Water Cube – Happy Magic Water Park
Hosting an Olympics is hard work – a lot of time and money needs to be spent and venues need to be built. But what happens when the games finish up and the tourists head home? How can you make use of massive buildings that were purpose built for a special event?
Beijing may just have the answer.
The famous bubble wrapped venue for the swimming and diving events at the Beijing 2008 Olympic games, ‘The Water Cube’ has reinvented itself as Asia’s largest water park. While the outside of the venue remains truly stunning, it is what Toronto based design firm Forrec has done with the inside that is delighting the locals.
The Happy Magic Water Park (direct translation, I kid you not), is set up with 13 water slides (including one with a 12 metre free fall drop), a wave pool, lazy river and spa area, sitting amongst an underwater wonderland complete with floating jellyfish. The park has been a hit with the local residents and Chinese state media has said it is the second most visited attraction in the country after the Great Wall.
There have been unconfirmed reports of western visitors getting stuck in the some of the tubes of the water slides, reminiscent of the scene where Augustus Gloop falls into Willy Wonka’s chocolate river, as the park has been designed with the Asian physique in mind. If that or the hordes of daily visitors doesn’t put you off, entry is CNY$200.00 (Approx AUD$30.00)
The site also plays host to a shopping arcade and a stage for live performances, including a production of Swan Lake by the Russian Imperial Ballet, and is located next door to the Birds Nest stadium.