Thrilling, Spilling & Chilling

From high-energy surf rides, speed slides and water coasters, to playful splashing and spilling water in water playgrounds and splash pads, to a relaxing float along a lazy river, waterparks and splash play areas continue to provide visitors with the fun escape they're seeking, from thrill-seekers to those looking to just chill out. And after a year of unimaginable challenge, people have begun to return to the water, whether it's to get some relief from the heat at a local sprayground or to escape the tedium of a year of social distancing with a family outing to a destination waterpark.

Only a handful of new parks opened in 2020, with many openings delayed due to the pandemic, but plenty of existing parks took advantage of the downtime to make additions and renovations, with splash play finding new themes or smarter play sequences, and waterparks adding new attractions, or revamping existing ones.

In these pages, we offer up some ideas from the waterpark and splash play industry. We start by talking about how 2020 affected the industry, and how to think about getting back to normal on page 6. From there we turn to page 16, for the latest innovations in splash play, including ways to get creative with renovations and small spaces. Finally, we give you an overview of how safety practices have adapted in the wake of the pandemic, on page 28.

Have Fun!

Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,
Recreation Management