free park day

Long-awaited Houston theme park opens for one-day-only sneak peek

Long-awaited Houston theme park opens for one-day-only sneak peek

Gator Bayou Wild Isle
Enjoy a wet and wild run at Gator Bayou.  Photo courtesy of Gator Bayou

Houstonians who’ve been eagerly awaiting the opening of the Grand Texas Theme Park — which won’t open until 2019 due to construction delays — will have a chance at a special sneak peek. Grand Texas officials have announced a free day at its Gator Bayou Adventure Park (part of the Big Rivers Waterpark) on Saturday, November 3. 

“We know people are waiting for Big Rivers to open,” says Kelley Mattlege of the East Montgomery County Improvement District. The district, which promotes business in the park’s New Caney area, bought Gator Bayou out for a day, and is inviting Houstonians to “come and enjoy the fun of the park without shelling out a lot of money,” Mattlege tells CultureMap. “We want people to enjoy a free day at Gator Bayou and also get a glimpse of Big Rivers before it opens in the spring.”

The free day at Gator Bayou means free parking, free admission to the park, and free access to most of the rides and adventures. Guests can zipline over the new park, enjoy pony rides, and visit the animal exhibits (including the namesake gators).

Highlights include the Vulture Dive, a 70-foot free fall, and the Wild Isle obstacle course, a 45-minute run that will “leave you exhausted and soaking wet” says Mattlege — who adds that anyone venturing a trip to Wild Isle should bring a change of clothes. 

Only the Racoon Run, Eagle Challenge, and Big Rock Mining will require paid admission. Visitors can save their cash for the various food offerings — including barbecue, burgers, tacos, and crepes — and the souvenir shop. 

Mattlege notes that Gator Bayou can only accommodate 5,000 guests at a time. “There may be a wait, but this is great way to see all the exciting things at the park,” she promises. A video produced by the EMCID highlights the attractions guests can expect. 


Gator Bayou Adventure Park hosts a free preview day on Saturday, November 3. The park is located at 23101 TX-242 in New Caney. For more information, call 281-302-4020 or visit park site or Facebook page