Water rides in places such as Raging Waters are popular alternatives for the amusement park industry because they are smaller and cheaper than traditional thrill rides yet still can lure visitors looking for something new. Although, water parks' popularity came after the 1950's, the very idea for a water park is credited to a Hungarian spa. Today, Raging Waters park and similar facilities features waterplay areas such as water slides, splash pads, spraygrounds, lazy rivers, and other recreational bathing environments. Surfing or bodyboarding in wave pools or flow riders are also an additional atraction. Of course, the US has the largest and most concentrated waterpark market with over a thousand. (Notable water parks in CA include: Raging Waters in San Dimas and San Jose. Knott's Soak City USA in Buena Park, Chula Vista, and Palm Springs.)
After a few years of belt- tightening, theme and amusement park owners have spent big bucks improving their attractions following their strongest attendance period last year since the 2001. The terrorist attacks of 911 slowed the $10.8 billion industry's momentum (b, 2005). Several regional parks are introducing rides that approach the technological and storytelling sophistication such as Raging Waters Dragon's den. Dragon's Den (a two-person bowl slide) is Raging Waters newest, breathtaking answer for maximum thrill-seekers while being the first of its kind. Dragon's den claims to be the newest wave in slide design and technology. Parks nationwide have spent an estimated $750 million on new rides and upgrades for this year. New rides are especially important for attracting visitors in a mature amusement park market because pools that cater to an older crowd have proven to be more successful.
In 1933, the first time drive-in movies appeared in the United States. Currently, the latest trend in water parks includes a cinema. While splashing and screams fill the afternoon, rows of chaise lounges are lined up in a giant screen. By the time dusk turns into night, eager eyes will begin to droop. Similar scenes have played out at public and private pools across the country. The summer "dive-in" has proven to be the outdoor movie of choice for families. Even prior to that, bathers watched movies outdoors while hanging from a tree. So dive-in theaters should not be a new concept for Raging Waters. Somehow, the idea of floating in a pool while watching a good movie sounds like a perfect vacation.
However, it has only been in the past few years that poolside cinema has spread to small towns and big cities across the country. Sponge Bob Square Pants, the Movie and Shark Tales have entertained pool bathers from as far as Australia. The cinema industry in conjunction with the water park industry could prove a lucrative business. So, fans of Raging Waters Park should get ready to await the merging of what will be a new wave in the entertainment business. It will not be long before the demand is met. Meanwhile, ``folks in February can load up the car with their bathing suits and ice scrapers and head to the water park." (a, 2005)