The Power of Waves: Wave Rivers

April 19, 2016

The tried and true waterpark river has seen a remarkable transformation over the years becoming more than a standard waterpark capacity staple as new levels of enhancement and excitement are being added. While traditional Lazy Rivers provide a relaxing way for the more senior members of the family to float around the park and take in the scenery and sunshine, a Wave River can appeal to the playful youth and young adults with more splashing, bobbing, spilling and inevitably more laughing.

“A Wave River is the perfect option to appeal to every member of the family.”

Go from Lazy to Crazy for Broad Appeal

With a simple addition of affordable wave-generating equipment, a Lazy River can be turned from lazy to crazy, producing surges that move the length of the wave river, breaking on beaches or in lagoons. Wave Rivers are a great way to add diversity to a waterpark, offering an activity for all members of the family and encouraging extended stays.

A Lazy River may not have enough thrill to entertain energetic kids for long which is why adding the power of waves to your river can broaden its appeal. A high impact wave has enough power to feel risky to kids giving them a thrill while still being enjoyable to mom and dad who may not be interested in the high thrill attractions. A Wave River is the perfect option to appeal to every member of the family.

Control your Flow

A park operator has complete control over their Wave River and can turn the waves off during slower times/days and ramp them back up when capacity starts building. The ability to turn waves on and off also gives operators ability to provide multiple experiences throughout the day, changing the intensity of the waves and holding guest’s attention longer.

Like the Monorail at Disneyland, it’s all about the Viewpoints

The guest enters the park.  Perhaps they grab a map and decide what to visit first.  But if they see a river and a pile of inner-tubes, chances are they will simply hop in and tour the park.  This can be one of the best ways to get your guests introduced to all areas of the park.  Snaking past the interactive water play structure, past the mat racer, past the wave pool, seeing the thrill ride complex, or past the food and beverage stations, will get them revved up to enjoy the full day and all of the amenities.

Get Creative with Design and Customize the Adventure

No two rivers are alike because they can be designed with unique features, shapes and lengths to make every park special.  Exotic features can make a wave river the signature attraction of a waterpark, like the wave river in Singapore that passes by a tank of manta rays! Or make your river an opportunity to showcase the incredible lush and diverse vegetation in your park like they do at Xocomil Waterpark in Mexico.  Adding themed elements can turn a waterpark river into a fully immersive story with greenery, animals and events.  Let your wave river become a journey of imagination.

Channel configuration, curvature of the river, wall height, beach location and shape, pumping and controls all have to be a finely designed concert of activity. With all the correct pieces in place the river can be a tremendously exhilarating, and completely unique, amenity to every park.

Extending the Stay Encourages Additional Spending

Wave Rivers provide a diversified experience within a waterpark when visitors need a break from waiting in line-ups and are looking for a place to cool off. But whether your park has a Lazy River, or a Wave River, the advantage is the same – extending the guest’s stay.  A waterslide experience can be as short as 30 seconds, but guests can float around the park in their tube for hours, soaking up the sunshine.  Keeping the decision makers in the family entertained and happy is key to keeping the entire family in the park. Relaxation for parents and even grandparents while at the same time providing a twisting, turning adventure the kids will also enjoy is an essential recipe for any waterpark’s success.

It is easy to see why a wave river is one of the core design components in a park: they provide broad appeal and huge guest capacity.  But one of the biggest benefits is the scope they provide to define spaces within your park, working with the site topography each one is almost unique and showcases why your park is special.