Inflatable Water Wars – A case study from Adventure Valley


Guests queue at Adventure Valley for Water Wars

At its Leisure Industry Week 2012 launch, Innovative Leisure could not begin to imagine the success its new Inflatable Water Wars product would have. Two years down the line and the latest incarnation of the world’s most popular cool down attraction has made a huge impact on the UK and European markets with its affordable price and eye catching design.

The balloon battle game’s long established aluminium framed model has found it’s way into over 900 locations world wide, quite staggering for a product that started from humble Minnesota beginnings.

Breaking into the UK market with the formation of Innovative Leisure back in 2000, the balloon battle game has since been installed at some of the country’s biggest visitor attractions including Paultons Park, Crealy Cornwall and other venues with the capital to invest in contemporary additional spend attractions.

If Innovative thought they had enjoyed success with Water Wars before, it was impossible to predict what the inflatable version would achieve, breaking into new sectors and introducing the product to a whole new market.

One sector with which the product has enjoyed success is in UK farm attractions. It has been installed at no less than five farm parks including Durham’s Adventure Valley.

We spoke to owner Marco Calzini who tells us how Inflatable Water Wars has effected business.

IL: Marco, what made you choose to add a Double Inflatable Water Wars to Adventure Valley?

MC: We wanted to add something that could offer good capacity and throughput. Water Wars is different to anything we already operate here at Adventure Valley and after we saw the price for both the single and double models (enquire for details) we felt it was a no-brainer to go for the double.

IL: Why do you feel the Inflatable Water Wars works so well for your site?

MC: It’s an attraction you can easily charge extra for or keep for added value in the gate price. We choose the latter as it keeps people happy and makes them feel they are getting more for their money. Plus a water based attraction is fun for all who play and it gets families participating together, having a laugh and taking a good memory from Adventure Valley.

IL: What ages do you typically get using and enjoying the attraction?

MC: It is honestly an attraction for all ages. Whole families from young children to grand parents have been seen taking part. The kids really seem to enjoy soaking their parents from head to toe. The kids are the most die-hard players. They’ll even play when the weather isn’t good!

IL: What do you attribute to Water War’s success so far at Adventure Valley?

MC: In this first year we’ve been blessed with fantastic weather and this has most certainly helped make Water Wars popular. Keeping guests loading with balloons on the hottest days was a big task but we’re so glad the attraction has taken off in this way.

IL: What do you find is the most efficient way of operating Water Wars?

MC: Firstly, we only operate Water Wars in the holidays and at the weekends when we have enough visitors to keep it busy. Because the attraction is included in the gate price we tend to make up buckets of balloons as and when they’re needed. We invite the customers to help us do this as an additional hands on element. We can’t predict how popular Water Wars will be on any given day but we find it best to prepare when a customer wants to play to eliminate wasting balloons.


IL: How many of your staff work on Water Wars?

MC: We usually only have one member of staff operating Water Wars. This is someone to help fill balloons and oversee the attraction and make sure it is being treated well by the guests. We might need a few more on hand when the demand is high, usually on hot summer days but usually one member of staff works fine.

IL: How does capacity work versus demand on Water Wars?

MC: Our guests will queue because Water Wars is included in the price. Customers like the gate price to be the last money they spend aside from F&B in our experience. Due to the attractions inclusion in gate price, we limit guests to 3 balloons each on busy days before they have to queue again. We find this works well.

IL: Has Water Wars benefited any other area of your business?

MC: It has certainly attracted visitors to that particular area of the park. It’s hard to say how much having Water Wars has effected us but it certainly won’t have done any harm. It has been great to give our visitors that extra bit of value for money and that will help to keep people happy and ensure they visit us again.

IL: What sort of response towards Water Wars has Adventure Valley had from guests?

MC: Feedback has been all positive with Water Wars so far. Customers have mentioned Water Wars on social media and we’re pleased it has proven popular. We can honestly say we’ve not had a single complaint about the attraction.

IL: Finally, how has the Inflatable Water Wars lived up to your expectations since it was installed?

MC: Water Wars is very easy to set up and very easy to operate which were two factors that led to us choosing it in the first place. We are in no doubt that Water Wars is a valuable added attraction for Adventure Valley.

Inflatable Water Wars has certainly been a hit at Adventure Valley. It is also currently operating at Walby Farm Park in Carlisle, Heatherton World of Activities in Pembrokeshire, Dalscone Farm in Dumfries, Cantref Adventure Farm in the Brecon Beacons and a number of locations across Europe with many more coming soon.

For full details on Inflatable Water Wars visit our website

Written by Kier Lymn part of the Innovative Leisure marketing team.

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