Monday, May 21, 2012

2012 Waterpark Preview - Part 1

With Memorial Day weekend quickly approaching it's a great time to check out what's new at North American waterparks.  The popularity of these facilities seems unstoppable, and there's plenty new for Summer 2012.  We will check out some of these additional this week, leading up to the long weekend, which is traditionally when many waterparks open for the year.

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Dixie Landin' and Blue Bayou Waterpark offers guests both amusement rides and water slides when they visit, and this year the waterpark has more than ever before to offer.  The park is adding a set of four Aqua Loop water slides this Summer.

© Dixie Landin' and Blue Bayou Waterpark

The slides all depart from one tower, and above you can see that half of them have been installed so far.  When complete the ride will have quite a visual impact.  The park hasn't really published an official name for the attraction yet, but I'm sure they'll have something unique when they do!

Other renovations include bath house renovations and a complete overhaul of the lazy river, making it look brand new.

Splash Kingdom Waterpark, located in Redlands, California, is a popular local establishment where families can enjoy a day in the sun.  Filled with an enormous tower that features eight different slides along with a surfing simulator, the park has a major new addition this year.

 © Splash Kingdom Waterpark

New for 2012 is a 17,000 square foot wave pool, currently unnamed.  The attraction is something that the park has wanted to add for a while, and brings with it a tremendous increase in capacity.  Also seen on the above drawing is a mat racing slide, though I think that may be a future addition.

The park is having a contest to name the new wave pool.  You can submit your ideas via the park's official website.

If you're headed to Denver, Colorado any time this Summer you might want to stop by Water World, one of the largest waterparks in the country.  New this year is the Mile High Flyer, which is one of the highly regarded Proslide hydromagnetic water coasters.

 © Water World

The new slide features a black and yellow color scheme, and plenty of twists and turns.  I actually have to admit that from the new park map the ride appears to resemble the layout of Holiday World's Wildebeest.

The ride will use a conveyor belt lift so that there is no tower to walk up, though the ride fits into the landscape which is a decent sized hill.  I can't find the length of the ride anywhere, but one story puts the maximum height of the $4.5 million Mile High Flyer at 45 feet.

When My. Olympus Water and Theme Park announced the addition of the Lost City of Atlantis I assumed it was just a large water play structure.  Well, it is, but it's also a lot more!  Now that the structure has been completed we can see all that is offered:

© Mt. Olympus

There are some full sized slides in there, much like ones that you'd find standing alone at many parks.  In total there are 7 different slides that come off the structure, along with a geyser that shoots water 120 feet in the air, and a giant tipping bucket.

The orange and pink slide to the left of the photo is especially interesting, as riders end up dropping down into the "boomerango" section where they climb the wall and then fall back down.