Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Gurnee to open for members July 20, everyone else July 27

The Hurricane Harbor water park next to Six Flags Great America in Gurnee will open to park members and season pass holders for a preview week from July 20 to 26, officials announced Thursday. The water park will open to the general public starting July 27.

All guests must use the park's new online reservation system at and select the date and time they wish to visit. Park officials say the new system will help manage attendance and stagger arrival times to minimize proximity exposure.

Members and season pass holders may make online reservations beginning Friday.

Other safety features touted by officials Thursday include a new thermal scanning system that will check incoming guests' body temperatures and act as a touch-free metal detector.

"The safety of our guests and team members remains our number one priority, and the new safety guidelines we have put in place are designed to create a safe environment for everyone," said Hank Salemi, park president of Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor.

The reopening plans include a policy requiring face masks be worn at all times, except when guests are on waterslides, water attractions or in pools.

Social distancing will also be strictly enforced, according to officials. Space buffers will be marked throughout the water park and guests will be not allowed to share tubes with people outside their party.

In addition, the water park will follow extensive sanitizing and disinfecting protocols carried out by trained cleaning teams working throughout the day, frequently cleaning high-touch points such as public seating, doors, tables, counters, and tubes and rafts.

"We have developed a comprehensive reopening safety plan that includes protocols designed by theme park and water park industry experts, along with best practices from top destination parks from around the world," Six Flags President and CEO Mike Spanos said. "This 'new normal' will be different in some ways, but we believe these additional measures are appropriate in the current environment."

Officials at Hurricane Harbor water parks in Gurnee and Rockford announced last week they had begun hiring lifeguards and other employees in preparation to open for an abbreviated summer season after Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Restore Illinois team said water parks may begin opening under Phase 4.

Officials had no news to share about when Great America might reopen.

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