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Rides
The Ride Makers

Flumes, chutes and water coasters are a firm favourite with park guests. We meet the companies who champion the joy of the water-based ride

By Alice Davis | Published in Attractions Management 2016 issue 1

HOPKINS RIDES

Doug Smith
VP Business Development, WhiteWater Attractions

What’s the relationship between WhiteWater and Hopkins Rides?
WhiteWater acquired Hopkins Rides (formerly OD Hopkins) in 2012. The water ride company has operated under the same name, Hopkins Rides, acting as a product line of WhiteWater Attractions.

WhiteWater Attractions is a division of WhiteWater West Industries that manufactures dry attractions for a number of markets, including theme parks.

Tell us about a few of your most recent water ride installations.
WhiteWater commissioned a Super Flume in the popular South Korean theme park Everland Resort last fall. The new Super Flume, Thunder Falls, is a flume ride with an eight-person vehicle that takes riders through 485 metres (1,591 feet) of adventure. The ride features a 20- metre drop (66-foot), a 180° turntable and backwards cascade drops.

Prior to the Everland installation, WhiteWater Attractions worked with Calaway Park in Calgary, Canada, to deliver a Log Flume called Timber Falls. The new Log Flume, which replaced an old flume ride, improves the park’s water consumption by retaining 95 per cent of the water used to operate the ride. The ride features three drops – one where riders are sent down backwards – and a zig-zag river section.

WhiteWater Attractions also recently installed a Shoot the Chute at Parque Diversiones in Costa Rica.

Where do you see water ride trends going?
The experiences that are popular right now are offering a combination of experiences within one ride. We’ve seen it in the waterslide side of our business with the success of our Fusion Waterslides and we are seeing similar demands in the dry attractions business.

A good example of this is the Super Flume at Everland theme park, where we took the traditional water ride and added additional features, such as a rotating table and backwards cascade drops, to enhance the ride experience for guests.

We’ve seen some of the big amusement park players dipping their toes into hybrid parks more and more. We also know that the big developments in China are combining theme parks and waterparks within the same gate to offer a complete tourism offering. For example, Zhengzhou Yinji Kaifeng Waterpark, one of the biggest waterparks in the world, has a Shoot the Chute as a centrepiece of the watermark.

What are you doing that other ride makers aren’t?
We’re taking experiences that have been successful in other products in our portfolio and integrating them into amusement rides. Having years of experience in waterpark and waterpark attraction design, we know the kinds of experiences that work really well to achieve different results and we’re applying that expertise to our water rides. Our goal is to help our clients succeed and if we can help them by recommending the perfect ride for what they ‘re trying to achieve –whether it be to thrill their guests or offer something for a younger crowd – we have a product range that allows us to do that.

What benefits can a water ride bring to a park?
A water ride brings diversity: having a range of experiences for the guest is essential, plus the huge spectator value of the big beautiful splashes which are created by water rides is awesome.
Water rides can provide the opportunity for sideline interactivity that most large amusement park rides can’t accomplish. Water guns on the sidelines shooting in and even water cannon in the boats shooting out make the queue and spectator areas interactive.

What services do you offer a client who wants a water ride?
WhiteWater is a solutions provider. We don’t simply supply rides, we offer concept-to-completion solutions to all our clients. WhiteWater provides site design and consultation, attraction design, as well as custom themeing integrated into the ride and custom themed ride vehicles. We offer services for our clients who already have a water ride, as well through our aftersales and service team supporting our clients with maintenance, repairs, retrofits, and/or refurbishments. WhiteWaters’ clients are working with a partner who helps and supports their business goals.

 



Doug Smith oversees Hopkins Rides
 


Timber Falls at Calaway Park in Calgary, Alberta, is a new installation by Hopkins Rides
 
 


The Timber Falls ride at Calaway Park features three high-velocity drops
 
 


Splash Caribbean is a new Shoot the Chute at Parque Diversiones in Costa Rica
 
Intamin

Sascha N Czibulka
Executive Vice President

Tell us about your most recent installations.
The most recent project was a Water Coaster which opened this year at Wanda Xishuan Banna theme park in China. It features a 40-metre-high (131-foot) tandem vertical lift and a total length of over 500 metres (1,640 feet), a coaster section and a big ‘splash’ at the end of the ride.

Another is Chiapas, a one-of-a-kind Flume Ride with backwards drop, which opened in 2014 in Phantasialand, Germany. We’ve also opened a Tow Boat Ride at Chester Zoo in the UK.

Where do you see water ride trends going?
Guests are looking for the same thrills on water rides as they do on rollercoasters. With water coasters, it’s possible to get the thrill and feeling of a rollercoaster and the fun and wet experience of a water ride.
Water rides have always been popular. The trends are to develop water rides with the latest technologies to improve the quality of the experience, but at the same time the rides need to stay family oriented. Another important factor is the interaction either among the passengers – such as on a Rapids Ride – or between the passengers and the guests watching. A big splash is as entertaining for the people sitting on the boat as it is for the people on the sidelines.

In terms of engineering, design or manufacturing, what have the most exciting breakthroughs been recently?
Chiapas has been one of the most exciting projects in our recent water ride history. It’s a sophisticated Flume Ride, where – due to the park’s demands in respect to attractiveness and capacity – we’ve incorporated the latest technologies, which were previously only used in roller coasters.

Those include high-speed double-chain lifts and two fast moving platforms – one parallel switch and one which rotates through 30° – which change the boat’s direction of travel. There are also three drops, including one backwards drop and the last one which is at 53°.

It’s also worth mentioning our new and innovative six-passenger boats, which feature a separation between each seat, individual lap bars and magnetic breaks.

What benefits can a water ride bring a park?
A water ride is a must-have in every theme park, just like rollercoasters are.

An important benefit of a water ride is that its offers fun for the entire family. In warmer regions, or during summer elsewhere, water rides also offer an opportunity to get a little wet – and sometimes more than just a little.

Since most of the layouts and designs are customised, the individual demands and needs of each park can be met perfectly. And in combination with special themeing – take Chiapas as an example – water rides can be highly marketable.

What challenges are there? Is it expensive to run and maintain a water ride?
The challenges of water rides are similar to those of a rollercoaster – with two exceptions. Since many parts are submerged, the usage of suitable, high-quality components is vital to avoid corrosion. And another thing some operators tend to neglect is the cost of the power. On a rollercoaster, where for example the lift is only running when the train is on it, the pumps of a water ride are running constantly, meaning the energy consumption can be higher.

What service do you offer clients who want a water ride?
As for all of our rides, we provide an all-round service, from the design and engineering of custom-made water rides, to the manufacturing, shipment and in some regions even the installation. Obviously we also do the testing and commissioning, once the ride’s installed.

We can also execute special themeing based on the client’s requests and once the ride is in operation, we also provide any necessary aftersales service.

One of our USPs at Intamin is our vast experience in all kinds of water rides and that means we can offer our clients the most suitable solution and service.

How would you describe the market climate?
The market is expanding rapidly in the Middle East and Asia, particularly in China. At the moment business is on a fast track.

 



Intamin’s Sascha N Czibulka
 


The Viking water ride at Vialand in Istanbul is a Spillwater (Shoot the Chute) by Intamin
 
 


Intamin’s Rapid Ride is another park favourite. The layout, capacity and themeing can be customised
 
 


Intamin’s Water Coaster at Wanda Xishuan Banna theme park boasts rollercoaster thrills
 
INTERLINK

John Davies
Commercial Director

Tell us about your most recent water ride installation.
Our most recent installations – set to open this summer – are a dark water ride in Ankara, Turkey and a Water Coaster in Sunway Lagoon, Malaysia.

The former is a themed, water-based ride featuring 10 eight-seater boats travelling in a 180-metre (590-foot) circuit through an animated themed area. The latter is a 300 metre (984-foot) Wild Mouse-style ride running through trees and culminating in a thrilling water splash. It has eight four-seater boats with a hovercraft theme.

In terms of engineering, design or manufacturing of water rides, what have been the most exciting advancements lately?
Water rides are already fairly mature in terms of breakthroughs and advancements. However one of the main areas has been in safety sophistication, which continues to improve as the control system technology becomes more and more advanced in terms of safety and failsafe features.

Where do you see water ride trends heading?
The Super Flume, which utilises a more classical boat style, is beginning to become more popular than the traditional log-style boats. These new boats provide better seating and added safety.

New trends also include a hybrid ride design which, for example, combines a Rapid River experience with a Water Raft Battle experience. This initially posed interesting challenges with the requirement for a varied control of water flow, however these challenges have been overcome to produce some highly successful designs.

Another trend is for manufacturers who offer different crossover technologies to produce new ride offerings. For example, we are now combining immersive virtual environments with water ride elements to produce a completely new ride experience.

What are you doing that other ride makers aren’t?
We’re becoming more competitive, more creative and more efficient. The efficiency is partly due to improved hydraulic techniques. This means that our rides can be more power-efficient for our clients.

What benefits can a water ride bring to a park?
Most water rides address all age groups across a park’s demographics – they provide enough thrills for teenagers, whilst appealing to the older age group and families with small children. This is evident from the large number of long-standing water rides still in operation after many years. In fact, many parks claim that their water rides are their most popular rides.

What service do you offer a client who wants a water ride?
Interlink offers a complete service from concept design layout, through to full storyboarding, ride design, manufacture, installation and aftersales service.

Can you describe the market climate?
For us the market continues to be buoyant, particularly in the Middle East and Asia.

What have been the biggest changes for ride makers in recent times? Do you have any concerns about the industry?
We would say that the biggest changes have been adapting to new safety requirements, but we do not have any general concerns about the industry.

What’s on the horizon for you as a company, and for the wider ride-making industry?
After some 35 years in the industry we are continuing to expand well within the market with new projects all over the world. Interestingly, the zoo market is one which seems to be coming more into the limelight, with many beginning to introduce themed areas with a water environment – and that lends itself to boat-tour type attractions.

 



John Davies, Interlink’s commercial director
 


Interlink installed a Log Flume water ride at Mtatsminda Park in Tbilisi, Georgia
 
 


Interlink’s Log Flume at Daftöland, Sweden
 
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Jobs . News . Products . Magazine
Rides
The Ride Makers

Flumes, chutes and water coasters are a firm favourite with park guests. We meet the companies who champion the joy of the water-based ride

By Alice Davis | Published in Attractions Management 2016 issue 1

HOPKINS RIDES

Doug Smith
VP Business Development, WhiteWater Attractions

What’s the relationship between WhiteWater and Hopkins Rides?
WhiteWater acquired Hopkins Rides (formerly OD Hopkins) in 2012. The water ride company has operated under the same name, Hopkins Rides, acting as a product line of WhiteWater Attractions.

WhiteWater Attractions is a division of WhiteWater West Industries that manufactures dry attractions for a number of markets, including theme parks.

Tell us about a few of your most recent water ride installations.
WhiteWater commissioned a Super Flume in the popular South Korean theme park Everland Resort last fall. The new Super Flume, Thunder Falls, is a flume ride with an eight-person vehicle that takes riders through 485 metres (1,591 feet) of adventure. The ride features a 20- metre drop (66-foot), a 180° turntable and backwards cascade drops.

Prior to the Everland installation, WhiteWater Attractions worked with Calaway Park in Calgary, Canada, to deliver a Log Flume called Timber Falls. The new Log Flume, which replaced an old flume ride, improves the park’s water consumption by retaining 95 per cent of the water used to operate the ride. The ride features three drops – one where riders are sent down backwards – and a zig-zag river section.

WhiteWater Attractions also recently installed a Shoot the Chute at Parque Diversiones in Costa Rica.

Where do you see water ride trends going?
The experiences that are popular right now are offering a combination of experiences within one ride. We’ve seen it in the waterslide side of our business with the success of our Fusion Waterslides and we are seeing similar demands in the dry attractions business.

A good example of this is the Super Flume at Everland theme park, where we took the traditional water ride and added additional features, such as a rotating table and backwards cascade drops, to enhance the ride experience for guests.

We’ve seen some of the big amusement park players dipping their toes into hybrid parks more and more. We also know that the big developments in China are combining theme parks and waterparks within the same gate to offer a complete tourism offering. For example, Zhengzhou Yinji Kaifeng Waterpark, one of the biggest waterparks in the world, has a Shoot the Chute as a centrepiece of the watermark.

What are you doing that other ride makers aren’t?
We’re taking experiences that have been successful in other products in our portfolio and integrating them into amusement rides. Having years of experience in waterpark and waterpark attraction design, we know the kinds of experiences that work really well to achieve different results and we’re applying that expertise to our water rides. Our goal is to help our clients succeed and if we can help them by recommending the perfect ride for what they ‘re trying to achieve –whether it be to thrill their guests or offer something for a younger crowd – we have a product range that allows us to do that.

What benefits can a water ride bring to a park?
A water ride brings diversity: having a range of experiences for the guest is essential, plus the huge spectator value of the big beautiful splashes which are created by water rides is awesome.
Water rides can provide the opportunity for sideline interactivity that most large amusement park rides can’t accomplish. Water guns on the sidelines shooting in and even water cannon in the boats shooting out make the queue and spectator areas interactive.

What services do you offer a client who wants a water ride?
WhiteWater is a solutions provider. We don’t simply supply rides, we offer concept-to-completion solutions to all our clients. WhiteWater provides site design and consultation, attraction design, as well as custom themeing integrated into the ride and custom themed ride vehicles. We offer services for our clients who already have a water ride, as well through our aftersales and service team supporting our clients with maintenance, repairs, retrofits, and/or refurbishments. WhiteWaters’ clients are working with a partner who helps and supports their business goals.

 



Doug Smith oversees Hopkins Rides
 


Timber Falls at Calaway Park in Calgary, Alberta, is a new installation by Hopkins Rides
 
 


The Timber Falls ride at Calaway Park features three high-velocity drops
 
 


Splash Caribbean is a new Shoot the Chute at Parque Diversiones in Costa Rica
 
Intamin

Sascha N Czibulka
Executive Vice President

Tell us about your most recent installations.
The most recent project was a Water Coaster which opened this year at Wanda Xishuan Banna theme park in China. It features a 40-metre-high (131-foot) tandem vertical lift and a total length of over 500 metres (1,640 feet), a coaster section and a big ‘splash’ at the end of the ride.

Another is Chiapas, a one-of-a-kind Flume Ride with backwards drop, which opened in 2014 in Phantasialand, Germany. We’ve also opened a Tow Boat Ride at Chester Zoo in the UK.

Where do you see water ride trends going?
Guests are looking for the same thrills on water rides as they do on rollercoasters. With water coasters, it’s possible to get the thrill and feeling of a rollercoaster and the fun and wet experience of a water ride.
Water rides have always been popular. The trends are to develop water rides with the latest technologies to improve the quality of the experience, but at the same time the rides need to stay family oriented. Another important factor is the interaction either among the passengers – such as on a Rapids Ride – or between the passengers and the guests watching. A big splash is as entertaining for the people sitting on the boat as it is for the people on the sidelines.

In terms of engineering, design or manufacturing, what have the most exciting breakthroughs been recently?
Chiapas has been one of the most exciting projects in our recent water ride history. It’s a sophisticated Flume Ride, where – due to the park’s demands in respect to attractiveness and capacity – we’ve incorporated the latest technologies, which were previously only used in roller coasters.

Those include high-speed double-chain lifts and two fast moving platforms – one parallel switch and one which rotates through 30° – which change the boat’s direction of travel. There are also three drops, including one backwards drop and the last one which is at 53°.

It’s also worth mentioning our new and innovative six-passenger boats, which feature a separation between each seat, individual lap bars and magnetic breaks.

What benefits can a water ride bring a park?
A water ride is a must-have in every theme park, just like rollercoasters are.

An important benefit of a water ride is that its offers fun for the entire family. In warmer regions, or during summer elsewhere, water rides also offer an opportunity to get a little wet – and sometimes more than just a little.

Since most of the layouts and designs are customised, the individual demands and needs of each park can be met perfectly. And in combination with special themeing – take Chiapas as an example – water rides can be highly marketable.

What challenges are there? Is it expensive to run and maintain a water ride?
The challenges of water rides are similar to those of a rollercoaster – with two exceptions. Since many parts are submerged, the usage of suitable, high-quality components is vital to avoid corrosion. And another thing some operators tend to neglect is the cost of the power. On a rollercoaster, where for example the lift is only running when the train is on it, the pumps of a water ride are running constantly, meaning the energy consumption can be higher.

What service do you offer clients who want a water ride?
As for all of our rides, we provide an all-round service, from the design and engineering of custom-made water rides, to the manufacturing, shipment and in some regions even the installation. Obviously we also do the testing and commissioning, once the ride’s installed.

We can also execute special themeing based on the client’s requests and once the ride is in operation, we also provide any necessary aftersales service.

One of our USPs at Intamin is our vast experience in all kinds of water rides and that means we can offer our clients the most suitable solution and service.

How would you describe the market climate?
The market is expanding rapidly in the Middle East and Asia, particularly in China. At the moment business is on a fast track.

 



Intamin’s Sascha N Czibulka
 


The Viking water ride at Vialand in Istanbul is a Spillwater (Shoot the Chute) by Intamin
 
 


Intamin’s Rapid Ride is another park favourite. The layout, capacity and themeing can be customised
 
 


Intamin’s Water Coaster at Wanda Xishuan Banna theme park boasts rollercoaster thrills
 
INTERLINK

John Davies
Commercial Director

Tell us about your most recent water ride installation.
Our most recent installations – set to open this summer – are a dark water ride in Ankara, Turkey and a Water Coaster in Sunway Lagoon, Malaysia.

The former is a themed, water-based ride featuring 10 eight-seater boats travelling in a 180-metre (590-foot) circuit through an animated themed area. The latter is a 300 metre (984-foot) Wild Mouse-style ride running through trees and culminating in a thrilling water splash. It has eight four-seater boats with a hovercraft theme.

In terms of engineering, design or manufacturing of water rides, what have been the most exciting advancements lately?
Water rides are already fairly mature in terms of breakthroughs and advancements. However one of the main areas has been in safety sophistication, which continues to improve as the control system technology becomes more and more advanced in terms of safety and failsafe features.

Where do you see water ride trends heading?
The Super Flume, which utilises a more classical boat style, is beginning to become more popular than the traditional log-style boats. These new boats provide better seating and added safety.

New trends also include a hybrid ride design which, for example, combines a Rapid River experience with a Water Raft Battle experience. This initially posed interesting challenges with the requirement for a varied control of water flow, however these challenges have been overcome to produce some highly successful designs.

Another trend is for manufacturers who offer different crossover technologies to produce new ride offerings. For example, we are now combining immersive virtual environments with water ride elements to produce a completely new ride experience.

What are you doing that other ride makers aren’t?
We’re becoming more competitive, more creative and more efficient. The efficiency is partly due to improved hydraulic techniques. This means that our rides can be more power-efficient for our clients.

What benefits can a water ride bring to a park?
Most water rides address all age groups across a park’s demographics – they provide enough thrills for teenagers, whilst appealing to the older age group and families with small children. This is evident from the large number of long-standing water rides still in operation after many years. In fact, many parks claim that their water rides are their most popular rides.

What service do you offer a client who wants a water ride?
Interlink offers a complete service from concept design layout, through to full storyboarding, ride design, manufacture, installation and aftersales service.

Can you describe the market climate?
For us the market continues to be buoyant, particularly in the Middle East and Asia.

What have been the biggest changes for ride makers in recent times? Do you have any concerns about the industry?
We would say that the biggest changes have been adapting to new safety requirements, but we do not have any general concerns about the industry.

What’s on the horizon for you as a company, and for the wider ride-making industry?
After some 35 years in the industry we are continuing to expand well within the market with new projects all over the world. Interestingly, the zoo market is one which seems to be coming more into the limelight, with many beginning to introduce themed areas with a water environment – and that lends itself to boat-tour type attractions.

 



John Davies, Interlink’s commercial director
 


Interlink installed a Log Flume water ride at Mtatsminda Park in Tbilisi, Georgia
 
 


Interlink’s Log Flume at Daftöland, Sweden
 
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2019

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