This Beijing Water Park Will Surprise You

This isn’t a scene from a Pixar underwater film; it’s an actual water park in Beijing, China! It is housed in the Beijing National Aquatic Center, which hosted swimming and diving events during the 2008 Olympics. The colourful fantastical world, designed by Forrec Ltd., is housed in one of the few structures that remain operational and profitable after the event.

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Once the dramas of that fortnight in August were over – when world records fell like dominoes and Michael Phelps won eight gold medals, more than any Olympian before him – the “water cube” fell silently into neglect as an urban pool. Two years later, the government stepped in.

The southern half of the building has now been transformed into a fantasy indoor water park in order to generate revenue by attracting locals and tourists to the frequently deserted Olympic site.

On the inside, it’s a maze of neon plastic slides, tunnels, water jets, and pools, as well as sophisticated, surreal underwater decor. Many Chinese visitors will have never seen a lazy river, a 40-foot freefall drop within a plastic tube, or an ocean-themed wave pool.

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To give it its full name, the “Happy Magic Water Cube, Beijing Water Cube Water Park” can get quite crowded at times, with children yelling with delight in their matching orange life jackets.


It is the city’s second most visited tourist attraction, after the Great Wall, according to government statistics. The high entrance fee deters all but Beijing’s privileged children, so it’s usually quiet. The Happy Magic Watercube Park, which hosted the Olympic water sports competitions in 2008, has been repurposed as a water playground. There is a wave pool, a variety of slides of varying difficulty, and never-ending entertainment. This is a place where both children and adults will have a great time!

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