Case Study: Water Slide Restoration at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort

Interactivity is what LEGO® is all about, and the most interactive attraction inside LEGOLAND® Florida Resort’s Water Park is a RainFortress called “Joker Soaker,” with seven water slides, a 300-gallon tipping bucket, and ample play features. Accommodating up to 600 guests of all ages simultaneously, this multi-level aquatic play structure is a favorite for guests and a capacity absorber for the operator. After many years under its belt, Joker Soaker welcomed a revitalization. Here is how WhiteWater worked with LEGOLAND Florida Resort to make the attraction look—and function—great again.

Wear and Tear Under the Florida Sun

Commissioned in 2006, this RainFortress has been delighting children and their parents before Merlin Entertainments took over Cypress Gardens and transformed it into LEGOLAND Florida Resort in 2011. Located in Winter Haven, this, and all other attractions, need to endure five months of hot season every year, with an average high of 31°C/88°F and up to 80% humidity, not to mention the unforgiving UV rays from the sun, the beating of frequent thunderstorms, and the calcium and sulfur build-up from the hard water.

As if environmental wear wasn’t enough, there was of course, friction wear. Over the years, Joker Soaker had been serviced by different providers. In 2022, LEGOLAND Florida Resort turned to the OEM, WhiteWater, to bring the structure back to its original finish.

Aquatic play structure before and after slide refurbishment

Scope of Work: Inspection Before Refurbishment

LEGOLAND Florida Resort understood that a thorough inspection was the foundation to proper refurbishment work. Because WhiteWater was the original manufacturer, our Performance Services Team went in there with a different set of eyes. Months before work began, the team analyzed the entire structure in detail. They didn’t just look at the visual appeal of the attraction but also ways to enhance safety and operations. The client received a full inspection report, followed by a proposed scope of work to revitalize Joker Soaker.

Men doing water slide refurbishment work

The work included:

  • Clean, buff, wax for all slides
  • Resurface, clear coat, gel coat
  • Replacement of spray toys and water play features
  • New platform
  • A shipment of spare parts for the Park’s inventory

Of course, being a popular attraction, LEGOLAND Florida Resort closed the attraction during its low season in late January so that the refurbishment work could be completed in 17 days.

Above and Beyond Water Slide Resurfacing and Restoration

Before and after comparison photos are very satisfying.

Blue water slide refurbishment before and after comparison Red water slide restoration before and after comparison

However, they might not tell the whole story about the quality of work. Here are a few things you can’t tell from the photos.

1. High-End Gel Coat and Clear Coat

Having worked with fiberglass for over 40 years, WhiteWater has proprietary knowledge and in-house specialists that verify what gel coat and clear coat work best. We use high-end gel coat as well as automotive-grade clear coat finishes for maximum protection against UV rays.

2. Outside-the-Box Creativity

Because this aquatic play structure was built before the park became LEGOLAND Florida Resort, WhiteWater’s specialist had the idea, onsite, to add a distinctly LEGO look and feel to the attraction.

Children's multi-lane water slide restoration before and after comparison

With this Mini Multi-Lane slide now looking like it was built from LEGO bricks, we are very happy to be able to provide artistic value for the client in this outside-the-box thinking.

3. Identifying Issues

During the work onsite, the WhiteWater team detected a crack underneath one of the surfaces and immediately repaired it before it became a bigger issue. Because we have been leading in the water park business for over four decades, our experts were able to notice problems that others may not.

Taking Care of Customers After Refurb Work

Because we are the OEM, we want our clients to succeed with the equipment they have purchased from us.

“We don’t just polish and then wish the customer ‘Good luck!’,” said Jeremy King, Vice President, Performance Services. “Before we leave, we train the park’s maintenance staff on minor repairs. We show them how we caulk. We walk around the water park to check if the other attractions are working well.”

Aquatic play structure spraying water

Our team did just that after the refurbishment work was done. We also checked the water levels and water flow rate to make sure the equipment was performing at its best.

Working with LEGOLAND Florida Resort had been a pleasure, and we’re happy that the client agrees.

“We were impressed with WhiteWater’s professionalism in this RainFortress refurbishment project. As the original manufacturer, the team came into this job with an eye for detail and deep knowledge of the products, parts and construction. We were especially happy with the creative solutions the team developed onsite, which aligned with our LEGOLAND theme to provide a custom look that went beyond our expectations. The high quality of work made this project a success.”

– Kevin Carr, Hotels Director, LEGOLAND Florida Resort

Get the most out of your water park equipment. Contact WhiteWater’s Performance Services to refurbish your water slides and aquatic play structures.

Harmony Liau