What’s the Difference Between a Splash Pad and a Spray Park?
What’s in a name? If you’ve ever had to develop a water-themed feature for a municipality, hotel or resort, or a dedicated water park, you’ll have come across many different names, and perhaps confused by exactly what they all mean. This is especially true for the differences between “splash pad” and “spray park”.
While most people understand that a water park generally means a full-featured theme park with water attractions that range from lazy rivers to giant water slides, the same can’t be said for splash pads and spray parks.
But understanding the difference is important to minimize any confusion in the design, development and marketing of your project.
Splash pads are generally designed for use by younger children up to 12 years old. That’s one of the reasons that they usually occupy a smaller footprint than spray parks.
Younger users also mean having a different safety focus. For starters, while splash pad equipment can include features that spray or pour water on users, there is generally no standing water on the pad to reduce the chance of emergencies.
The absence of standing water means that splash pads are more likely to be unsupervised versus a spray park.
One of the reasons that spray parks are larger is that they need to appeal to users of all ages. Parks are usually designed with separate areas for toddlers and older children to help prevent accidents.
Their larger footprint allows for larger water park equipment and a wider range of equipment types. Designers and developers can choose a mix of small, medium and larger water features to give users a variety of play options.
Equipment types include static spray features that splash users with a variety of spray effects; kinetic features that use the motion of the equipment for more animated water displays; and user-powered features that invite interaction with the equipment, through pedalling, cranking or rocking; to generate a water spray.
To find out more about spray park equipment, check out our recent article “The Most Important Part in All Spray Park Equipment”.