Typhoon Texas

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Typhoon Texas

Katy, Texas All Outdoor

Typhoon Texas opened in May 2016 as the first privately funded waterpark built in a decade. Its ownership group planned for three years and invested $45 million in the project.

Soft Play® partnered with Typhoon Texas to bring interactive water play elements to the park’s areas for kids to enrich their experience and maximize their fun.

Water Park Trends

Water parks continue to evolve, and Soft Play has noticed some recent shifts in design and approach that played into this project.

Increased Focus on Younger Kids

Previously, it was common for water parks to feature only small areas for toddlers and younger kids. Ownership focused on older kids’ and adults’ experiences. That often meant a simple pool with one or two spraying elements for younger guests.

Modern parks are rethinking that approach as they realize that young families represent a significant growth opportunity. As a result, parks are becoming more thoughtful with designs for younger kids’ areas. Water parks are adding features like scaled-down wave pools, squirting elements, slides, tubes and more to attract this new audience.


Themes aren’t new — water parks have centered around elements like sea creatures and jolly pirates for a long time. Yet, today’s options go far beyond those traditional norms. Custom-themed play elements have opened up a new range of possibilities. Parks are beginning to increase their appeal with licensed characters or experiences that reinforce their brands. Some park owners create themes that echo their local environment or evoke a sense of community.

The Project Vision

Typhoon Texas’ ownership group wanted to build a water adventure that could compete against several well-established, corporate-owned parks in the state. They also wanted a Texas-based theme as an integral part of their designs.

Soft Play immediately embraced this vision to create water park features that could engage visitors of different ages and deliver big on Texas pride.

The Project Challenges

Soft Play identified several challenges in designing its Typhoon Texas water park equipment.

Capture the Magic of Childhood and Water

Most of us can recall happy childhood memories of playing with a hose or sprinkler in the backyard. Soft Play set out to recapture that magic while turning the experience into a sensory adventure.

Water play is an important activity for young kids. They can hear splashes, feel the moisture and watch the waves or bubbles they can make for a well-rounded sensory experience.

Create Family Memories With Durable Interactive Elements

As Typhoon Texas set out to attract young families, the Soft Play team knew we had to support them with play elements capable of withstanding heavy traffic. The park also relies on high-performance pumps and filters to keep water moving and maintain its cleanliness, so Typhoon Texas needed premium-quality, durable components. Each interactive water feature we built boasts long-lasting materials for years of use in creating family memories.

Design Play Spaces Encouraging Vital Childhood Development

For younger kids, play is about more than just having fun — it’s a way to explore their world and develop essential skills. Soft Play designs water play elements that promote this learning with a focus on quality and safety. Our features help kids:

  • Process sensory differences: Toddlers and younger kids can experiment with different water spray effects like misting, dumping, sprinkling, raining and squirting.
  • Explore cause and effect: Kids can learn what happens by pressing buttons, turning knobs and more.
  • Improve gross motor skills: Activities like spinning, climbing and jumping help kids develop perception and balance.
  • Increase social and emotional well-being: Water-based interaction and challenges enhance kids’ social skills and self-confidence.

Typhoon Texas Features From Soft Play

Soft Play collaborated with Typhoon Texas to bring fun to life with multiple elements in the Buckaroo Bayou and Howdy Hollow. Our custom-designed features include:

  • Alligator and oil rig slides: Toddlers and young kids can climb up and glide down our unique waterslides while building their balance and coordination skills.
  • Beaver, gator and log water walks: Kids can challenge themselves to navigate floating obstacles with our water walk systems, strengthening their muscles and problem-solving abilities.
  • Fishing boat and Texas-shaped climbers: Toddlers love to climb to explore new perspectives. Our climbable structures introduce water to the experience with no more than 6 inches of depth for enhanced safety.
  • Water-spitting rattlesnake and miniature squirting elements: Soft Play upped the fun and stuck to the Texas theme with multiple squirting elements that let kids practice hand-eye coordination and create their own games.
  • Splash pad: The Soft Play Splash Pad serves as the foundation for young minds to explore different water textures with little to no pooling fluid.
  • Floatables: The final plans incorporated numerous Soft Play floatables, including one shaped like the Lone Star, to promote physical activity through swimming and climbing.

The Project Results

Soft Play helped Typhoon Texas achieve outstanding results during its inaugural 2016 season. At its May opening, the park reached capacity attendance and soon hit season ticket sales goals ahead of schedule.

Thanks to our innovative, fun designs, kids visiting the park have the opportunity to:

  • Exercise their creativity by making up games with squirtable elements.
  • Practice their problem-solving skills by navigating floating water obstacles.
  • Build muscles, balance and coordination with climbable water structures.
  • Gain a foundation in science by exploring water movement, floating and sinking.

Reimagine Water Play With Soft Play

Since 1984, Soft Play has been a go-to global source for premier play equipment with a history of success. We’re experts in bringing water play to life to help attract families and support your business growth. Our team will collaborate with you on pre-designed, turnkey solutions or provide custom-designed systems to make a statement.

Request a quote online or connect with your local representative for more information on individualized designs.

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