Take a ride aboard the Carolina Sternwheeler : 2 of 2
As the Carolina Sternwheeler rounded the island, most people look outward at the rides and attractions along the edge of the lagoon. The island itself was full of vegetation and even had 2 man-made waterfalls. It was also refuge for many Canadian Geese (photo below). The island property became too valuable after a while and the park struggled with what to do with it. In 1984, they turned it into Smurf Island, based on the popular TV cartoon. Patrons would board a small raft (bottom photo) that took them to the island and allowed them to wander around the small village of Smurf characters. Smurf Island lasted through the 1993 season and became "Echo Park" for one season, 1994. Eventually, it was decided by Paramount in 2003, that the land needed to be developed into something more substantial. Sadly, this meant scrapping the Sternwheeler paddleboat after the 2003 season and leveling the island to make room for a flying coaster known as BORG which was relocated from its sister park in Santa Clara, CA in time for the 2004 season.
Passengers would board the raft on the opposite side of the island from where the sternwheeler docked, and take the short trip across the waterway to Smurf Island. It was a nice way to implement the island for public use and lasted for 9 seasons (1984-1993).