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“First, the demand for more interactive play features in waterparks is growing. Patrons


do not always want to take what is offered but rather, want to create their own fun. Second, with water play structures, you can offer combinations of features - slides, play features, tipping buckets, water cannons, net climbs that are distributed everywhere throughout the structure. Third, people want to share the experience ... to be on the structure all together as a family or as a group of friends, having fun together, sharing and actually creating their own way of fun.” Pakis insists the increasing demand for interactivity is the most significant design trend


she’s observed over the last 10 years. “Today, the structures are multi-level and include interactive play elements throughout.” Corry Forrest, at WaterPlay Solutions of Kelowna, British Columbia, is also big on


interactivity. He defines it as “....giving users the ability to control, adjust and alter their particular experience.” Ultimately that will include incorporating electronics such as lights, sounds and multi-spray displays within water play structures to expand their range of experiences. This pursuit of interactivity has proven to be child’s play compared to what Forrest says is the most difficult design goal to achieve in waterplay design - safety. “Regardless of what safety standards you strive for, children will try to climb anything.” Aqua-structures, like teenage boys, are destined to be show-offs, natural born


attention seekers. Spraygrounds on the other hand, are attention getters. Like aqua-structures, spraygrounds got their start in waterparks. Back then, waterparks


were primarily targeting the five years and over set. Then enterprising operators began courting the toddler market as a means of coaxing more families through their turnstiles. spraygrounds popped up like mushrooms and were an immediate hit with kids and parents alike. Not content to be confined to waterparks, the sprayground branched out, making a


name for itself with penny-pinching municipalities looking for a cheaper alternative to the community swimming pool. The city of Omaha, Nebraska, for example, opened its first sprayground in 1999 and today operates nine of them. Residents can’t get enough. “They like the fact that they can take even the smallest toddlers, who enjoy interacting


with the sprays more than they would a wading pool,” comments Melinda Pearson, Omaha’s director, parks, recreation and public property. “Likewise, older children enjoy the overhead elements such as the dumping buckets. At this point, the only drawback is that some of them are too popular and almost over-used,” admits Pearson. “We need more of them.”


Image courtesy of Polin Waterparks and Pool Systems 21 Hersheypark, Pennsylvania


They’ll stay and play all day!


Exciting hands-on adventures for the entire family.


Wet ’n’ Wild, Arizona


Wild Wadi, Dubai


The Waterpark Company whitewater@whitewaterwest.com


Tel: +1 604 273 1068 • www.whitewaterwest.com


Image courtesy of Rain Drop Products


Cowabunga Bay, Utah


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