Thursday, February 22, 2024

Turkish Splash

Polin waterpark is centerpiece of new Land of Legends resort

edited by Judith Rubin

A luxurious, giant wave pool supplied by Polin Waterparks is central to The Land of Legends theme park and destination resort, open since July 1 in Antalya, Turkey. The wave pool surges at the heart of the facility and its key offering: a 280,000-square-meter waterpark supplied by Polin. The extensive waterpark establishes the property as a realm of lakes, pools, rivers, beaches, palaces – and monumental waterslides. Within this unique, world class integrated resort guests will also find a dolphinarium, a wildlife park, custom dining and retail offerings, a five-star hotel, and more. Rixos World Parks & Entertainment rolled out this first phase of The Land of Legends with development partners Emaar Properties PJSC and Dragone Productions.

“The sheer size of the waterpark proves its starring role. But it’s not just the dimensions; it’s the sheer number and variety of attractions: 72 slides plus many additional aquatic attractions.”

The Daily Sabah travel section reported: “The most impressive section of The Land of Legends is the aqua park. Especially the artificial beach, which makes you feel like you are in the Caribbean, and the tide pool, both are wonderful… the man-made beach features white sands and artificial monsoons, allowing rain to pour down on you suddenly and without warning. Giant slides are also a source of fun and entertainment for families. The giant park does not end there. In the tide pool you can learn surfing, and there is also a 5-D cinema, a roller coaster which reaches a height of 40 meters, a zoo featuring South African penguins and water tigers – all in the same facility…”

Rixos is best known for Rixos Hotels, a provider of luxury hospitality with numerous properties in the EMEA region, and this project signifies the company’s venture into full scale entertainment development. Emaar Properties is a publicly held real estate firm company with competencies in hospitality, leisure and retail. Its iconic assets in Dubai include the Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall and the Dubai Fountain. Entertainment legend Dragone Productions, under founder and art director Franco Dragone, has been organizing shows, water-themed theatrical shows in particular, for over 100 million people in Las Vegas, Macau, Paris, Wuhan, Dubai and Russia.

The issue of current events in Turkey cannot be ignored. As stated in the Aug 18 edition of The National, although Antalya is a visitor hotspot, the opening of The Land of Legends “…comes amid a particularly testing period for tourism companies in the country.” The article notes that tourism to the region has dropped significantly in recent months but that operators “…are hoping that the numbers will soon recover. And, an increasing number of businesses in the country seem to think they will, along with a rebound in the wider economy… Rixos remains undeterred.”

In a June 15 press conference, Rixos Hotels Chairman Fettah Tahmince said, “In addition to its construction, the investment in technology, performances, stages and visual art design plays an important part in the project, and nearly 50 percent of the total investment comes from equity capital. The aim of the project, which will bring new color into Antalya’s rich product diversity, is to be one of the first entertainment and holiday choices of approximately 3 billion people living in the region covering Turkey and its surroundings.”

Getting back to the waterpark, Sohret Pakis of Polin Waterparks said, “The sheer size of the waterpark proves its starring role. But it’s not just the dimensions; it’s the sheer number and variety of attractions: 72 slides plus many additional aquatic attractions.”

Dr. Kubilay Alpdogan, Director of Sales and Design, Polin Waterparks, said, “It’s truly our ‘project of the year.’ This project is unique to the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region of the world. It was a huge project – and one of which we are immensely proud.”

PHOTOS: Land of Legends

Land of Legends facts

• Opening date: July 1, 2016 (first phase)
• Developers: Rixos World Parks & Entertainment, Emaar Properties PJSC, Dragone Productions
• Location: Belek district of Antalya, Turkey
• Budget: US $1B (first phase)
• Timeline to opening: 30 months (first phase)
• Area: 639,000 square meters
• Master planning, concept & schematic design: Jack Rouse Associates
• Waterpark supplier: Polin Waterparks
• Waterpark size: 280,000 square meters
• Wildlife park size: 146,000-square-meters
• Shopping boulevard size: 196,000-square-meters
• Hospitality: 17,000-square-meter, 5-star hotel
• Observation tower: 111 meters high
• Theme: Roman Empire/Greek Poseidon
• Project rollout: three phases (first phase complete)
• Projected completion: 2018 (all phases)
• Projected total investment: TL 4 billion
• Employment: 1,000 people (first phase)
• Total projected employment: 4,000 people

Land of Legends – Role of Polin Waterparks
Deliverables & scope of work

• Development/design
• Consulting
• Water playground
• Spray zone
• Wave and river systems
• SurfStream®
• Wave Ball
• Full hydromechanical sytem, including water circulation and filtration
• All waterslides, rafts/tubes/mats
• FEC equipment
• Kids’ interactive play structures
• Other children’s equipment


The Magicone. Shaped like a giant funnel on its side; guests slide down a steep drop that sends them whirling around the conical interior. The Land of Legends is the only facility to feature this slide to date.
Family Rafting Slide. Guests of all ages ride together in six- or eight-passenger rafts.
Windigo. Guests enter alongside one another in enclosed tubes that spread out to create geometrical curves that curl parallel with the others and end in multiracer lanes.
Kamikaze. Engineered to deliver high-speed thrills, this free-fall high slide features a curvy path that sweeps guests through several adrenaline-pumping drops.
Freefall. An exhilarating drop for guests who want to experience the thrill of a freefall without the danger.
Looping Rocket. This attraction features a unique “launch capsule” 73 feet in the air with a trap door that opens to send riders through a high-speed, horizontal, 360-degree loop.
Spaceboat. This extreme raft slide is said to be one of the most popular bowl rides of the industry. Guests begin a high-speed, enclosed tube ride through a swirling vortex before they are discharged into a huge, open bowl.
Space Shuttles. These extreme-themed waterslides shoot guests through tubes into a space-shuttle-shaped pod. Thrusting sprays of water slow the ride, shooting riders side-to-side before expelling them downhill.
Black Hole. One of Polin’s most popular rides, this tube slide provides high-speed travel through multiple turns and inclines with the extra adrenaline enhancement of Polin’s patented Natural Light Effects technology.
A Navigatour + Rafting Slide + Black Hole Combo Waterslide. A unique design specially engineered for the Land of Legends, the ride has set a record for being the longest watercoaster in the region with a triple uphill shoot.
The Compact Slide. This slide’s compressed design features special angles and radius components to fit into even the smallest spaces.
Multi Slide. Designed to allow parks of any size to accommodate guests on mats or without, this ride features lanes aligned side-by-side with guests racing adjacently over multiple hills and drops and exiting into either a pool or run-out.
Black Hole + Rafting Slide Multislide Combo Waterslide. Another unique combo design that was specially created for this park, this fusion of several of Polin’s top attractions allows multiple riders to experience a thrilling, adrenaline-filled ride.
Navigatour Uphill + Rafting Slide + Black Hole Multislide Combo Waterslide. The unique slide paths of this attraction – created specially for The Land of Legends – have never before been combined. The ride incorporates a specially engineered uphill section with both rafting and tunnel slides.
Lazy-Crazy River. Another of the aquatic attractions created specifically for this park, this ride is designed primarily as a crazy river – covering about 80 percent of the length of the river – with the remainder of the ride a relaxing lazy river, allowing guests to relax and float leisurely.


Children’s attractions

Kids’ Wide Slides. Scaled down version of Polin’s classic Wide Slide.
Kids’ Freefall. Scaled down version of the Freefall offers a thrilling drop suited to the younger set.
An Octopus Slide. This colorful attraction features six arms of stairs and slides with a giant octopus head that rains droplets of water.
Frog Slide. This slide lets children slide out of its mouth along its tongue.
Baby Octopus Slide. A bright, colorful toddler slide.
Dolphin Fountain. This interactive option squirts an arcing stream of water.
A Mushroom. Colorful fountain.
A Mini Pirate Slide. This interactive play center includes numerous waterslides.
Water Play Structure (C12 version). Reaching more than 13 meters high, this multilevel structure has a sand and seashell theme and features 100+ interactive features, including five waterfall jets, 15 water guns and 13 tippy buckets. This massive attraction is said to be the biggest water playground in the EMEA region.
Ladies-only area, for female guests and their children
The Body Slide. This versatile slide requires no mats and offers a variety of design options and slide paths for varying speed levels and a mix of drops and straightaways.
Tunnel Freefall. This body slide delivers an exhilarating drop, combining adventure with adrenaline.
Kamikaze. Engineered to deliver high-speed thrills, this free-fall, 88.58-feet- (27-meter-) high slide features a curving, 315-foot- (96-meter-) long path that sweeps guests through several adrenaline-pumping drops.
Twister Racer. This four-lane, multi slide blends speed with twisting turns as multiple tubes intertwine.
Hybrid Racer (Space Boat + Turbolance Combination). This combo merges racing slides with the Black Hole’s enclosed tube slide to send guests into a whirling open bowl before speeding uphill on a steep vertical slope, then backward on a reverse path over a bump and into a splash pool.
Black Hole + Flying Boats Combination. This combo shoots riders along a high-speed, special-effects-fueled ride with additional rushes up-and-down before a final downhill and unexpected drop.
Family Rafting Slide. Billed as the first RTM-manufactured [Resin Transfer Molding] family slide in the industry, it allows guests of all ages to ride together in a six- or eight-passenger raft.

The Wave Ball: Created by the WOW Company (Belgium), this attraction sits in the center of a pool and uses powerful software and hardware to control the frequency and size of the pool’s waves. The size of this installation is a first in Turkey and it has been one of the park’s top attractions since its installation. Designed by Polin in collaboration with WOW engineers to create a pool that resembles a typical wavepool shape.
Water-Play Structure (B6 type). This smaller version of the park’s main water-play structure reaches 10.8 meters into the air and features 53 different interactive elements.
Lazy River. Relaxation is the focus of this leisurely ride.

Proprietary to Polin

At The Land of Legends, all waterslides feature Polin’s specially engineered benefits – the Natural Light Effects, Special Pattern Effects and translucency.

All slides were designed and installed by Polin’s team of engineering experts and were manufactured using L-Resin Transfer Molding (L-RTM) composites technology. Polin pioneered the advancement and application of this process in waterslide manufacturing. The firm named the technology Magic Shine because the manufacturing process creates two perfectly shiny sides. As a result, slide components not only are more attractive, but they are also easier to install, as well as stronger and lighter than comparable products due to their uniform thickness and smooth edges.
RTM also allows Polin’s slides to feature other unique benefits. Specifically, they include the company’s patented Natural Light Effects technology and Special Pattern Effects technology, as well as translucent color options.

Interactivity is also a key feature of Polin’s designs that are showcased at the park.

Creative collaborations

Polin and American Wave Machines of San Diego, CA joined forces to produce a unique SurfStream attraction for The Land of Legends. It is said to be the region’s first SurfStream, as well as the world’s first standing wave-surfing machine, allowing riders to use real surfboards and surf an endless wave. This unique SurfStream features a double surf-system configuration that allows the operator to run each side separately to feature a range of wave sizes. That option allows one side of the ride to offer an advanced barrel wave while the other side can feature a wave perfect for family bodyboarding. Six surfers and 12 bodyboarders can use the attraction at the same time.

Other creative collaborators brought in by Polin were WOW company and Kraftwerk Living Technologies.

Polin Waterparks

Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976 and has since grown into a leading company in the waterparks industry. Today Polin is a world leader in the design, production and installation of waterparks, waterslides and water-play attractions. Polin has completed 2,500 waterpark projects in 100 countries around the world and is the biggest waterslide supplier in Eurasia. Working with a wide variety of clients has helped Polin reach several milestones including installing the first waterparks in many countries and many other award-winning rides at parks with world-renowned reputations.

Polin’s wide range of product offerings includes signature rides such as the patented King Cobra, Magic Spheres, Spheres, Magi Cone and Space Shuttle.

Polin is the pioneer in the advancement and application of closed-molded manufacturing technology in waterslide development. First implemented in 2006, 100 percent of Polin’s annual fiberglass production has been converted to resin transfer molding (RTM) and meets the industry’s highest standards. Polin offers both bowl rides and family rides featuring RTM techniques.

Polin has been an ISO9001 certificate holder by TUV Germany since 2003, and all Polin slides conform to European norms. All steel parts conform to international DIN standards, all designs conform to ASTM practices, and Polin is also CSEI-approved for projects in China. Polin holds a quality certificate for all of its waterslides by TUV and was the 2012 Export Winner of Turkey in the SMSE Category.

Polin oversees a high-capacity design-and-manufacturing facility in Turkey with a team that totals 500 people with five offices throughout the world. • • •

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She reports on design and technical design, production and project management, industry trends and company culture. From 2005-2020 she ran communications and publications for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA and publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association, and has contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a BFA from Pratt Institute. She has lived in Detroit, New York, Oakland, and now Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts community.
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