Columbus Zoo's Zoombezi Bay

The Challenge

In 2006, Columbus Zoo entered an agreement with Six Flags to purchase Wyandot Lake waterpark in Columbus, OH for $2 million. Shortly after purchasing the property, the Zoo announced plans to invest $22 million to substantially re-develop and renovate the former Wyandot Lake property in order to incorporate zoo theming throughout, update existing amenities and introduce state-of-the-art attractions.

The Solution

2008 Columbus Zoo chose ADG, to renovate, design and build a newly branded “Zoombezi Bay” waterpark. Featuring $20 million worth of new attractions including: three new water slide complexes, a new 544,000 gallon “Wild Tides” wave pool, and a 1.5 million gallon action river called “Roaring Rapids”.wave pool overview at zoombezi bay


2011 After three successful seasons of operation at Zoombezi Bay, park operators decided to expand the waterpark. ADG designed and built the new area to include two new slides, a 45’ uphill water coaster, and the first Boomerango Express half-pipe tube slide.


2014 Zoombezi Bay wanted to replace an old AquaPlay RainFortress that was carried over from Wyandot waterpark with a $4.5 million “Baboon Lagoon“ children’s area. ADG designed and built the expansion to feature nine children’s water slides, 90+ interactive water play features, and a giant 1,000 gallon dumping bucket, earning “Best New Product in Themed Exhibit Design” from IAAPA.Columbus Zoo Multi Level Play Structure


2018 Looking to further expand capacity with more place to relax, more slides and more interactive play, Columbus Zoo called upon ADG for the fourth time to create “Otter Banks” active play area. ADG designed Otter Banks around their Adventure Lagoon® water ride which features a 2,500 sqft activity pool with basketball area, 3 waterfalls, in-water seating, a 1,800 sqft obstacle course and two 26’ drop slides.


2020: After back to back years of record-breaking attendance, Zoombezi Bay wanted to renovate the last attraction from the preexisting Wyandot Lake property – Croctail Breek, bar and adults-only river. ADG renovated the 700 ft long river, doubling the size of the bar area, and adding a lounge pool with in-water bar side seating.


The Result

Zoombezi Bay, a 22.7 acre waterpark currently ranks as one of the Midwest’s most popular water parks, attracting more than 400,000 visitors annually.

Columbus Zoo River

Aquatic Development Group