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Water Park

Amusement park that features water rides and water activities

A water park is an amusement park that features waterplay areas, such as water slides, splash pads, spray grounds (water playgrounds), lazy rivers, and other recreational bathing environments. Water parks, in more current states of development, may also be equipped with some type of artificial surfing or body boarding environment such as a wave pool or a flowrider.

Evolution of waterparks

The very idea for a water park may have been inspired by a Hungarian spa. Some waterparks are more spa-oriented and normally focus more on relaxation-oriented waterplay areas such as saunas, steam rooms, "adventure showers", and more.

Waterparks emerging from spas continue to more closely resemble mountain resorts as they become four-season destinations. The whole amusement and leisure time industry is getting becoming more concentrated and guests are more often finding winter sports mixed with the summertime water rides, in time and space. A process of concentration can be observed in the hybrid parks that offer segments of theme, amusement, and water all in the same park.

Waterparks have become increasingly popular since the 1950's. The United States has the largest and most concentrated waterpark market, with over a thousand waterparks as of 2005 and dozens of new parks opening each year. Major organizations for waterparks are IAAPA (International Associotion of Amusement Parks and Attractions) and WWA (World Waterpark Association).

With 18 indoor water parks, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, is recognized as the "Water Park Capital of the World." As of 2005, it boasts one of America's largest indoor and outdoor water parks -- Noah's Ark and Kalahari Resorts.

Indoor water parks

The phenonmenon of indoor waterparks started in the Wisconsin Dells in the 1990's, but has since caught on quickly in many areas. Resort hotels featuring massive indoor waterparks are often reserved exclusively for overnight guests; companies like Great Wolf Resorts and Kalahari Resorts have branched out from their origin in the Dells to open new locations around the country.

Source: Wikipedia

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