Indoor water park

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An indoor water park is a type of water park that is located inside a building. An indoor water park has the ability to stay open year-round, as it is not affected by weather conditions.


The first ever indoor water park was built in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1985 at the West Edmonton Mall. It is called the World Waterpark and is over 200,000 sq ft (19,000 m2) making it the world's largest indoor waterpark. It was a success for the mall. The first indoor water park in Europe was built in Blackpool in 1986. It is called the Sandcastle Water Park (Blackpool). The first indoor water park in the U.S. was built in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin at the Polynesian Hotel. They built it in 1994 so it could make the Dells a "year round destination", as the Wisconsin Dells tourist season was from Memorial Day to Labor Day before it was built.

The indoor water park craze[edit]

Since the opening of the first park, the indoor water park business has become increasingly popular, especially for the Edmonton area in Canada, and in the Wisconsin Dells in the U.S., which proclaims itself as the "water park capital of the world". The Dells has five Water park Resorts that have at least one water park bigger than 55,000 sq ft (5,100 m2). This includes the Kalahari Resort (Wisconsin's Largest Indoor Water Park), Chula Vista Resort (Lost Rios), Great Wolf Lodge, Wilderness Territory (Wild West, Klondike Kavern, Wild WaterDome), and the Hotel Rome at Mt. Olympus. Wisconsin has the most indoor water parks in one state. Other states in the U.S., especially in the midwest, are building more indoor water parks separate or to existing hotels so they can become a year-round destination. More water parks are also being built in Canada, Europe and Asia. Tropical Islands Resort (Krausnick-Groß Wasserburg, Germany) with an area of 66,000 m² (710,000 sq feet) is currently the largest indoor water park in the world.


A view of the Children's Play Area at the Water Park of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Most major indoor water parks over 50,000 sq ft (the average size for an indoor water park in July 2008) have:[1][2]

  • 2-3+ Tube Slides
  • 2-3+ Body Slides
  • 1+ Speed Slides
  • Children's Play Area with sprayers, tipping buckets, slides, and geysers. A typical example might be "Canada's Wonderland" "Pump House" attraction.
  • 1+ Family Rides (Ride that can occupy over 3 guests)
  • Lazy River or Torrent River
  • Wave Pool
  • Water Coaster (Master Blaster)
  • Other Attractions (FlowRider, Mat Racing Slides, Tornado Vortex Ride, Pro Bowl/Behehmoth Bowl, etc.)

North American indoor water parks[edit]

Main article: List of waterparks

Top 30 largest indoor water parks in North America[edit]

(As of 8/09)

[3] [4] [5]

1. Wilderness Territory's 3 indoor water parks in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin (240,000 sq ft total & North America's Largest Indoor Water Park Resort by Total Water Park Square Footage)[4]

2. World Waterpark in Edmonton, Alberta (217,000 sq ft & is North America's/Canada's Largest Indoor Water Park under one roof, the first one ever built)[4]

3. Kalahari Resort's Water Park in Sandusky, Ohio (173,000 sq ft total & Largest Indoor Water Park in U.S. under one roof)[4]

4. Fallsview Indoor Waterpark Resort in Niagara Falls, Ontario (125,000 sq ft)

4A. Kalahari Resort's Water Park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin (125,000 sq ft)

5. Great Wolf Lodge Water Park in Niagara Falls, Ontario (103,000 sq ft)

6. Splash Lagoon in Erie, Pennsylvania (102,000 sq ft)

7. Avalanche Bay Indoor Water Park at Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls, Michigan (88,000 sq ft)

8. Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park in Concord, North Carolina (81,000 sq ft)[6]

9. Chula Vista Resort's Lost Rios Indoor Water Park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin (80,000 sq ft)

10. Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park in Grapevine, Texas (80,000 sq ft)

11. Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park at the Pocono Mountains in Scotrun, Pennsylvania (78,000 sq ft)

12. Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio (78,000 sq ft)

13. Great Wolf Lodge 3 Water Parks in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin (76,000 sq ft total)

14. Wilderness at the Smokies's (Owned by Wisconsin Dells' Wilderness Resort) Indoor Water Park in Sevierville, Tennessee (75,000 sq ft)

15. Water Park of America in Bloomington, Minnesota (70,000 sq ft)

16. Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park in Williamsburg, Virginia (67,000 sq ft)

17. KeyLime Cove's Indoor Water Park in Gurnee, Illinois (65,000 sq ft)

18. CoCo Key Water Resort at the Crowne Plaza Boston North Shore in Danvers, Massachusetts (65,000 sq ft)

19. CoCo Key Water Resort at the Ramada Plaza Omaha Hotel and Convention Center in Omaha, Nebraska (65,000 sq ft)

20. Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park in Grand Mound, Washington (60,000 sq ft)

21. Wild Bear Falls Indoor Water Park in Gatlinburg, Tennessee (60,000 sq ft)

22. Fort Rapids Waterpark Resort in Columbus, Ohio (60,000 sq ft)

23. Sahara Sam's Oasis Indoor Water Park in West Berlin, New Jersey (58,000 sq ft)

24. Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park in Fitchburg, Massachusetts (55,000 sq ft)

25. CoCo Key Water Resort at the Adam's Mark Hotel & Conference Center - CoCo Key Water Resort in Kansas City, Missouri (55,000 sq ft)

26. H2Oasis Indoor Waterpark in Anchorage, Alaska (55,000 sq ft)

27. Medusa's Indoor Waterpark at Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park in Wisconsin Dells (55,000 sq ft)

28. CoCo Key Water Resort at The Hotel ML in Mount Laurel, New Jersey (55,000 sq ft)

29. Caribbean Cove Indoor Waterpark in Indianapolis, Indiana (50,000 sq ft)

30. CoCo Key Water Resort at the Crowne Plaza Cincinnati North Hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio(50,000 sq ft)

Large water parks under construction[edit]

Former indoor water parks[edit]

  • Transvaal Park in Moscow, Russia (Had its concrete roof collapse in 2004)
  • Ocean Dome in Miyazaki City, Japan (322,752 sq ft & it was the World's Largest Water Park with a retractable roof. It closed in 2007.)
  • Bay of Dreams Indoor Water Park in Wisconsin Dells (Was once part of the old Family Land/Treasure Island Complex, but was bought by Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park and became Medusa's Indoor Water Park. The water park is now changed its treasure theming to Greek to match with the rest of Mt. Olympus. It was recently repainted from green to tan.updated 6/25/10.
  • Croydon Water Palace Located in Croydon, England on purley way colonnades site. Opened in 1990 but was closed in 1996 because of continuous financial difficulties and poor health and safety leading to several accidents.


  1. ^ Richard L. Johnson. "2008 Waterpark Guide". Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  2. ^ Richard L. Johnson. "Indoor Waterpark Resorts Supply and Demand Mid-Year 2009 Update". Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  3. ^ " U.S. and Canada Indoor Waterparks". 2011-06-13. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  4. ^ a b c d "2008-2009 Largest Waterpark Resorts by the IT Book and Waterpark Resorts Today" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  5. ^ "Portion of the 2009-2010 IT Book" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  6. ^ "Construction Report November 2009" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-08-10.