The 2014 waterpark season is approaching, and with it comes a flurry of reports on new attractions, expansions, park openings and ground-breaking ceremonies.
Here's a short list of what's happening with a few waterparks worldwide.
On May 24, Cowabunga Bay Waterpark opens in Henderson, Nevada. It's one of two to open in a region that previously had seen the closing of waterparks in the area during the recession. The park, which will have a 1950s surf theme, will feature more than 25 attractions.
Meanwhile, just down the figurative road, Wet 'n' Wild Las Vegas will introduce the new extreme waterslide Tornado by the Canadian-based firm Proslide Technology during Memorial Day weekend. The park also is planning to extend operating days and hours, add more shade areas, parking, and lounge chairs, and offer heated water in the children's area.
Over in the Sunshine State, SeaWorld's Aquatica Orlando will debut the highly anticipated Ihu’s Breakaway Falls May 9. Labeled as the the "tallest, steepest and only multi-drop tower slide of its kind in the southern United States," The 80-foot tower created a social media buzz last fall when the park launched a campaign using the hashtag #NothingTaller.
Amusement park giant Six Flags also is taking part in the action with the expansion of its Fiesta Texas park. The new amenities include additional waterslides, a small pool area for children called Paradise Cove, and even an area for adults, a swim-up Tiki Bar that will feature in-water stools and will serve margaritas, piña coladas and the signature rum-based drink Bahama Blaster, named after the new waterslide Bahama Blaster.
Also in Texas, Hawaiian Falls Water and and Adventure Park in Pflugerville has hit a construction milestone. Despite poor weather and a concrete supply concern in the region, construction of the park's wave pool now is underway after 90 trucks delivered enough material to build the 18,000-square-foot structure. If all goes as planned, the park will meet its anticipated open date of May 26.
Keeping up with the construction activity in the Lonestar Sate is Splash Kingdom Waterpark, which announced the opening of a new location in Greenville. The aviation-themed park held a groundbreaking ceremony in February and is gearing up for an early June opening.
While some are adding additional attractions, others are building their first. Lion Country Safari has added a 108-foot-long freefall waterslide and a 214-foot-long loop waterslide in the Safari World walk-through portion of the 320-acre theme park. The slides are an addition to the existing Safari Splash, a 4,000-square-foot water spray ground, and Water Wars, an interactive water balloon challenge.
Across the globe in Dubai, an underwater Atlantis-style theme park is in the works. Somewhat of a deviation from the typical waterpark, this one will be geared more toward snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts.
Of course, with these announcements come rumors like the one floating around Walton Hills, Ohio. If the Cleveland area residents have their way, a new indoor waterpark might be replacing a Ford plant that is scheduled for closure in June. The town's mayor hasn't denied the rumor, causing the mill to churn even more.