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The Ultimate LA Family Guide ™

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Hurricane Harbor Review

Hurricane Harbor is a water park in Valencia is located off Highway 5, just a few minutes (depending on traffic)  from the North San Fernando Valley. The cost of admission is: General Admission: $29.99, Children Under 48": $20.99, Children Two and Under: Free.

However, there are many promotions going on including one where you bring a can of coke and admission becomes $22 for adults. Also, there is a substantial discount if you pre-purchase and print out your tickets online .

There is so much to say about Hurricane Harbor. I was a little uncertain as to how this voyage to a water park was going to work out.  First of all, I have to remind my listeners that our family during this visit was two adults and two kids who were at the time two years old.  My fear was that we would be surrounded by a bunch of teenagers, have nothing appropriate for them to do, and would have to simply ask teenagers what they thought of the park and the rides.

The reality however was that this park was more than suited for families with young kids. When we arrived at the park we were greeted by the fact that parking was 15 dollars for the day.  While we liked Hurricane Harbor, this park is not about on the cheap.  Despite the fact that almost everyone around us had some type of discount to the park, there were many costs associated with a day at Hurricane Harbor beyond the ticket gate.  

When we first entered the park our kids loved the fact that it is pirate-and-tropical themed.  To our left we saw a large pool with water shooting out of it and we were greeted by a friendly life guard who told us where we could get life preservers for our little ones if we wanted to. We walked a few more steps and saw an incredible children's play area called Castaway Cove.  It was like as if it was meant for our 2 year olds given that it had shallow water (about a foot or so high) making it so my children could walk around at leisure and play on all the equipment.  There was a large tire that my husband immediately swung on with Madison and I realized right away the Logan was willing to go on many of the small water slides that go into this large children's lagoon area.   These slides were often themed as if you are going through a canon, a lizard, etc... There was also a big play structure like you'd see at a park (only better than most) so my kids felt comfortable going on the structure and sliding down the very shot slides.

Madison soon went on several of the slides, but insisted on being held by Daddy.  None-the less she was really quite happy. There were two longer slides in this children's area and I couldn't believe it but Logan wanted to go on one of them by himself.  I positioned my husband at the end of it and then there he went.  it was so cute seeing this little two year old smile his way down the long slide, get himself up at the end of it and then be ready for more.

We then decided we were going to walk around the park and see what else we could do together. We noticed a large lazy river that goes around a lot of the park. It is 3 feet deep with a constant, slow current, which means you could opt to walk it, swim it or raft it. While the lazy river looked very cool, there was a fee for the the raft rental at $7 for a one person tube and $14 for a two person tube so the price of laziness was quite high.  I wish they would have allowed us to bring our little round floaties for our kids to use. We had fun walking through the river but we had to hold them the whole time. I can't wait to come back though when they are a little older and do this attraction. So many families were on it and looked like they were having fun.

Now, about the lockers to store your stuff and bathrooms. We brought 4 towels which were all unnecessary given that it was maybe 85 degrees and we all dried off really quickly in the air. We also brought sand toys which were also not needed since they was no sand to play in. However, if you do wish to bring your wallet and other belongings,  these lockers are not the $2 in coins of yesteryear, but rather $5 dollars for the day. We noticed however that many people just set up camp throughout the lounge areas with all their stuff and more than likely simply took their wallets with them when they strayed too far from their landing place.  I would recommend one of those tube type containers that go around your neck to keep some cash in and to leave your purse locked and hidden in the car. The bathrooms were large with plenty of room for changing and my husband said that there was a changing table for babies in the men's room.

We soon saw the second large kids play area called Shipwreck Shores.  This area seemed for slightly older kids and was not as slide focused, but rather had this very cool pirate structure that had a lot of rope climbing structures. We still had fun there though because they liked going in and out of the fountains. There was also another great wading pool for little ones in this area and my kids felt very comfortable here and didn’t want to get out. My one complaint about this pool is the lack of shade.

Food is quite pricey, but here is an alternative.  On route to Hurricane harbor there is literally every fast food place you could imagine. There are also some sit down chains adjacent to the park as well.   Here is an suggestion: pack a lunch or eat lunch before coming (the park doesn't open until 10:30). Hurricane Harbor is not one of those places where you have to spend 8 hours at nor is it a place where you have to eat every meal there in order to have a great experience.  It is a water park and a great one at that, but you don't go there for the food.  

There was another pool that had huge fountains in it that would have been great for our family, but we didn't venture in. I also saw a ride where you go down a slide in a toboggan and a big pool with simulated waves. For families with older kids, they have a rapids ride where you all get in a boat together. And of course the very tall water slides and there are many of them which are there for the daredevils in your family. The park was spacious without seeming huge and not crowded, even on a warm day in August. I saw school groups but never felt like they took over an area and when we went on the waterslides in Castaway Cove we didn't have to wait in line, just maybe let one kid or two down before we went.

So, my overall impression is that this was a very fun experience for my kids and we all had a wonderful time. Yes, they were younger than the vast majority of children, but they loved it and we had fun doing all of it together. I saw many moms and dads relaxing by the pool while their kids played and all of the kids were respectful to our kids.