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In the theme park industry, we see trends coming and going all the time with advancing technologies and changes in audience desires, but some rides can truly stand the test of time.

We’ve entered an age where every park is competing with one another to market the biggest and the best coaster about, something one-of-a-kind. But doing so gives an attraction a lifecycle, as soon as its record is beaten, it has little notability any longer. It’s been overdone, and what parks really need is a family favourite that never gets old. Cue the Water Rides.

Now, yes, we might be a little biased, but we’re here to tell you all the reasons why a water ride is exactly what your park needs, what your visitors want and why you should be investing in one.

So apart from their obvious superiority, we’re going to lay out the facts starting with…

Ride Diversity

You can’t just have the same type of ride repeated over and over again with different theming. You’ve got to give the people what they want, and that’s diversity. A range of varying experiences from dark rides to rollercoasters, flat rides to, you guessed it, WATER RIDES. One in every 5 parks doesn’t have a water ride but just like a rollercoaster is a must-have in every theme park, so is a water ride. With such a variety within the water ride genre, you can still tailor your ride choices to your audience to compliment your ride assortment.

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Ride collage

Cross-selling – “Do you want fries with that?”

One of the biggest drivers of additional revenue for a park is through merchandise, right? But sometimes convincing a guest to buy something that they want, rather than need, from the gift shop can be difficult. But a water ride can help turn that want into a need.

Say your guest doesn’t fancy getting wet on your water ride, or it’s a cooler day so they won’t dry off as quickly. Before they enter the ride queue they pop into the adjoining gift shop and buy a plastic poncho to keep themselves dry. Conversely they misjudge how wet they were going to get, as they’re exiting the ride, through the gift shop, they choose to purchase a commemorative t-shirt to wear instead of their currently wet clothes or even just stick a couple bucks in a body dryer to dry off a bit faster. That’s an extra few dollars they wouldn’t have spent if they were guaranteed to stay dry.

Ponchos and Haystack body dryers are also an excellent way of extending the seasonality of these water rides for parks that stay open year-round or have long seasons that encroach on cooler months, encouraging guests to ride no matter the weather.

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People on Jungle Splash Flume in Ponchos
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Haystack Dryer

They’re highly marketable

Choose the right theming or IP, and a new water ride is the perfect marketing campaign, appealing to the entire family. With the customisability of a water ride and ability to tell almost any narrative through different mediums alongside it, you can target a specific audience very easily. As many water rides offer high throughput, they can tame those summer crowds quickly and keep guest satisfaction levels high.

Log flumes and Superflumes are perfect for generating that big spectator value from picture perfect splashes that draw in guests. While our Spin boats offer a more relaxing experience suitable for the whole family that won’t necessarily involve getting you wet but provides the physical floating sensation with the ability to still tell a story. Teens love a Rapid River as the unpredictability of them and constant chance of getting soaked provides an unrivalled thrill, that is guaranteed to result in oodles of laughter. They address all age groups across a park’s demographics, and the appeal is evident from the large number of long-standing water rides still in operation after many years. In fact, many parks claim that their water rides are their most popular rides.

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Viking Voyage Now Open
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40 years between photos, and still investing in a family favourite.

A more Interactive Experience

A lot of parks strive to integrate additional mini attractions into their parks to make the whole visitor experience more interactive out-with the main rides. A great way of achieving this is by using water rides as an opportunity for these interactions. Side-line interactivity can often be seen in the form of buttons that shoot water at riders or water cannons that spectators can move and control to point in their direction. Whether integrated into your queues as a way of keeping people occupied as they wait, or as an activity, for those watching their family, to take part in – if they don’t fancy the ride itself.

An overlooked interactive element that rides such as Shoot-the-Chute or Superflumes can sometimes also provide, is the iconic splash that showers spectators and can become a game for younger kids, to run in and out of the ‘splash-zone’.

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Water Battle Parc Warner Interlink

Keep ‘em Cool

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BaoSon Superflume Splash

We all want a nice day when we plan a trip to our favourite theme park, but on the flip side, many people find being out in the sun all day can make them irritable and tired. There’re only so many ice creams you can eat and bottles of cold water you can glug down. So, to make sure your visitors are choosing to come to your theme park over a neighbouring waterpark you’ll need a couple of water rides to help you out. Water rides should not be designed to get the rider wet but rather get them sprayed with a fine spray of water…

If you want to vary how wet your guests get then you can use add ons such as geysers or water cannons, which can be adjusted by the park maintenance team.

Water rides are here to stay, for the long haul. There’s a whole host of reasons why every park should have at least one water ride, if not more, in order to provide their guests with a diverse range of physical experiences. With technologies advancing for water rides too, we’re making them more efficient and cost effective all the time. We’ve even gone one step further with our newest Immersive Superflume – by taking the existing Super Flume concept but integrating a media-based attraction, to keep things fresh and offer guests a unique attraction.

So, if you’re considering whether your park has the right ratio of dry to wet ride experiences, then get in touch. Our expert team will help you explore your options, to figure out the perfect water ride for your park!