During a press conference at IAAPA Expo 2023 in Orlando, WhiteWater showcased new products, gave updates on the progress of high-profile projects in each region, and elaborated on the trend of vertical water parks. The event began with the presentation of the complete Joy Economy book—a 300-page valuable resource proudly published by WhiteWater’s software arm, Vantage, featuring exclusive interviews with attractions industry leaders sharing their knowledge of best practices for great guest and employee experiences.
New products, new sensations
Unveiled at the show was Wall Runner, a new water slide sensation that extends the zero G feeling like
never before. Through artfully crafted arcs, this innovative ride creates a drifting experience that propels
rafts sideways while maintaining forward momentum. Wall Runner not only offers first-of-its-kind thrills,
its unique shape also provides novel branding and theming opportunities for a most photogenic
Other products launched earlier this year are:
• Infinity Master Blaster, WhiteWater’s popular water coaster in a continuous loop ride path
• Mini Blaster, pint-sized rendition of the thrilling original
• Elevated AquaForms, the raised version of WhiteWater’s innovative modular aquatic play system, with Elevated AquaForms 12 winning this year’s Brass Ring Award for Best New Product, Water Park Ride/Attraction under $2 million
Also new this year is the now complete range of wave products available to WhiteWater clients: sheet wave with FlowRider®, deep flow stationary wave with FlowSurf™, and surf lagoon with Endless Surf. These products offer different ride experiences yet have the potential be anchor attractions in leisure and entertainment venues.
Vertical water parks
Trending this year is the concept of vertical water parks. These sky-high towers not only serve as landmarks, they also pack in the most thrills per square meter. Soon to open is the Icon Tower at Meryal in Qatar, which is breaking two records: the world’s tallest water slide at 85 meters (279 feet) and the most number of water slides coming off a single tower—12.
The tallest water slide tower in North America, The Rise of Icarus, will open summer 2024 at Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park in Wisconsin, USA. Launching five slides, the tallest one will be 44 meters (145 feet) high. Meanwhile in China, M100 Waterpark in Zhejiang province will be the world’s tallest water slide tower when completed, boasting 100 meters (328 feet) in height and launching 12 waterslides.
Global project updates
WhiteWater gave updates on prominent projects around the world slated for completion in the coming year, including several record breakers and firsts in their respective regions, as well as a dominance of the Master Blaster—WhiteWater’s fan-favourite water coaster.
In China, the world’s biggest indoor ski hall, SnowStar in Shanghai, will open a world-class water park as part of its greater resort complex, with park design and all 15 of the water attractions provided by WhiteWater, including a rarity—a Blasterango in the form of a Family Master Blaster + Boomerango Fusion. In Japan, Nagashima Spa Land will impress with the world’s largest funnel slide, the Mega Abyss. Having opened its latest expansion, Oasis Gardens, this year, Waterbom Bali in Indonesia will unveil a new kids’ area with the biggest AquaForms in the world, with 16 platforms of interactive fun interconnected by bridges and stairs.
The highly anticipated Oceana at Liseberg in Sweden will be ready to welcome guests to enjoy 14 water attractions, including Europe’s first 6-person water slides and, at 16.4 meters (54 feet), the highest mega-drop Master Blaster in the world. Still in Scandinavia, Fårup Sommerland in Denmark is making the biggest expansion investment in its history with a tower launching two attractions: Parallel Pursuit and the world’s first Boomerango + Tailspin Fusion. In Munich, Germany, o2 SURFTOWN MUC will forever change location-based entertainment in Europe with a state-of-the-art Endless Surf surf lagoon creating waves for all skill levels—as well as spending opportunities in lifestyle, events, food, and beverage.
In South America, the most visited water park on the continent, Thermas dos Laranjais in Brazil, will open an epic tower featuring two 6-person raft rides: a Family Master Blaster + Orbiter + Anaconda Fusion and a Family Master Blaster + Constrictor + Galaxy Bowl Fusion—both firsts in the world.
The Master Blaster action continues in the USA, where Wilderness at the Smokies in Tennessee will have the world’s first water slide with Reverse AquaLucent effects. Hurricane Harbor Maryland at Six Flags America will have the tallest water coaster in the Mid-Atlantic. As part of the biggest investment since the water park at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands opened, its new expansion will feature four inner tube rides, including the headlining Blasterango—a Master Blaster and Boomerango Fusion thatwill be the first water coaster in Georgia. Not forgetting the young children, they will have their own Mini Blaster—the world’s first—at Schlitterbahn New Braunfels in Texas.
On the topic of kids, they will have hours of fun with 180 features and 7 slides on the new beach-themed Rain Fortress 5 aquatic play structure at Hurricane Harbor New Jersey at Six Flags Great Adventure. Bavarian Inn in Michigan will open its Bavarian-themed kids’ area, along with large inner tube slides and raft rides, as part of its $80 million investment to create the biggest indoor water park in the state. Over to the high seas, Carnival Jubilee will set sail from Galveston, Texas, later this year with thrilling body slides and a custom AquaPlay on board. Heading to the Great White North, summer will see Canada’s Wonderland open a 6-person Boomerango—the country’s first—to the delight of regulars to this renowned park.
WhiteWater is in the midst of the pulsating attractions industry growth in the Middle East. Together with the extraordinary Icon Tower, Meryal will feature waves, aquatic play structures, and 36 water slides across 160,000 square meters (39.5 acres) of water park inspired by themes of Qatari culture and history. In Kuwait, New Messilah Beach, an upscale club, is being re-designed with fresh aquatic amenities. More major WhiteWater projects in the Middle East will be revealed in the coming months.
“We’re excited to be working on impactful new projects, both with familiar repeat clients and in pioneering new territories,” said WhiteWater President and Endless Surf Co-Founder, Paul Chutter. “The attractions industry is full of buzz again with new investments, and we’re fortunate to have trusted partners to work with to create exceptional guest experiences through our complete portfolio—whether water parks, water rides, surf, or software.”