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U.S. Waterparks Open Cool New Attractions

May 14, 2010

U.S. Waterparks Open Cool New Attractions in 2010

Families will Soak Up the Fun This Summer

Alexandria, Virginia (United States) – As families take out their swimsuits and prepare for fun in the sun at one of the more than 1,000 waterparks in the United States, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) releases its annual preview of new water rides, slides, and attractions opening around the country.

“The forecast at waterparks this summer is for thrills and fun. Whether twisting and turning down a slide, riding some raging rapids, or swimming in the surf, kids and adults of all ages will enjoy cool new experiences at America’s waterparks this summer,” said Charles Bray, president and CEO of IAAPA. “Waterparks are offering everything from the world’s longest water coaster and the first loop-de-loop waterslide, to giant wave pools, relaxing lazy rivers, and luxurious cabanas for the whole family.”

An estimated 80 million people visit waterparks in the United States annually. According to the 2009 Themed Entertainment Association/AECOM Attraction attendance report, nearly 13 million people visited the top 15 waterparks in the United States last year – up 3 percent from 2008.

Here’s a sampling of what’s new at waterparks this year:

Rides, Slides, and Attractions

  • Aquatica Orlando opens Omaka Rocka” in Orlando, Fla. The water thrill ride features high-speed tube slides and will take guests on an experience similar to a snowboarder on a half-pipe. Riders slide up and down high banking turns and drop unexpectedly into large funnels where the water moves them side-to-side before entering the next tunnel to do it all over again. www.aquaticabyseaworld.com
  • Dollywood’s Splash Country in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., opens Slick Rock Racer,a 300-foot-long multilane slide. Guests travel on a mat on their bellies headfirst down the slide, which features four side-by-side water-drenched lanes. Riders encounter multiple drops, building momentum to propel them across the finish line.  www.dollywood.com/splashcountry_home.aspx
  • The “Triple Twist” debuts at Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, Kan., and Mason, Ohio. The ride has three large funnels and stands five stories tall. Guests twist and turn as they slide through tunnels connecting the funnels. Lighting and special effects throughout the slide enhance the experience. www.greatwolf.com
  • Great Wolf Lodge in Pocono Mountains, Pa., opens the “Double Barrel Drop. The six-story-tall slide starts with a high-speed drop into a huge funnel before sending riders into a 450-degree turn twisting them through a tunnel toward another funnel. Riders enjoy lighting and special effects while inside the slide. www.greatwolf.com
  • Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Ind., opens the world’s longest water coaster, “Wildebeest.” After a 38-foot drop at a 45-degree angle, guests in the four-person rafts enjoy a two-and-a-half minute ride down seven drops, through two tunnels, and around a helix. The ride is the second largest single-ride investment in the park’s history and covers more than two acres. www.holidayworld.com
    • A rendering is available HERE.
    • High-resolution photos and an animation video are available HERE.
  • Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio marks its fifth birthday by opening a new “African-themed Safari Outdoor Adventure Park, which features a zip-line tour, ropes course,climbing walls, and more. On the zip-line tour guests fly 40 to 60 feet above the 77,000-square-foot outdoor waterpark. The three-story ropes course spans more than 700 feet of rope and includes 48 climbing elements. The climbing walls let adventure guests compete on the two 32-foot walls. www.kalahariresortsgobig.com
  • Magic Springs and Crystal Falls in Hot Springs, Ark., opens “Boogie Blast. The surf simulation ride was designed by surfers to deliver an authentic experience. Guests ride a 3 inch sheet of water that creates surfable waves. The speed and flow of the water is adjustable for all skill levels. www.magicsprings.com/waterpark.aspx
  • Noah’s Ark Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., unveils North America’s first looping waterslide, “Scorpion’s Tail. The ride stands nearly 80 feet tall and extends just over 400 feet. Guests enter a launch rocket capsule for three seconds before the floor drops and riders fall feet first down an enclosed chute at speeds of nearly 40 mph. Gravity, water, and centrifugal force take the rider through a 45-degree angled loop-de-loop before coming to a stop. www.noahsarkwaterpark.com
  • Raging Waters in San Dimas, Calif., opens “Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror. Riders experience a 40-foot drop, back-to-back vertical banks, and a pair of high-speed 360-degree spins in total darkness. www.ragingwaters.com
  • Snow will melt into water this summer when Santa’s Village in Jefferson, N.H., opens “H0, H0, H20.“HO, HO, H2O” includes water slides, climbing elements, and interactive play areas for the entire family. www.santasvillage.com
  • Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark in South Padre Island, Texas, debuts two rapids-filled tube ridesGuests challenge the white water as they float down a river full of daring rapids and waterfalls. www.schlitterbahn.com/spi
  • Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark in Galveston Island, Texas, opens White Water River” and “Cabana Village.” Guests brave the new-and-improved river as they make their way through more than a dozen daring rapids. Also, new family-size cabanas provide guests an opportunity to get out of the sun and enjoy a more private experience.www.schlitterbahn.com/gal
  • In celebration of the waterpark’s 10th anniversary, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Jackson, N.J., launches “The Tornado. Riders slide down a 135-foot-long tunnel into the eye of the storm. More than 5,000 gallons of water swirl guests side to side into a 60-foot-wide funnel before they fall into a calm pool below. www.sixflags.com/hurricaneHarborNJ/index.aspx
    • Images are available HERE.
  • SplashDown Beach Waterpark in Fishkill, N.Y., opens “Bullet Bowl.” The four-story-tall water slide is a one- or two-person high-speed tube ride. Guests slide down a tunnel before swirling around a giant bowl until they blast out the bottom. www.splashdownbeach.com
  • SplashTown Water Park at Darien Lake Resort in Darien Center, N.Y., opens the new Swirl City Slide ComplexFlotation Station,” and “Lazy Days Lagoon. The Swirl City Slide Complex offers guests a choice between several different and exhilarating water slide experiences: “Mister Twister,” “Cannon Ball Run, and “Turbo Twins. Guests can also relax and soak up the sun while enjoying the “Flotation Station” lazy river or the beachfront atmosphere of the “Lazy Days Lagoon,” a 44,500-gallon wave pool.www.splashdarienlake.com
  • “Stingray Racer” takes guests on a twisting adventure at SplashTown Water Park in Spring, Texas. Guests race headfirst on smooth, foam mats. Racers drop into a twisting enclosure that curves around the five-story-tall tower then slide and dip until they splash across the finish line. www.splashtownpark.com

Family Fun in the Sun

  • LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad, Calif., launches the world’s first LEGO-themed waterpark –LEGOLAND Water Park. Families with young children will enjoy the 5.5-acre waterpark, which features the “Build-A-Raft River,” where kids customize their own rafts made of soft LEGO bricks before floating down a lazy river. LEGOLAND Water Park also features a six-person raft slide, single-person tube slides, a lazy river, and hands-on toddler play areas.www.legoland.com
    • Images and a rendering are available HERE.
  • Nashville Shores Waterpark just outside Nashville, Tenn., doubles its size with the addition of a wave pool and lazy river. Families have two new ways to stay cool and enjoy the sun: the 25,000-square-foot wave pool, which holds more than 400,000 gallons of water, or the 17-foot-wide, more than 1,000-foot-long lazy river. Also, guests can now take a break from the waves on the new 30,000-square-foot lounge and food deck. www.nashvilleshores.com
  • Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort in New Braunfels, Texas, opens “Celebration Carousel,” a new traditional carousel for families to enjoy. In addition, new family-size cabanas provide a great way to take a break from the sun. Guests can enjoy private seating, lounge chairs, and other amenities such as ceiling fans in select cabanas.www.schlitterbahn.com/nb/default.asp
  • “Mr. Six’s Splash Island” opens at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Los Angeles, Calif. Guests can keep cool as they enjoy the island’s water slides, rain curtains, and squirting effects. Parents can relax on the lounge chairs while keeping an eye on the kids as they explore the water play platforms and fountains. www.sixflags.com/hurricaneHarborLA/index.aspx
    • A rendering is available HERE
  • Six Flags New England’s Hurricane Harbor in Agawam, Mass., opens “Mr. Six’s Splash Island.” The island includes a 30,000-gallon shaded wave pool designed specifically for kids, and a 150-foot-long interactive lazy river with dumping coconuts, rain curtains, and spraying water. Ten new poolside cabanas feature lounge chairs, personal lockers, refrigerators, a flat-screen television, and food and beverage service provided by the cabana wait staff. www.sixflags.com/newEngland/rideswaterpark/WaterParkOverview.aspx
    • Images are available from the park upon request.
  • Six Flags White Water just outside Atlanta, Ga., opens the family-friendly Wiggles Water World covering 40,000 square feet. The new area is anchored by “The S.S. Feathersword,a 25-foot-tall ship with water cannons, telescopes, climbing nets, portholes, slippery slides, and secret crawl-through spaces. Guests can also enjoy “Wags the Dog’s Kennel Slide Tower,” “Henry the Octopus’s Pop Jets,” “Dorothy the Dinosaur’s Spray Garden, “Big Red Car Slide, and the Yummy Yummy Café.  www.sixflags.com/whiteWater/index.aspx
  • Splash Kingdom Water Town in Shreveport, La., unveils the new “children’s castle. The castle provides the perfect place for toddlers and parents to enjoy the water together. Pools, restaurants, seating, shade areas, and more are new and improved for the summer season.www.splashkingdomwaterpark.com/watertownusa/index.asp

IAAPA, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded more than 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 attractions industry. IAAPA represents more than 4,000 attraction, supplier, and individual members from more than 90 countries. Visit IAAPA online at www.IAAPA.org


Editors Notes: Every effort was made to ensure the information included in this release was accurate at the time of publication. For the most up-to-date information, visit the attraction’s web site listed with each entry.

Images are available for download HERE.

The information above is available by region: NortheastSouthMidwest, and West.  

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