|At the heart of
Hurricane Harbor is the island created by the Taak It Eez Ee Creek lazy
river. Known as the Village, this is where the bulk of the park's
food, shopping and guest services reside in colorful and whimsical
When arriving at Hurricane Harbor, guests cross the bridge onto the island which serves as a hub to the rest of the park and the ideal central location for the lockers, changing rooms and restrooms. The island setting offers views of the slides beyond as well as waterside patios for dining or relaxing.
The buildings of the Island were all designed with the look of being made from found materials which had washed up on the shore along with the tropical thatch and bamboo found in the tropics. While lending an authentic look and tropical feel to the structures, the harsh New Jersey weather would end up taking its toll on the materials requiring replacement over time.
|One of the best features of Hurricane Harbor was the creation of an elaborate story of how the park came into existence, with that tale being told throughout the park. An illustrated map was posted on the service gates beside the Aquatopia Cafe which told of the explorer Copernicus T. Potter's search for the fountain of youth and discovery of the island and its inhabitants, the Bada Bings.|
|Throughout the park
hundreds of props and scenic pieces further the story of Hurricane
Harbor adding to the tropical feel.
Dozens of authentic nautical pieces including boats, buoys, floats, nets and other sailing and fishing equipment can be found. Many of these props were purchased specifically for their rustic or worn out look and the passage of time has furthered that weathering with some of the props falling apart or even disintegrating in the 10 years since the park opened.
|Several old wooden boats were
placed around the park as theme elements including a couple of fairly
large ones like the Lucie.
Over time the boats have further weathered and become part of the landscaping as the plants filled in around them creating a more authentic tropical island feel.
|There is a lot of
humor in the props around the island with mixtures of island cultures
from around the world. Dozens of carved tiki heads can be found all
around each with its own unique look and facial expression.
Great care was taken to create unique, thematically appropriate signs throughout the park. Some of the signs serve a purpose (giving directions, etc.) while others are purely decorative and whimsical.
A favorite picture spot in the park has always been the shark although the poor shark's teeth keep getting pulled and taken by guests as souvenirs.
Lots of unique props can be found around the park, including rowboats used as signs, roofs and general scenery.
|After Six Flags sold the Worlds
of Adventure park in Ohio to Cedar Fair, many of the park's resident
animals required relocation with several finding their way east to Six
Flags Great Adventure. Some of the tropical birds found a new temporary
home in Hurricane Harbor for a couple of seasons. The birds and their
cages would eventually be moved into the Wild Safari Exploration
|Perhaps the most
unique elements of Hurricane Harbors tropical setting are the whimsical
"inventions" of the islands inhabitants and of Copernicus T. Potter
At the center of the island is one of the most elaborate of those props, Potter's submarine. Constructed from a wooden boat hull and the native island materials, the submarine is a "work in progress".
|Also at the center of the island is the "water tower" of Aquatopia Water Company, supplier of the island's crystal clear water. The phrase "It's in the water" is found throughout the park. The water tower and the connecting series of conduits are made of bamboo and other tropical island materials.|
|One of the other whimsical
inventions found around the island are the Weather Rock, used for
the most accurate of meteorological predictions.
The Bada Bing Batteries feature a wind turbine connected to a series of barrels with wires and utility poles running outward.
|Just off the island
and visible from the Aquatopia Cafe patio is the Quite-A-Lotta Bada Bing
Juice machine with its idol head style boiler and rustic distillery
Also just off island was the Bada Bing Laundromat with its washtub on a spring and Rube Goldberg style mechanism.
|Another of the really elaborate inventions found on the island is the Bada Bing Music Machine with its giant funnel style "speaker" attached to a machine with pipes, bells and marimba. The original woven reed material the speaker was constructed from quickly wore out and was replaced with fishing nets after only a few seasons.|
Near the Weather Rock is another piece of scientific equipment on the island, the Bada Bing Sundial. The sundial is an elaborate looking sculpture which is actually positioned properly for time telling.
One of the inventions that stands out most on the Island is "Experiment Number 39" which seems to have no discernable function and looks to be a combination of high tech and rustic at the same time.
|The Island Floaters
tube rentals is the second location for Hurricane Harbor's tube rental
stand in the park, having been moved from next to the volleyball beach
in order to expand the backstage holding area as well as hide the piles
of tubes form public view.
The "new" location is right next to the service gates for easy access for park staff.
|Island Photos have always been part of Hurricane Harbor with park photographers snapping pictures of the guests as the arrived on the bridge. This was later expanded with photos throughout the park, and the photo booth itself was expanded to accommodate the additional volume of pictures and guests. In more recent seasons photographers have even been added IN the lazy river taking pictures with waterproof camera equipment.|
|Lots of little food and merchandise stands have come and gone from Hurricane Harbor in 10 seasons. Island Temptations was part of the park for several seasons before being temporarily removed in 2009 and added to the theme park, then returning in 2010.|
|Dippin Dots is another stand that has been a part of Hurricane Harbor over the years, but the stand itself was modified and replaced over time, going from themed to generic. Other small stands like the Henna Tattoo stand have also come and gone over time and as staffing changes throughout the season.|
|One necessity of any
waterpark is a locker area, and Hurricane Harbor features two large
banks of lockers. Originally the parks lockers were simple keyed lockers
which could be rented from a small stand next to the lockers and
changing rooms. Over time as keys were lost or not returned by guests,
lockers would be taken out of commission reducing the number
available for guests.
The lockers would eventually be replaced with new "Smart Cart" style locker like found inside the theme park which no longer required guests to carry the keys with them all day.
|Click on an Island building name to jump
to the profile:
|The most imposing of the
buildings on the island is the Aquatopia Cafe with its bright colors and
tall central tower. Aquatopia is the primary restaurant in the park
serving traditional park foods like hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, fries
Alongside the cafe is a large patio with tables for dining on the banks of the Taak It Eez Ee Creek. Diners can sit and eat and watch their friends drift by along the lazy river.
|The Aquatopia Cafe's style is an
eclectic mix of architectural elements with large stucco columns
supporting the roof structure of logs and thatched roof.
Like the park's entrance, the style of Aquatopia owes a debt to Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure which had opened the year before. Six Flags management was quite impressed by the theme elements of Islands of Adventure's Port of Entry and wanted to incorporate that feeling and style into the new waterpark, and they did so with great success.
|Island Traders is Hurricane
Harbor's main shop featuring souvenirs and sundries of all sorts. The
building is quite unique with its octagonal shape and steeply peaked
roof which also features an upside down wooden boat as an awning over
one of the doorways.
Inside the structure of the building is pressure treated logs put together in an open timber frame style with the joints between the beams lashed with rope.
Both inside and outside are colorful decorative elements reflecting the theme of things washed up on the island.
Inside Island Traders is an array of merchandise from the necessities for a day at the waterpark like sunscreen, towels, swimsuits, etc, to jewelry, t-shirts and other souvenirs.
The selection of merchandise changes with each year as the merchandise is liquidated at the end of each season to make room for new items along with returning selected best selling items each year.
|Sharky's has been one of the most
modified buildings on the island, originally designed as a small arcade,
then becoming a food outlet as Sharky's Snacks. The building went
through another metamorphosis for the 2010 season becoming and outlet
for the popular Ted's Cheese Steaks.
The hexagonal structure has one of the more unique looks with its barrel tile cupola topped with terra cotta Asian style dragons. Also attached are two stands, one of which was used primarily as the locker rental counter, and the second as a water shoe sales counter.
|The former locker rental counter
would later be converted to a drink stand after the lockers were
replaced with a keyless entry system.
One of the most unique features of Sharky's was the inclusion of vending machines providing Hurricane Harbor with a Kosher food outlet.
|Restrooms and Changing Facilities|
|Another of the
necessities for any waterpark are changing and restroom facilities. Two
sets of large bath houses with changing rooms and showers on each side
of the island are adjacent to the lockers. These are side by side with
two large restroom facilities.
Like the other buildings in Hurricane Harbor they are open and airy facilities with good ventilation through the gables at each end.
The buildings are also colorfully decorated with nautical props and fishnets. The back sides of the buildings back up to the lazy river.