Great Escape opens today, but new rides not till May 25

Great Escape workers pour a cement mix Thursday at the new Bucket Blasters ride that will open May 25 at Monsoon Lagoon in the expanded water park. (Photo provided by Great Escape)

QUEENSBURY — This weekend, some rides will be in new locations at Great Escape in preparation for an expanded water park.

Great Escape opens for the season at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. But its new rides this year will be in the water park, which won’t open until May 25.

So the main change visitors will see on opening weekend is that Kidzopolis is gone.

The mini-park area near the water park, with three rides for young children and a spray yard, is being turned into Monsoon Lagoon.

Of the three rides, the Crazy Cars ride has been removed and the teacups ride is being moved to Timbertown, which hosts the rest of the rides for young children. That relocation is not yet finished.

The airplanes ride and the spray yard are staying at Monsoon Lagoon.

In the place of Crazy Cars will be a new water ride called Bucket Blasters.

“Riders will spin around in barrels that are equipped with water guns,” said spokeswoman Jennifer Mance. “So our guests can splash their friends and family who are riding with them.”

Also at Monsoon Lagoon will be a new pool for young children, called Shipwreck Cove. It will feature geysers and fountains spraying water. Great Escape is describing it as an “activity pool.”

Those watching the children will have new shaded seating with tables and “huge umbrellas,” Mance said. There will also be a snack bar, Shark Bites, serving pretzels, popcorn and soft-serve Dole yogurt.

When Monsoon Lagoon opens, there will be stairs connecting the area to the changing rooms for the water park. The water park has been renamed Hurricane Harbor.

On opening weekend, Great Escape is holding a sale for memberships and season passes. Members will be the first to use Monsoon Lagoon, on May 25.

“The new area will open exclusively to members, and we will have other exclusive things there for them as well,” Mance said.

On May 26 and May 27, season pass holders will also be allowed into Monsoon Lagoon. The public will be allowed in after the grand opening, tentatively set for the end of May.

On opening day, Great Escape will also give a free ticket (which must be used May 11) to anyone who raises at least $100 to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. The company is holding a 2-mile walk in the park as a fundraiser for JDRF.

Walkers can register online or at the park on Saturday morning. The walk is at 11 a.m.

Want to work at the park? Great Escape is still hiring for all jobs, from food service to ride operators.

“We hire 1,500 people a year, so we’re always hiring,” Mance said. “We are looking for energetic team members who want to have fun while working.”

Job seekers should apply online at sixflags.com/greatescape.