The summer heat has always had people looking for ways to cool off and have fun, and theme parks and water parks have looked to find new and innovative ways to provide relief from the heat and have fun at the same time.
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor has been one of the world's most popular
water parks since it opened in 2000. The park has opened new slides
and attractions offering new
thrills and expanded capacity as the it's attendance has grown.
One of the most popular features in the park since it opened in 2000 has been the Discovery Bay family play area. It offers small slides on a large climbing structure filled with sprayers and waterfalls all crowned with a giant bucket. The tipping bucket dumps a huge amount of water on the crowd below at regular intervals with guests gathering when a bell rings signaling that the dump is imminent.
With the success of Discovery Bay, the park saw an opportunity to expand on that crowd pleaser and for the 2016 season Hurricane Harbor added Caribbean Cove, a smaller version of the splash playground concept, complete with a similar dumping water bucket. Caribbean Cove also served as a sort of backup if and when Discovery Bay was not available, making sure their smallest guests still had things to do at the park.
During the spring of 2016, parts for the new water attraction arrived outside the employee entrance on the edge of the guest parking lot. Pre-painted metal supports designed to look like bamboo and brightly painted fiberglass slide sections with colors that evoked the vibrant Caribbean, along with the giant tipper bucket were staged and ready for installation.
Caribbean Cove was built in a previously undeveloped area of the park
which had been cleared a few years prior when the neighboring Big Wave
Racer slide was built in 2013 as
crowds continued to grow.
The small play structure was built fairly quickly with it's relatively small size and number of features. Just like the structure was smaller than the original Discovery Bay play area, the big dumping bucket was proportionally smaller as well. The overall size made it look more of a "kids only" attraction rather than a full on family attraction.
As the height of the summer heat arrived, Caribbean Cove was ready to start cooling off Hurricane Harbor's youngest guests. After a soft opening, the attraction had its grand opening on July 14, 2016.
|As seen in these promotional photos from the park, when Caribbean Cove opened to the public it offered another great way to cool off at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor New Jersey.
Along with the addition of Caribbean Cove came new landscaping as well as a large new seating area giving parents a place to sit and
relax while the little ones played nearby. The seating areas offered an
array of lounge chairs and a pair of large shade structures.
Caribbean Cove was placed in the center and lowest portion of an expansive concrete circular pad. As such, the playground appeared to an oasis in the middle of small lake. Because a few inches of water is as dangerous as a deep swimming pool when it comes to a child drowning, Caribbean Cove required a large number of life guards to watch over the attraction and surrounding pool.
From 2016 through 2022 Caribbean Cove cooled and delighted young
park-goers. The small play structure was never as popular as the
original Discovery Bay family play structure and sometimes remained
closed when the park was short on life guards.
Like any theme park, the popularity of an attraction is always being evaluated and a decision was made that the 2022 season would be the last for Caribbean Cove even though it was just seven seasons old.
|During the 2022-23 off season, Caribbean Cove was removed to make way for a bigger and better family play area called Splash Island which offered a larger play area along with a wide array of slides specially chosen for the smaller park guests. It is believed the layout will require a comparable number of life guards but offer more options and a higher capacity attraction for guests.
|Original Spotlight: March 21, 2023; GAH Reference#: HH-RIDE-2016-001