Hurricane Harbor & Great Adv. - Monday - July 29

Associated parks:
None

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 1:03 AM
This won't be as long as last time, but there are a few points that I want to make, a few stores to tell and a few axes to grind.

If you want just Great Adventure and the rides skip down.

Weather - Picture Perfect - Sunny - Warm - Not Overly opressive

I was in need of relaxing - not power riding and I thought I would do better in terms of crowds at Hurricane Harbor as opposed to Splish Splash. Attraction variety was the trade-off. This is my story...

Got to the park by 10:35 (late for me) - and the lot at Hurricane harbor does not have prefered parking (which I don't do) and it's well-paved. The lot was not too bad and only a few yellow tanks (day camp busses). I took a spot in front (but to the far right) and walked in.

The line to get a ticket was slow as many peeps did not know exactly what they wanted. There were several wondows, but only 3 open ones. I had a $4 off coupon from the entertainemnt book. I also wanted to add the themepark option after 4, but they told me to show them the receipt and get it there. (Great, now I have to add another line to my day).

I got the obligatory locker that I always get at a water park ($11). This was cool, as I got a wristabnd that opened my locker and I didn't have to cary around a key.

I have fair skin and I burn easily. I wish there were a way to apply lotion to my back when traveling solo. I would pay for that situation later in the day.

Park was clean...but unlike Great Adventure, I didn't see any security folks. (Thankfully I didn't need to)

Hurricane Harbor has some nice themeing to it. There is a pseudo tropical vibe, and quite a few bridges to cross to get to the main area.

There are five main "towers" of slide platforms. One is a set of speed slides. (Two speed twisters and a wedgie drop) One is a family platform (a three in a raft and a four in a raft) and the other three have very similar tube slides that are either open or closed (some quite dark) and in two cases a maximum four man slide. The last three platforms seem redundant.

There is a wave pool with a decent looking foreground. An endless river and a play area.

Most decent waterparks have two set-up areas for each attraction (especially the big multi-rider tubes) - where people get in the tubes and prepare to go. THe launch area is before the entrance to the attraction. In a perfect world, one launches while one loads. A guard places the tube in the area, and the people board. Another guard sends the tube to where it has to go. Not here. Instead of two guards, there was only one guy doing all of the work. The line for the family ride was about 40 minutes. (To be honest, it would be the longest wait of the day).

There is a sign that says "Maximum 3 people." When it was my turn, the guard wouldn't let me go solo. HE had to get two others to join me. No problem. He did from time to time send multiple splashes down the steps. It pumped the crowed and felt good.

It was also nice watching Ka launches from the line.

The ride lasted about ten seconds. It was nice, refreshing and left you wanting more.

"One Rider - Long In-Efficient Line - Good Water Quality And Temperature- Life Guard Thinks He's Flipper - TWO FLAGS!"

Tube Slides - You Get Tube, You climb Up - (some slides are for double riders and some are for single riders only). At the top there is a chain line that the lone guard has to open for everyone. One lady, who was the size of a small continent, was unable to move into the launching area without assistance...the water had nowhere to go but DOWN! She flooded the platform. I felt bad, but it was also kind of funny in an uncomfortable way.

By the way the enclosed slides were some of the darkest I've ever seen. It took a while to see rivet holes.

"Long Climb - Fun Slide - One Guard - Buffalo Butt - THREE FLAGS!"

Music - The music in the park was definately a plus most of the time. There were Jimmy Buffet songs that almost need to be there. I heard a few summer type of oldies. Songs like "Cha-Cha Slide" seemed out of place.

Eee Zee River - This endless river attraction has only one stretch of obsticles that splash you (Mostly fountains from a wall) It is wide and well-guarded and stead at 2.8 feet. There are three or four (lost count) entrances and exits. Great water quality and temperature.

NOte - as you get to an entrance/exit area - people are fanning out into the water in order to get stray tubes or exiting passenger tubes. The park also offers "tube rentals." When I inquired about this they pull this off in old style six flags fashion. On busy days, when tube shortage is rampant, you can 'bypass the wait for a tube' and just hop on. Keep in mind that you can place a tube in a locker when you aren't using it. Instead of having more tubes (minmial cost I'm sure) The harbor master makes you pay for his short-comings.

"Fun River - Very Relaxing - Greedy Policy - THREE FLAGS!"

Food - After a few laps on the river, it was time to eat. Here is where Hurricane harbor is lacking. At least down the road there are choices. At the water-park it's minimal. Only one place to get a main lunch and a Popa John's. That's it. All of the meals come with fries that are seasoned. I asked about plain fries. "I'm sorry sir, that's how it comes." That's unacceptable.

"High Prices - Little Choices - Jalapeno Fries - ZERO FLAGS!!!"

I did opt for one of those all you can drink things at the snack stand. Got a wristband for free re-fills. I hid the bottle a few times, but after one slide too many, it was gone.

"Dam You Soda Snatcher - ZERO FLAGS!"

Went to wave pool. Very interesting place. The cycle here is 7 minutes on and five minutes off. A dank buzzer signals the start of the fun. Unlike most wave pools, I thought the bulk of the action was coming down the sides and not from the center.

There is a stupid policy here where the lifeguards beep thier whistles like crazy at 45 minutes after each hour. For 15 minutes the pool is closed.

THey call this a high intensity thrill ride. Uhhh...ok.

"Fun Pool - Big Pool - Wavy Pool - Empty Pool - THREE FLAGS!"

Near the wave pool area are cabanas on each side. THey rent for $25 per day. They look like tents with chairs. No thanks. I did find a chair under a shady sail where I ate my lunch and took a nap. I can't for the life of me figure out why some people would take new-born infants to a waterpark. One lady left her sleeping baby alone for a minute while she went to do something a few rows away. Idiot!

Speed Slides

I found it surprising that the lines for the two speed twisting slides were longer than the solitary wedgie plunge. The lifeguard stops you at the chain link and tells each pair of riders how to ride. THe twisters were by far the only real thrill at the park. I know it's physically impossible to travel on these things at huge speeds, but the tight radious and the intensity is amazing. I almost blacked out in there. I also burned and banged my elbow pretty badly. My advice is to tighten your grip across your chest as hard as possible. THe wedgie drop is not a big deal...just protect your nose on the way down.

"Big Thrill - Go Fast - Got Boo-Boo - FIVE FLAGS"

Waterplay Area - This is one of hte coolest attractions of this type I have ever seen at a waterpark. Levers and dunking things a-plenty. The deluge from the "big bucket" is not very well braced, and I could easily see it knocking down an un-suspecting little kid. The adults were loving it nad staring at it like we do Ka & Dragster launches. About 20 Percent of the stuiff wasn't working, but it didn't seem to bother anyone. I was told I couldn't go on one of the smaller slides due to my height. (No sign though - so much for family friendly attractions).

The most effective of the water-play activities was a device that looked like half an empty log. When someone walked under you, let 'er rip.

If this place had everything working, it would be hard to beat.

"Big Bucket - Big Fun - Big Broken Stuff - Big Smiles - FIVE FLAGS!!"

Along my way I saw a guy in a suit. Here was the gist of our conversation...

"You must be management."

"Yes I'm the Director."

"Listen...the park is clean, yada yada yada...it's been a long time...when are we going to get some new things here?"

"Are you a season pass holder?"

"Worse, I'm a coaster geek."

He told me that the head guy in charge of everything is looking to make a lot of big changes and improvements to this waterpark next year. He assumed I was hoping for a water coaster. I told him that what I really want to see are people-eaters. I mentioned the race way at Camel Beach. He agreed with me. He also asked me about a funnel. I said if it takes less than four at a time - it's worthless. It was a nice exchange.

Overall - Hurricane Harbor is a nice place. It can handle a lot of people, but other than the pool and the river & play area, the slides need better efficiency. It also needs better food options and choices. Lounge chairs in the shade were hard to find today and it wasn't too crowded at all. I left near 4 PM.

----Great Adventure----(No Bot)

I would say the lot was about 1/3 full. I got a spot in row three near the scream machine. Wow are there big pot holes in this section of the lot.

Problem Number 1 - The ticket seller wasn't able to validate my upgrade. I have to go to guest services.

Guest Services - HERE'S SOMETHING INTERESTING - The people in front of me were all employees of Dorney Park. Apparently they, Kneobels and Sesame Place workers are allowed to sign in for free admission. What's up with that?

Problem Number 2 - "Well we can't let you in until after 5 PM. Who sold you the ticket?"

"The lady in the booth! Here's the recipt...here is my wristband from the locker..."

"YOu had to get that add-on there."

"THey told me I should get it here! Why would I want to wait on what is now two extra lines?"

Long Pause..."Please excuse me." (Gone five minutes)..."Ok, but next time get the ticket there." For about twenty bucks more I was in the park.

El Toro - Down!

Go to Nitro -Down!

Ketchup The Ride - 40 minute wait. I love rides, but I hate to wait for them. Without my little Q-bot, I was mortal, powerless and (I know this is hypocritical) resentrul of those who had it. I also hated to see the signs for flashpass, reminding me of the hero I once was and of the power I once had. One linecutter.

The ride was quite good. Last row seat. If your head is all the way back, you won't bang it around too much.

Skyride - Absolutely perfect.

Nitro - 40 minute wait. Second Row Seat.

Did I mention how much I hate to wait for rides. I'm going to borrow an idea from an older thread. Please indulge me.

(Five Drumbeats)

(Voice OVer Guy) "Dud Light Presents...Real Men of Genious."

(Singer) "Real Men of Genious..."

(Voice OVer) "Today we salute you...Mr. Theme Park Que-line bottle-neck guy."

(Singer) "Mr. Theme Park Que-line bottle-neck guy..."

(Voice Over) "A butterfly, your shadow, a puffy cloud...you'll stare at anyhting...except the guy in front of you..."

(Singer) "He's almost in the station..."

(Voice Over) "A gentle reminder...a tap on the shoulder...an angry mob or a freeken grenade...your not budging..."

(Singer) "Hang on to that hand-rail..."

You get the point...maybe that's another reason I don't like lines.

Nitro (2nd row - B Train) was a nice ride. I know a couple of you don't care for this ride, but it is a favorite and it's usually among hte most reliable.

Maybe it was A or C that gave a rougher ride last time around. Good op by the way.

Big Wheel - This made me very angry. The ride platform for the wheel is in the shape of an up-side down arch. It matches the contours of the wheel perfectly. The line was three rows in the que. Each time the wheel would stop and load/unload the op was only using the ceter four cars of the six. This really cut down on capacity.

I started complaining about it. He told me "It's ok...it's ok."

"No, it's not ok." YOu can increase you efficiency by a third if you open up the highest cars in each group.

"It keeps the wheel balanced."

At this point people are noticing it. "Your argument doesn't hold."

He smiled and smirked and whispered, "You think I want a line? This is what they tell us to do."

This is now a major capacity issue. It's wrong and it's dumb.

Very tired...called it an early day.

Good Points - Clean, lots of security. I got a soda at Great Adventure just by having the wristband. You really need a bot at this park.

Bad - El Toro dead (Found out it was due to recent lightening hit during storm). Nitro Flakey. Wheel-Operation. Guest Relations Snafu. Parking lot condition.

Thanks for reading. Have a great day.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008 1:26 AM
Hurricane Harbor doesn't sound that great. I have never been there before but I hate waiting in long lines at waterparks for a 20 second slide. The tube rentals are crazy, they should have enough tubes that rentals shouldn't be needed. It also sounds like lines were very bad for the amusement park if the lot wasn't that crowded. Was Nitro running 3 trains?
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Thursday, July 31, 2008 8:14 PM
Yoshi - - -> Nitro and Medussa were running 3 trains.

I once went to Hurricane Harbor (& Splish Spalsh) on seperate days when it had been raining on and off. I think there were maybe 50 people in the whole park in both cases. It was GREAT!!!!

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Friday, August 1, 2008 12:10 AM
If my Toro is down tomorrow when I go, I'm going to cry big salty disappointed tears. I've been waiting for a good month to go back to Great Adventure and ride it. Plus, I have to have a reward of a great ride for what will almost definitely be a traumatizing ride on Ka.

Toro being down: ZERO FLAGS!

I like Nitro too. I'm not scared of it at all, but it's got some great force behind it, and it's a well-paced ride. At this point in my coaster riding list, Nitro is in my top five (Toro, Nitro, Lightning Racer, Storm Runner, Voodoo tied with Steel Force for #5). It's not the most exciting coaster, but it's got a personality all its own.

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Friday, August 1, 2008 5:17 AM
Richie--

I mean absolutely no offense when I say this.. but reading your report made me realize why I stopped going to parks with enthusiasts (and for awhile) logging onto coaster sites.

We're all too damn nitpicky and park-inspector-like. It's just straight up no fun going to a park with people who are all.. "well this isn't working and that food stand is closed and this used to run three trains and I miss the days when.. blah blah blah. I don't think many of you realize what a DRAG it is to visit a park with someone saying, "Oh.. they're running two trains instead of three which means instead of getting 1440 people per hour..." it all gets very droll (and HELLA annoying) after a while.

Whatever happened to just going to a park for FUN? I couldn't tell you how many trains Phantom's Revenge was running last week, or how long I waited for Exterminator, or anything like that. But I can tell you that me and my friends had a blast.. even though we got caught in a nasty rainstorm and were left stuck standing on the table behind Small Fries attempting to stay dry!

I noticed you visited the park alone. That speaks for itself. *** Edited 8/1/2008 9:20:31 AM UTC by RobCoasting***

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Saturday, August 2, 2008 12:08 AM
RobCoasting - - -> I tend to parks alone because I love rides. Being 45, most of my friends (and spose) don't like going to parks. I had the day off, so I went.

I also have been known to give away tickets over the years (Last month I had 5 free Rye tickets to give away that nobody could use). I would have been nice to have met a few people from this site, but it wasn't meant to be.

When I go with my family, I try to skew the reports from a family perspective.

I know I ramble from time to time and my spelling is terrible, but I want as much info or human interest stories as possible when I read reports, so I try to provide everything I remember. (I usually say scroll down if you only want the rides).

We're different from regular peeps. We can tell things that "normal" people can't when doing a park, so I write for us, not them. I try to be both objective and critical.

That being said, sometimes regular peeps come up with great material for "this thing of ours." I often try stabs of humor, though rarely at the expense of other posters here.

All in all, I do go to the parks for fun. When things (In my opinion) are bad though, (food, operations, service, etc) I mention it. I try to mention the good things too.

Ride ratings are subjective. Someone mentioned recently that they found Nitro to be a bit boring. I like it. Differing opinions are what make all boards better. On many threads, I am proven wrong and I learn from the opposing viewpoint.

You mentioned Kennywood and getting caught in the rain. I love Kennywood and would want to know how they handled the sudden storm and how quickly rides were operating again after the soaking. When I read reports, I usually want more!

Thank you for taking the time to read my report and to comment on it.

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Monday, August 4, 2008 9:54 PM
I always walk Lazy Rivers. I'm tall enough now to actually sit on the bottom and use my hands to propel me. I like it that way. What I want to see the SF waterparks getting is a Pro Bowl. When I went to Wild River Country last August, that became my favorite slide type. I'm talking about the body version. Put maybe 4-6 of them on a couple of towers.
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