From the February 2011 issue of IAAPA Funworld Magazine — As everyone knows, bad things happened to the Titanic when it ventured out onto the water. The Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, however, is hoping very good things will happen to its guests in 2013 when they visit the museum’s newest offering, Water Magic.
Set on a 12-acre site directly across the street from the museum, the $40 million attraction will be designed to allow guests to discover new and creative ways to have fun with water without really getting soaked. Water Magic is not a waterpark—in fact, most guests will probably wear their street clothes into the venue.
But that doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of water frolicking going on. In fact, Water Magic’s creators describe it as a “water-powered funhouse on steroids” and say its motto will be, “Get me wet.”
According to John Joslyn, who coowns the Titanic Museum with his wife, Mary Kellogg-Joslyn, he and his creative team—including Bob Fleming, president of Idletime, which designed Titanic Museums in both Pigeon Forge and Branson, Missouri— were meeting back in 2009 and looking at what they could possibly do to creatively expand the museum.
“Finally I asked, ‘What captivates children and adults more than anything else?’ and Bob replied, ‘It’s water,’ and I said, ‘Yes!’ So we thought, ‘Could we have a room where people could walk on water, or could we have a bubble room, or do a water theater?’ It’s just one of those simplistic things in life that hits you like a lightning bolt, and it just sort of took us all aback in the room.”
Water Magic will be a year-round attraction set in a 40,000–square-foot building. One of the first sites visitors will see is a 100-foot kinetic energy sculpture topped by a 1,000-gallon bucket that will spill water down onto Water Magic’s grand entry plaza. Guests will then proceed to Emporium Square, a two-story atrium filled with water–driven gadgets, like water fountains of all shapes and sizes synchronized to music.
Emporium Square will lead to several gateways, and visitors can choose which one will start their adventure. Each leads to a different gallery; some that will allow guests to feel as if they’re walking on water, while others, like the “Mirror Maze,” will present a puzzle that carries with it the chance of getting wet; still others, like “The Water Tunnel,” will wrap visitors in a cocoon of water.
The Water Theater will present “Imagination Rhapsody,” a musical melee of water jets and water spouts where guests can create their own water symphonies, with the possibility of a missed note sending a wave of water their way. In the “Deep-Sea Expedition” venue, guests will experience an exploratory dive to the ocean floor.
The owners say Water Magic will also be “wrapped in green,” a reference to its environmental stewardship. “We do have a responsibility to the environment,” says Joslyn, “and if we’re moving that much water, we should be able to figure out how to recycle it, how to use it for heating and cooling, and for power generation, which we will do. Plus, the people in the fountain business have really explored ways to recycle water, and if we have rainwater coming down in a deluge in the parking lot, we should be able to capture it and use it. We’re going to use water in smart ways.”
This story is property of IAAPA Funworld Magazine.