No matter which water park is your destination, there are factors to keep in mind.
•Can you plan ahead? Buy tickets online. What's worse than waiting in line for theme-park tickets? Waiting in line with towels for water-park tickets.
Aquatica's are the most specific. Check websites for details.
•How valuable is that watch? Stow it. Unless you've brought along the family watchdog, renting a locker provides peace of mind for valuables. Wet 'n Wild offers a small mailbox-size version if you need only stow little items such as keys, wallets and cellphones.
•Can you wait? All four water parks offer a discount on admission in the afternoon, although the hour differs from park to park. Factor in what time the park closes — and the chance of thunderstorms — into your cost-effective equations.