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Park opens to flow of visitors

Hurricane Harbor boasts 23 water attractions designed to help visitors keep cool all summer

Posted: May 23, 2009 10:10 p.m.
Updated: May 24, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Castaic residents Chris Alfarero, left, 16, Andrew Nelson, 14, and Katie Curtis, 15, race on Bamboo Racer at Hurricane Harbor's opening day Saturday.

Their screams echoed through the funnel of the Tornado, as four teen girls clung to a raft prepared to bank back and forth down the 75-foot high tunnel slide.

“It was amazing. It was like a water roller coaster,” said Bianca Orozco, 14, of Newhall, as she came off the slide with soaked hair. “It was an adrenaline rush.”

Orozco and her friends were part of the thousands of Six Flags Hurricane Harbor visitors who sported their flip flops, bathing suits or board shorts, sunglasses and layers of sunscreen in a quest for slippery thrills at the water parks opening day Saturday.

Six Flags spokeswoman Connie Lujan said the park usually opens a couple weeks earlier in May to not-so-warm weather, but this year they opened under 80-degree rays allowing most visitors to stroll on the cement with bare feet.  

To keep visitors safe on the 23 rides and attractions at the park, nearly 300 hosts, hostesses and certified lifeguards are on staff at Hurricane Harbor — which is in its 14th summer season this year — with about 85 staff working each day.

“If there’s an incident, this is usually where it is and everyone’s being safe,” said Brent Maranto, of Saugus, a lead lifeguard at the Forgotten Sea wave pool.

Lujan said there are no new attractions at the park this year, but that didn’t stop some Harbor-goers from trying new things.
Becca Chanes, of Camarillo, slid down Venom Drop for the first time. She was all smiles at the slides end after taking on the 75-foot-tall and 300-foot-long open body slide.

“I’ve been telling myself I wanna go on it, and I finally did,” said Chanes, who’s visited the park four times.  “That’s now my favorite (ride) – just the thrill of having the water in your face and you don’t know where you’re going.”

Beyond the slides, some visitors of all ages waded through the lazy River Cruise, while dozens splashed in the wave pool and others lounged in the shade.

“I’m gonna read and just hang out,” said Suzette Dux, of Newbury Park, as she applied sunscreen.

Dux brought her 13-year-old daughter to the park for her birthday, along with nine of her friends.

For lunch, at least three teens skipped the burgers and went straight for the powered-sugar funnel cake, a doughy, deep-fried, sweet and crunchy creation.

“It’s the whole Six Flags experience, you have to get a funnel cake,” said James Brady, 17, of Thousand Oaks.

Hurricane Harbor Manager Roland Miller said opening day was great.

“Fantastic weather, beautiful setting, nice cool water – can’t beat that,” he said.

This weekend the park hosted the Santa Clarita Valley Appreciation Days this weekend benefitting local schools and charities.

Hurricane Harbor is open weekends beginning Saturday, daily June 6 to September 7, and then weekends through September 27.

Opening time is 11 a.m. and closing hours vary.



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