One of the only zoos in the country with a full size waterpark, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium boasts Zoombezi Bay, a 22.7 acre waterpark that features 15 state-of-the-art waterslides, a wave pool, an action river, a lazy river, private cabanas, a kiddie play pool and a whole lot more.
The 82-year-old zoo exists to enrich its community’s
quality of life and to inspire a greater appreciation of wildlife
for the advancement of conservation action. The idea behind
Zoombezi Bay, which opened in the summer of 2008, is to
generate revenue and increase the length of stay and visitorship
for the Columbus Zoo.
Located on the site of the former Wyandot Lake Amusement Park,
Zoombezi Bay is a themed shipwrecked water paradise. Made famous by
Jack Hanna, the zoo also features Jungle Jack’s Landing, a
dry amusement park and play area, as well as hundreds of animals
from around the world. With his love and respect for animals as
well as his passion and energy, Hanna took the zoo from a small
facility to one of the nation’s largest and most well
respected zoos. The zoo strives to provide a great experience for
visitors and a better future for all living things. Zoombezi Bay is
one of the ways it can do just that.
Site amenities include retail, restaurant and service facilities.
Attractions include: Wild Tides, a 544,500-gallon wave pool
where waves can reach up-to four feet high; Croctail Creek, a lazy
river that is 850 feet in length; Roaring Rapids, an action river
that features nine special features that surprises guests at every
turn; Barracuda Bay, an 18,000-square-foot custom pool divided into
three interactive play areas, including a four-and-a-half story
tree house with 100 different gadgets, gizmos and slides; and
Katoomba Lagoon, a 4,000-square-foot water playground just for the
little tykes that features 12 marine animal play structures and
includes an 11,350 gallon pool that is 12-14 inches deep.
The Sea Splash is home to the Slippery Seals tower that contains a
310-foot slide; the Sea Snakes raft slide that includes a bowl
element; and Sea Tubes raft ride. Other features include the
Cyclone, a four-person raft ride that cruises into the largest
enclosed reducing-radius tunnel in the world; the Tahitian Twister;
and Dolphin Dash slide.
The Columbus Zoo has grown significantly over the past two decades.
At 586 acres, it has become the third largest zoo of the 220
AZA-accredited zoos in North America. With more than 1.5 million
visitors annually, Columbus has the ninth highest attendance among
zoos, and ranks in the top 10 in many other categories.
In addition, the number of animals is now at 720 species and more
than 6,300 specimens including 36 species that are listed as
endangered or threatened, and 130 species listed in CITES, the
global Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species.
The zoo’s education programs reach tens of thousands of
children each year both at the zoo and within the community. The
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium supports conservation programs in 30
countries. This organization is truly making a difference for
The City of Columbus and Franklin County own the zoo real estate,
the citizens of Franklin County support the zoo levy and the
non-profit Columbus Zoological Park Association manages, raises
funds and operates the zoo. The growth and development of the zoo
is a result of this successful public-private partnership.
With the passage of the zoo levy that is in effect from 2006 to
2015, the acquisition of real estate for future expansion, the
completion of the relocated Powell Road, the opening of Zoombezi
Bay in 2008 and the start of the largest new exhibit ever built at
the zoo, Polar Frontier, there are exciting opportunities for the
NUTS & BOLTS
Aquatic space: 125,000 square feet
Year opened: 2008
Cost: $21 million
Dream feature: An 18,000-square-foot custom pool divided into three interactive play areas, including a four-and-a-half story tree house with a hundred different gadgets, gizmos and slides. .
- Dream Designer: Weber Group Inc.
- Master Planner/Design Architect: Bruce Robinson Design Group
- Aquatic Design/Construction: Aquatic Development Group
- Slide Design/Builder/Contractor: ProSlide Technology Inc.
- Chemical Control Systems: Chemtrol
- Filter/Sanitization Systems: Whitten by Aquatic Development Group
- Flowmeters: Georg Fischer Signet
- Gutters: Whitten by Aquatic Development Group
- Heaters: Raypak
- Inflatables/Rafts: Zebec , Sevylor
- Lighting: Hayward
- Lockers: American Locker ,Tiffin Metal Products
- Lounge Chairs: Patio Magic
- Pumps: Marlow Pumps, div., ITT Corp.
- Sun Shades: Anchor Industries Inc.
- Water Play Structures: Custom Fun Co.
- Waterslides: ProSlide Technology Inc.
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