Bigger, faster, taller … in many ways, that’s what it is all about when it comes to waterpark attractions. And
what’s more, if you don’t stay on top of the latest
craze, it’s a sure bet your competitors will.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of many of the newest innovations
for this year, straight off the drawing boards. Designs big and
small range from new slides to enhancements created to reinvent an
existing attraction and generate new excitement from guests.
Which options are right for your property?
For 2011, ProSlide
is introducing two water coasters. The Ottawa, Ontario, Canada,
designer now is offers the two-person HydroMagnetic Hornet and the six-person HydroMagnetic Mammoth.
The Hornet is similar to ProSlide’s HydroMagnetic Rocket, but
with a smaller footprint. It’s designed with back-to-back
drops and exhilarating turns. The Mammoth combines the family raft
ride experience with HydroMagnetic technology. Mammoth riders
traverse frequent back-to-back curves and are propelled through
uphill sections at top speeds for extra thrills.
With the introduction of the Anaconda, the Richmond, British
Columbia, Canada-based WhiteWater West Industries
Ltd. announces an expansion of its MEGAtube water slide
line. Developers say it’s the largest family raft ride ever
designed, sporting a 30-foot diameter, fully enclosed MEGAtube
flume (that’s 50 percent larger than earlier MEGAtube
Like other rides in the MEGAtube series, the Anaconda is set at a
90-degree angle to the slide path. The rider experience begins with
a sudden drop down a steep ramp and into the MEGAtube. Once inside
the tube, the raft — carrying up to six passengers —
spins around and oscillates side to side, climbing as high as 15
feet up the inner walls as it winds down the water slide. The
length can vary with each slide path, which can comprise multiple
MEGAtube sections and also can be combined with other attractions
from WhiteWater West, such as the Family Raft Ride. In addition,
MEGAtube technology allows for flume-in-flume capabilities, meaning
another water slide can actually pass through it, creating a
one-of-a-kind experience for riders and spectators alike.
Polin Waterparks and Pool Systems has released the King
Cobra slide, designed to offer an intense riding experience
along with visual impact and spectator appeal. King Cobra’s
design configuration, fiberglass theming, coloring and riding path
help create a truly different adventure for passengers and
“The core feature of the patent-pending King Cobra is its
unique configuration that enables riders in two double tubes racing
through a circular path with twists and turns, and then
experiencing the drop of their lives … entering into the
valley part at the same time,” says Eyup Ispiroglu, project
manager at Polin Waterparks and Pool Systems.
Riders reach speeds up to 50 miles per hour and the specially
planned color formulation creates an illusion that makes them feel
as if they will crash into each other. Special effects, including
fog and auditory options, can be included to further enhance the
Looking for something for the little ones? Empex Watertoys of Uxbridge Ontario, Canada,
now offers Aquacircus. This climb-and-slide spraydeck provides myriad slide experiences and
interactive options. Featuring Aquaclunes themed spray clowns and
Aquatons spray features placed around the structure, the resulting
visual is fun for spectators as well. Aquacircus also may include
several new options. Also, there are new additions to Empex’s
Aquanetics line of water toys: Aquawizz, Aquanoodle, Aquaswirl and Aquamill are designed for interactivity. Kids
can turn a hand wheel and produce different sprays, water flows and
kinetic effects such as turning pelton wheels, spinners, gears and
pinwheels to create a zany effect of water motion.
Vortex Aquatic Structures International introduces two play structures. The
Montreal-based company has engineered the Scorpion to foster collaborative play and
cooperation. It features five team jet activators that, when
pressed, supply water to the creature’s legs, claws and tail.
Anticipation builds as various parts of the creature are activated,
and children learn the cause and effect of their actions,
collaborating to make the Scorpion spray, mist and release water
from its dumping bucket tail.
Similar to the Scorpion, the Spider features eight team jet activators
that, when pressed, shoot water from the arachnid’s legs.
Designed to create visual interest, both products are suitable for
any zero-depth installation. They can be stand-alone splashpad
features or the main focal point, designed with other Vortex
The new Revolution Series from Kelowna, British
Columbia, Canada-based Waterplay, has aquatic play
features designed to spin, splash and spray in a 360-degree radius.
The revolution series allows kids of all ages to take control.
Multiple handle designs provide options for everyone and each piece
comes in several colors.
Surf’s Up! The Wave is the newest addition to the line of
themed features by Rain Drop Products of Ashland,
Ohio. This realistic-looking, fiberglass wave (8 feet wide and 4
feet tall) is accentuated by a sheeting cascade of water from the
crest, creating a perfect pipeline effect. Designed for all ages,
it acts as an ideal rest zone as kids hide and relax under the
sheeting water. The wave also can be incorporated with the firm's
Norwalk, Ohio-based Emerald FX/Mazur North America has launched a new line of modular
fiberglass interactive play structures. Ranging in size from one to
10 decks, this family play structure option is designed to suit any
size pool or splashpark. Two themed options include the
Treehouse and the Beehive, featuring a yellow and black kiddie
slide and a honey-pot-shaped dump bucket. Ideal for kids ages 4 to
12, the fiberglass-reinforced plastic play structures include
virtually no standing water, which provides “peace of
mind” to watchful parents with weak swimmers.
SplashTacular Inc. now offers a product series called SplashTacular Enhancements. It is designed to boost the visual appeal of water slides for riders and spectators.
The new options — SplashChallenge, HydroLighting and
HydroStyling — also can significantly increase the fun
The SplashChallenge system lets people compete
against themselves or other riders for the fastest ride time. It
includes an optional feature that allows passengers to score points
by locating and tagging bright, colorful target sensors inside the
slide while vying for the fastest time. Competitors and spectators
view the top 10 results on a 24-inch color monitor after racers
cross the finish line.
HydroStyling lets operators completely customize the appearance of water slides.
Options include translucent pieces that can be fit into a slide and
illuminate the inside with vibrant rings, shapes and icons in a
range of shapes and colors. A nearly transparent, colorless option
also is available. Embeds can add theming, including convincing
train tracks, playful creatures or even a park logo. A series of
stencil designs and water-transfer graphics are available to theme
slide exteriors or graphically wrap an entire water slide with
patterns such as tree bark, camouflage or animal prints.
HydroLighting is essentially a thrill ride light show. Featuring multiple
pre-programmed lighting effects within the water slide,
HydroLighting transforms the body and raft slide experience into an
entertaining “show” for riders and spectators. The
multisensory experiences include pulsing and gyrating lights and
special effects. The user-friendly system is designed to withstand
harsh outdoor and indoor environments. It includes hoop lights,
featuring multiple pre-programmed effects, and point lights, which
are interactive lights that flash and change colors when touched.
Riders are challenged to tap as many as possible while traveling
through the tube.
Glasgow, Scotland-based Murphy’s Waves Ltd. now offers a wave pool
for the little ones. The shallow-water WavePlay pools are specifically designed for
the very youngest of waterpark visitors. The system can generate
waves in a pool that has a maximum depth of just 2 feet, and
creates a relaxing and safe zone for children and parents. WavePlay
pools come in a range of funky designs and theming options, and can
be integrated with almost any water toys or spray features.
International, with U.S. headquarters in Atlanta,
introduces the Splash n’
Spray product line, an in-queue entertainment system
integrating water and animation. Designed for walkways, waiting
lines and general park areas, the system’s water gushers
refresh guests while they watch the 2-D/3-D animated characters
move to the beat of any music. There’s also a platform for
highlighting sponsors, generating revenue from advertisements, and
broadcasting rules and disclaimers to inform riders.
American Wave Machines Inc. in Solana Beach Calif., has developed the
Standing Wave Stream. This stationary wave river, debuting at the newly renovated Moody
Gardens Resort Kahuna Laguna project near Galveston, Texas,
includes river rapids and wave combinations that create an
interactive wave pool river. The Standing Wave Stream is digitally
controlled — operators can change the water speeds, wave
patterns, wave directions and wave heights — and systems can
be built to specifications determined by the site footprint. Riders
can experience it using body boards or inner tubes, or on their