Featured in World Waterpark Magazine October/November 2011 Issue
Bigger, faster and more extreme has been the focus at SplashDown Beach Water Park since coming under the ownership of Steve and Shelley Turk in November of 2004. SplashDown Beach in Fishkill, New York, is found in the heart of the scenic Hudson River Valley, just 60 minutes north of the major metropolitan market of New York City and 90 minutes south of the state capital of Albany.
The waterpark was originally called Splash Down Park and was in operation since the mid 1980s. When the park was purchased by the Turk family, it was primarily geared towards families with children under age 10. Upwards of 80 percent of the visitors were local, using the park as a swim and recreational facility. The Turks had a different vision for the park. In the summer of 2005, the “Monster Wave Pool,” “Rock Beach” and the “Humunga Half-pipe” were introduced in an effort to reach a wider age-based market previously not captured. In each subsequent year, a major ride or attraction has been added, reaching out to the older and more selective segment of the family market—teenagers. With the addition of ProSlide Technology’s “Bullet Bowl” in 2010, the park reached record numbers, doubling the attendance since the Turk’s first operating season in 2005.
After five years of thrill-seeking technology, Steve Turk and park manager Andrew Chafatelli felt that SplashDown Beach needed to design an attraction that would revive the children’s area of the park. The SplashDown Beach team landed a deal with HIT Entertainment, one of the world’s leading independent children’s entertainment producers and rights owners, to bring the first Bob the Builder amusement attraction to the United States.
Creating Bob the Builder Splash Works™
The vision for the children’s area was to develop a highly themed play area with a widely recognized brand that would attract younger families, and Bob the Builder was the perfect fit for SplashDown Beach. In fact, season pass sales increased notably in November as promotion for Bob the Builder’s arrival began. “Splash Works” is a 1,600-square-foot, Bob the Builder-themed spray-and-play area geared towards children ages 1-6. It contains more than 50 interactive features, including Bob’s tool shed play structure, two slides, tipping buckets, tot bounces, dancing water, geysers and motion sensors that will offer a soaking just for walking by. Bob the Builder meet-and-greets are available daily at the park.
Rain Drop Products is based in Ashland, Ohio. Rain Drop supplied all of the above, in addition to the in-ground features for “Splash Works.” Included was their “Rain Brain” computer system, which allows features to respond to children’s movements and step activators that trigger different water effects throughout the play area. Almost every above-ground feature was uniquely engineered specifically for “Splash Works,” including a life-sized Lofty character that interacts with the children with the push of a button. Rain Drop’s fabrication team delivered the entire system and supervised the installation, all in time for a Memorial Day Weekend opening.
Christina Schneider, SplashDown Beach’s in-house designer, worked closely with HIT Entertainment and Rain Drop to ensure each feature was precisely what was envisioned, all while meeting the proper scale and color. Christina also designed the Town façade at the back of the spray area. Local fabricator Todd Lanthier of the GNS Group brought the town façade, the “Splash Works’” sign and the Bob the Builder figure to reality. Todd’s team remained true to Christina’s detail in design and color. Beyond Bob the Builder With the new addition of “Splash Works,” SplashDown Beach has continued to focus on the kinds of amenities and offerings that appeal to families and local community and business groups.
Throughout the season, the park plays host to corporate picnics, family reunions, scout troops and many other groups. To give groups the best value for their dollar, the park offers programs like:
—In-park meal deals. Whether it’s Cosimo’s Pizza on the Boardwalk, Cosimo’s Grill, Nathan’s Famous Restaurant or the Shake Shack, groups love the deliciously affordable in-park meal deals, available anywhere in the park.
—Catered event dining. Provided under one of the park’s Special Event Tents or Pavilion areas, menu options can range from the simple yet delicious hamburger & hot dog variety to the more upscale lobster, clam bake and steak dinner menus. Custom entertainment, theming, balloons, floral arrangements are all available. If a group wants to design a custom menu, then SplashDown Beach’s experienced event planners do their best to fulfill their needs. In regards to family reunions, in addition to the usual services and options, the park offers lots of extras at no additional cost, including free parking, complimentary life vests, Boardwalk games and custom printed tickets with the family’s name.
Additional activities include character photos, Body Art and Spin Art T-Shirts.
Of course, SplashDown Beach is a fantastic option for birthday parties. Birthday party packages includes use of the waterpark (full day or half day), a t-shirt for the birthday child, plates, cups, napkins, utensils, balloons, 1 slice of pizza per child, 1 slice of ice cream cake per child, admission to the Reptile Exhibit, 20 arcade tokens and a souvenir cup.
At the end of the day
As the Bob the Builder character walks the park during his meet-and-greets, a barrage of children young and old eagerly hug and take photos with him. The guests’ reception of Bob has been outstanding. The Turks, as well as the staff of SplashDown Beach, look forward to building a future with Bob.