JANUARY 2020: New wave-making machines are making a big splash at Waterworld in Stoke-on-Trent in the latest stage of the resort’s ongoing expansion.
The £100,000-plus investment follows the opening of the multi-million pound Tornado Alley, featuring four super-rides which are among the tallest and fastest in the UK.
The new wave machines have been installed in the main Waterworld indoor pool by Murphys Waves, the company behind projects at resorts such as Walt Disney World, and Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
A low energy generator produces waves pneumatically, using air from a specially designed fan-blower in an equipment room behind the scenes.
Waves are released into the pool through four concealed wave chambers in the deep end – the wave energy then spreads throughout the pool and breaks onto the beach.
The entire system is controlled by a state-of-the-art computer system which allows the wave machine to produce a variety of different wave patterns every two seconds, with variable wave heights up to 1.4 metres.
Waterworld owner Mo Chaudry said: “This is all part of our ongoing programme of upgrades and expansion, taking the visitor experience to the next level. We worked closely with the team from Murphys to design and manufacture a system which was tailored specifically to our requirements.
“We’ve been listening carefully to comments made by our customers, and are committed to giving them what they tell us they want to see. The investment further cements our position as the UK’s number one indoor tropical aqua park.”
Murphys Waves managing director Jim Stuart said: “The challenging aspect of replacing an old wave machine for a new modern system is getting it to fit within the confines of the existing building and pipework that has been added to the equipment room over the years.
“Our design engineers were able to take a 3D image of the equipment room which then allowed us to plot out the position of the new machine to ensure a perfect installation without the need of any expensive structural modifications.”
The new wave machine comes hot on the heels of the opening of four new super-rides at Waterworld, which triggered a big rise in visitors at the end of last year.
Peaking at a height of 16.5 metres, the Tornado Alley rides include Thunderbolt, a heart-pounding plummet for adrenaline junkies which reaches speeds of up to 39kph.
Media reviewers and theme park critics have given them a huge thumbs-up, with Backtothemovies.com describing Thunderbolt as ‘the most high-octane water slide in the country’.
Changing rooms have also been upgraded at Waterworld over the past few months with 1,000 new digital lockers, and a new extension providing extra cubicles and private showers is almost complete.
Mr Chaudry has been masterminding the growth of Waterworld in Stoke on Trent since 1999, when he took over the previously loss-making operation from The Rank Group and turned it into a thriving and profitable business.
He said: “We have an ongoing programme of investment and expansion planned for the Waterworld site throughout 2020, to build on the success of our 30th anniversary. It’s going to be another exciting year.”
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