Will we ever see a comeback of water rides at a amusement park not a water park?

December 1, 2018, 3:19 PM

I am talking about dry water rides at amusement park not a water slide at a water park but we have seen a disappearance of quite a few water rides in the past few years. Like flume rides, splash down rides, and raging rapids rides, like the new infinity falls is at SeaWorld Orlando. Pilgrims Plunge was at holiday world known as the tallest water ride in the world at like 150ft, then a similar ride at knotts berry farm considered as tall as niagra falls in Canada/new York called perilous plunge, both are now gone for good. But I understand the loading station still remains for pilgrims plunge. Shoot the Rapids debuted at cedar point in 2010 but only lasted a few years because I guess it was too much maintenance. That’s the thing a lot of these water rides are high maintenance so I guess that’s why I guess we don’t see many being built at theme parks anymore. But Infinity Falls Raft ride looks awesome at SeaWorld now has a drop which most raft rides don’t have. The Mack power splash and super splash rides look really cool I guess their suppose to be a mixture of a water coaster & water ride. So what I am asking is are we seeing a slow comeback of these water rides at dry parks but with new creation and design? Maybe making them taller like Pilgrims Plunge? Maybe we will see more theming in a water ride as well? Shoot the Rapids has rocks with water flowing down from it.

Replies (4)

December 3, 2018, 7:34 AM


December 3, 2018, 5:21 PM

Great question, but I think the key comes down to storytelling. Everything hinges on story. If the story can be told on a slow moving boat, that is what will be used. How many of the dark rides built in the last five to ten years would work in a boat like those used at small world, Pirates of the Caribbean or Epcot's Land pavilion. Not many.
Now if you are talking more about thrill rides that involve water and get folks wet while wearing their street clothes, they have always been part of the mix and I think they always will be. It's just that other than Log Flumes, River Rapids and Shoot the Shoots (I'll use Splash Mountain, Infinity Falls and Jurassic Park River Adventure as examples of each of those kinds of rides respectfully) most medium or larger parks already have at least two or more of those kinds of rides in operation already. Some much more sophisticated than others. Islands of Adventure’s Ripsaw Falls is a very sophisticated log flume while Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Jet Stream is all ride and no theming but both are a ton of fun.
I think another reason you may not be seeing as many of these rides being built is because so many parks have either a companion water park at the resort, or the park has a mini water park “land” like Six Flags over Georgia’s Hurricane Harbor and LEGOLAND California’s up-charge in park Water Park. I myself would rather go on water rides and get drenched in my bathing suite for a few hours and then change into street clothes and ride the rest of the rides in the dry portion of the park, but to each his own.

December 4, 2018, 4:17 PM

It's possible, but not likely for the following reasons:

-Of the three main categories of water rides (log flumes, river rapids, and splash boats), most medium or large parks already have at least two of the three. Unlike with other types of rides, the value of additional water rides drops quickly as guests tend to not ride another if they're already wet.
-Many parks now include some sort of waterpark with admission, and those offer more capacity and more marketability with less investment long-term.
-Water rides are very maintenance intensive, often requiring more time and money to keep in working order than any other attraction (except perhaps a very sophisticated dark ride). They also have higher operating costs due to components needed to keep the water clean.
-With the rise of personal electronic devices, a smaller fraction of park guests may be willing to drench themselves, which may reduce interest in particularly wet water rides.
-With longer operating seasons and more emphasis on spring and fall events, investing in an expensive attraction that can only run for a relatively short portion of the season is probably a lower priority at many parks.
-There is a much wider variety of theme park attractions on the market today than there was when water rides were most popular.

Does this mean we'll never see new water rides? No, absolutely not. But I think we're more likely to see them at growing small parks rather than established parks that already feature wet rides and/or waterparks.

Edited: January 20, 2019, 2:40 AM

There is another detail in decisionmaking for amusement parks, when it comes to flumes/rapids.. bigger sized water rides.
> Energy consumption.
For instance, the Efteling's Piraña has an installed power of 300 kilowatts. (For the water flow only.) It's the single biggest power consumption attraction in the park. Get 2 or 3 of the same (power) size and the electricity bill is exploding, out of equilibrium with the possible forecasted attendance rise to the park.
Short : it's about operational economic feasibility.
(Sorry for my professional deformation :-) :-) )

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