Two boys pose with scary faces next to the entrance sign for Ventura Park, which features a small fake airplane behind

Ventura Park, Cancun with kids – REVIEW (2024)

There seems to be an overwhelming amount of choice when it comes to days out with the kids on the Riviera Maya,  but they all seem to have one thing in common – all the parks/tours are very expensive. We knew this in advance so had tried to budget for at least one big day out as we knew the boys would LOVE any of the parks in and around Cancun/Playa del Carmen. Ventura Park, Cancun does come in cheaper than other options, which makes it tempting for a visit with kids.

Initially we looked at Xcaret and Xel-Ha and had budgeted for a day at one of these (around £250-£300 for a family of four), but the more we looked in to it the less we actually liked the look of the big nature water parks like these. Now, I know people who have been and LOVED them, so I’m sure they are a fab day out but they were just so expensive for us on a travelling budget that it was difficult to justify the cost for one day.

Instead we opted for a day at Ventura Park, which is in the Zona Hotelera in Cancun with the kids. It has a pretty big waterpark area, ziplining, go karts, a VR type zone and a dolphin swimming option (though this was not something we wanted to do). Crucially for our Star Wars obsessed boys though, it also has Star Wars BattlePods in the VR section which clinched it for us.

Two boys stand in front of a large swimming pool in swimming gear

Where is Ventura Park?

Ventura Park is situated in the Zona Hotelera in Cancun. It’s a short drive from most of the big resorts here and less than an hour from Playa del Carmen.

We hired a car for a couple of days during our stay in Playa del Carmen – partly because we’d calculated that the cost of a return taxi to Cancun was actually more than the cost of car hire (even including insurance etc). There is plenty of parking space at Ventura Park, however, the signage is almost hilariously bad so, if you’re anything like us, it might take you three or four circuits around the area before you find the way in.

How do you buy tickets for Ventura Park?

There are three ticket options for Ventura:

  • Fun Pass, which gets you entry to the waterpark and the ziplining plus one visit to the buffet
  • Platinum Pass, which gets you the waterpark, ziplining, go karts and unlimited buffet stops, unlimited ice cream and drinks
  • Platinum Plus Pass, which gets you all of the above plus the VR zone and swimming with dolphins

We opted for the Platinum Pass – after we’d added it all up it was cheaper to do this and pay for the Star Wars BattlePods separately.

This cost us £149 in total for the four of us, plus an extra £7-ish for the Star Wars BattlePods and the Laser Maze.

All tickets are available online and I’d definitely advise buying in advance – the tickets are cheaper and it will save time on arrival.

Tickets are available on the Ventura Park website here. You can also buy the packages on the Viator website here. This is a good option if you click through via Quidco as you’ll earn cashback too!

Once in, it was definitely a mixed experience. I’ll start with the good stuff!

What was good about Ventura Park?

There was absolutely no-one in the VR Zone when we arrived. Not a soul. We’d paid for credits for the Star Wars BattlePods but as there was no-one else there the boys got to stay on them for as long as they liked (which, predictably, was absolutely ages!). The pods were fab and they could choose from various Star Wars scenes to navigate through (including Hoth, Endor, destroying the DeathStar, lots of other scenes/planets that escape me). 

Boy playing on Star Wars Battle Pod arcade game

The ziplining was pre-booked so we had a specific time which meant that there was minimal queuing for this (great, since it was baking hot!). The zipline across the waterpark was brilliant – really exhilarating and smooth landings at both ends (so good for any grown-ups like me with a fear of pulling muscles etc!)., and Griff and Steve also had a go at the bungee jump which they both loved. This was a bit scary for our 7-year-old so we opted to watch from the sidelines (though we did also do some excellent lizard spotting in the meantime!).

The Go Karts also had hardly any wait time and you got to go round the track several times which was really good fun. Plus Griff was JUST tall enough to drive one himself, which he loved!

The waterpark itself was also great – 6 or 7 big slides with next to no queues for any of them, plus a big wave pool and a lazy river. We’d read that you had to pay to hire the inflatable tires for some of the rides but this wasn’t the case – you just picked them up at the base of the slide.

What DIDN’T we like about Ventura Park?

God, the start of the day….the locker machines weren’t working and then when they were it was confusing – some machines only took pesos, some only took dollars, some were for the large lockers and others only for the small versions. It took around 45mins to sort this out, which was a pretty rubbish start to the day!

The helpdesk queue for buying anything extra was also looooooong (another 30mins or so). So whilst we arrived at opening time it took well over an hour before the fun stuff started. This was really frustrating as just a couple of extra members of staff would have made a massive difference.

And then there were the queues for the buffet. I’d read that these could get long but it was still ridiculous – the queue just to get in to the restaurant snaked right through the park (down the paths, past the slides and back again) then once inside you had to queue again for a buffet. Then AGAIN if you wanted a drink (this alone took about 20minutes). So….whilst it’s advertised as ‘unlimited’ buffet/drinks the reality is that it takes so long that you can only really visit once (unless you really, REALLY love queuing).

Again, unlimited drinks are included in the packages but the reality is there are only a couple of bars serving drinks and again, you’ve guessed it, there are queues!

The unlimited ice cream was great (very tasty) but there was just one ice cream stall by the main entrance, and it was (kind of understandably) limited to one per person – which meant that if we all wanted one, we all had to queue.

The verdict on Ventura Park, Cancun

So a bit of a mixed bag. The start of the day was rubbish and the queues for food/drink were ridiculous, BUT the day was saved by the fact that the waterpark was great and the Star Wars BattlePods were brilliant for our two. Also, weirdly whilst the queues for food and drink were massive there were virtually no queues for anything else.

You can check out a good couple of thousand reviews on TripAdvisor here if you want more info – the park gets a solid 4* which is actually a pretty good rating.

Overall, I don’t think we’d rush back but the boys did have a great day (they gave it a solid eight out of ten). Saving £100ish on the cost of the big theme parks like Xcaret and Xel-Ha also meant that we could put this cash towards a snorkelling tour in Cozumel (more on that in a separate post!).

Ventura Park, Cancun – Tips for visiting with kids

A few final tips if you’re thinking of visiting Ventura Park, Cancun with kids:

  • Go on all the ‘dry’ attractions first. You are not allowed on the ziplines, bungee jumps, Go Karts or in the VR zone if you are wet, so get these done first before getting in to swimming gear to cool off in the afternoon.
  • Check the age restrictions for the ‘extras’ – we bought tickets for one of the VR games at the helpdesk only to discover it was 14+ when we got there. We were able to change these but this meant – you’ve guessed it – more queueing!
  • Get there early – if possible just as the park opens. It’s likely that the initial entry bit won’t run completely smoothly so try to allow time for this.
  • Accept that the queue for the lunch buffet will be massive and there is basically nothing you can do about this! Despite this you should still have time to go on all the rides etc so accept the queuing and don’t let it ruin your day 🙂

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