Hurricane Harbor's reopening in Gurnee makes a splash

  • Sterling Brown of Waukegan enjoys the lazy river with her 6-year-old son, Castor, on Monday at Hurricane Harbor Chicago in Gurnee. Six Flags Great America opened its water park for the first time this season, with limited capacity and other safety measures in place.

      Sterling Brown of Waukegan enjoys the lazy river with her 6-year-old son, Castor, on Monday at Hurricane Harbor Chicago in Gurnee. Six Flags Great America opened its water park for the first time this season, with limited capacity and other safety measures in place. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Guests enter Hurricane Harbor Chicago at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee on Monday as the water park opened for the first time this season, with limited capacity and other safety measures in place.

      Guests enter Hurricane Harbor Chicago at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee on Monday as the water park opened for the first time this season, with limited capacity and other safety measures in place. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Thermal imaging reads guests' temperatures Monday as they enter Six Flags Great America in Gurnee. The theme park's Hurricane Harbor Chicago water park opened for the first time this season, with limited capacity and other safety measures in place.

      Thermal imaging reads guests' temperatures Monday as they enter Six Flags Great America in Gurnee. The theme park's Hurricane Harbor Chicago water park opened for the first time this season, with limited capacity and other safety measures in place. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Team member Greyson Cox disinfects a tube Monday at Hurricane Harbor Chicago in Gurnee. The water park opened for the first time this season on Monday, with new safety protocols including mask and social distancing requirements.

      Team member Greyson Cox disinfects a tube Monday at Hurricane Harbor Chicago in Gurnee. The water park opened for the first time this season on Monday, with new safety protocols including mask and social distancing requirements. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Team member Nycole Agee reminds guests at Hurricane Harbor Chicago in Gurnee to keep socially distant from other guests and staff on Monday.

      Team member Nycole Agee reminds guests at Hurricane Harbor Chicago in Gurnee to keep socially distant from other guests and staff on Monday. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Larry Manno of Willowbrook was one of the first riders to try out the tube slides Monday at Hurricane Harbor Chicago in Gurnee. The water park opened for the first time this season on Monday, with new safety protocols including mask and social distancing requirements.

      Larry Manno of Willowbrook was one of the first riders to try out the tube slides Monday at Hurricane Harbor Chicago in Gurnee. The water park opened for the first time this season on Monday, with new safety protocols including mask and social distancing requirements. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/20/2020 4:29 PM

Sounds of laughter and splashing can once again be heard from Six Flags Great America in Gurnee.

The theme park's Hurricane Harbor Chicago water park opened Monday to members and season pass holders for the first time this season. Extensive COVID-19 safety protocols were in place, including thermal imaging temperature checks, new security screening technology, touchless bag checks and mobile food ordering.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Limited capacity, online reservations, staggered arrival times, mask requirements, social distancing and frequent sanitization/disinfecting are among the other measures in place.

Visitors are not required to wear masks on waterslides or in pools.

Workers in the park were quick to answer questions, greet guests and pick up litter. Many visitors thanked park officials for opening.

Theme park President Hank Salemi thanked Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Gurnee Mayor Kristin Kovarik for their support.

"Visiting Hurricane Harbor Chicago is a much-loved way to beat the summer heat for so many in the Midwest, and we look forward to welcoming families back to our water park," he said. "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."

Park officials say they are still working on a plan to open the rest of the theme park.

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