WhiteWater’s Chinese waterpark wonders

AbyssBaliWaterpark (HotGo Waterpark)

Since designing and supplying the world’s busiest waterpark, Chimelong Water Park in Guangzhou, WhiteWater has experienced considerable growth in China, completing around 30 new projects in the last few years. Here David Bogdonov from the company’s Shanghai office brings us up to speed.

Later this year WhiteWater will complete the largest ever order for the global waterpark sector when it unveils CAD$29 million (US$23.5m/€20.5m) worth of attractions at the new Yinji Kaifeng Waterpark in Zhengzhou.

Our business really picked up dramatically in China about five years ago. Having a presence in the market with staff that are very customer service minded is much valued by our clients. We also have local manufacturing in Asia, which helps tremendously too.

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Chimelong Water Park

Chimelong is constantly among the top waterparks of the world and is a flagship project. We did the conceptual planning at the beginning and supplied the majority of attractions at opening and during the second phase of development. It’s such a success story, and is looked at by every developer we speak to in China.

Our customer base in China is growing immensely. We’ve completed a variety of parks for customers like OCT, who have been around for a long time and I would say are seasoned industry professionals. Then there are other players like Wanda and the Happy Magic Water Cube group who have multiple large projects. Still we see neophyte customers in China who are building waterparks for the first time. Some clients are state-owned companies, others private enterprise.

WhiteWaterHappyMagicWatercube copy

Beijing’s Happy Magic Water Cube

The thing that we always preach, and I think clients seem to understand in China, is the need to have a wide cross-section of rides and attractions to capture the whole family. The one thing they are nearly all going for is a high capacity approach, with some parks now doing as many as 40,000 guests per day. That’s huge!

I think it’s an interesting time for this market develop because the industry has evolved dramatically and customers are coming into it at a mature stage and are therefore able to benefit from 35 years of history. I think many people from the Western world would go to a waterpark in China and be in awe at what they would find because they are some of the best-equipped waterparks in the world!

FlowRider Double - HotGo Waterpark

Bali/HotGo Waterpark, Fushun

Sometimes we are doing the conceptual or schematic design, other times it’s just supplying waterslides and attractions. Our goal is to be there at the very beginning of the project to guide the client through the whole process, introduce them to the different players along the way, and help see them through to completion, testing, opening and into operations. I would say that more than 50% of the time we are doing some form of early design work. There are also projects built in China that never even talk to us, of course. Some at a certain level will only consider going with domestic suppliers, however the best in China – the world-class attractions – generally come to international suppliers like us.

Tianmu Lake Water World, which opened last year in Changzhou, is a 4A-class resort area in Jiangsu province, about two-and-a-half hours outside of Shanghai. There’s a bamboo forest, a beautiful lake, a 5- star hotel and some other attractions. It’s also famous for its fish-head soup! They already have a small waterpark area and wave pool, but the new facility covers about 3.5 hectares and there are all kinds of waterslides, family rides and other attractions in there, together with some natural theming.

Master Blaster - Bali Waterpark (HotGo Waterpark)

Bali/HotGo Waterpark, Fushun

The Yinji Kaifeng Waterpark project is developing rapidly. We started working with them in April, 2014 and they are opening later this year. Kaifeng is a city outside of Zhengzhou in Henan province, and the client is Yinji. They have come up with a very ambitious plan for a big indoor/outdoor park. The company is owned by five brothers. The second generation were foreign educated and have exposure to these types of facilities and now want to bring it back to China, but on a much bigger scale. They have a real passion for the industry.

The traditional model in China is to develop real estate and put parks in the middle to attract buyers. Yinji is a bit different; they are not following that model. This waterpark will be separate to their real estate and I believe they are focused on diversifying their business. They currently have a live show attraction that draws crowds in the summer. The waterpark will be an excellent anchor in this location for further development of a dry park and other attractions. The waterpark will also include a Hopkins Shoot the Chute ride – a product normally found in dry theme parks, but is perfect for a waterpark too!

If you look at Henan province, you’ve got a population over 94,000,000! In Zhengzhou, as with many other Chinese cities, you could draw a circle and within an hour’s train or car ride you are catching tens of millions of people – and they all want parks and attractions. People say to me how much longer can this go on? Frankly, there’s still a lot of potential.

David Bogdonov was talking to Owen Ralph

Tianmu Lake, China (from client) (17)

Tianmu Lake Water World, Changzhou

ONES TO WATCH

With over 2.7 million guests in 2013, Chime Long Water Park in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, is officially the world’s busiest waterpark. Here are four more impressive Chinese projects from WhiteWater, with the facts and figures to prove it:

HotGo Waterpark (抚顺热高水上乐园)

• 80,000 sq m indoor/outdoor waterpark in Fushun, Liaoning province

• Opened in 2011

• 100% WhiteWater supplied

• Attractions include duelling AquaLoops, two Master Blasters (one indoor/one outdoor) and double FlowRider

Playa Maya Waterpark Shanghai (华侨城上海玛雅海滩水公园)

•Largest open-air waterpark in Eastern China (120,000 sq m), opened 2013

• One of several Playa Maya waterparks operated by OCT alongside its Happy Valley theme parks

• Located in the beautiful Sheshan National Tourism Resort

• Water sanitation system recycles and sanitises about 21,000 cubic metres of water every four to six hours

Tianmu Lake Water World (天目湖水世界)

• 40,000 sq m outdoor waterpark, opened 2014

• Located west of Shanghai on the only lake in East China

• Owned by Jiangsu Tianmu Lake Tourism Company

• 100% WhiteWater supplied

• Integrated into natural landscape of local area, designed to reflect serenity and peace

Yinji Kaifeng Waterpark (银基开封水上乐园)

• Outdoor waterpark, opening June 2015

• Located in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province

• Largest single waterpark order in industry history – CAD$29m

• 100% WhiteWater supplied

• Over 7km of fibreglass waterslide flume in total

• Huge Double Fusion waterslide complex including Boomerango +

• Manta and AquaSphere + Constrictor combination off one slide tower

• Three wave pools: Surf Wave pool, indoor family wave pool,

Other notable WhiteWater projects in China include Fuzhou Happy World; Happy Magic Water Cube parks in Nanjing and Tianjin; LuburaLand Waterpark in Changzhou; OCT parks in Shanghai, and Shenzhen; ETG Paradise Island in Chengdu; Huaqiang Nantong Water World. Coming soon will be Dragon Elephant in Nanning, Wanda-branded waterparks in Xishuangbanna, Qingdao and Changbaishan, and Ocean Paradise in Lingshui.

AquaPlay Giant Rain Fortress - OCT Shanghai (Playa Maya)

Playa Maya Waterpark, Shanghai

 

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