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New Attractions Make a Splash at Waterparks Across the Nation in 2009

June 9, 2009





Alexandria, Va. (United States) – The summer heat elicits delighted screams of “cannonball!” as the nation’s top waterparks open new and expanded aquatic attractions in 2009. Even theme parks are expanding this season to include new water attractions for guests to keep cool during hot summer months.

Waterparks around the United States worked through the winter to ready new rides and attractions for the summer season. Guests will enjoy a wide variety of new offerings, including speed slides, water coasters, wave pools, and surfing experiences.

“This summer, families will get more for their money as they look to escape the heat of day-to-day pressures and cool off at one of the many waterparks throughout the nation. Guests will be pleased to see their favorite waterparks offer new and exciting attractions at affordable prices,” said Charles Bray, president and CEO of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).  “Visitors will be able to keep cool as they experience something new to ride, watch, and enjoy at a waterpark close to home.”

Here’s a look at some of the new water rides and attractions on deck for families this summer:

New Waterparks

  • Castle Rock Resort and Indoor Water Park is Branson, Missouri's newest indoor waterpark. The 30,000-square-foot park entertains guests of all ages with a corkscrew slide, lazy river, and multiple pools. The new Tower section of the resort contains 100 guest rooms and is attached to the park. www.castlerockbranson.com/

  • Great Wolf Resorts, North America opened the company’s 12th Great Wolf Lodge resort in Concord, N.C., a 30-minute-drive from Charlotte. Inside the 80,000-square-foot indoor waterpark is “Fort Mackenzie,” a four-story interactive treehouse water fort with 12 levels of super-soaking fun with geysers, dump buckets, slides, and suspension bridges. The “Howlin’ Tornado” is a four-person 30-feet-tall funnel slide. Family attractions ranging from miniature golf to spa offerings to a “gr_8 space” tech center for teens are also a part of the resort experience. www.greatwolf.com/concord/waterpark
  • Schlitterbahn Vacation Village in Kansas City, Kan., is set to open the first phase a $750 million year-round retail entertainment destination comprised of multiple shopping, dining, lodging, and entertainment venues connected by a Transportainment® River System. More than a dozen state-of-the-art attractions are scheduled to open in summer 2009, including the world’s largest tidal wave river, an uphill Master Blaster™ water coaster, a hot tub with swim-up bar, several mammoth tubing rivers and chutes, giant water slides, an interactive area for smaller children, and more. When all phases are complete, the 40-acre waterpark will be one of the world's largest tubing parks with miles of interconnected rivers and signature attractions. www.schlitterbahn.com

  • Wet ‘n’ Wild Phoenix, a new $30 million dollar waterpark located in Phoenix, Ariz., is set to open in mid-June. The park will be the largest in the state and will feature heart-racing slides such as “Maximum Velocity”—the world’s first, gravity-defying, dueling Master Blaster-style water coaster. Set on more than 35 acres, the park features more than 30 slides and attractions and is being developed by Australian-based Village Roadshow Limited. www.phoenixwetnwild.com


  • Alabama Adventure Theme Park, in Bessemer, Ala., will open “UpSurge!,” which offers riders 216 feet of flume-sliding exhilaration before they plummet down and back up a vertical half-pipe the land in a refreshing splash pool of 25,000 gallons of water. This is the first major new waterpark attraction at the park since the wave pool opened in 2003.www.alabamaadventure.com
  • The “Twister” debuts this summer at Coney Island in Cincinnati, Ohio. This $2 million dollar investment is the first major addition to the park’s Sunlite Pool in more than 30 years. The four-chute ride will replace the “Zoom Flume” water slide built in 1979. “Twister,” named after a classic covered coaster popular at Coney in the 1920s, stands 45 feet tall and extends more than a quarter mile. It features two open body slides and two double inner tube slides that can accommodate up to six riders at a time.www.coneyislandpark.com/index.php
  • Enchanted Forest/Water Safari in Old Forge, N.Y., opens its newest double-tube water ride this year. “The Curse of the Silverback” is a bowl-style ride in which guests will experience a 100-foot drop into a 40-foot-diameter bowl where they circle the bowl dropping out through the middle into the splash pool below. www.watersafari.com/attractions/index.cfm?fn=New_Water_Ride_Silverback
  • This summer marks the completion of the second “Alberta Falls” waterslide at Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas. This brings the slide count up to 12 in the 80,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, Bear Track Landing. As the second in the Alberta Falls duo of tube slides, guests travel 18 feet per second on single- or double-person inner tubes before dropping into a plunge pool below.  With each twist and turn, guests travel inside and outside the waterpark in the enclosed slides. www.greatwolf.com/grapevine/activities/waterpark
  • Mountain Creek Waterpark in Vernon, N.J., introduces the new “Alpine Pipeline,” a two-person waterslide that goes from daylight to darkness in the blink of an eye. The slide takes riders up high banked turns at fast speeds, and gives them a chance to experience what it is like to ride a raging avalanche down a mountainside.www.mountaincreekwaterpark.com
  • Six Flags St. Louis’ Hurricane Harbor waterpark celebrates its 10th anniversary with the opening of the “Wahoo Racer” waterslide. Riders will reach speeds up to 35 miles per hour as they race head-first on sled-type mats down 262 feet of steep drops and rolling hills. This six-lane water racer delivers maximum speed and airtime with its triple drop layout. "Wahoo Racer" joins Hurricane Harbor's lineup of water attractions, including a lazy river, wave pool, interactive kids' area, three water thrill rides, and more than 11 slides.www.sixflags.com/stlouis

  • Splish Splash, located in Calverton, N.Y., will unveil “Dr. VonDark’s Tunnel of Terror. The new water ride is one of only two in the nation. The high-thrill water ride includes a 40-foot drop, back-to-back vertical banks, and a pair of high-speed 360-degree spins against a backdrop of total darkness. And other than a few unexpected visual effects the rider will experience all of it in total darkness. www.splishsplashlongisland.com.

  • “Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror” will open this season at Wet’n Wild Emerald Pointe in Greensboro, N.C. The new water ride is one of only two in the nation. Once on “Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror” riders will experience a breathtaking 40-foot drop, soar to great heights on back-to-back vertical banks and complete a pair of high-speed 360-degree spins. And other than a few unexpected visual effects, the rider will experience all of it in total darkness. www.emeraldpointe.com


  • Hersheypark, in Hershey, Pa., offers guests new ways to keep cool this summer. The Boardwalk at Hersheypark: The SEAquel features two new attractions, “The Shore” and“Intercoastal Waterway. “The Shore,” a nearly 378,000-gallon wave pool, will blend fresh and filtered water to simulate the ocean’s currents, while “Intercoastal Waterway” is a lazy river-style attraction inspired by the smooth boating passages of the East Coast. www.hersheypark.com/index.php
  • Hyland Hills Water World in Denver, Colo., has revamped "Thunder Bay," the Colorado's first wave pool, which now holds 1.1 million gallons of rushing water. "Thunder Bay" uses air pressure to propel the water and create five different types of ocean-like waves to allow visitors to body-surf in a land-locked state. www.waterworldcolorado.com
  • Lake Compounce in Bristol, Conn., opens three new rides this season: “The Jolly Jester,” a new mini pirate ship ride in Kiddieland; “The WipeOut,” a topsy-turvy spinning ride, which will be located in the back of the park near the Bumper Cars, and “Tunnel Twisters,” a tower with three enclosed water slides. www.lakecompounce.com
  • Liquid Planet Waterpark, in Candia, N.H., opens new attractions this year; “Crater Springs,”a newly discovered sandy beach swimming area perfect for a relaxing family outing, and“Galactic Mini Golf,” a nine-hole miniature golf course that rockets players through the solar system. The park also added “The Cosmic Day Camp,” which is a week-to-week summer day camp designed for children 6-14. www.liquidplanetwaterpark.com
  • “Curse of the Crypt” is a haunted house adventure at Noah’s Ark Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells, which takes unsuspecting visitors deep into catacombs in search of a king’s lost treasure. Through a half million-dollar investment a building has been transformed into an archaeological nightmare rich in special visual effects, video animation, creaky elevators, a time-warp machine, tunnels, mirror mazes, and special effects. www.noahsarkwaterpark.com
  • Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort in New Braunfels, Texas, unveils the “Congo River Expedition,” a multisensory jungle adventure. Guests float in individual tubes down a river through the heart of a rainforest discovering wild animals, restless natives, waterfalls, and a volcano. The journey ends as riders plunge down a 25-foot-long waterfall into an underground diamond mine.  www.schlitterbahn.com
  • “The Count’s Splash Castle,” a multilevel interactive waterplay attraction at Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa., spans over 38,000 square feet and features more than 90 hands-on play activities, including a 1,000-gallon eight-foot tipping bucket; water slides; valves, levers, and wheels; water curtains; bridges; hydro blasters; bubble jets; bongos; and more. “The Count’s Splash Castle” is the largest addition in Sesame Place history and will stimulate imaginations with interactive entertainment. www.sesameplace.com/sesame/pa/index.aspx
  • At Wild Adventures Water and Theme Park in Valdosta, Ga., the renovated Splash Island Water Park has been transformed into a Polynesian paradise for families looking to relax and enjoy a mini-vacation. The newest and biggest addition to the park, the “Wahee Cyclone, towers over Splash Island and lures guests to take a plunge in its 45-foot-tall, bright blue and green funnel. The four-person tubes make the ride ideal for a family to experience togetherwww.wildadventures.com


  • Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark in Tannersville, Pa., will host a series of “OMG Teen Nights. In addition to existing attractions, these action-packed nights will be filled with entertainment, music, and giveaways. For the ladies, the waterpark will host a “Girls Only”day in September. The event will be the culmination of five fundraising events Camelbeach will hold through the summer in its drive to raise $50,000 for local charities. Each event features a rubber-duck race down the park’s “Blue Nile Adventure River.”www.camelbeach.com
  • Liquid Planet Waterpark, in Candia, N.H., begins evening entertainment on weekends this summer. “The Rock ‘N’ Splash” Saturday night pool party featuring local bands and DJ’s.www.liquidplanetwaterpark.com


IAAPA, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded 90 years ago, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the amusement industry.IAAPA represents more than 4,300 attraction, supplier, and individual members from more than 90 countries. Visit IAAPA online at www.IAAPA.org.

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Contact Information
Press Office: +1 703/299-5127
Colleen Mangone: cmangone@IAAPA.org
David Mandt: dmandt@IAAPA.org
Nicholas Wolaver: nicholas.wolaver@edelman.com