Monday, June 28, 2010

Beating the Heat with Raging Waters San Dimas

Yesterday we celebrated the end of H's preschool year with a trip to Raging Waters in San Dimas. We wanted to go before it got too late in the season since the hotter it is, the bigger the crowds. We got there in good time so were able to park pretty close to the entrance ($15 general parking, preferred parking is no longer available) just after the park opened (10:00 AM). I thought they would love it because every time we've been to the water play areas at Disneyland or Legoland, they've had a great time. I guess I didn't fully understand the enormity of the biggest water park in California. It was a lesson in scale, just because your child enjoys something doesn't mean that multiplying it by 100x in scale will mean multiplying the enjoyment factor by that much. In fact, it can be exactly the opposite. Kids 2 yrs and under are free so R didn't have to pay. I think this is because most 2 years won't be able to try out most of the rides because they won't meet the minimum height requirement. R spent the first half hour crying because he was just too overwhelmed and refused to go into the water even after he calmed down.

H was much more relaxed and had a great time at Splash Island Adventure with its 12 levels and 75 activities including five slides, water cannons, web crawl tunnels, spiral cargo nets, and swinging bridge. He didn't like the roaring sound and deluge of water from the 1,000-gallon bucket tipping hundreds of gallons of water over the whole attraction every few minutes so I put my hat over his head whenever that happened. I thought he would love going down the tunnel slides since he loves climbing through the tunnels at any McDonald's Play Place but water seemed to have added a component that made that outside his comfort zone. He did go down slide number one 11 times since that one wasn't covered. H also loved playing in Volcano Fantasea which had an area with spray hoses that kids could use to have water battles. I'm not sure what the appeal is of spraying water, but H had a great time doing it and went back again and again.

After lunch, Stewart took H on the Amazon Adventure, a quarter-mile long, 18-foot-wide Tropical River filled with 500,000 gallons of water. After that ride, R got his ice cream and H went down the slide a few more times at Splash Island Adventure, and then we were ready to go home. We were all exhausted and it was only 2:00! It was a great introduction to Raging Waters. I think the first time you go to an amusement park with young kids it's really about getting them familiar with the new environment. It's only the next time you go that they are comfortable enough to relax and have as good a time as you think they should. For us, the next time we'll definitely know where the better beach chairs are and how the sun moves so we'll be in the shade when the sun is at its strongest. I learned that going to a water park is probably better when your kids are older so they can meet the height requirements for the rides and also feel comfortable with all the sights and sounds around them. Both boys and I fell asleep in the car on the drive back and luckily Stewart drove us back safely before he conked out as well.

If you would like to try out the water park for your family, Raging Waters is offering Random Mommy readers a discount of $7 off a general admission online purchase or $5 off a general admission purchase at the park. Regular general admission is $36.99 and junior admission (under 48") is $22.99.  Here's the link for the coupon and you can use the coupon code 1067 for the online purchase. Stay cool!

I did not receive compensation for this post. I received a pair of tickets to the park to facilitate my review.