas? How about a few recipes from other moms? Or one by a chef?  Remember, bringing an ice chest is a great way to save money at the park (but budget for funnel cake and dipping dots because YUM!)!