WhiteWater’s IAAPA Expo Europe Update: New Products, Major Projects, and Regional Expansions
Highlights from WhiteWater’s press conference at IAAPA Expo Europe
London, United Kingdom – At a press conference at IAAPA Expo Europe 2022, WhiteWater, the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of water parks and attractions, made some big announcements regarding its projects, personnel, and products.
Working to Create a More Sustainable Future for Europe Parks
Responding to Climate Change with Water Conservation
With the extreme heat this past summer in Europe, consumers are increasingly aware of both energy and water usage. WhiteWater approaches water conservation in several ways, for example, by working with 3D simulations in the design phase to prevent water loss. The leading supplier is working on ways parks can reduce water consumption and extend the life of attractions across its entire portfolio, from Endless Surf’s most compact footprint, to redesigned slide shutdown lanes that minimize splash.
At Aqualand Moravia in Czechia, WhiteWater is building and installing an AquaForms 300 and AquaSplash toys. The aquatic play structure balances both style and substance, providing more available play space while minimizing its footprint. The patented water delivery structural system was engineered to easily adjust to variations in pool floor and require less water. Constructed with corrosive-resistant materials to lead the industry in longevity, AquaForms also includes multiple foot and hand activators so certain features will only turn on when a child presses one of the nine buttons. These cause-and-effect interactives not only make for a more engaging play experience but help the park to use less water as features are not always running.
Extending the Life of Existing Attractions
In a similar fashion, WhiteWater’s Water Rides Team is also looking to help “dry” attractions increase the life of their equipment while maximizing their operations to their fullest potential. One way the team has done this is through boat refurbishment, giving older water rides a new lease on life. Upgrading both the look and functionality, the newly equipped boats boast innovative features, such as hydraulic lap bars to improve guest comfort and removable floorboards for easy access for maintenance.
“Water rides are a classic staple at theme parks, with nearly every park around the world operating at least one,” said Domingo Vergoossen, Vice President, Global Business Development—Water Rides. “Besides supplying new rides, it is our goal at WhiteWater to help theme parks make these rides last for decades to come and enhance them with the latest technology or upgrade them with new exciting features.”
Such is the case for Tayto Park in Ireland, who will have new boats from WhiteWater in 2023 as part of the enhancement of their guest favourite, Viking Voyage. The manufacturer is upgrading the theme park’s existing water ride equipment to increase the capacity of the attraction by 30% to allow more guests to ride together and reduce wait times. The Tayto Park example highlights WhiteWater’s ability to assess existing water rides and purpose-fit their ride vehicles to help theme parks solve issues, reach their performance goals, and improve overall guest satisfaction.
Strengthening Regional Full-Service Teams
Another approach toward environmental sustainability is reducing air travel, which WhiteWater does by having a full-service office in each region to help clients locally. Both the Munich and Dubai offices expanded and relocated into larger offices in 2022 to better accommodate the growing teams. Maintaining the company’s motto for success based on “having the right people on the bus in the right seats,” WhiteWater also announced some new key hires set to help the company—and its clients—reach new heights.
Jeremy Gray joined the Middle East team in Dubai as VP, Business Development. An optimistic and enthusiastic sales leader with over 20 years of experience within the leisure sector, he relocated from the United Kingdom to the Middle East. With a recent three-year tenure at accesso, Gray is no stranger to the attractions industry and has a deep understanding of how technology can improve a park’s operations. Whether leading the way on a giga project or luxury resort, he is well established in helping owners create unparalleled guest experiences, not just with iconic attractions and water slides, but with technology.
Also on the tech side of the business is new hire Michael Jungen, stepping in as President at Vantage. With a 25-year track record of implementing cutting-edge technologies for the attractions and hospitality industries, Jungen played a major role in Disney Parks MagicBand and MyMagic+, as well as single-finger biometrics at park entrances and the Disney Gift Card. He was also instrumental in developing and delivering Carnival’s Ocean Medallion guest experience platform.
“I have a vision of success for our industry: we must strive for the purest, simplest, and most powerful emotional connection for guests with the park experience – JOY!” said Jungen. “The reason is simple: if we do, everything else takes care of itself. Join me on this journey, and together we will take the term ‘experience’ to another level, where the entire chain of stakeholders and shareholders wins.”
Ground-Breaking Projects in Europe and the Middle East
Europe’s First Endless Surf Pool
This summer, the team at SURFTOWN® MUC officially broke ground on its state-of-the-art surf park. Situated close to the Munich Airport and featuring Endless Surf technology, the park is set to offer Europe’s largest wave pool and is sure to be a hit with the booming population of both German and European surfers. The facility is slated to test operations in late 2023 and officially open to the public in the spring of 2024.
Rainer Maelzer, President of WhiteWater ERA GmbH, spoke highly of the project, “The vision for SURFTOWN® MUC is revolutionary. This is undoubtedly a world-class surf park in the making, and we are thrilled to bring it to life and add to Munich’s growing reputation of being a European powerhouse for action sports.”
Endless Surf continues to announce projects around the world, with the latest news coming from Wisemans Surf Lodge in Australia. The 45-acre development in Wisemans Ferry will be built along the Hawkesbury River, just 60 minutes from Sydney’s Harbour Bridge.
Building the World’s Tallest Water Slide Tower
At Meryal, WhiteWater has nearly completed the tallest water slide tower in the world at 85 meters/260 feet tall. The structure will be served by two pedestrian elevators and have two slides at each of the six levels, breaking the record for most water slides on a single tower at 12. The water park will feature a total of 36 water slides, displaying engineering prowess and providing unparalleled experience when it opens this year in Qatar during Q4.
Maximizing Footprint and Interactivity
WhiteWater is also excited to announce a collaboration with LD-Architecten on Belgium’s most ambitious public-private sustainability project to date. With the goal of running on renewable energy, the new swimming pool complex of Sportoase in Sint-Niklaas is set to open in the summer of 2024 and will triple the current capacity of the swimming pool. Sportoase will feature four of WhiteWater’s popular water slides, including the first Slideboarding water slide in Europe.
Continuing Cooperation with MSC Cruises
WhiteWater’s proud of its continuing relationship with MSC Cruises, having provided aquatic equipment for ten of the company’s cruise ships, the latest of which is MSC Seascape, with her maiden voyage set in November 2022. The ship features a custom-themed Adventure Trail, AquaPlay 150, AquaSplash spray toys, and three water slides. With this many exciting aquatic amenities all designed to fit on the decks, the MSC Seascape is a testament to WhiteWater’s engineering capabilities for cruise ships, with special considerations for footprint, stability, and wind force.
An Expanded Wave Portfolio
An entirely new wave, FlowCurl fills the gap between the popular FlowRider® stationary surf line and FlowBarrel—a favourite for experts. Offering a wide demographic appeal, FlowCurl’s straight flow section is great for beginners to learn, while the more difficult curling section creates excitement for advanced riders.
Portugal, France, and the United Kingdom are all known for great natural surf, but now sports enthusiasts in landlocked countries can also enjoy deep surf. FlowRider’s all-new FlowSurf creates a river surfing experience on full-sized surfboards. Inspired by nature and modelled after the Eisbach River Wave in Munich, Germany, FlowSurf maximizes energy efficiency by creating a silky-smooth flow of water for riders’ enjoyment while minimizing power costs for venues.
New Fusion Slide Becoming an Instant Icon
Making its debut this year at Soaky Mountain Waterpark in Tennessee, USA, Blasterango Battle has quickly become recognizable in the attractions industry. This water slide fuses the mega drops and uphill blasts of Master Blaster with the indescribable zero-gravity sensation of Boomerango. Configured in two side-by-side racing lanes, riders compete against their friends and family for interactive fun that encourages repeat ridership.
While “The Edge” was the first Blasterango Battle to be installed around the world, it was only one of several iconic openings this year for WhiteWater. Other key openings included North America’s first SlideWheel at Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park and the world’s first Boomerango Squeeze + Constrictor fusion at Ocean Park Hong Kong.
“With a team spanning across design, engineering, manufacturing, and installation, WhiteWater is renowned for its expertise in creating icons that no other company can,” said Paul Chutter, WhiteWater President. “As our company heads into 2023, we look forward to continuing work with our partners to build attractions that will not only help to generate a higher gate and ROI, but also put their parks on the map as global tourist destination.”