Water World, Colorado
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Thunder Bay wave pool
|Slogan||Find Your Summer|
|Location||Federal Heights, Colorado, United States|
|Operating season||Summer (1979-2014) Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day (2015)|
|Water slides||23 water slides|
Water World is a water park that is part of the Hyland Hills Park and Recreation District and located in Federal Heights, Colorado, roughly 10 miles (16 km) north of downtown Denver, Colorado. The park first opened in 1979 with the first two waterslides in the state of Colorado (The Bonzai Pipeline). Water World is generally open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, but may be closed some school days.
The park occupies 67 acres (27 ha), making it one of America's largest water theme parks. As of the 2015 season[update], the park has 49 attractions including a multitude of water slides, a "lazy river" (a circular artificial river with a slow moving current), inflatable tube rides, multi-guest inflatable raft rides, and a water-themed fun house which offers gondola access from the top of the park. The park has two wave pools: the new Cowbunga beach boogie boarding attraction, as well as the older Thunder Bay wave pool.
The park has several unique water attractions. One of the most notable is the "Screamin' Mimi," a ride where guests ride board-type vehicles down a roller coaster like track, reaching speeds of 30 miles per hour (48 km/h) before landing in a pool and bouncing across the water. The "Space Bowl" sends riders down an enclosed body slide before entering an enclosed circular bowl and dropping out into a pool of water. A similar attraction, "Revolution," uses four-person swim rings instead. Also notable is a pitch black swim ring slide, "Storm," which includes lighting and sound effects. "Turbo Racer" opened in 2007 and is a racing slide attraction which features eight side by side lanes and a timed open air finish.
Water World's most famous attraction is a raft water slide that takes place completely inside. It is called "Journey to the Center of the Earth," in which riders ride in small circular multi-passenger inflatable rafts and travel through an artificial cavern. It is themed to a newly discovered cave that reportedly has creatures from the prehistoric era still inhabiting it. It includes steep downward spirals, sudden drop offs, and various dinosaurs, including an animatronic Tyrannosaurus encounter at the end of the ride. The ride is unusual for a water park attraction in its thematic emphasis, and in that it can take in excess of 5 minutes to complete, making it one of the longest rides at any water park. Since then, the ride has had two cosmetic upgrades, the most recent in the 2011 season. The Ride has a throughput capacity of over 1,000 guests per hour.
Water World has two wave pools. The first one is Captain Jacks, which is located at the upper end of the park. Being the smaller of the two wave pools, Captain Jacks holds roughly 500,000 gallons of water. It uses a repeating engine to create multiple waves on 10-minute cycles. The other is Thunder Bay, the larger pool at the center of the park holding 1.1 million gallons of water. Thunder Bay sports a new engine that generates multiple wave types. The only wave cycle available for guests simulates medium ocean waves creating crashing waves and strong currents in certain areas of the pool. Both wave pools have a maximum depth of 8ft and have multiple points of emergency shut-offs or, "E-Stops" used to immediately cut engine power from the wave rooms for added guest safety.
The newest area of the park is the Big Top, located adjacent to Turbo Racer. Big Top is family oriented and features attractions for younger children as well as thrill seekers. In 2012, Water World announced the Mile High Flyer which is the park's first hydro-magnetic water coaster which launches riders up and down 5 unique hills taking only 45 seconds to complete.
Pop culture reference
Water World was featured on the South Park Episode "Pee!" portrayed as a water park named "Pipi's Waterpark." Many of the water parks rides appeared in the episode under slightly different names, including its most notable attraction "Voyage to the Center of the Earth" (retitled "Journey to the Center of the World"). The Park was also featured heavily in the 2006 feature film, "The Surfer King" starring Gabriel Iglesias, Alan Thicke, and Lindsay Wagner.
Water World offers visitors a cashless payment option via RFID wristbands that can be preloaded with money at any POS terminal in the park.[non-primary source needed] Season Passes (Splash Passes) can be upgraded to include a preloaded RFID cashless payment option. Water World also offers lockers that can be accessed via RFID wristbands. The wristbands are dispensed via a self-service kiosk located in Water World's locker rental area. Unlike traditional single use lockers, the RFID wristbands allow users to access the locker multiple times throughout the day.
Incidents and accidents
In 2009, a lifeguard pulled a 48-year-old man from Captain Jack's Wave Pool. Paramedics were unable to revive him. He was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead, with preliminary reports identifying drowning as the cause of death. This marked the first fatality in the park's history.
- "Top US Waterparks". Travel Channel. Retrieved 2013-07-15.
- "RFID Wristbands Make Waves at Hyland Hills Water World" (PDF). PDC Insider (Newsletter). Precision Dynamics Corporation. Retrieved 2014-05-23.
- "Resources". kioware.com. Retrieved 2014-05-23.
- Pankratz, Howard (July 23, 2009). "Apparent drowning a first for Water World". The Denver Post.
- Kipp, Caroline (July 30, 2009). "Man drowns at Water World". Colorado Community Media.