The first ‘official’ waterpark is thought to be Wet ‘N Wild in Orlando, Florida, developed in 1977 by George Millay the creator and founder of Sea World.
It is believed to have started the large, multi-feature park trend. There are currently about 1000 waterparks and pools with water features in the US alone.
Why do families love water parks? Quite simply because there is something fun for all the family and they appeal to kids of all ages from tots to teens and of course adults have fun too. Water has refreshed and sustained humans since the dawn of time but today’s large-scale waterparks are a 20th century invention.
They are absolutely the best way to have fun and stay cool. Long, hot summer days just shout out… waterpark! The best family waterpark experiences are created by combining just the right mix of rides, attractions and aquatic settings that will have families rushing back time after time.
So are you thinking of adding a waterpark to your accommodation? Are you busy dreaming up fast slides, body flumes, spray pads, wave machines and climbable structures, lagoons, action rivers, lazy rivers and shallow play pools? Just the thought of creating a waterpark is fun – right?
But you need to stop. First things first, think about whether your expansion plans are feasible or not and if those plans will suit your guests. If the answer is yes, then you will need someone (a water park expert) to organise your splash-happy ideas into a functional and safe plan that will work for your brand, accommodation, guests and location.
The plan should be designed to maximise your project’s potential while developing the greatest entertainment impact and value possible. It should take into account your guest-flow, maximise your revenue and it should carefully plan the placement of your waterpark to be in conjunction with revenue drivers like food and beverage areas.
Your concept should be designed to meet your guests’ needs and desires but at the same time generate a maximum revenue for you. More than just installing a slippery slide or fabulously flashy new ride, you also need to think about safety, cost and sustainability.
With a warming worldwide climate and dire drought conditions affecting communities across Australia, the creation of a sustainable waterpark must be a priority. In a 2011 column in Environmental Leader Online, Matthew Courtland, senior consultant with The Natural Strategy suggested that all the main waterparks in the USA do not lead the way with regards to sustainability. “Of the many ways waterparks can incorporate sustainability into their operations, reducing their resource consumption is often the simplest place to begin,” he said.
Some ways to ensure you have a sustainable waterpark is to consider using a variety of environmentally friendly tools to clean the water, such as a non-invasive micron filtration system along with ozone and carbon technologies. There are also filtration systems available to enable you to recycle your water and of course sustainable solar heating solutions.
Construction is also important, the park should be designed to keep the water in the park and reduce evaporation. New high tech gaskets and sealants ensure the water stays on the inside of the flume and contributes to the longevity of the support structure.
Make sure you seek a waterpark company that can design and manufacture an innovative waterslide that meets your individual requirements within your budget. Do your research, get advice from other waterpark clients and visit other waterparks. Choose a company that will advise you about concept, design and park operations, one that will complete a feasibility study.
If your waterpark is designed with safety and constructed accurately for a comfortable ride it gives you peace of mind.
Whether you decide to go for a gentle body ride that toddlers can enjoy or a ‘white knuckle’ ride for the most adventurous guest, always make it fun and create a unique addition for your accommodation to make the most out of your Pooltential.