A water park (or waterpark) is a type of amusement park that features water play activities such as water slides, swimming pools, water playgrounds, splash pads, and lazy rivers. Additionally, some modern water parks even have artificial waves for surfing or bodyboarding. Water parks can be located either indoors or outdoors. Located within large buildings, indoor water parks offer the advantage of remaining open throughout the year regardless of climate conditions. The history of water parks can be traced to the 1940s, and have since grown in popularity. The United States has the greatest number of water parks in the world, with a total of more than 1,000, and is home to the Waterpark Capital of the World. However, water parks now exist throughout many parts of the world. The United Kingdom (UK) boasts some of the largest indoor water parks in Europe, including Splashdown and Alpamara. However, Sandcastle Water Park is the country's largest.
Sandcastle Water Park
Sandcastle Water Park is the largest indoor water park in the United Kingdom. The park is located at South Beach in Blackpool, England, in the former grounds of the South Shore Open Air Baths. Opened in 1986, Sandcastle Waterpark creates an 84 degree tropical climate and features over 18 slides and several other attractions including fun pools, water slides, wave machines, snack bars, and a swim shop. The water park also boasts the world's longest indoor roller-coaster water slide. Sandcastle is jointly owned through a public-private partnership. However, since park operations were transferred back to the Blackpool Council in 2003, costs have greatly decreased and the number of visitors has increased.
Sandcastle Water Park has 18 slides and numerous other attractions. For example, opened in 2004, Masterblaster was the park's first waterslide and is the world's longest indoor rollercoaster waterslide. The most thrilling slide is Aztec Falls, which starts on the rooftop and plunges in darkness before a corkscrew exit. The Sidewinder is a wet and dry raft ride that propels rider side to side as the raft travels through a half-pipe. Sandcastle Water Park also features a lazy river, called Ushi-Gushi River Creek, which runs anti-clockwise. Other major attractions include Super Soaker, which is the biggest water cannon in the UK, Monkey Island, Typhoon Lagoon, Lagoon Bay, and Duelling Dragon. The park also has two spas, one of which is designed for adults and includes a steam room, sauna, and ice feature. The other spa, VIP Tiki Cabana, is an all-inclusive spa that comes with several privileges such as reserved car parking and drinks.