The varying shades of autumn are beautiful but I am already dreaming of the summer. While I am not completely opposed to the shift to cold weather (campfires after chilly mountain hikes are my favorite), my outside activities are definitely best suited for the summer.
One of those favorite summer activities is grabbing the kids and heading out to the local waterpark when the beaches are out of reach, and I am looking for some relief from the heat. Whether we are taking on a wave pool or heart-pounding slides, relaxing under some rays in the lazy river, or people watching, trips to these slippery, sunny paradises are tons of fun.
Waterparks are not only reserved for those places with blistering heat. Even the folks in Berlin have a waterpark. In fact, Germany hosts the biggest indoor waterpark in the world, owning 16 acres of an old airship hanger. Tropical Islands Resort is a snazzy, beautiful oasis in the middle of the clinging frost and snow of Eastern Europe.
In the United States, Typhoon Lagoon in Orlando is the most attended park with 2.28 million visitors a year. However, those totals are a drop in the bucket when considering all that is available in North America, which has 1,300 waterparks and 85 million people attending them on a yearly basis.
From large privately-owned establishments to city funded municipal water worlds, waterparks are being built at a steadfast pace. Most of the new construction is done in the off-season, so they are ready for your arrival when the heat parts the cold and their doors swing open.
The Park Database’s infographic illustrates how waterparks are planned and constructed by category, and the percentages on what types of features they usually include. First you will need millions of dollars and up to 100,000 square meters, which is about 25 acres. Then, once you have the money gathered and the space requirements, you can begin putting together your water slides that drop, loop, and accelerate into the open air and through tunnels, and let’s not forget the added excitement of “water coasters”, boomerangs and funnels.
If you are more inclined to visit amusement parks that are “dry”, check out this infographic on which Disney Park is the happiest. And if you’re going to build a waterpark, I guess this would be the season to start!