The Pros and Cons of Opening Weekend at Hurricane Harbor

By Shannon Gurnee
In California
July 13, 2018

Hurricane Harbor #HurricaneHarbor #travel #familyfun #HurricaneHarbor

When it comes to amusement parks, our family loves to go to Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor. In fact, we pay a monthly fee so that we have passes throughout the year and can go anytime we want. With our passes, we can go to several Six Flags Magic Mountain locations around the U.S., as well as Hurricane Harbor (the waterpark) and even attend events like Fright Fest (so much fun)!

Hurricane Harbor #HurricaneHarbor #travel #familyfun #HurricaneHarbor

This year, we headed to Hurricane Harbor with the kids on opening weekend. Last year when we went, it wasn’t busy at all. However, this year it fell on Memorial Day weekend and it was VERY busy! Going to Hurricane Harbor on opening weekend definitely has pros and cons to it. Check them out!

Hurricane Harbor #HurricaneHarbor #travel #familyfun #HurricaneHarbor



  • Freshly filled pools and water slides
  • Brand new or freshly cleaned loungers and pool furniture (as well as super clean cabanas)
  • Usually not as busy (unless it’s a holiday weekend)
  • Most of the rides are open (nothing broke down)
  • Added shade covering over the security line (not usually there throughout the year)
  • Cabanas may not be fully booked, giving more options to those looking to book at the last minute


Hurricane Harbor #HurricaneHarbor #travel #familyfun #HurricaneHarbor



  • Cold water because it’s newly filled up (believe it or not, we found that the kiddie pool area was colder than even the lazy river was!)
  • New staff unaware of what’s available and what’s not available on food menus
  • Service in the cabanas not as good or regular due to new employees
  • The lines move a little slower with new staff members manning the rides


Hurricane Harbor #HurricaneHarbor #travel #familyfun #HurricaneHarbor

Hurricane Harbor #HurricaneHarbor #travel #familyfun #HurricaneHarbor

When we go to Hurricane Harbor, we like to rent a cabana when possible. If we rent a Cabana, my husband always does so online to guarantee we get one before they sell out. We either print out the confirmation receipt at home and bring it with us or pull up the receipt on our phones when we get to the cabana registration desk.

Hurricane Harbor #HurricaneHarbor #travel #familyfun #HurricaneHarbor

Hurricane Harbor #HurricaneHarbor #travel #familyfun #HurricaneHarbor

Why the cabana you ask? First, I’m a redhead and burn just looking at the sun! Ok, not really, but it sure feels like it sometimes! Second, it comes with enough tubes for our kids to use at the waterpark. Third, it includes food service. That doesn’t mean it includes the food, but does include a server who brings the food you order to your cabana so you don’t have to stand in line waiting to order food. It’s nice, but keep in mind that you will need to tip your server, so be sure to include that in your food budget during your visit.

Hurricane Harbor #HurricaneHarbor #travel #familyfun #HurricaneHarbor

We love to go to Hurricane Harbor, whether it’s opening weekend or not! Even though this year was busier than last year (probably due to the holiday weekend), we had a fun time! We’re looking forward to visiting with our family again this summer.

Have you visited Hurricane Harbor on opening weekend?
What are some of the pros and cons you can think of?



About Has 2169 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

47 Responses to “The Pros and Cons of Opening Weekend at Hurricane Harbor”

  1. Mckayla says:

    Lucky you for not busy space! I would love a visit there!

  2. prabashi says:

    Will be visiting next weekend. cant wait.

  3. Looks like a good way to spend a weekend. We have a water park here. And your post just made me want to plan a trip that.

  4. sammi says:

    Very informative post. I now know what to expect when I go there. You have a beautiful family.

  5. Sheri says:

    We love waterparks and it is where we can spend days during the summer. Our little one is a water rat so it fits perfectly. We would love to visit.

  6. I haven’t visited an amusement park or water park in AGES! In all fairness I do not have kids, so for me summer would be more sitting out at the beach with an umbrella drink in hand. I’m actually overdue for a vacay and this is giving me wanderlust!

  7. Ann Snook says:

    I haven’t been to a water park in years! It looks like so much fun! Going when everything is still clean and new is a smart idea.

  8. Amber Myers says:

    How fun! We’ve never been here before. We will be going to our Six Flags and checking the water park out soon though.

  9. Stacie says:

    We haven’t been on opening weekend, but I’d be willing to sacrifice a little for fewer crowds. Thanks for the info. It’s an excellent tool for deciding what to do.

  10. Tara Pittman says:

    I would love to rent a cabana as they look so cool. That way you also have a place for all your stuff.

  11. Jeanine says:

    Wow how fun does this look. I wish we had something like this near us. I’d never leave. Looks like so much fun for everyone!

  12. Peter says:

    What a great way to get rid of this heat wave. This waterpsrk looks to die for and I’d be hard pressed to leave once I got there

  13. Suzanne says:

    Looks to be a fun getaway regardless! Glad you and your family had a great time πŸ™‚

  14. robin rue says:

    I am a BIG fan of getting a cabana at the water park. I don’t always splurge, but it’s totally worth it.

  15. brianne says:

    This place does look amazing, but I appreciate your honestly about the behind the scenes as well!

  16. Maysz says:

    I love waterparks! Very nice hangout! I hope I will visit that place!

  17. Rosey says:

    I didn’t know they brought your food to you if you had a cabana. That really is a great perk. Those food lines can get really long, esp. on a busy day.

  18. I’ve never visited it and I don’t know if I ever will… The older I get, the scarier of roller coasters I get! Lol. Looks like you had a great time though! πŸ™‚

  19. I’ve never been here, but it looks worthwhile! I’m always looking for new places to take the kiddos.

  20. anshul says:

    I love amusement parks. This looks like such a fun place to be.

  21. Pradnya says:

    Looks like a lovely place. Would love to visit someday!

  22. Olga Zak says:

    Thanks for the info. It’s an excellent tool for deciding what to do. Glad you and your family had a great time

  23. Olga Zak says:

    Thanks for the info. This is an excellent tool for deciding what to do. Glad to know that you and your family had a great time

  24. Kamapala Chukwuka says:

    This looks amazing. I love how you balanced this post out by also including the cons(which are bound to be present at any outing:) It just seems like you all really had the blast. I really love the idea of the cabana. Fabulous pictures to go with a great post!

  25. Oh goodness!This is absolute fun…water parks are so awesome but it’s unfortunate since I’ve not gone to one recently. Even though the water is usually cold, I find that to be even fun!

  26. Lynndee says:

    What a nice water park! I’ve never been there, but I would like to someday. I bet my son would have a blast in those slides.

  27. Becky Willis says:

    That is great that you pay for passes monthly. I love the idea of a cabana so that you don’t have to wait in lines for food. We had a cabana once at a place and I loved it. Thank you for all of the great information!

  28. The cabanas look like a great place to relax and catch up on some reading while the kids enjoy themselves. Thanks for the heads up on some of the things to expect.

  29. Emma Riley says:

    Wow, that is such a perfect place for this summer, it looks like a lot of fun and I am sure my kids will also love to be there!

  30. Looks like great fun for all the hot weather we’ve been having. Love water parks and this one looks like it has some interesting attractions. And I always good for checking out a lounge chair or to at pool side!

  31. What an amazing place! looks like overall, the pros outweight the cons! i wanna go there!

  32. Abrah says:

    I appreciate the pros AND cons. it’s a thorough and honest review. Thanks. I feel prepared!

  33. Ruth I. says:

    This place looks fun! We haven’t been there but would love to visit next year!

  34. What a fab trip to Hurricane Harbour, looks like the kids had fun. Great tip about booking the cabana, can totally imagine it to be fully booked on a fabulous day.

  35. Jojo Hua says:

    How much fun does this look like! I have always loved water parks. When I was a child, we went to one near my house but it got shut down for some reason and I haven’t been to anything similar since.

  36. Sara Welch says:

    Hurricane Harbor looks like the place to be! I would really enjoy a visit with the family!

  37. Wendy Polisi says:

    That looks like an awesome place to go hangout! The cold water can be rough though!

  38. Would you believe me when I said I have never been there? I had no idea there was a water park. Amazing, I guess I need to plan and go, my kids would love it.

  39. Kiwi says:

    That is awesome you got to go to the opening weekend of Hurricane Harbor. Summer is still in and I think this would be an awesome place to take the kids!

  40. Danielle says:

    This place looks like so much fun! My kids would love it!

  41. Fritha Quinn says:

    oh my gosh this looks like such a fun day out! My kids are still really little but I can’t wait for them to be a bit older and for us all to enjoy places like this x

  42. This looks like so much fun! I think it is so great to know the pros and cons before going. Thanks for such a great post.

  43. It sounds like s great park to visit and fun for all the family. There will always be queues but that’s bound to happen.

  44. anosa says:

    Wow ! Hurricane harbour looks amazing! i wish England was blessed with such weather that we can have places like this running all year round.
    I found the list of pros and cons interesting,because they all seemed thought through and honest.

  45. Tanya says:

    I love going to waterparks, they are always so much fun! I’m a redhead as well so I know what you mean about so much as seeing the sun rise and we’re burnt ha. I’ve never thought about hiring beds and always do it on the day but it makes so much sense to be prepared

  46. Looks like so much fun. The last time I took my twin daughters to six flags was 6 years ago. Your post reminds me that we need to visit again soon.

  47. We lllloooovvveee waterparks! Pinning this one for later!

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