Where Was the World's First Waterpark Built?

World Waterpark, in Alberta's West Edmonton Mall was the first indoor waterpark upon its opening in 1985. Editorial credit: Nick Fox / Shutterstock.com

Waterparks are one of the fastest growing entertainment categories, and the US has over 1,000 with more opening their doors each summer. Although the first individual water slides and wet rides opened in the 1940s, the first waterpark only opened in the 1960s. The world's first indoor waterpark was built in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1985.

First Indoor Waterpark

World Waterpark lies within Edmonton's West Edmonton Mall, one of the largest malls in the world. Phase 1 of the West Edmonton Mall opened in September 1981, followed by Phase II in September 1983, and finally Phase III in September 1985. World Waterpark was part of Phase 3, a phase that cost a staggering 12.2 billion dollars and occupying 120 acres. The waterpark alone sits on 20,000 square feet of land and can accommodate five thousand guests. The waterpark includes many types of water-related fun, including 21 water slides, 2 hot tubs, and a surf simulator. It also includes the world's largest indoor wave pool, known as the Blue Thunder wave pool, at 50.3 million litres. Twister and Cyclone are the two biggest waterslides, both measuring 25 meters high. Being inside the mall, the waterpark enjoys a temperature of 31 degrees Celsius and operates throughout the year with approximately 50,000,000 guests per year.

Other Indoor Waterparks

The West Edmonton Mall's World Waterpark is not only the first indoor waterpark, it is also one of the world's largest indoor waterparks. Germany's Tropical Islands Resort at 510,000 sq ft and a daily capacity of 6,000 visitors, is another of the world's largest waterparks. Opened in 2004, the waterpark, which sits within an airship hanger, is home to a large indoor rainforest, as well as swimming pools, saunas, and a beach. The UK's biggest waterpark is Sandcastle Water Park with over 18 waterslides, as well as a wave pool, lazy river, play areas, and saunas. Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin is known as being the "water park capital of the world" due to its five indoor water parks, as well as its many outdoor waterparks.


More in World Facts