Competition among Orlando’s water parks to get a little tougher

As a waterpark feasibility expert, David Sangree was asked to offer his thoughts to the Orlando Sentinel about Universal Orlando’s plans to for a water playground. This would increase competition among Orlando’s waterparks.

Published: March 2015

Competition among Central Florida’s water parks is about to get a little tougher.
Universal Orlando recently filed plans for a water playground, with a volcano feature, wave pool, lazy river and rapids ride. The attraction could drive more annual-pass sales and keep more visitors at its resort longer — meaning less time spent with rivals.

“Your goal is primarily is to get the customers to stay a little longer, spend more money at your place instead of going to other facilities, and give them something new and exciting to do,” said David Sangree, president of Hotel and Leisure Advisors, which works with water parks.

There are already four water parks in the area — two at Disney, one at SeaWorld and another that is owned by Universal Orlando’s parent company.

Universal would not comment and has given few details about the 53-acre tract south of Cabana Bay Beach Resort and east of Turkey Lake Road. The resort has said in plans filed with the state it expects to complete construction in November 2016.

A new water park might persuade Dave Harrison of Altamonte Springs to buy Universal annual passes. Harrison has been reluctant because his 6-year-old daughter isn’t yet tall enough for many of the rides there.

“Everything they’ve done lately has been over-the-top, so I think it could be really, really cool,” said Harrison, 39.

Universal has become known for intense, cutting-edge rides and meticulous attention to detail at its traditional theme parks. Industry experts expect the same at its new water attraction. To read the entire article, click here