A water park or waterpark is an amusement park that features water play areas such as swimming pools, water slides, splash pads, water playgrounds, and lazy rivers, as well as areas for floating, bathing, swimming, and other barefoot environments. Modern water parks may also be equipped with some type of artificial surfing or bodyboarding environment, such as a wave pool or flowrider.


Water parks have grown in popularity since their introduction in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The United States has the largest and most concentrated water park market, with over 1,000 water parks and dozens of new parks opening each year. Major organizations are the IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) and WWA (World Waterpark Association), which is the industry trade association. Water parks which emerge from spas tend to more closely resemble mountain resorts, as they become year-round destinations. For example, Splash Universe Water Park Resort is themed to match the community in which it is located. The theme is intended to enhance the community's destination appeal. Therefore, the amusement and leisure-time industry is becoming more concentrated, as winter sports are becoming common themes in summertime water recreation. A process of concentration can be observed in the hybrid versions of theme-, amusement-, and water parks. Some water parks are more spa-oriented. For example, SchwabenQuellen has no water slides; it has instead many saunas, steam rooms, "adventure showers", and relaxation-oriented water play areas. In the 2000s, an effort was made to reduce long waiting lines by introducing conveyor belts to lift passengers or use water jets. An unusual feature at a water park is ice skating. Deep River Water Park in northwestern Indiana features ice skating, made possible by cooling pipes installed under their massive plaza.

Indoor water parks

Some of the first indoor water parks are at Duinrell (The Netherlands, 1984), Nautiland located at Haguenau (France, 1984), the Aqua Mundo at Center Parc De Eemhof located at Zeewolde (The Netherlands, 1980) and (Switerland, 1977). In 1986 World Waterpark was open in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada at the West Edmonton Mall. It is in 2016 the largest indoor water park in North America. Tropical Islands Resort (Germany), with an area of , is in 2016 the largest indoor water park in the world. With five indoor water parks, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin is supposed to be recognized as the "Water Park Capital of the World". It showcases several of America's largest indoor and outdoor water parks, such as Noah's Ark Water Park. Indoor water parks in Wisconsin Dells debuted in 1994 after the Polynesian Resort Hotel built the first one in the U.S. Success in extending the tourist season and turning water park resorts into vacation destinations has resulted in tremendous industry growth. Usually, resort hotels featuring massive indoor water parks have been reserved for overnight guests. Companies like Great Wolf Resorts/Great Wolf Lodge and Kalahari Resorts have branched out from their origin in Wisconsin Dells to open new locations around the country. Mt. Olympus Theme and Water Park (formerly Family Land) is another huge water park in the Dells. The largest indoor water park in the UK is Sandcastle Water Park in Blackpool, England, which opened in 1986. There are many water parks in southern Europe where the climate suits a long season. For example, in Portugal's Algarve, there are three main parks: Aqualand, Aquashow, and Slide n' Splash. The growth of indoor water parks has encouraged leisure centres across the world to begin implementing features of waterparks into their facilities, including slides and lazy rivers.

Water play areas

Water play areas are similar to water parks and include urban beaches, splash pads, and smaller collections of water slides in many hotels and public swimming pools. For example, the Chelsea Hotel in Toronto features a four-story water slide called the Corkscrew.


File:WaterWorldWaterpark-AyiaNapa.jpg|Aerial view of a section of WaterWorld Themed Waterpark in Ayia Napa, Cyprus File:Wrocławski Park Wodny - Baseny Rekreacyjne 2.jpg|Water park in Wrocław, Poland File:Meymadion.jpg|Meymadion in near Tel Aviv, Israel File:Espoo, Finland - panoramio - Андрей Бобровский.jpg|Serena Waterpark in Lahnus, Espoo, Finland File:Swimming-pool.jpg|A water park with a wave pool File:Sunway Lagoon2013 1.jpg|Aerial view of the Sunway Lagoon in Bandar Sunway, Malaysia File:Kuwait - Aqua Park.jpg|Aqua Park, water-theme park in Kuwait City, Kuwait File:Fasouri Watermania Water Park Limassol.jpg|Fasouri Watermania Water Park in Limassol, Cyprus File:Hershey Park - The Boardwalk.JPG|Hersheypark's boardwalk File:Cedar Point splash area.jpg|A splash area at Cedar Point File:Super Tubes Hydrocoaster and The Green Room at WhiteWater World.jpg|WhiteWater World in Queensland, Australia File:Innenansicht im Tropical Islands.jpg|Tropical Islands Resort in Krausnick, Germany File:The World Waterpark - Edmonton.jpg|World Waterpark in Edmonton, Alberta, North America's largest indoor water park File:Breakwater Beach.jpg|Breakwater Beach water park in Seaside Heights, New Jersey File:Dinosauria water slides.jpg|Dinosauria Water Slides at Visulahti in Mikkeli, Finland File:Raging Waters Wildwood.jpg|Raging Waters water park at Morey's Piers in Wildwood, New Jersey (taken from the ferris wheel) File:Marine and waterpark aquaventure waterpark.jpg|Aquaventure Waterpark, Dubai File:Waterpark - panoramio (1).jpg|A small waterpark File:Cultus Lake Waterpark panorama.jpg|A panoramic view of Cultus Lake waterpark, Cultus Lake, British Columbia, Canada File:Fun Mountain Waterpark, Winnipeg (390386) (9441812903).jpg|Fun Mountain Waterpark, Winnipeg

See also

* Indoor water park * List of water parks


Further reading

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