Air is not something used in most construction projects, but it’s something that is integral to every inflatable ever made. Creative use of air has allowed development of some of the world’s coolest inflatable structures, including the We Are Vertigo InflataPark, the Whoa Zone at Whihala Beach, The Second Dome, Wake Island Water Park and Inflatable Thought Bubbles.
For more details on these marvels of inflatable engineering, check out this list that includes everything from exhibition venues to the world’s biggest inflatable park. Each deserves a place on the list of the world’s coolest inflatable structures. Each also shows how far inflatables have come and why inflatable entertainment is one of the biggest attractions at family entertainment centers and other fun venues.
We Are Vertigo InflataPark
Located in Belfast, Ireland, We Are Vertigo is the world’s biggest inflatable park and a wonder to see. Converted from a successful trampoline park in just 12 days, the giant InflataPark covers 30,000 square feet. Installed by Galaxy Multi Rides, it can handle 200 people at one time. Among the many, many attractions are a maze, Ninja Challenge, Giant Moon Bounce, Warrior Battle Zone, Wrecking Ball, climbing wall and a mammoth two-lane obstacle course.
Whoa Zone at Whihala Beach
About a half hour outside of Chicago on the waters of Lake Michigan, engineers have built one of the coolest floating water parks ever devised. The Whoa Zone at Whihala Beach is aptly named because it has more than 60 interlocking inflatables. They include slides, half pipes, monkey bars and trampolines, all interconnected in one massive, floating inflatable.
The Second Dome
Designed by the Spanish architectural firm DOSIS, the Second Dome is a “pneumatic architectural structure” with thin skin (less than a millimeter thick) and the ability to change shape with applied air pressure. We mean radically change shape. For the 2016 Founders Forum in London, the Second Dome changed shape from a 700-square-foot bubble to a 4,300-square-foot event venue with multiple rooms. And it only took minutes.
Wake Island Water Park
You can find another incredible water park at Pleasant Grove, Calif. There, the Wake Island Water Park covers 80 acres and includes an interlocking group of inflatables that includes slides, jumping pillows, bridges, swings and balance beams. The inflatable water park offers hours of wet, slippery and fast fun.
In Belgium, V-Formation decided to build a new kind of obstacle – a really, really big kind. The result is called The Beast, an obstacle course that is 893 feet long and consists of a winding course that makes three hairpin curves and takes users through every kind of obstacle imaginable. It’s a hit at big events around the world.
Inflatable Thought Bubbles
The Welsh Development Agency created the WDA Inflatable Thought Bubbles for use during a road show a decade ago. They are four circular, inflatable buildings that can become a portable exhibition venue and are completely self-supported. Collectively, they contain 80,000 square feet of fabric and weigh more than 6,100 pounds. And yes, they look like thought bubbles.
Big Bounce America
Billed as the biggest touring bounce house in America, this bounce house features a castle, a 900-foot obstacle course, maze, five-lane slide and “sports slam,” an area filled with nets, hoops, goals and other sports-related activities. This one is designed to give families several hours of non-stop entertainment.
Built in the United Kingdom, The Monster stands out for many reasons. For one, it’s huge, at almost 1,000-feet long. Second, it’s built with adults in mind. You enter through the mouth of a giant monster and then make your way through 40 obstacles that include slides, mazes and climbing walls. Since it’s for adults, there are also plenty of food, music and cocktails available as part of the experience.
These rank among the coolest inflatable structures in the world. With the engineer wizardry in the inflatable entertainment industry, it’s only a matter of time before creation of even more cool inflatables.