Guest Article

A new wave of attractions

Julie St. Louis examines the new trends in wave-based water ride attractions


Author Julie St. Louis is the marketing & communications specialist at Aquatic Development Group (ADG).

ver the past several years water parks have been undergoing a change in perception of how they classify a water ride and what attractions will

prove most valuable for their next park expansions. This is evidenced in the growing variety of new water ride attractions beyond the water slide that are appearing in the market which is making park owners and key decision makers think twice when it comes time to increase their offerings or update their property with the latest attraction. As we examine these new trends in wave-based water

ride attractions, one critical component that they all have in common comes to the forefront. Each of these water rides can easily be expanded to create a complete destination experience for guests, easily augmented with ample deck space, shade areas, landscaping and rental cabanas, providing park owners the ability to create a family friendly oasis that lends to increased time on property and greater per-cap spend. “One thing that really is making a mark in the industry

is the evolution of water ride attractions,” observed Hue Eichelberger, Premier Parks. “Instead of having to climb a tower and ride a fiberglass slide to have a ride-type


experience, these new water ride attractions provide an in-water experience that you don’t have to wait in line to enjoy. I hope this trend continues in the waterpark industry.” Unlike the area you get surrounding the base of a slide

complex, these new water rides become home-base destination areas for families to comfortably spend their “day at the park.” And while slides are an essential component of any water park – their thrill factor cannot be denied – wave based water rides create the perfect complement and offer virtually no wait, so guests enjoy more time in the water, or relaxing by it with food and drinks. Something they can’t do while waiting on a slide line.

The Next Generation in wave pool rides From the very start of the water park industry, wave pools have always been considered an “anchor” attraction for the park. A “people eater,” the wave pool can withstand a high capacity level of guests of all age ranges, and it’s the also the one attractions where, on most any day, you will find the majority of your guests. They can not only be enjoying the waves and in-water fun, but can also set up “camp”


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