Like an oasis in the desert, parched fans can't seem to get enough lazy rivers, wave pools, tube slides, and other water park fun--and developers are only too happy to keep the water park attractions flowing. Massive new rides, particularly funnel slides, abound this season as well as entire new parks. And indoor water parks show no signs of retreating from their rapid expansion as a bunch of new year-round parks are on tap to open in 2005. So slip on your Speedos and break out the sun block (but get rid of those dorky nose plugs fer cryin' out loud, will ya?) as I run down the highlights for the 2005 water park season. Let's begin by taking a look at the Six Flags parks.
Six Flags has plenty of new dry rides debuting this year (not the least of which will be the record-shattering Kingda Ka roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey), but the chain will be unleashing a torrent of new water park rides as well--including an entire new Hurricane Harbor park.
Hurricane HarborNew Outdoor Water Park
Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags Great America, IL
One of the few Six Flags locations without a water park, the drought will be over when the Chicago-area park debuts Hurricane Harbor this season. The 13-acre water park will feature Skull Island, an enormous interactive water play structure. It will include dozens of water gotchas and gizmos to get yourself and everyone around you soaked. Every few minutes, three tipping buckets will unload a torrent of water. The park will also include a slew of water slides, a huge wave pool, a lazy river, and a family raft ride. Best of all, the world-class water park will be included in the general admission price to Six Flags Great America. To see a rendering of Skull Island, go to the Six Flags Water Parks 2005 Preview Photo Gallery.
Hurricane HarborReenergized and Renamed Water Park
Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags America, MD
Formerly known as Paradise Island, the water park at Six Flags America was small and often jammed on hot days. Although it's expanding and getting a makeover (and an upgrade to Six Flags' premium water park brand, Hurricane Harbor), I don't know if it will be any less crowded now, because the new attractions may draw a lot more guests. Among the new rides will be Bahama Blast, a family raft ride and Tornado, a funnel ride. Hurricane Harbor will also boast a new Caribbean theme, a new kids' area with lots of interactive water play features, and private cabanas (for an additional fee, natch). To learn more about water park funnel rides, see my review and photos of High Anxiety at New Jersey's Mountain Creek water park.
TyphoonUphill water coaster
Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags New England, MA
Six Flags New England will also be getting Typhoon, a water coaster, for its Hurricane Harbor water park. Jets of water will propel the ride's rafts uphill while gravity will take care of the drops. To learn more about the unique water park rides, see my review of Rendezvous Run, the uphill water coaster at Cedar Point's Castaway Bay in Sandusky, Ohio. To see a rendering of Typhoon, go to the Six Flags Water Parks 2005 Preview Photo Gallery.
The next page has more Six Flags water park info including funnel rides, halfpipe rides, the Mega-Wedgie speed slide, and other new 2005 water park attractions.