Magic Mountain Park at Coyote Point re-opened to the public Thursday after closing for renovations six years ago.
An economic recession that led to a funding shortage and 40 percent cuts in county park staff from 2000 to 2005 delayed the $1.2 million project from being completed sooner, officials said.
“It’s pretty exciting to have it all pulled together,” said Parks and Recreation Director Dave Holland. “I think it represents a turning point and the beginning of the revitalization of Coyote Point Park,” once a destination location for local residents on the weekend, he said.
“You can talk inside the dragon heads,” said Aliza Herzberg, 9, who attended the opening of the park with her mother.
After a public survey, the park was built around a castle-and-dragon theme, including an element that allows kids to speak into a pipe and hear their voice coming out of a dragon’s mouth. The tire swing was also top-notch, along with the 35-foot-high slide, Herzberg said.
Held back momentarily by a thin red ribbon hung for the ceremonial opening, Herzberg, along with dozens of other children, rushed for one of the playground’s 13 swings and 11 slides once the ribbon was cut.
Located just behind the Peninsula Humane Society offices, Magic Mountain’s renovation is the largest project so far completed in the makeover of Coyote Point. As part of the renovation, Supervisors approved an additional $50,000 on Wednesday to speed up the completion of the park’s master, said Supervisor Adrienne Tissier, who attended the ribbon cutting.
“This is where kids learn to become adults,” said Executive Director of the county Parks Foundation Julia Bott. It is a place where they meet people of different cultures, practice their motor skills and solve problems, Bott said.
The 39,000-square-foot playground, which can accommodate 300-400 kids at once, was upgraded to meet handicap accessibility and safety requirements, Holland said.
“The old Magic Mountain was a concrete hill that people would slide down on cardboard boxes,” Holland said. While that was okay 10 or 20 years ago, today’s safety and liability standards forced the change.
Almost 300,000 people visit the Coyote Point Recreation Area each year.