Anyone who’s ever been to a Yankee game can tell you, New Yorkers are tough critics. But with a strategy focused on smart, aggressive growth, the operators of Long Island’s, Splish Splash waterpark have managed to impress. With a mix of attractions, including several one-of-a-kind themed water rides and a host of activities for young children, the park satisfies the tri-state area’s desire for high-quality family entertainment. Nancy Aracri, director of sales and marketing, describes it as an ideal “daycation” destination for the entire family.
Splish Splash was developed on 32 acres of forest land and instead of clear-cutting,designers utilized the existing landscape. By building in, around and through the trees, they created a waterpark setting that showcases the area’s natural beauty.
The park debuted in 1991 with two tube slides, three body slides, a family raft ride, two speed slides, a 1,300-foot lazy river and two children’s areas (Pirates Cove and Octopus Pool). New additions began almost immediately. The Abyss, an enclosed twisting tube ride, was introduced in 1992; later came the 20,000-square-foot Surf City Wave Pool and Cliff Diver, an 80-foot-tall speed slide.
To keep up with the growing number of patrons, a host of guest services and dry areas also have been added, including a tram system, new parking areas and food venues, an ice cream parlor, an arcade, and an interactive family play area.
Barrier Reef, the park’s first themed ride, debuted in 1993. The “shark attack” attraction includes themed music and a waiting area that soaks anyone standing in the way. Shotgun Falls, a Western attraction added in 1994, takes riders down a short, fast slide dropping them more than 10 feet into the splash pool below. The newest themed rides are Hollywood Stunt Rider (an enclosed raft ride) and Alien Invasion (a family-style funnel slide).
Perhaps the biggest change for Splish Splash came in 1999, when it was sold to Palace Entertainment Holding Inc. Becoming part of a much bigger entity is sure to enable the park to continue to keep the crowds coming back for more.
YEAR OPENED: 1991
SIZE: 96 acres
SIGNATURE ATTRACTIONS: Alien Invasion
FUN FACT: It takes employees four months to clean up all the leaves that fall each year.
NO. OF LIFEGUARDS:200+